Tigers Training Camp Report
October 18, 2006
University of Memphis coach John Calipari said Tuesday that freshman forward Pierre Niles was doing well following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday to clean up some cartilage that had been causing soreness.
"It went well," Calipari said. "Everything should be good. How quickly he can come back all depends on his pain tolerance. He's a little bit heavier, I can't imagine it would be earlier than three weeks." Niles, who played at Ridgeway before transferring to a prep school in North Carolina last season, is currently listed on the team's roster at 6-8, 285 pounds.
His goal had been to get down to 275 before the Nov. 16 season opener against Jackson State. Though the surgery could set Niles back a little bit with his weight loss, he had shown good mobility in early drills.
In other injury news, freshman guard Tre'Von Willis suffered a mild concussion toward the end of Monday's practice. He tried to practice Tuesday but only participated in a couple of drills.
Willis' availability will be day-to-day, but team officials anticipate he'll be ready to return by Friday at the latest.
Freshman guard Willie Kemp, who turned an ankle in the final minutes of Monday's practice, returned Tuesday and appeared to be at full speed.
Calipari used much of Tuesday's practice to install the full-court press, which is something of a departure from the first three days of practice in which offense was the focus.
Coming into the season without last year's top three scorers -- Shawne Williams, Rodney Carney and Darius Washington -- Calipari has talked about the need to force turnovers and create easy offensive opportunities.
"The biggest thing for me is, we really want to be aggressive," Calipari said. "We really want to go after balls. We really want to do some stuff, but we don't want to give up layups. We want to be back and making sure that if someone's scoring, it's a tough shot against a set defense."
CSTV will be broadcasting live Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. on the plaza outside the FedExForum in conjunction with Conference USA men's basketball media day. Fans are encouraged to attend the broadcast, on which coaches and players will be interviewed.
-- Dan Wolken, Memphis Commercial Appeal