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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Joey Dorsey's Consistent Inconsistency

Dorsey's inconsistency vexes

By Jim Masilak
November 30, 2006

Twice during the second half of the University of Memphis' 86-60 victory over Arkansas State on Wednesday night, the crowd at FedExForum lavished Tiger forward Joey Dorsey with standing ovations.

But following another maddeningly inconsistent performance from the 6-9, 260-pound junior, his teammates and coach John Calipari expressed growing frustration with a player who all too often shows only the rarest glimpses of his considerable potential.

"He can be so much better than what he sometimes plays like," senior guard Jeremy Hunt said. "When he plays to his potential, he knows he's a real superstar. I don't see why he wouldn't want to come out and do that every game."

Dorsey scored all 10 of his points during a breathtaking 2-minute, 24-second stretch after halftime during which he followed a layup and a pair of free throws with three straight slam dunks.

Prior to that outburst, however, Dorsey's only contribution came in the form of two rebounds and a technical foul for his part in a tussle with Indians center Theo Little.

Dorsey played just nine minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls and failing to take a shot from the field.

"He's a huge part of this team. (But his inconsistency is) what makes us mad at him," sophomore guard Antonio Anderson said. "We tell him he should be doing it the entire game. If he plays like (he did in the second half), it'll be the best thing for us."

Although he pulled down 13 rebounds in the season-opening win over Jackson State, Dorsey has not had more than seven boards in any of the four games since.

While he came in averaging a respectable 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the 14th-ranked Tigers (4-1), those numbers have largely been posted during spurts similar to the one he had against ASU (4-5).

"Joey's very explosive. He can go off at any time," Anderson said. "He's my friend, my teammate, and he's playing real good at times.

"Everybody goes through slumps. Maybe he's going through his. He's just got to get out of it."

Dorsey's second-half awakening Wednesday didn't last long, either. He fouled out with 9:15 left with 10 points and seven rebounds to his credit.

While Calipari also expressed concern with the play of forwards Robert Dozier and Pierre Niles, he saved his most stinging critique for Dorsey, who is consistent only in his inconsistency.

With sophomore forward Kareem Cooper still suspended, it is imperative that the Tigers get more consistent production from their most seasoned post player.

"It's going on three years now," Calipari said. "We've got to get these other guys ready just in case. We're trying to win at the highest level. If that's the way it is, and it ain't changing, we'll deal with it."

Dorsey declined an interview request after the game, but his teammates had plenty to say in his stead.

"We get frustrated with him because we know what he's capable of doing. We think he's the best rebounder in the country," sophomore guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "We all say something to him. We congratulate him when he's doing something good and when he's in lackadaisical mode, we tell him.

"Some games we just have to be patient with him. That's just Joey."

Given his physical gifts and undoubted talent, Hunt suspects it won't be long until Dorsey finds his stride.

Hunt, however, also added this caveat: It will only happen if Dorsey decides he wants it to happen.

"If you want to be a superstar at this level of basketball, if you score 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds), of course Coach is gonna want you to do that every night," Hunt said when asked if he thought Dorsey might be afraid of success.

"Once he realizes he's capable of living up to those expectations, it's gonna be real ugly."

-- Jim Masilak: 529-2311

ASU's Banks Takes Best Shot Before Tigers Take Control

ASU's Banks takes his best shot before Tigers take control
No. 14 University of Memphis 86, Arkansas State 60

By Dan Wolken
November 30, 2006

It didn't matter whether Adrian Banks was off balance, four feet behind the 3-point line or being knocked to the ground by University of Memphis guard Antonio Anderson.
Regardless of the circumstances Banks faced in the first 10 minutes at FedExForum on Wednesday, the former Trezevant High star needed just one thing to keep Arkansas State in the game: The ball.

But Banks, the son of former Tiger Arthur Banks, could only do so much for so long. Despite 25 points and some acrobatics that lifted Arkansas State to an early lead over Memphis, the No. 14-ranked Tigers absorbed Banks' best effort and raced off to an easy 86-60 victory.
"You know, me being in my hometown, I had a lot of support from the people here and my coaches," Banks said. "They understand how it is, and my teammates, they understood how it is and leading up to this game, they just keep on pushing me and letting me know, I'm the man today."

There was no doubting that as Banks made six of his first nine field goals, giving ASU an 18-17 lead 7:39 into the game with an array of shots, including a pair of leaning 3-pointers and some nifty runners over Anderson, the Tigers' best defensive player.

"He was hitting a lot of tough shots, difficult shots," Memphis sophomore Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "He's a good player. We knew that before we came into the game.

"There's some guys we play like that this year, they're just good players and they have the ultimate green light. It's hard to check people like that."

Banks, who finished 11-for-21 from the field, admittedly tired out after his early spurt, and the Tigers (4-1) finally woke up after a sluggish start that could probably be attributed to a week layoff following their trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Memphis took a 26-20 lead on Anderson's 3-pointer from the top of the key 11 minutes into the game and then went on a 23-0 run that spanned both halves, expanding the margin to 55-26.

And the Tigers did it despite an off night shooting the ball from distance.

Memphis made just 4-of-25 from the 3-point line, scoring 52 points in the paint and 28 off the fast break.

Some second-half offensive lulls irked coach John Calipari, who didn't like seeing his team miss wide-open looks after Memphis broke the game open.

"It was a good effort coming off a trip back from Hawaii," Calipari said. "We did what we had to. They went zone in the first half and we drove the ball, shot some 3s, did some good stuff.

"The second half, we went five minutes of missing every shot, missing layups. We also had three or four turnovers for no reason and that's not how we do this. We finish games."

One early trademark of this Memphis team has been offensive balance. Four players scored in double-figures against ASU, led by Anderson's 17 points with five assists and no turnovers.

Senior guard Jeremy Hunt scored 15 off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting, and sophomore forward Robert Dozier had 13.

Once again, Memphis' ability to use nine players ultimately overwhelmed a less talented opponent in Arkansas State, which suddenly was even more short-handed when coach Dickey Nutt suspended starting forward Isaac Wells on Wednesday.

"I was proud of our guys, and I give a lot of credit to the University of Memphis," Nutt said. "There are not a lot of teams that will beat them this year. Memphis is talented at every position and as good as I have seen them in many years. Maybe the best I have seen as a team."

-- Dan Wolken: 529-2365

Next Up for Tigers - the Manhattan Jaspers (2-3) Who Play Fordham Tonight

Release: 11/28/2006

Senior Guy Ngarndi Will Play In His 4th Battle of the Boros Game

Riverdale, N.Y. (November 28, 2006)- Manhattan and Fordham will match up in the 99th Battle of the Bronx game on Thursday, November 30, at 7:00 p.m. in Fordham's Rose Hill Gym. Manhattan enters the game with a 2-3 record, and are playing in its first game away from Draddy Gym. Fordham enters the game with a 2-2 record.

Today’s Matchup: The Jaspers hit the road for the first game of a three-game road trip. Manhattan will play its first road game of the year at local and boro-rival Fordham University on Thursday, November 30. Manhattan leads the all-time series 51-47, as this is the 99th meeting between these two programs in a series that has been played annually since the 1922-23 season (no games played from 1943-45). The Jaspers have won five straight meetings, and 13 of the last 15, including a 81-68 win last season at Draddy Gym.

What’s Next?: Following today’s game, the Jaspers continue a stretch of six of seven on the road by traveling to Memphis, Tenn. to take on the nationally ranked University of Memphis Tigers. The game will mark just the third meeting between the two programs, and the first since the 1957-58 season. The all-time series is knotted at 1-1, with Memphis taking a 85-73 decision in the 1957 NIT, and the Jaspers downing the Tigers, 88-69, the next year during the regular season.

All-time record: Manhattan is in its 101st season of men’s basketball. The Jaspers’ overall record is 1192-1025 (.538), while the team has posted a 191-193 (.497) record over 25 seasons of MAAC play. The men’s basketball program was established in 1904-05 and has taken two seasons off (1943-44 and 1944-45) due to World War II. In 55 of the program’s 100 seasons, including the last five seasons, the Jaspers have posted a .500 or better record.

We’re Streaking!: Entering today’s game, the Jaspers have hit a three-point shot in 323 consecutive games (a school record). The last time Manhattan did not hit a three-point shot was December 29, 1994 at Draddy Gym vs. Colgate, in a 54-51 win (0-11). The NCAA record is held by UNLV who has hit a three-point basket in 631 consecutive games entering this season. The Runnin’ Rebels streak dates back to November 26, 1986.

Familiar Faces, Familiar Places: Tha coaching staff for the Jaspers should know several of their opponents well, as the current Manhattan staff has worked for the men’s basketball programs at three school on the Jaspers’ schedule this season. Assistant Coach John Alesi served as a graduate assistant at Hofstra University in the 2003-04 season. Assistant Coach Edgar De La Rosa served as an assistant coach at Fordham University from 1994-99, assistant coach Ron Ganulin served as an assistant coach at Saint Peter’s College from 1982-85, and Ganulin and head coach Barry Rohrssen coached at St. Francis-N.Y. College. Ganulin was the head coach for the Terriers from 1991-2005, while Rohrssen served as an assistant coach at St. Francis from 1993-95. Both Rohrssen and De La Rosa graduted from St. Francis in 1983, and both played basketball for the Terriers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Commentary on the Arkansas State Game

Overall a nice game following Maui.

The Tigers did not show any signs of rust considering they haven't played in a week. ASU stayed in the game for the first ten minutes, but that was more a fact of their lights out shooting early (about 64%). The Tigers began to pull away a bit later in the half as the defense started limiting good shots for ASU and Antonio Anderson picked up the offensive output.

Excellent defensive intensity the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half. It shows a bit of helter skelter, but it works and the other team just doesn't know what hits them.

Andre Allen provided a nice boost with his energy. He missed two lay ups in the second half, but they provided highlights with Joey Dorsey follow up slam dunks. Joey again was disqualified from a game, but he really caught a tough break on the double technical. On replay, I don't think the official should have T'd up Joey who turned to face the ASU player but walked away dispite getting clothes lined. Joey's free throw form looks vastly improved. His season numbers are only just above 50% (he was 2 of 4 tonight), but I predict he'll move that to near 60% for the season based on this form.

Great game for Antonio Anderson. I think he needed a game like this to establish his offensive leadership position along with CDR. Besides the 17 points, he collected 5 assists and no turnovers. Also 80% from the line. Nice.

Jeremy Hunt did it again. Check out these stats - 6 of 9 FGs, 1 of 4 3's, 2 of 2 FTs, 5 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals in 21 minutes. He is the silent assassin.

The long range shot wasn't there tonight, but the stats are a bit skewed. The numbers show 4 of 25, but about six of those shots came in the last six minutes with Mack, Willis and Hunt taking some target practice in an AAU game.

Some nice numbers tonight.

16 assists, only 13 turnovers
forced 25 turnovers
with 15 steals
+5 rebound margin (maybe a bit too low considering the talent difference down low)
4 blocks

25 points for Anderson and CDR (25 of 86 - 29.1%)
Kemp and Allen (3 of 14 FGs Yuck!!!, 4 assists, 6 turnovers (not so good)

Intangibles formula

Tigers +10
Indians -12

Tigers Take Out ASU Indians 86-60

Tigers Crush Arkansas State 86-60

Antonio Anderson scores 17 points in the win.

Nov. 29, 2006

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Antonio Anderson scored 17 points and had five assists Wednesday night to lead No. 14 Memphis to an 86-60 victory over Arkansas State.

Jeremy Hunt added 15 points for the Tigers (4-1), while Robert Dozier scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Joey Dorsey finished with 10 points.

Adrian Banks scored 25 points to lead the Indians (4-5). He was 11-for-21 from the field, including 3-for-7 from behind the arc.

Memphis was never threatened after the midpoint of the first half, and began running away from the Indians with a 33-6 run spanning the halves.

That gave Memphis a 55-26 lead, and the Tigers would eventually lead by as many 37 in the second half.

Arkansas State played without leading rebounder and second-leading scorer Isaac Wells, who was suspended by coach Dickey Nutt prior to the game. That meant the Indians had to overcome the loss of 15.4 points and 7.9 rebounds.

They were unable to come close.

Memphis shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and outscored Arkansas State 24-6 in the paint to carry a 45-26 lead into the locker room at the break. Anderson and Dozier led the Tigers with 10 points each, while Banks had 14 for the Indians.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Article on Jeremy Hunt

U of M's Hunt returns with same ol' hustle

By Dan Wolken
November 28, 2006

This last chance, this unlikely final shot at redemption for Jeremy Hunt was supposed to give the University of Memphis a little more of everything this season.
Maybe the toughness they lacked in the Elite Eight against UCLA. Perhaps another body to eat up minutes. A senior on a team full of freshmen and sophomores.

But something happened over three games last week in Hawaii, something as unexpected as Hunt's mere presence on the team:

"Jeremy Hunt," coach John Calipari said, "may be our best player right now."

When the No. 14-ranked Tigers (3-1) resume their season Wednesday at FedExForum against Arkansas State, Hunt likely will not be in the starting lineup.

He probably won't lead Memphis in minutes or points, either.

But Hunt, who has always been the Tigers' uber-spark plug, has become even more so far this season. Not only is he making the same hustle plays and providing the same intangibles that made him one of Calipari's favorite players his first three years, he's been as productive offensively as anybody on the team.

"Hunt is a gamer," sophomore guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "That's what we say. We know going into every game he's going to take charges, do all the extra stuff, and that's contagious. That makes us do it. And he's got the total offensive game too."

This, of course, is exactly what Hunt said he was going to do in the preseason, to make the most of this opportunity he wasn't ever sure he'd get.

Until August, remember, Hunt was still "permanently dismissed" from the program for two off-court incidents in a nine-month span -- a physical altercation on Beale Street before last season and a misdemeanor assault charge following an incident with ex-girlfriend Tamika Rogers (the charge is on course to be dismissed next year).

Hunt's contrition and the university's compassion gave him another chance. Now, Calipari sees "a totally different person."

Hunt, in some ways, feels like a different player.

A career 9.5 points per game scorer, he's averaging 13.5, second to Douglas-Roberts' 16.8 points. A career 31 percent 3-point shooter, he's made 11-of-21, many of them at key times in games.

And nobody is playing with more passion.

"It feels good," Hunt said. "When you're making shots, taking charges, diving on the floor, getting extra possessions for your team, it feels good. The shooting part, I work at it. I come out before practice, try to get extra shots, and sometimes after practice I'll shoot. I just try to stay consistent by shooting the same way every time, and when you're knocking them down, there's nothing you can say. I'm just happy."

And so is Calipari, not just with the points or the steals (2.8 per game) or assists (2.5), but with how Hunt is playing the most efficient basketball of his life.

"He could always shoot the ball," Calipari said. "The thing he did before, he just made so many errors because he tried to make hard plays. So he would just lead us in shots and turnovers because every pass was like a highlight tape. Now, if you watch him, he makes easy plays. So he's making shots, diving on the floor, taking charges and he's not turning it over that much. So I've been very, very pleased."

Hunt's other issue in the past was his tendency to get hurt, a product of how recklessly he throws his body around on the court. The Craigmont High product played just 20 games his first two years due to foot and knee injuries.

But even then, his value was clear: Memphis went 51-15 over three seasons with Hunt in the lineup. And given that the circumstances that have provided him one last go-round, it will be hard to take him out of it.

"I'm just happy to be here, period. It's just been real fun," Hunt said. "You'll never know if I'm hurt. The only person that will know is the trainer, and from time to time I probably won't even tell him. When I get on the court I'm looking to give everything I've got."

-- Dan Wolken: 529-2365

Kareem Cooper, Polls and Derrick Rose

Sophomore leaders go to bat for Cooper

By Dan Wolken
November 28, 2006

Through all the events of this young University of Memphis basketball season -- good, bad or otherwise -- it's been fairly obvious that sophomores Robert Dozier, Antonio Anderson and Chris Douglas-Roberts have emerged as the team's core leadership group.

The most recent beneficiary of that was sophomore center Kareem Cooper, who returned to practice Saturday after a 26-day suspension for violating team rules.

Had that trio not gone to bat for Cooper in a meeting at coach John Calipari's house, his future might still be in limbo.

"Everybody makes mistakes," Anderson said Monday, the first day Memphis allowed players to talk publicly about the situation. "He apologized to the team, and we felt as teammates and as his best friends that everybody deserves a second chance. We went to coach's house and talked to the staff and told them we feel that we should give him a chance, even if he doesn't play at all this year."

Though Memphis hasn't let Cooper talk to the media yet, Douglas-Roberts said he was confident that Cooper had purged himself of the attitude issues that played a role in the suspension.

"He's a good dude, he just made a couple mistakes," Douglas-Roberts said. "We need him back. He's a big body, he's got skill around the basket, and he can rebound. It's the best decision with him being back on the team, on and off the court."

Poll work

Memphis fell two spots in Monday's new Associated Press poll, from No. 12 to No. 14. The Tigers came in at No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

Georgia Tech, the only team that has beaten 3-1 Memphis, is ranked 21st in the AP and 24th in the ESPN poll.

Memphis was No. 26 in Monday's RPI ratings, according to Ken Pomeroy's calculations, though the RPI is fairly irrelevant this early in the season (for instance, Texas-Arlington is No. 5). Conference USA foe UAB is No. 27, despite losses to Washington State and Wyoming.

Big publicity

This week's issue of Sports Illustrated includes a lengthy feature story on point guard Derrick Rose, the Tigers' top recruit who signed his letter of intent earlier this month.

The story, written by George Dohrmann, is the centerpiece of the magazine's high school basketball preview and details how Rose's three older brothers have spent the past few years sheltering him from the pitfalls that claimed the lives and careers of previous Chicago-area phenoms.

Arkansas State (4-4) Loses Monday at South Dakota State, Faces Memphis Wednesday

Arkansas State’s Win Streak Snapped By South Dakota State, 84-78
Courtesy: ArkansasState
Release: 11/27/2006

Isaac Wells had 18 points vs. South Dakota State

BROOKINGS, S.D. (11/27/06) — Arkansas State’s four-game win streak came to a halt as the Indians lost 84-78 to South Dakota State here Monday night. ASU now stands 4-4 overall while the Jackrabbits posted their first victory on the year and are 1-6.

After opening 0-3 at the Cox Classic in Virginia, the Tribe had won four straight before making the long trip to South Dakota.

“They shot the lights out and we had no answer,” said ASU Head Coach Dickey Nutt. “Their games had been on the road and this was their first home game. They are a good team, solid and well-coached.”

In spite of several strong performances by the Indians, ASU was outrebounded 39-28 and faltered at the free throw line hitting only 7-15.

“We talked about free throws and rebounding before the game,” said Nutt. “When you can’t hit free throws and rebound, you have disaster and that’s what we had tonight. Our energy just wasn’t there.”

Nutt wasn’t totally dissatisfied with his team’s showing, however. He was pleased with the play of Isaac Wells who led the Indians in scoring with 18 points and nine rebounds, one rebound short of posting his fourth double-double this season. Adrian Banks scored 16 points and Chris Brown had 12.

“We had some good performances,” continued Nutt. “We had some good things happen. Ryan Wedel handled the ball almost to perfection. And, Adrian did a good job. He just got started a little too late.”

Wells got things starting by hitting a couple of three’s and Brown added three straight jumpers. Banks hit his first trey for the night seconds before halftime to put Arkansas State just three points down, 39-36. The two schools traded baskets in the second half when Banks hit a big three to knot the score, 78-all with under a minute to play.

SDSU’s Matt Cadwell answered with a three of his own with 40 seconds left. The Indians missed on a couple of long three’s late and had to foul. Cadwell led South Dakota State with 23 points and Michael Loney added 16 along with 11 boards.

ASU has a short turnaround as the Tribe travels to Memphis Wednesday to face 12th-ranked Memphis. The game tips off at 7 p.m. at the FedEx Forum.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Arkansas State (4-3) next Up for Tigers, Plays South Dakota State Today

ASU Extends Win Streak To Four With 77-70 Victory Over Austin Peay
Courtesy: Arkansas State
Release: 11/25/2006

Isaac Wells led ASU with 23 points and 12 rebounds

JONESBORO, Ark. (11/25/06) — Arkansas State extended its win streak to four Saturday night when the Indians handed Austin Peay State a 77-70 loss in ASU’s Convocation Center. ASU is 4-3 overall, while APSU, who defeated the Indians a year ago as part of the Bracket Busters, drops to 0-3.

ASU’s Isaac Wells scored a season-high 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Tribe while Adrian Banks added 21. Guard Yual Banks came off the bench and hit three-of-four from beyond the three-point line to score 10.

“I’m tickled to death that we won,” said Head Coach Dickey Nutt. “I was glad the clock finally rolled out. I thought the first 25 minutes we played about as good as we’ve played all year long. The difference is we were unselfish. It started with our defense and our rebounding, and offensively, we executed to perfection. Hopefully, we can continue to build on that.”

Wells opened the game by hitting a jumper just moments into the game and then getting the steal seconds later. The Indians were spreading it around with freshman guard Ryan Wedel, Adrian Brown and Chris Brown all getting baskets early. Despite 16 points at the half by APSU’s Drake Reed, ASU took a 44-30 lead in at halftime.

“I told Issac I was proud of him,” continued Nutt. “He has made a 360-degree turn. He’s an outstanding talent. When he’s going, we’re going. Towering on the rebounding end makes him a tremendous defender on that end. I told him great players finish it out. Great players rebound and give it to the guard and don’t try to make home run passes. It seems like we want to make the home run play. But, yes, Isaac Wells had a fantastic game.”

The Indians extended their lead to 19 in the second half before Austin Peay’s swarming defense began to force turnovers and missed free throws by the Tribe. The Governors were able to slice ASU’s lead to five with 5:53 remaining in the game primarily due to missed free throws. ASU ended hitting 48 percent (18-37) from the line.

“The last 15 minutes of the second half, it was pretty ragged,” said Nutt. “It all goes to free throw shooting. When you miss 19 free throws, you don’t usually win those games. But, I told our guys, we’re not satisfied by any means. Austin Peay is well coached and he (APSU Coach Dave Loos) used those last five minutes about as good as any coach I’ve faced. But, we’re lucky. We could have been in the locker room licking our wounds, but we didn’t.”

ASU goes back on the road Nov. 27 to Brookings, S.D., to face South Dakota State. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Central.

Tigers Drub Wildcats for 3rd Place in Maui

Tigers rebound from defeat to drub Wildcats for third place
No. 12 U of M 80, No. 20 Kentucky 63

By Dan Wolken
November 23, 2006

LAHAINA, Hawaii -- The things John Calipari had seen on tape from his University of Memphis team were even worse than they appeared in person Tuesday night, but when the Tigers' coach woke up Wednesday morning, he felt nothing but excitement.

"I wanted to see what I had as a team," Calipari said. "I was excited because I don't know."

He does now.

Roughly 19 hours after a dreadful, demoralizing second-half collapse against Georgia Tech, the No. 12-ranked Tigers regrouped in a big way and rolled to a convincing 80-63 victory over No. 20 Kentucky to take third place at the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

But more than the win or beating Kentucky in the schools' first-ever meeting, Memphis leaves Lahaina Civic Center feeling far better about its performance here and its promise for the rest of this season after quickly correcting most of the problems that came to the surface in a 92-85 semifinal loss to Tech.

"That's definitely a big help," sophomore Robert Dozier, who scored a team-high 15 points, said. "If we'd have came out of here with two losses, people would have been looking around, pointing fingers. It feels good to see that we came out with two wins. We regrouped. That's the biggest thing. We haven't lost two games (in a row) since I've been here."

For now, the Tigers don't have to experience what that feels like, thanks to a dominant second half built on point guard Willie Kemp's scoring (12 second-half points), Dozier and Joey Dorsey's rebounding (five each) and relentless driving to the basket by Memphis' guards.

After a closely contested first half that resulted in a 43-40 Memphis lead, Kemp came out hot to start the second, burying two quick 3-pointers and two layups in the first four minutes, lifting the Tigers to a 55-46 edge.

The lead grew from there as Kentucky went more than five minutes without a point and Memphis, which made 16-of-27 field goals in the second half, stormed to a 23-point lead with 8:22 to go. Memphis outrebounded Kentucky 38-27 and scored 44 points in the paint.

Following a second-half against Tech in which the Tigers were outscored 62-39 and outrebounded 29-9, it was a feel-good effort all around, but especially for Kemp, the freshman from Bolivar who had yet to find his rhythm this season.

"They were just there," Kemp said, referring to his 3-pointers that opened the second half. "(Calipari) tells us to take the open shot. Everybody on our team can take the open shot, and I made both of them."

Sophomore guard Chris Douglas-Roberts and senior Jeremy Hunt each had 13 points, with Hunt arguably emerging as the Tigers' catalyst over the three games here. Hunt averaged 12.7 points in the tournament and made 8-of-16 from 3-point range.

Among those were two big 3-pointers on his first two shots against Kentucky, which helped establish an early 15-9 lead and keep the Tigers' momentum going.

In the end, Memphis simply was able to throw more players at Kentucky than the Wildcats could handle, especially after a hard-fought 73-68 loss to No. 5 UCLA in the semifinals Tuesday night.

"It looked like we kind of hit the wall in the second half," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.

While Kentucky was hitting the wall, Memphis was breaking through it and in the process answered several questions that can now be spun forward into the next part of the schedule, which resumes with three straight home games beginning Nov. 29 against Arkansas State.

"We went south for 20 minutes, and I wanted to know, were they tough enough?" Calipari said. "Did they have character? Could they come back? Could they do it together? And it was a resounding yes, thank goodness, because it would have been a long trip for us back."

Kareem Cooper Return to Practice With Tigers, No Date for Playing Time

Cooper returns to practice for Tigers

By Dan Wolken
November 26, 2006

University of Memphis sophomore Kareem Cooper returned to practice Saturday for the first time since he was suspended Oct. 30 for violating team rules.

Though coach John Calipari stopped short of fully reinstating Cooper for Wednesday's game against Arkansas State, he said the decision to bring back the 6-11 center was initiated by a group of players at a meeting roughly two weeks ago, before the team went to Hawaii for last week's EA Sports Maui Invitational.

"They said, 'Let's give him another chance,'" Calipari said. "I talked to Kareem before we left and told him, 'I'm going to let you start practicing because this basketball team wants you to be a part of it.'

"My hope is he'll care as much about them as they care about him."

Calipari declined to elaborate on why he originally suspended Cooper.

"He violated team rules and didn't have the attitude we wanted," Calipari said.

Lamar Chance, the UofM's media relations coordinator for men's basketball, said Cooper would not be available for interviews in the next several days.

Other Memphis players were available to the media Saturday, but not for the purpose of talking about Cooper.

Calipari said he had not yet decided when Cooper would play and indicated it might not be until the second semester of school begins.

"We'll see how it goes," Calipari said. "He's on a short leash, so to speak, and again, I care enough to give him an opportunity to do the right things and hopefully he'll do that."

When Cooper returns to the court, it will give the Tigers a big body off the bench that they could have used in certain situations in Maui.

One reality that hit the Tigers in a 92-85 semifinal loss to Georgia Tech was that their bench can be woefully thin on big men when foul trouble hits.

With Robert Dozier and Joey Dorsey both picking up early fouls in that game and freshman Pierre Niles ineffective off the bench, Calipari was forced to play a smaller lineup that got dominated on the glass.

Calipari, however, said that didn't enter his thinking about Cooper, who averaged 11.1 minutes and 4.4 points as a freshman last year.

"Never thought about it, wouldn't care about it," Calipari said. "I told the players that came to meet me, this has nothing to do with basketball.

"I don't care whether he helps us or not. It's an opportunity for him to get his life squared away and get in the frame of mind you have to be in to lead a successful life in anything."

When Cooper was initially suspended, there was some thought that he might transfer. Cooper was suspended twice last season, including for four games in January after he was arrested during a traffic stop for marijuana possession.

Cooper, however, continued going to class and working out, which kept his hopes of returning to the team alive.

Calipari said his decision was influenced more by the feedback from Cooper's teammates than anything Cooper said.

"When they come back at me and say we need to give him another chance, I'm going to listen to it," Calipari said. "That moved me more than anything else.

"It wasn't anything Kareem said to me or anything that happened on the basketball court. It was a group of guys coming over to my house at 10 at night saying, 'Coach let's give him one more chance.'"

-- Dan Wolken: 529-2365

Shawne Williams Yet to be Activated on Indiana Pacers Roster


This isn't the kind of rookie year former University of Memphis star Shawne Williams envisioned when he left the Tigers for the NBA after just one season. Williams was a first-round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers. But he has yet to be on the active roster.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Williams could dress out soon. Whether it's in a Pacers jersey or that of an NBA Developmental League team remains to be seen.

''I know there's consideration for doing that,'' Carlisle said of sending Williams to the NBDL. ''If it's going to continue this way, it's probably better to go down and get some minutes.''

No. 12 Tigers Finished 3rd in Maui

No. 12 Memphis avoids Maui meltdown
By The Associated Press
Thursday, November 23, 2006

LAHAINA, Hawaii - John Calipari contorted his face over and over when trying to explain his team's performance in the Maui Invitational.

"We're walking out of here with a 'What happened for 20 minutes?'" Calipari said after his 12th-ranked Memphis Tigers dominated No. 20 Kentucky 80-63 on Wednesday to finish third in the eight-team tournament.

Earlier Wednesday, Purdue captured fifth place with an 81-73 win over DePaul.

The 20 minutes that Calipari was referring to was the second half of a 92-85 semifinal loss to No. 19 Georgia Tech. The Tigers blew a 16-point halftime lead by being outrebounded 29-9 over the final 20 minutes.

"Maybe we just went brain dead and I'm not taking anything away from Georgia Tech," he said. "But I'll tell you, as disappointed as I was after that second half in our lack of physical play, and after I watched the tape I was even sicker, I'm as proud today. This is a hard game to play with both teams down a little bit after hard losses."

Kentucky, which lost 73-68 to No. 5 UCLA In the semifinals, and Memphis were pretty even for the opening half. Then the Tigers took over with their speed and inside power.

Freshman Willie Kemp scored 10 of his 12 points in the opening four minutes of the second half for the Tigers (3-1), and 6-foot-9, 260-pound Joey Dorsey keyed a 14-0 run with two monster dunks. Memphis had a 38-27 rebound advantage, including 11-5 on the offensive end.

"There was effort today rebounding," Calipari said. "The way it should it always be."

Center Randolph Morris was Kentucky's offense throughout the first 30 minutes. He finished with 18 points and Joe Crawford had 15.

"They were putting some big guys on him," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.

Morris admitted he was worn down after playing in his third game in as many days and his fifth in eight days. "That had an effect on me. We hit the wall so to speak in the second half," he said. "They showed what they wanted to do and rotated big men on me."

Robert Dozier, who was scoreless and fouled out in the loss to Georgia Tech, had 15 points for Memphis, while Chris Douglas-Roberts and Jeremy Hunt each had 13. Dorsey finished with six points and seven rebounds.

"There are no excuses but we were tired," Smith said. "We'll get better.

"We have a lot of things to do to get better."

The third-place finish matched Memphis' best (1992) in four appearances on Maui. Kentucky won the tournament in 1993, and finished third in 1997 and 2002.

This was the first-ever meeting between the schools.

- Purdue 81, DePaul 73: Carl Landry scored 22 points and Tarrance Crump had 20 for the Boilermakers.

Landry, a 6-foot-7 power forward, and Crump, a 6-1 point guard, combined for 28 of their team's 35 points in the second half as the Boilermakers (4-1) lost most of a 19-point halftime lead before holding on.

Wilson Chandler had 16 points for the Blue Demons (2-4), who made 11 straight shots from the field and drew to 69-63 with 5:06 left on a 3-pointer by Chandler.

Crump put Purdue up 71-63 by converting a drive as the shot clock wound down with 1:51 left. Sammy Mejia hit a 3 with 1:19 left to get DePaul within 71-66, but Landry made two free throws 20 seconds later, the first of 10 straight he and Crump made in the final minute.

Purdue shot 69 percent in taking the 45-26 halftime lead. The Boilermakers hit five straight 3s in a 19-4 run that gave them a 38-17 lead with 6:15 left, and led by as much as 45-21.

David Teague had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Purdue, and Landry, who had 30 points in the consolation semifinal win over Oklahoma, grabbed 10 rebounds. Draelon Burns added 15 points for DePaul, while Mejia had 13.

Purdue played the second game without starting freshman guard Chris Kramer, who has a sprained ligament in his right knee.

This was Purdue's second appearance tournament, having lost to North Carolina in the 1999 championship game. This was DePaul's third sixth-place finish in four appearances on Maui. The other was a seventh.

- Oklahoma 72, Chaminade 57: Longar Longar had 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Sooners (3-2) in the seventh-place game. Chaminade fell to 0-3.

Memphis Mauls Kentucky at Maui

Memphis mauls Kentucky at Maui
Butler upsets No. 22 Tennessee at NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals

The Associated Press

LAHAINA, Hawaii — John Calipari contorted his face over and over when trying to explain his team’s performance in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

“We’re walking out of here with a ‘What happened for 20 minutes?’“ Calipari said after his 12th-ranked Memphis Tigers dominated No. 20 Kentucky 80-63 on Wednesday to finish third in the eight-team tournament.

The 20 minutes he was referring to was the second half of a 92-85 semifinal loss to No. 19 Georgia Tech. That was a game in which the Tigers blew a 16-point halftime lead by being outrebounded 29-9 over the final 20 minutes.

“Maybe we just went brain dead and I’m not taking anything away from Georgia Tech,” he said. “But I’ll tell you, as disappointed as I was after that second half in our lack of physical play, and after I watched the tape I was even sicker, I’m as proud today. This is a hard game to play with both teams down a little bit after hard losses.”

Kentucky, which lost 73-68 to No. 5 UCLA In the semifinals, and Memphis were pretty even for the opening half Wednesday. Then the Tigers took over with their speed and inside power.

Freshman Willie Kemp scored 10 of his 12 points in the opening four minutes of the second half for the Tigers (3-1), and 6-foot-9, 260-pound Joey Dorsey keyed their game-breaking 14-0 run in the second half with two monster dunks.

There was no problem on the boards against Kentucky. Memphis had a 38-27 rebound advantage, including 11-5 on the offensive end.

Center Randolph Morris was most of Kentucky’s offense throughout the first 30 minutes. He finished with 18 points and Joe Crawford had 15.

Robert Dozier, who was scoreless and fouled out in the loss to Georgia Tech, had 15 points for Memphis, while Chris Douglas-Roberts and Jeremy Hunt each had 13. Dorsey finished with six points and seven rebounds.

Memphis led 43-40 after a first half that saw four lead changes and two ties over the final seven minutes. That all changed at the start of the second half when the 6-2 Kemp, who started all four games and came in averaging 8.7 points, took over.

He was scoreless in eight minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls. He hit two 3s then scored twice on drives as the Tigers took a 55-46 lead four minutes into the second half.

Kentucky Takes A Good Old Fashioned Whippin

Kentucky take a good old fashioned whippin'

Kentucky Scouts Report
By Stephen John

Posted Nov 22, 2006

LAHAINA, Hawaii - For one half of a basketball game, the Kentucky Wildcats looked like they deserved to be on the floor with the #11 ranked Memphis Tigers. The Tigers used their superior strength and athleticism to blow the game open in the final period. The Cats lost by the final of 80-63.

LAHAINA, Hawaii - For one half of a basketball game, the Kentucky Wildcats looked like they deserved to be on the floor with the #11 ranked Memphis Tigers. Solid play by the Wildcats kept the game close for most of the first half. But when the 2nd half began, the Tigers used their superior strength and athleticism to blow the game open. The Cats lost by the final of 80-63.

Center Randolph Morris and guard Joe Crawford were largely responsible for keeping the Cats within shouting distance throughout the first 30 minutes of the game.
Morris finished with 18 points and Joe Crawford had 15. But Kentucky's big man began to wear down as the lead widened. "They were putting some big guys on him," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said of Morris, who admitted he was worn down some after playing in his third game in as many days and his fifth in eight days.

"That had an effect on me. We hit the wall so to speak in the second half," Morris said. "They showed what they wanted to do and rotated big men on me."

"We're walking out of here with a `What happened for 20 minutes?"' Memphis coach John Calipari said. He was describing the second half of a 92-85 semifinal loss to No. 19 Georgia Tech, a game in which the Tigers blew a 16-point halftime lead.

"Maybe we just went brain dead and I'm not taking anything away from Georgia Tech," he said. "But I'll tell you, as disappointed as I was after that second half in our lack of physical play, and after I watched the tape I was even sicker, I'm as proud today. This is a hard game to play with both teams down a little bit after hard losses."

"There are no excuses but we were tired," Smith said. "We'll get better. We have a lot of things to do to get better."

This was the first-ever meeting between the schools.

More From Maui, Day Three

By Brett Dawson, Louisville Courier-Journal

More from Maui, Day Three
A few odds and ends from UK’s loss to Memphis in the Maui Invitational thid-place game:

-Got a guy who can beat his defender off the dribble? You’ve got a shot against UK. You could blame fatigue for some of the Cats’ shortcomings against Memphis if not for UK’s consistent struggle to keep anyone out of the land. Three opponents here combined for 146 points in the paint.

-Memphis is all over the map. Great for a one half against Georgia Tech, miserable the next. But they wore UK down in the second half the way a great team wears down a good one. The Tigers aren’t great yet, but they’ve got a lot of potential.

-Tubby Smith declared himself “not happy” with his point guard play in Maui. We’ll examine Ramel Bradley and Derrick Jasper in more detail later this week in the C-J.

-Smith talked at length about UK’s defensive struggles, so much so that not all the quotes would fit in a single game story. Here’s an extra: “When you go up to guard the ball, you need to take something away from them. We weren’t doing that. We were stopping five or six feet from the ballhandler. There was some confusion on our players’ part about what we wanted done. That was a miscommunication, probably, on our part.”

posted by Brett Dawson at 9:27 PM

Tigers Blow 19 Point Lead, Lose to Yellow Jackets

Tigers' 19-point lead disappears
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

By Dan Wolken
November 22, 2006

LAHAINA, Hawaii -- The Thaddeus Young vs. University of Memphis storyline never developed Tuesday.

But the Meltdown in Maui did.

Ahead by 19 points early and seemingly cruising toward the championship game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, the No. 12-ranked Tigers imploded in a 92-85 loss to No. 19 Georgia Tech that sends them to today's consolation game at Lahaina Civic Center against the loser of the late game between Kentucky and UCLA.
And surprisingly, Young barely played a role.

Plagued by foul trouble, the former Mitchell High star, who chose Georgia Tech over Memphis after a highly-publicized recruiting battle last year, played just 14 minutes and mostly watched his teammates make key free throws, out-hustle the Tigers for loose balls and dominate Memphis on the boards, 29-9 in the second half.

"The way we rebounded and the way we played in the second half, this is what we deserve, honestly," sophomore guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, who scored 26 points, said. "We deserve this, and this should be a wake-up call for the team because the first half, we played great and then it's like, we let up as a team."

For 20 minutes, the Tigers could hardly have played better, making 15-of-30 shots and defending out of their minds to forge 46-30 lead.

They couldn't have imagined the disaster that was about to follow.

Poor shoot selection. Empty trips to the free-throw line. And most of all, allowing Georgia Tech to grab 13 offensive rebounds in the second half that led to 24 points.

Memphis' 16-point lead was reduced to four in a matter of 7:45 to start the second half, was gone with 8:28 remaining and was an 8-point deficit 2:43 later. It happened that quick.

"I just felt like, the first half we came out and it was outstanding," senior guard Jeremy Hunt, who scored 16 and had six steals, said. "If we had come out the second half and played the same way, it would have been a different ballgame ... but we failed to come up with rebounds, loose balls. It seemed like they wanted it more."

Without 6-9 sophomore Robert Dozier, who was whistled for five fouls in eight minutes and was never a factor, the Tigers were forced to use a smaller lineup, and it cost them dearly on the boards.

But even when Dozier was in the game, the Yellow Jackets simply fought harder.

With 13:43 to go, Young (11 points) tipped-in a miss by Ra'Sean Dickey and drew Dozier's fourth foul, hitting the free throw to draw Tech within 55-48.

The most crushing sequence started with 9:23 left when Young missed a 3-pointer, Tech forward Jeremis Smith got the rebound, drew a foul and hit two free throws to close the deficit to 62-60.

Then, Memphis point guard Andre Allen missed a front-end free throw on the ensuing possession, junior forward Joey Dorsey missed a wide-open layup seconds later, and then with 8:28 remaining Dickey out-fought everybody for a loose ball on the floor, laid it in and drew Dorsey's fourth foul. Dickey's free throw gave Tech its first lead, and a shaken Tigers team never recovered.

"They didn't box out, so you've got to take advantage of that," Smith said.

They did, and outscored Memphis 62-39 in the second half, a remarkable turnaround given how thoroughly the Tigers dominated early.

"It was not pretty," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "Robert Dozier being out really hurt us because he's our other big man.

"(Freshman) Pierre Niles isn't ready for this kind of game and couldn't get to a ball. But you have to give Tech credit. They wanted the game worse than us. When I go back, I'm going to look at 23 offensive rebounds and I'm going to look at about 12 loose balls."

-- Dan Wolken: 529-2365

#19 Georgia Tech 92, #12 Memphis 85

No. 19 Georgia Tech 92, No. 12 Memphis 85

By Jim O'connell

6:49 p.m. November 21, 2006

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Jeremis Smith and Ra'Sean Dickey, two junior big men on a team known for its freshmen stars, dominated the boards in the second half and No. 19 Georgia Tech overcame a 16-point deficit for a 92-85 victory over No. 12 Memphis on Tuesday in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The Yellow Jackets (5-0) will play in the championship game Wednesday night against the winner of the late semifinal between No. 5 UCLA and No. 20 Kentucky.

Memphis (2-1) took a 46-30 halftime lead using its speed and tenacious defense to go up by as many as 19 points. The 6-foot-8 Smith, who had 21 points and nine rebounds, and the 6-10 Dickey, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds, then took over the boards in the second half, especially on the offensive end.

The Yellow Jackets held Memphis to one field goal during an 8½-minute stretch that started with 14 minutes to play. During that span, Georgia Tech had six field goals on offensive rebounds, two of which were part of three-point plays. Smith and Dickey each had two of the rebound baskets.

Georgia Tech went on an 11-0 run to take a 68-62 lead and the last points of it were a tip-in by Mouhammad Faye. Eight of the points in the spurt came on offensive rebounds.

Chris Douglas-Roberts had 26 points for Memphis, which was outrebounded 29-9 over the final 20 minutes. Smith and Dickey had two more rebounds than the Tigers managed in the second half.

The Yellow Jackets went on to lead by as many as 13 points, 83-70, on a three-point play by Smith with 2:22 to go. It wasn't an offensive rebound, just a strong dunk ahead of the field with Memphis' Jeremy Hunt draped over his back.

Georgia Tech's heralded freshman trio of Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton and Zach Peacock came into the game averaging a combined 42.1 points per game. They had a total of nine in the first half. Young finished with 11 against Memphis, while Crittenton had 10 and Peacock two.

Robert Dozier, Memphis' leading scorer at 13 points per game, was in foul trouble throughout the game and didn't score. He played eight minutes, fouling out with 10:09 to play.

Memphis went ahead 22-9 halfway through the first half as Georgia Tech missed 10 of its first 11 shots from the field and 14 of its first 17.

Memphis, meanwhile, was hitting at a 60 percent clip (9-of-15) to take the 13-point lead. The Tigers led by as many as 19 points, the second time at 32-13 with 7:19 to go on a drive by Douglas-Roberts.

Whenever it seemed as though the Yellow Jackets could be ready to make some kind of run, Memphis had an answer, including two 3-pointers by freshman Doneal Mack in the final 2:09 of the half as the Tigers went up 46-30.

Tigers Wowed by Beauty on Maui

Tigers wowed by beauty on Maui

By Dan Wolken
November 19, 2006

LAHAINA, Hawaii -- The University of Memphis basketball team had been in paradise for about 19 hours, all of which had been consumed by work, work, work.

After arriving here Friday afternoon, the Tigers immediately bussed off to practice, followed by dinner, sleep and another practice at 8 Saturday morning.

But finally, after that was over, there was free time to enjoy this lush island and Kaanapali Beach, which fronts the resort where the Tigers are staying.

"I know we came down here to play ball, but now we're going to have a good time," freshman forward Pierre Niles said. "We're going to take care of business when we get on the court. When we're off the court, we're gonna have fun."

Because after all, isn't fun what the EA Sports Maui Invitational is all about?

Though No. 13-ranked Memphis will be all-business beginning at 1:30 p.m. CST Monday, when it tips off against Oklahoma, there's a reason Tigers coach John Calipari scheduled an arrival in Maui one day before several of the other participating schools.

By getting some work out of the way early, the Tigers could have ample free time to experience the beach and the other sights of Lahaina, an old whaling town with a lively downtown strip that several players went to check out Saturday before an evening party for the teams.

Others simply stayed by the expansive pool area or walked out the landmark Black Rock of Kaanapali, which juts from the side of Memphis' resort and provides a natural diving board into the Pacific Ocean.

"It's beautiful," junior center Joey Dorsey said. "I've been taking pictures since I got here. When I went to the Bahamas this summer it wasn't that good. But when I see the palm trees and everything, I love it out here. We're going to go swimming and go downtown and see what's poppin' down there."

The free time was a reward for a long, tiring trip that began in Memphis just before 9 Friday morning when their chartered 757 roared toward the West with the team in front and a large contingent of fans in the back.

Almost 12 hours later, after a short refueling stop in Las Vegas, the Tigers landed in Maui. But their day still wasn't over. Wanting to keep his team's energy up and let players get their legs under them after the long flight, Calipari put the Tigers through a short workout.

"It was definitely a long plane ride, and we had to jump out of the plane and go straight to practice," sophomore forward Robert Dozier said. "It was tough on us (Friday). We were kind of upset about that, but we got through it and we rested up last night.

"We just came out here to play basketball. I'm hoping we can get this thing started Monday and get it rolling."

The Tigers practiced at a local high school Friday, but Saturday, they got their first look at Lahaina Civic Center, the 2,400-seat gym which, for a few days every November, becomes the capital of college basketball.

Players said the humidity inside the gym was so intense, even the playing surface was sweating.

"It was super hot," Dorsey said. "We had to have towels on the floor, players had to get towels every minute. It was hot in there."

Despite the lack of amenities inside, there are plenty everywhere else. That is, if you consider 80-degree temperatures, a luxury resort, world-class restaurants and a bright blue ocean as amenities.

"I knew it was going to be beautiful," Niles said, "but I didn't know it was going to be like this."

-- Dan Wolken: 529-2365

Virginia Attorney Says Former Tiger Shawne Williams Accepted Cash and Gifts While in School

(Yes, I know, I'm way behind. Not really though, I'm just catching up on lots of stories over the past week. As has been my policy in the past, I accept the responsibity to report the good, bad and the ugly. Hopefully, for Memphis' sake this one is just dumb and not ugly. Stay tuned for comments from the NCAA in about April 2007 on this one. ed)

Attorney drops 1 of Williams suits

By Tim McGlone, Landmark News Service

NORFOLK -- A Norfolk attorney has dropped his lawsuit against Indiana Pacers rookie Shawne Williams, but questions remain about the more than $100,000 the attorney says he was owed by Williams and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jimmy Williams.

Meanwhile, the NCAA said Thursday that it has launched an inquiry into the situation.
Attorney Carl La Mondue withdrew his suit against Williams late Wednesday, but a similar action against Jimmy Williams remains active.

Williams, a Hampton native and former Virginia Tech All-American, denied the allegations in the suit that he accepted about $55,000 in cash and gifts from La Mondue while playing at Tech.
"It's just a person trying to come back, who wants some money, to be perfectly honest with you," he told reporters at practice in Atlanta on Thursday.

"We do know the dude, but as far as me taking money from, I didn't take none. My dad hasn't taken any. It's just a claim," Williams continued. "He don't have no record of nothing."

La Mondue, has declined to comment. His Web site touts his firm's willingness to help athletes and entertainers with their contracts.

He filed suits earlier this month in Norfolk Circuit Court seeking repayment from each player, as well as Jimmy Williams' father. La Mondue claims he gave Jimmy Williams and his father $8,700 in merchandise, including clothes and shoes, phone service, hotel rooms and a tattoo, plus more than $46,000 in cash, the papers say.

The cash and merchandise were given between November 2004 and November 2005, when Jimmy Williams was a junior and senior at Tech, the suit says.

The NCAA prohibits its athletes, their family members or friends from receiving benefits while in school. Schools and players can be investigated and sanctioned for infractions. The NCAA has declined to comment on the Williams' cases.

"Today, I can confirm that we're working cooperatively with the institutions," said Jennifer Kearns, the assistant director of public and media relations for the NCAA.

But she stopped short of calling it an investigation.

"I don't know that an official investigation has been opened. It's still too early," she said.
Virginia Tech officials on Thursday said they have notified the NCAA of the Jimmy Williams' lawsuit and will consider the allegations internally as well.

"We're working in a cooperative measure with the NCAA to try to get to the bottom of this as quickly as we can, said Tech athletic director Jim Weaver.

He said he hoped that if the school was found to have had no prior notice of the alleged payments that it would be immune from sanctions.

"That would be my hope, but until we get through the process, it would simply be me speculating. To my knowledge at this point, no one had any prior knowledge of this," Weaver said.

He said he only became aware of the allegations Thursday morning.

"At this point, I'm not sure exactly what the investigative process will be. We've had a conversation with [NCAA officials] this afternoon and established a plan. That's as far I'll comment right now," he said.

Shawne Williams, who played collegiately at Memphis for one year before being drafted by the Pacers, is accused in the lawsuit of accepting from La Mondue about $9,700 in hotel rooms, airfare and cellphone service, plus $39,794 in cash, while playing for the Tigers in the 2005-06 season.

Williams' agent, Happy Walters of Los Angeles, denied the allegations and said the information in the suit, such as the dates, were wrong.

He declined to comment further Thursday.

Disputes such as these do not typically result in lawsuits. But they are indicative of a growing problem in college sports -- college athletes accepting gifts or payments from sports agents or boosters.

"It's the nature of the beast," said Ron Del Duca of Norfolk, a registered agent with the National Football League Players Association. "The last 3, 4, 5 years it's become a circus. Kids are asking for stuff. Kids not even that good, they want lines of credit."

Del Duca, who would not comment directly on the La Mondue lawsuits, said sports agents are regulated in some states, but not Virginia. North Carolina, for example, requires agents to register, and violations of rules of conduct can lead to criminal charges.

"What happens is -- and it happens a lot -- it's not just the fault of the agents. It's the faults of the players. They're asking for it; so are the parents," he said.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Comments on Georgia Tech Game

Ok, I basically did not see this game. I listened to about 8 minutes of the second half on the radio and then saw about two minutes on the tube.

So, I don't have much add from an analysis perspective though I think the statistics are telling.

1) Robert Dozier - 1 FG attempt, 5 personal fouls in 8 minutes of play.
2) Joey Dorsey - 9 points and 6 boards (5 of 8 from the line) - looks pretty solid on paper, but I know the Tigers were destroyed on the boards in the second half. Six boards in 32 minutes is certainly under his normal work load.
3) Willie Kemp - 9 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers (pretty good for a freshman).
4) Antonio Anderson - 15 points, but with FIVE turnovers and 3 of 7 from the charity stripe.
5) CDR (the workhorse) - 26 points, 8-12 FGs, 9-11 FTs and 7 RBs - Excellent !!
6) Pierre Niles - TWO boards in 8 minutes, 0-4 FTs !!!
7) Jeremy Hunt - Another solid effort - 16 points, 5 board, 4 assists

The two big numbers - they aren't secrets

Georgia Tech 52 rebounds, Memphis 31
Georgia Tech scored 62 points in the 2nd half shooting 56.7%

CDR and Antonio Anderson combined for 41 points or 48.2% of the offense
Kemp and Allen had 5 assists and only 3 turnovers - 1.67 ratio

Memphis beat GT on the intangibles (unless you add rebounds to the formula)
Memphis -1.5, GT -14.0

Memphis Drops 92-85 Decision to Georgia Tech

Memphis Drops 92-85 Decision Against Georgia Tech
Douglas-Roberts scores 26 points for Tigers in loss.

Nov. 21, 2006

Box Score

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) - Jeremis Smith and Ra'Sean Dickey, two junior big men on a team known for its freshmen stars, dominated the boards in the second half and No. 19 Georgia Tech overcame a 16-point deficit for a 92-85 victory over No. 12 Memphis on Tuesday in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The Yellow Jackets (5-0) will play in the championship game Wednesday night against the winner of the late semifinal between No. 5 UCLA and No. 20 Kentucky.

Memphis (2-1) took a 46-30 halftime lead using its speed and tenacious defense to go up by as many as 19 points. The 6-foot-8 Smith, who had 21 points and nine rebounds, and the 6-10 Dickey, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds, then took over the boards in the second half, especially on the offensive end.

The Yellow Jackets held Memphis to one field goal during an 8 1/2-minute stretch that started with 14 minutes to play. During that span, Georgia Tech had six field goals on offensive rebounds, two of which were part of three-point plays. Smith and Dickey each had two of the rebound baskets.

Georgia Tech went on an 11-0 run to take a 68-62 lead and the last points of it were a tip-in by Mouhammad Faye. Eight of the points in the spurt came on offensive rebounds.

Chris Douglas-Roberts had 26 points for Memphis, which was outrebounded 29-9 over the final 20 minutes. Smith and Dickey had two more rebounds than the Tigers managed in the second half.

Tigers #17 in Sagarin Through Saturday

Notable Opponents Sagarin Ratings

Gonzaga #7
Georgia Tech #16

Tigers #17

Arizona #31
Tennessee #50
Kentucky #58
UAB #63
SMU #69
Oklahoma #78
Houston #83
Cincinnati #85

My Summary of Memphis vs Oklahoma

Yeah, I know. I'm a bit hehind, but the holiday season is a busy time and I've got little kids to worry with. Anyway, I didn't watch the game film until early this morning (I woke up at 4 am and couldn't sleep).

Well, I thought it was an ugly, ugly game. Considering Robert Dozier offensively was pretty accurate, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I think he had all five of turnovers in the first half. Memphis had like 14 turnovers in the first half, but amazingly shot 48% versus OU's 29% to take a seven point lead at half time. SEVEN OF FOURTEEN from the free throw line in the first half. That is awlful.

Anyway, I thought Willie Kemp looked pretty solid, but a little bit out of control in the first half. I was fairly happy with Andre Allen's play.

Now the second half was much, much better. The Tigers came out and hit two 3 pointers right out of the gate to seize the game. Even though the final tally was 12 points it seemed like an 18 point margin much of the second half. Even when OU made a 9-0 rally, the Tigers has great poise.

I think the Tigers went about 8 minutes before committing a TO in the second half, while their shooting was solid.

Pierre Niles and Joey Dorsey were solid enough (4 for 8 FGs, 12 boards, 8 personal fouls), though both committed a dumb foul each chasing an OU man 25 feet from the basket. You'd think Joey would know better as a junior.

While the team free throws were sickening, you can't really fault Joey Dorsey (6 of 8) or Andre Allen (5 of 8) - the usual suspects. Go figure? Robert Dozier 1 of 4?

So here is my evaluation formula for the intangibles. I score -1.0 for turnovers, -0.5 for personal fouls, +1.0 for assists and steals, and +0.5 for blocks.

The Tigers scored a -6.5 while the Sooners got a -22.0

CRD and Anderson scored 17 points (22.1% of total) on 6 of 15 shooting.

The point guards (Kemp and Allen) got 5 assists and 3 turnovers (1.67 ratio)

#12 Tigers Sail Past Oklahoma, 77-65

No. 12 Tigers Sail Past Sooners, 77-65
Dozier drops in 13 points at EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Nov. 20, 2006
Box Score Photo Gallery

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) - Memphis coach John Calipari doesn't hesitate to say what players love to hear.

"We're a team trying to play fast," he said.

The 12th-ranked Tigers did just that Monday in a 77-65 victory over Oklahoma in the opening-round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The Tigers were far from perfect, committing 18 turnovers and missing 17 free throws, but their speed and balanced attack made life miserable for Oklahoma, which had 21 turnovers.

"Memphis did a great job of spreading the floor and driving. That's a very unselfish team," first-year Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "Their pressure took us out of a lot of things we like to do."
Robert Dozier had 13 points to lead Memphis, which starts three sophomores and a freshman and had eight players score between 13 and six points.

"That's our style of play," sophomore guard Antonio Anderson said. "Coach makes a point that one of us doesn't have to be the star and that together with that equal balance we can do what we like to do."

The Tigers (2-0) will play in the semifinals Tuesday against the winner of the game between No. 19 Georgia Tech and Purdue.

Memphis took control at the start of the second half by hitting seven of its first 10 shots to lead 58-42 with 12:04 left.

Oklahoma (2-1) drew within 10 points twice, the last at 69-59 with 4:36 left on two free throws by Michael Neal. The Tigers, however, were able to improve their foul shooting and keep their lead over the final 2 1/2 minutes.

"We missed about 15 layups, too," Calipari said when asked about the early trouble at the foul line. "These kids made them when they mattered."

The Tigers missing 14 of their first 27 free throw attempts before finishing 20-for-37.
Neal, who missed the Sooners' first two games because of a suspension over playing in an unsanctioned summer league, finished with 18 points. Taylor Griffin added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

"We didn't handle the pressure well," Capel said. "We didn't attack it the way we wanted to to get easy shots. When they have success it ignites them and they came at us in waves."

Freshman Willie Kemp had 12 points for Memphis, while Anderson and Andre Allen had 10 each.

"Willie's a little nervous right now," Calipari said. "He had 12 points, one assist, two turnovers. That's not bad, but I'm telling him to let loose, be more reckless."

Oklahoma scored the opening basket of the second half to get within 39-34, but Anderson and Allen hit 3s on consecutive possessions to start Memphis' hot streak from the field.

"Those 3s gave us a lot of momentum," Anderson said. "We weren't shooting well in the first half and those got us back to the way we want to play to control the tempo."

The win was the 150th at Memphis for coach John Calipari, who is 150-59 in his seventh season there. His overall college record is 343-130.

Memphis improved to 5-0 all-time against Oklahoma.

This is Memphis' fourth appearance in Maui, with its best finish third in 1992. Oklahoma is in its third appearance and the Sooners lost in the championship game in 1988.

Saturday, November 25, 2006 on Derrick Rose

The Well-Guarded Guard
It took three very tough and determined brothers to foster the talents of a young Derrick Rose and protect him from a miasma of Chicago gangs, dealers, hangers-on and, perhaps scariest of all, agents

By George Dohrmann

Chicago has a history of devouring its young basketball stars. Ben Wilson was the No. 1-ranked high school senior in the country in 1984 -- "Magic Johnson, but with a jump shot," said former NBA standout Nick Anderson -- but just before his final season Wilson was shot and killed while on his school lunch break. Ronnie Fields was a victim by different means. Illinois's Mr. Basketball in 1996 was a year behind Kevin Garnett at Farragut Academy and with his 40-inch vertical leap seemed destined to meet Garnett in the NBA. But street agents and other poachers moved in, and he made one bad decision after another until his career finally dwindled away in basketball's minor leagues.

Derrick Rose, who has heard the cautionary tales of Wilson, Fields and some of Chicago's other lost hoops prodigies, could easily have fallen too. Derrick was brought up in a single-parent home in one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago, and agents and their middlemen were chasing him before he was in high school. Yet Derrick is thriving, a top five player in the class of 2007, a 6'3" guard who might be the best player to come out of Chicago in a decade.

He is the leader of the Simeon Career Academy basketball team, which is a defending state champion and seventh in SI's preseason national rankings. So why did Derrick blossom when so many others withered?

The answer was standing in the back of the room a few weeks ago when Derrick announced his decision to play next season for the University of Memphis. Derrick's older brothers -- Dwayne, Reggie and Allan -- built a wall around him the day they realized he had a special talent. They took control of every facet of his life, monitoring his friends, his schoolwork, even his coaches, in a manner that some find extreme. They have been accused of taking over the basketball program at Simeon and, even worse, of "pimping" him for their own gain. Their response to such criticism is a shrug. They know that when your brother is a basketball prodigy on Chicago's South Side, you can't trust the village to raise him. Not when the village is a big part of the problem. "People haven't liked some of what we've done," says Reggie, "but when it's your brother, you don't care what other people think."

The Englewood section of Chicago has a violent past and a violent present. In the 19th century it was home to serial killer H.H. Holmes, whose exploits were chronicled in Erik Larson's best seller The Devil in the White City. In 1998 the neighborhood made national headlines when two seven- and eight-year-old boys were falsely charged with murdering an 11-year-old girl. In 2003, after a seven-year-old girl was shot, a teacher at Englewood High had his students write letters to a Chicago Sun-Times columnist. "I have seen people get shot, stabbed and beat to death right before my eyes," wrote a student named Patrice. Another, Shanika, wrote, "The bad boys and girls are taking over."

A single mother raising children in Englewood has to contend with gangs, gutted schools and overwhelming poverty. Yet Brenda Rose reared her first three sons there without serious incident. All attended college, and each holds a steady job. Dwayne, 34, works at a shipping company; Reggie, 31, is a machine operator for Pepsi; Allan, 26, delivers computers. "My mom would walk down the street and drag us home if she heard we were getting into trouble," Dwayne says. "Even the drug dealers, when they saw her coming, would stop dealing and tell her where we were."

Yet Brenda's wisest bit of parenting might have come later, when strangers began calling the house, expressing interest in her youngest son, Derrick. When Brenda looked at her son, she saw a child, but those who knew basketball saw a rare package of abilities. With a basketball in his hands, Derrick could be explosive and efficient at the same time, blowing past defenders but never forcing the action. "His main asset is his strength," says Chris Monter, an NBA draft analyst. "He has the quickness and the leaping ability you want in a guard, but he really knows how to overpower other guards. A lot of people think he is a one and done player." In other words, he'll be in the NBA following his freshman year of college ball.

After Simeon's Class AA state finals victory last season, people marveled at how Derrick dominated the game -- which he did -- but few realized that he had scored only nine points. "He doesn't have to score to take over a game," Reggie says.

At a Las Vegas tournament in July, Derrick had 21 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in a matchup with O.J. Mayo, widely considered the best guard in the class of '07. But that wasn't Derrick's most impressive performance of the summer. A month earlier, after he'd injured his right (shooting) hand in a fall, he played a game using only his left and still scored 12 points.
Derrick was skilled and tough and, from about eighth grade, a marked kid. Brenda saw the onslaught coming and knew what to do. "His brothers knew basketball, I didn't," she says. "I told them to handle it."

Dwayne, Reggie and Allan quickly formed a fatherly triune that, in their words, "smothered him." One of them always picked him up and dropped him off at school. At least one attended his practices and games. If he needed new shoes or clothes or if he acted out and needed to be punished, more often than not one of the brothers handled it. "We'd do good cop, bad cop on him all the time," Reggie says. They monitored the people he came into contact with, those who called the house or stopped him in the neighborhood for a chat. If he went somewhere when none of the brothers were free, "we'd have someone we trusted go and spy on him," Reggie says.
Early on they found it fairly easy to keep people away. But "then he got to high school, and everyone started to notice him," Dwayne says. "That's when things really picked up."
There are three murals in the Farragut Academy gym. Two are of Garnett; the other depicts Ronnie Fields soaring for a dunk: ronnie fields air show, 1992-96, it reads, and then his accomplishments are listed, including 372 dunks.

There are many theories for why Fields never made it, but the soundest one is this: His family provided him with little protection -- his mother was 15 when he was born -- so street agents and others took over. "They look for kids who don't have a support system, and then they come heavy," William Nelson, Fields's coach at Farragut, says of the poachers.

Imagine then the trepidation the brothers felt when some of the same people who had preyed on Fields cast their covetous gazes on Derrick after he led Simeon's freshman team to a city championship. Almost overnight the AAU team that Derrick had played on since the sixth grade took on a new look. "All of these people got put on staff, and I couldn't understand where they came from," Reggie says.

His response was to create his own AAU team and take nine of Derrick's 14 AAU teammates with him. That angered some parents and coaches the brothers had known for years, but Reggie believes it was the right move. "People were just beginning to really look at how they could make money off Derrick," he says. "If we hadn't kept those people away, he could have ended up like Ronnie Fields."

The better Derrick played, the more people pushed to get close to him. Once, Derrick's cellphone number got out, and in a 24-hour period he received nearly 40 text messages and more than 60 calls from strangers. "There was a message from this [AAU] coach from California trying to get me to play for him," Derrick recalls, "and someone from down south saying he'd help my family move so I could go to school there."

Derrick got a new number, and the brothers quickly instituted a policy: No one but family could get through to Derrick without going through Reggie. "When people asked Derrick for his number, he would just give them mine," Reggie says. "Then they'd call and I'd ask, 'So, what do you want with Derrick?'" The brothers got so good at "smothering" Derrick that agents accused them of exploiting him. "They'd say we were looking to make money off our brother," Reggie recalls. "I told them, 'No one is going to pimp Derrick. But if anybody is going to pimp him, it's going to be his family.'"

Fans of various colleges waited in front of Reggie's house, hoping for the chance to urge him to have Derrick pick their school. Big-name agents regularly called Reggie to say they were flying into Chicago and were willing to meet with him. Random men would approach Dwayne and ask him, "What kind of car does Derrick drive?" A question that was far from innocent, implying that there were people willing to give Derrick and his brothers gifts that would be anything but free.

"It's been crazy," Dwayne says, "but it's been crazy for us, not for Derrick."

Ben Wilson's death shook Chicago, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Mayor Harold Washington used Wilson (and the two teenagers who killed him) to show that the city had failed its children. "We have not heard their screams in the night," Washington said. He promised change, but have the screams stopped?

"In many ways it's worse for kids now," says Tamara Sterling, Simeon's principal. "The violence is the same, but kids now deal with issues that didn't exist before, like homelessness. We have kids who live on the streets, who don't have food."

Dwayne says, "When we were looking at high schools for Derrick, we looked at how many gang areas he'd have to go through to get to school. We looked at the neighborhoods around the school. We talked about how many friends he would have there who would look out for him." That they chose Simeon -- the same school Ben Wilson had attended -- wasn't a surprise. It has long been a bastion for Chicago's children. Industrial buildings around the school provide a buffer from the rough neighborhoods nearby. And an unwritten policy ensures that only in rare cases will children from nearby homes be admitted. "That way if something happens at school, a kid can't just call his brother or some friends who are a few blocks away," says Robert Smith, the basketball coach and dean of discipline for boys.

Kids feel safe at Simeon, especially since 2003, when the students moved into a new facility as polished as any suburban school. Last year more than 5,000 kids from all over the city applied for the 400 spots in the freshman class. Simeon's 94% attendance rate is 15 points higher than the average for Chicago public high schools. "Our kids have pride," says Sterling. "It's one reason you will rarely see a fight at Simeon."

Dwayne, Reggie and Allan trust Simeon to keep Derrick safe, but in basketball matters they still demand a lot of control. People pushed for Derrick to play varsity as a freshman, but the brothers insisted he play with his class. "We didn't want to single him out from the other freshmen," Reggie says. Derrick was also not allowed to speak to the media until the end of last season. "Kids start reading about themselves too much and get an ego," Reggie explains. The brothers let it be known that they weren't happy that longtime coach Bob Hambric insisted on controlling the college recruitment of his players. For instance, he wouldn't let players commit to a school until after their senior season. In a convenient stroke of fortune, Hambric retired after the 2003-04 season and was replaced by Smith, who is close to the Roses. "I don't know that Derrick would still be at Simeon if that hadn't happened," Reggie says of the coaching change. Ten of Simeon's 14 varsity players (including Nick Anderson's son) will play for Reggie in the summer, so the team seems as much his as Smith's.

Which is fine with Smith, who says, "The reality is that when you have a player like Derrick, you have to work with his family."

Working with the Roses has it benefits. When the shoe companies vied to get Derrick to their June camps, Reggie and Derrick used that interest as leverage to get five of Derrick's teammates invited as well. "That caused a lot of controversy. People were saying I got money to send Derrick to [Reebok's] ABCD camp," Reggie says. "What I got was more exposure for his friends." And when Derrick announced his decision to attend Memphis, he held a joint press conference with two teammates signing with Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "They deserve a press conference too," Derrick says.

"I think Simeon has been good for Derrick, and Derrick has been good for Simeon," says Sterling.

From the brothers' perspective, it has helped that Simeon preaches the cautionary tale of Ben Wilson to every student. Derrick was told the story as a freshman and was asked to draw a lesson from it. What he came up with ("Don't get in no trouble") was generic and the kind of answer most students give. But since he wears Wilson's number 25 jersey and plays in a gym named after the slain star -- and now that he finds himself at the same moment in his career that Wilson was when he was murdered -- his answer is much more knowing. "When you are that good, people come after you," Derrick says. "To deal with all that, you need help."

Issue date: November 27, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

HoopScoop Ranks Tiger Recruiting Class #7 Tied With Ohio State

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
It looks like Memphis head coach John Calipari's strong Northeast ties dating back to when he was the head coach the University of Massachusetts, the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, and an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers continue to pay big dividends for him now that he is in the Mid-South. First, there was 6'2 Dajuan Wagner and Arthur Barclay from Camden (H.S.) NJ in 2001. Then, they landed 6'7 Sean Banks from Oradell (Bergen Catholic) NJ in 2003, 6'5 Antonio Anderson, who originally is from Lynn (Tech) MA, in 2005, and 6'5 Jeff Robinson from Elizabeth (St. Patrick) NJ earlier this year. And now our Philadelphia/Eastern Pennsylvania/South Jersey Editor Allen Rubin is telling us that 6'8 Marcus Morris from Philadelphia (Prep Charter) PA, who is ranked #43 nationally in the senior class by the HOOP SCOOP, and 6'8 Markeiff Morris from Philadelphia (Prep Charter) PA, who is ranked #113 nationally in the senior class by the HOOP SCOOP, both announced that they had signed with the Tigers at their 10:00 AM press conference earlier today. Marcus is a wing forward who can shoot the three, put it on the floor, and get to the basket and Markieff is a high/low post player who rebounds, blocks shots, and can score with both hands around the basket, which means they are are an excellent complement to one another. They are are an excellent complement to Memphis' recruiting class, which is now tied at #7, along with Ohio State on our list of the Top Recruiting Classes To-Date for the Class of 2007 and also includes 6'3 Derrick Rose from Chicago (Simeon) IL, 6'5 Jeff Robinson from Elizabeth (St. Patrick) NJ, and 6'10 Will Bogan from Bell City (H.S.) MO. And this isn't the first time that Calipari and his staff have had the equivalent of a top 12-ranked recruiting class since he took over at Memphis in the spring of 2000. If you will recall, they had the #1-ranked recruiting class in 2001 when they landed 6'2 Dajuan Wagner from Camden (H.S.) NJ, 6'8 Chris Massey from Oxnard (JC) CA, 6'4 Anthony Rice from North Clayton (College Park) GA, 6'2 Antonio Burks from Hiwassee (JC) TN, and 6'9 Duane Erwin from Huntsville (Lee) AL; they had the #3-ranked recruiting class in 2004 when they landed 6'0 Darius Washington from Orlando (Edgewater) FL, 6'9 Shawne Williams from Laurinburg (Charter) NC, 6'9 Waki Williams from Mt. San Jacinto (JC) CA, 6'7 Richard Dorsey from Laurinburg (Institute) NC, 7'0 Kareem Cooper from Laurinburg (Institute) NC, 5'10 Andre Allen from Memphis (Hamilton) TN, and 6'1 Tanqueray Beavers from Athens (H.S.) AL; they had the #5-ranked recruiting class in 2005 when they landed 6'9 Shawne Williams from Laurinburg (Institute) NC, 6'5 Chris Douglas-Roberts from Detroit (Northwestern) MI, 6'5 Antonio Anderson from Laurinburg (Institute) NC, 7'0 Kareem Cooper from Laurinburg (Institute) NC, and 6'9 Robert Dozier from Laurinburg (Institute) NC; and they had the equivalent of the #12-ranked recruiting class this past year when they landed 6'1 Willie Kemp from Bolivar (Central) TN, 6'8 Pierre Niles from Lenoir (Patterson School) NC, 6'3 Tre'Von Willis from Fresno (Washington Union) CA, 6'10 Hashim Bailey from Lenoir (The Patterson School) NC, and 6'5 Doneal Mack from Statesboro (Christian) NC. Editor Note: Mack's commitment came too late to include with last year's recruiting class and, as a result, their recruiting class was ranked #19 in our Final Ranking of the Top Recruiting Classes for the Class of 2006. In other words, the Tigers are right up there, along with schools like Duke, North Carolina, Connecticut, Texas, and USC, as one of the programs that has recruiting the best in recent years. But they also have had as many players (i.e. Dujuan Wagner, Amare Stoudemire, Kendrick Perkins, Darius Washington, & Shawne Williams) as any program in the nation defect early for the NBA Draft or never show up at all in recent years. However, that appears to be about to change, as the only player in either the program or this year's current recruiting class who is likely to go to pro anytime soon is 6'3 Derrick Rose from Chicago (Simeon) IL, who is ranked #8 nationally in the senior class by the HOOP SCOOP. And this is important, because Calipari will have the star in Rose that he needs to take his team to the highest level a year from now, plus he will have a great nucleus that is expected to be together intact for a span of several years.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Victory #1 or Subtitled Bailey 1, Jackson State 0

Well, it has finally arrived.

I started this blog after I watched Memphis lose to UCLA last Spring in the Oakland Regional Finals. I am entering my 29th season as a Tiger Fan - attending my first game at the age of nine.

So let's get to it.

Thoughts - Overall, games like this are a bit difficult to evaluate. I love the defensive intensity. And, I believe the Tigers will need the strong defense and the fast pace, fast break offense, because I see them struggling in a half court set.

I thought CDR was the key; however, Jeremy Hunt was the unsung hero - a very consistent quiet 16 points on 5 of 8 shooting including 3 of 5 from 3 point. Plus let's throw in 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

If your reading my blog on a consistent basis, you'll remember me saying I think CDR and Antonio Anderson need to average 30 points a game or 3/8th of the Tiger offense. In this game they had 33 points or 29.7% of the offense.

How about the point guard play - Andre Allen (sucks at the line) was ok with 5 assists and only 2 TOs in 14 minutes. I'll take those numbers from him. Willie Kemp was off from the field - only 2 of 13 (that stinks, but hey, first college game - I remember Penny Hardaway had a triple double in his first game against DePaul, unfortunately, 1/3rd of the triple was 10 TURNOVERS). Willie also had 5 assists and 2 TOs.

Are you kidding me? 10 assists and only 4 TOs from Allen and Kemp - that is a home run folks.

Joey Dorsey - Joey didn't seem to be hampered by the "Turf Toe", but Hank McDowell said he was estimated at 75%. I still see issues down the road with Joey - he can't buy a free throw (1 for 5) and he really has no offensive game outside of 2 feet (dunks and tip ins). Hey, Joey please practice a 5 footer and a 15 foot free throw.

Ok, Oklahoma on Monday. I'll be in New York for two days early next week, so my evaluations won't come until mid week.

Memphis vs. Jackson State Box Score

Jackson State vs Memphis (11/16/06 at Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum))
Box Score

Official Basketball Box Score

Official Basketball Box Score
Jackson State vs Memphis
11/16/06 7:00 pm at Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum)

VISITORS: Jackson State 0-4

22 JARROW,Edwin........ f 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 3 2 0 1 0 0 21
44 CALDWELL,Jeremy..... c 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 4 2 0 0 1 0 9
03 GIVENS,Catraiva..... g 1-5 0-2 3-4 1 1 2 2 5 1 3 0 3 33
24 JOHNSON,Trey........ g 10-24 1-5 11-12 1 4 5 1 32 3 6 0 1 36
34 YOUNG,Julius........ g 2-8 0-1 7-8 2 4 6 2 11 3 2 1 1 31
00 JONES,Marcus........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
04 RUSSELL,Kenny....... 0-5 0-2 3-4 0 1 1 0 3 1 1 0 1 10
05 MARTINEZ, Kay....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 4 0 0 7
10 HENRY,Carl.......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5
12 GRIFFIN,Darrion..... 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
32 MAXEY,Grant......... 4-7 0-0 2-2 2 4 6 5 10 1 2 0 0 19
33 JOHNSON,Garrison.... 1-2 0-0 2-3 0 1 1 2 4 0 1 1 0 6
40 TURNER,Stanley...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 3 0 0 1 1 0 17
TEAM................ 2 3 5 1
Totals.............. 20-61 1-10 28-33 11 29 40 23 69 10 22 4 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-28 35.7% 2nd Half: 10-33 30.3% Game: 32.8%

DEADB3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-2 0.0% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 10.0% REB
SF Throw % 1st Half: 13-15 86.7% 2nd Half: 15-18 83.3% Game: 84.8% 3,1

HOME TEAM: Memphis 1-0

02 Dozier, Robert...... f 6-10 1-2 0-0 5 5 10 5 13 2 0 1 0 19
32 Dorsey, Joey........ f 5-7 0-0 1-5 8 5 13 3 11 0 3 4 2 23
01 Kemp, Willie........ g 2-13 1-7 0-0 2 0 2 0 5 5 2 0 1 24
12 Anderson, Antonio... g 4-7 1-3 3-3 1 3 4 3 12 1 1 0 1 21
14 DOUGLAS-ROBERTS, C.. g 8-17 2-4 3-5 5 4 9 2 21 4 0 1 1 24
00 Wade, Clyde......... 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 3
03 Willis, Tre'Von..... 1-3 1-2 1-2 0 1 1 1 4 0 0 0 0 5
04 Niles, Pierre....... 1-3 0-0 2-2 1 3 4 2 4 1 2 1 3 14
05 Hunt, Jeremy........ 5-8 3-5 3-6 1 4 5 1 16 2 0 0 3 25
15 Allen, Andre........ 2-4 2-4 0-2 0 2 2 3 6 5 2 0 1 14
20 Mack, Doneal........ 4-12 3-7 3-4 2 0 2 2 14 3 2 1 1 21
30 Sandridge, Jared.... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
35 Bailey, Hashim...... 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 1 0 3
55 McGrady, Chance..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 2
TEAM................ 1 2 3
Totals.............. 40-87 15-36 16-31 26 30 56 25 111 26 12 9 13 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 21-43 48.8% 2nd Half: 19-44 43.2% Game: 46.0%
DEADB3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-14 35.7% 2nd Half: 10-22 45.5% Game: 41.7%
REBSF Throw % 1st Half: 7-13 53.8% 2nd Half: 9-18 50.0% Game: 51.6% 6,2
Officials: Steve Welmer, Dan Chrisman, Kevin Mathis
Technical fouls: Jackson State-None. Memphis-None.
Attendance: 10207
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
Jackson State................. 33 36 - 69
Memphis....................... 54 57 - 111

Points in the paint-JSU 24,MEM 46. Points off turnovers-JSU 8,MEM 27.
2nd chance points-JSU 10,MEM 34. Fast break points-JSU 12,MEM 27.
Bench points-JSU 17,MEM 49. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-JSU 2nd-00:28, MEM 2nd-00:12.
Largest lead-JSU None, MEM by 46 2nd-06:02.