Tiger basketball camp report
November 5, 2006
List them in good condition
A year ago, John Calipari said, he watched his team in preseason practices and wondered whether his players were in good enough physical condition to play at the rapid-fire tempo he envisioned.
But once the actual games started, conditioning turned out to be one of Memphis' biggest advantages.
"We went to play Alabama," Calipari said, "and they (Alabama) just died."
Calipari finds himself in a similar predicament this year. After Memphis' exhibition game against LeMoyne-Owen on Thursday, Calipari expressed some concern that his team wasn't in shape yet.
By Saturday, however, Calipari had re-evaluated his position.
"I'm just demanding," he said. "When you get that rotation of eight guys and they know when they're going in and playing, it will stay high. We're not in midseason shape, but for being in the first week of November, I'm pleased."
Sophomore guard Antonio Anderson said part of what makes it look like Memphis is behind on conditioning is that there's almost no way to simulate a full-speed Calipari practice in the summer.
Thus, players tend to tire out at the end of practice early in the season.
"It's really hard, and everybody's bodies are wearing down a little bit, but that's what happens in basketball," Anderson said. "You've got to push through it, and that's what we've got to do.
"I don't think you can do it in the summer."
Memphis spent part of Saturday's practice working on how to defend the Princeton offense because that's what the Tigers expect to see in Monday's exhibition game against Christian Brothers.
Calipari cautioned his team that CBU could very well burn the Tigers with backdoor layups if they didn't take preparations for Monday's game seriously.
"They're well-coached, and they run Princeton," Calipari said. "One year they were up one at half, and we ended up winning by eight and it was an absolute war."
Junior center Joey Dorsey sat out Saturday's practice due to a sprained toe. Though Dorsey was wearing a boot on his right foot, he should be ready to go Monday, Calipari said.
Dorsey suffered the injury Friday when a teammate stepped on his foot but finished the practice anyway.
Anderson sat out most of Saturday's practice after suffering what he speculated was a strained left calf during a drill. Initial indications were that the injury wasn't serious.
-- Dan Wolken