November 3, 2006
AS THE GAME TURNED
There's never really a turning point when the final score comes in 113-63, but there was a particularly deflating stretch near the end of the first half for LeMoyne-Owen in which Memphis' press produced four straight steals. The Tigers scored eight consecutive points -- without allowing the Magicians to get past halfcourt -- to build a 53-22 lead.
AS THE ROTATION TURNED
Tigers coach John Calipari used five-man platoons most of the game, subbing entire units in and out.
Freshman Willie Kemp started at point guard with Chris Douglas-Roberts, Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier and Joey Dorsey at center. That group played the first 4:27 and was replaced by a unit of Andre Allen, Doneal Mack, Tre'Von Willis, Jeremy Hunt and Hashim Bailey, who played the next 3:58.
Calipari changed up the lineup starting the second half, putting Allen, Dorsey and Douglas-Roberts with Mack and Hunt.
This is a category Dorsey should dominate this season, and it took him just 1:47 against LeMoyne-Owen to record his first highlight-reel dunk of the year. After a Douglas-Roberts dunk gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead, Dozier got an interception off the press, made a quick pass to Anderson, who fed it ahead to Dorsey. Dorsey took one dribble and extended into a full windmill dunk.
HIDE YOUR EYES
The Tigers' 3-point shooting had been getting better throughout the first three weeks of practice, but it didn't show up against LeMoyne-Owen. Memphis made 5 of 29, including a combined 0-for-13 from freshmen guards Mack, Willis and Kemp.
Willis' six free-throw attempts were the most of any Tigers player. Good thing, too, because he made all six. The rest of the team went 8-for-15 from the line.
LOCKER ROOM CHATTER
"We just wanted to come out and play Memphis basketball," Anderson said when asked whether the Tigers felt pressure to match Tennessee's 60-point margin over LeMoyne-Owen. "Tennessee did what Tennessee did. We're not worried about Tennessee right now. We're worried about Christian Brothers now. That's our next challenge."
ODDS AND ENDS
Calipari said freshman center Pierre Niles, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Oct. 16, is scheduled to return to practice today (ahead of schedule) and will play some in the Tigers' next exhibition on Monday against Christian Brothers.
The Tigers sported new white uniforms that feature a blue stripe across the back, along the left side of the jersey and angling diagonally across the shorts. "They're cool, they're cool. I like it," Hunt said.
Sophomore center Kareem Cooper was not on the bench Thursday. He's in the midst of an indefinite suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello was in attendance, sitting in the first row behind the Tigers' bench.
While the Memphis coaching staff was dressed in regular-season suits, Calipari wore a collared shirt without a tie.
Walk-ons Clyde Wade, Chance McGrady and Jared Sandridge entered the game with 4:35 remaining.
Tiger exhibition vs. Christian Brothers, Monday, 7 p.m., FedExForum
-- Dan Wolken