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Friday, December 01, 2006

CSTV.........Manhattan Meets Young Memphis Side

Manhattan Meets Young Memphis Side

Memphis won a school-record 33 games last season

Dec. 1, 2006

Despite a younger and more inexperienced lineup, Memphis has figured out how to fill the void from the departure of its top three scorers.

The 14th-ranked Tigers have relied on a balanced attack to pick up where they left off last season, and look to continue that success Saturday when they host Manhattan.

Memphis (4-1) won a school-record 33 games last season and earned its first No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. After losing to UCLA in the regional final, Tigers' leading scorer Rodney Carney graduated and Shawne Williams and Darius Washington Jr. declared for the NBA draft.

Memphis averaged 80.0 points last season and has upped that mark in 2006-07 to 87.8 a contest. The Tigers have four players averaging double figures, including sophomore starters Chris Douglas-Roberts (15.0 points), Antonio Anderson (12.4) and Robert Dozier (10.8), and senior reserve Jeremy Hunt (13.8).

Anderson had a season-high 17 points as Memphis beat Arkansas State 86-60 on Wednesday. Hunt added 15 off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting while Dozier scored 13 and Joey Dorsey had 10.

"We have a team right now that really passes to one another, probably as unselfish as any team in the country," Tigers coach John Calipari said. "We're trying to work on us, and how we play. Overall, I thought it was a good effort. We've got a pretty good basketball team."

The opposition is taking notice.

"Studying them, you try to find some weakness. There are no weaknesses," Arkansas State coach Dickey Nutt said. "(Calipari's) got a special team. There are a lot of teams that would have been beaten (Wednesday night), and that includes anybody in the Big 12, the Pac 10 or the Big 10 or whatever."

The Tigers have been especially strong at home, beating Jackson State and Arkansas State by a combined 68 points. They've won 15 in a row at FedExForum by an average of 19.4 points.

The Jaspers (2-4) kicked off a three-game road trip with a 70-66 loss to Fordham on Thursday. They held the Rams to 33.9 percent shooting, but went just 15-for-27 from the free-throw line in suffering their third straight loss.

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