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Friday, December 22, 2006

More Commentary on the Arizona Game

For those of you who did not see the game, I did see it. It was carried on Fox Sports - Pac 10 Network as part of a double header with Washington vs. LSU following.

I'll be a bit more detailed in my analysis since many of you may not have seen the game film.

Memphis started out the game a bit tight in my opinion. They missed several 2 and 3 foot shots to start trhe game, but were still able to build a mild lead early as Arizona struggled. Chase Budinger, their very talented freshman, didn't seem to be in the game early and Marcus Williams picked up several personal fouls early.

There was an early sequence when both teams ran up and down the floor with a series of steals, layups, dunks and no breaks in the action. While Arizona seemed to hang with the Tigers, Lute Olson clearly decided that running all out with Memphis was not a good idea. After that Arizona seemed to control the tempo more to their liking.

Andre Allen was an early spark hitting 2 3-pointers. As I watched him spot up for the first shot, I was saying "no don't shoot...........great shot". His early play along with excellent play from Jeremy Hunt gave the Tigers their best lead.

Hunt had several dribble drives and hit a very nice tear drop floater from the right side on a fast break. The Tigers scored on two other fast breaks where the crowd wanted charging calls. One was Andre Allen and the other CDR. Both were probably good no calls.

Joey Dorsey had several nice put backs and had eight rebounds in the first half. He did pick up two early fouls and Cal took him out, but, he came back in with about 8 or 9 minutes and played more even with the 2 fouls.

The Tigers closed the half pretty strong. Andre Allen was fouled on a 3 pointer and actually hit two of three free throws. He looked like he really knew what he was doing. Amazingly, the announcers didn't pick up on his very low season free throw average.

Coming out of the break, Arizona scored a few basket as Chase Budinger really started to get into the flow of the game. He hit several short range jumpers and Ivan Radenovic had one or two three point plays in the lane.

Memphis went cold from the outside going 0 for 10 in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Where Memphis had been pretty aggressive driving the lane in the first half, they just rotated the ball around the horn in the second half and settled for 3 point jumpers. Memphis found itself down 9 and 11 points on several occasions.

Jeremy Hunt then took over scoring seveal times including 2 3-pointers late to keep it close. Kareem Cooper was very solid in the later stages of the 2nd half on offensive boards and short post moves.

Memphis made one final run cutting the lead to 4 points with just under 2 minutes to go. Arizona was called for a walk and Memphis had a chance, but Andre Allen came rushing down the court and threw up a very wild shot in the lane (which was very crowded). Arizona rebounded and was fouled quickly.

Arizona was very strong from the free throw line, which basically eliminated any chance Memphis had to catch up.

Antonio Anderson had two nice dribble drives in the first half but was awlful from the outside. He threw up a 3 point attempt in the second half that literally missed the rim and the backboard. The Arizona crowd instinctively started chanting "airball". It was very bad.

To me Robert Dozier was the biggest disappointment, followed by Antonio Anderson. CDR was sick and was a step slower than normal. Allen, Hunt and Cooper all had very good games. Dorsey was ok, but he committed too many fouls and his tendency to pull the ball down low and then go up for a lay up or dunk resulted in a few tied up balls and some offensive charges.

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