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Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Commentary on the Arizona Game

Well, if you read my keys to victory the other day, I'd say I was pretty accurate. The Tigers did three of the five items I believed were key to garner a victory. They shot well enough from 3 point range to win (30%ish), they hit their free throws (at least 65%) and the Joey Dorsey/Kareem Cooper combo was pretty solid (save the turnovers and missed layups). However, I also said they needed to have 13 turnovers or less (they had 16) and lastly I said they had to have double figures from CDR, Antonio Anderson and Jeremy Hunt. Only Hunt came through.

Where the hell was Robert Dozier? Yes, I know he played, but where was he. It was like he wasn't present on the floor. Star players can't disappear in games. I mean you can maybe not have a great game occasionally, but you can't disappear. Look at Dozier's numbers, 1 of 5 FGs, 0 of 2 3FGs, 4 RBs, 2 AST, 1 TO in 29 minutes. If you aren't going to contribute in scoring because your having an off night, you have to step up in other ways - rebounding, defense, assists, leadership (being vocal).

Ok, enough on Robert.

CDR - he was sick. What can you say? Yesterday on talk radio I heard people complaining that even guys hurt or sick have to step up in big games. I heard at least two different people refer to Michael Jordan being sick in the NBA finals against Utah. Come on people...........your comparing CDR to Michael Jordan. That is one, not fair, and two, just plain stupid. CDR is a good player, but he is a sophomore on a Top 20 to Top 25 type team. He is no Michael Jordan, not even a shadow of Michael. Give the guy a break. When I have the flu, I could care less if I even pay my mortgage.

Now, if you've been reading this blog for any time at all, you've heard me bash Andre Allen. So, with all due respect...........Andre, excellent game. My hat is off to you. Without you and Jeremy Hunt, Memphis gets blown out. Now, I do have to make a point that with Memphis only down 4 with the ball, you were wild, out of control, and made an awlful drive to the basket in heavy traffic. I'm not saying Memphis wins if they score there, but, well it certainly ended any chance to make it interesting.

Jeremy Hunt............thank you. 8 of 16, 4 of 9 3 pointers, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, no turnovers. And, Jeremy wanted the ball in the second half. He was the leader of the team.

Kareem Cooper is working his way into a starting role. Find anything bad with his game. I challenge you. He may not be as good a defender as I'd like to see, but he doesn't commit dumb Joey Dorsey like fouls. Cooper has great soft hands and he has some pretty nice post moves. Cooper really makes this team much, much better.

So, am I disappointed about the loss, yes, of course. But, I feel ok about it. I am the most concerned about our RPI position heading into conference play. The Tigers are #24 today, but that is most likely the lowest position we will see for the remainder of the year. The Tigers have three more games against teams with higher a RPI than they have (Gonzaga #15, SMU #21 twice). The Tigers are lucky that SMU is playing so well; however, their RPI will drop a lot also. Their remaining non-conference games are against Oklahoma #105, North Carolina A&T #295, Texas Pan American #254, and Brown #201.

The Tigers have the following non-conference foes: MTSU #216, Lamar #236, Cincinnati #143, and Gonzaga #15.

1 comment:

g said...

So i don't get this. Did you actually "see" the game, coach? I didn't see the game. As far as I knew, it wasn't even televised.

So everything we know is what we read. And the stats in the boxscore.

The Commercial Appeal quotes Coach Cal:

"Coach John Calipari pointed to a moment when Memphis' starters could have been difference makers at the start of the second half.

Instead, Arizona erased a 38-33 deficit in less than two minutes and built a 10-point lead in short order after that.

"We fought. Just a couple guys couldn't make plays," Calipari said. "Obviously you're on an opponent's court. They're very good in this building. They start on a 5-0 run to start the half. We have three guys jogging the court like we're playing pickup. I'm like, 'what is that?'

You say Robert Dozier didn't show up. And that CDR was sick. And Antonio Anderson couldn't buy a basket. Or that the turnovers and the lack of production from the CDR and Anderson were the keys to the game.

I don't know. What is a key? Memphis is leading at the half by five points. They go into the locker room.

They come out, and begin the second half, and suddenly Arizona is in control.

I wasn't there. I didn't see it. But Mustafa is quoted as saying:

"Five points is nothing for a high-scoring team like we are," Shakur said. "The biggest thing that needed to change was our defense, and in the second half we came out making big plays."

That same AP article says:

Down 38-33 at halftime, the Wildcats shifted to a 1-3-1 zone defense and outscored Memphis 22-8 to start the second half.

Like I say, I didn't see it. But let me guess. Memphis doesn't have an answer for the zone.

Hear Andre Allen speak, from the same AP article:

"We quit penetrating the zone," Allen said. "We were just passing the ball around the horn and that hurt us."

Now the fact is, Memphis has practiced only two options against the zone. A dribble penetration with a shot, or a kickout for the three.

And while Shawn Williams and Rodney Carney might have been able to make that shot from within the zone, todays crew cannot.

So when faced with a stifling zone, it's down to the three point shot. And lo, Memphis opens the second half by missing ten straight shots from three point land.

So what's the key?