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Saturday, December 30, 2006

My Commentary on the Lamar Game

It is funny, because I didn't think the Tigers were as bad as the media
said in the first half of the game Thursday night. I went to the game
and then watched the game tape for the first half when I got home that
night.

Did the Tigers miss a lot of really easy shots - yes. Did the free throw
shooting really suck - yes. Was the 3 point shooting poor once again -
yes. So where do you think I saw positives?

Ok, at one point in the first half Memphis had 7 assists on 8 field goals.
That is very efficient team-oriented ball. I'll take that. Memphis didn't
keep up the pace, but still managed to have 17 assists on 32 field
goals for the game.

I was also very encouraged by the defense. I know Lamar was only 5 and 7
going into this game, but I thought they played pretty good. Remember
their best two players are juco transfers. That normally means they get better as the season progresses as they get used to playing with their new teammates in a new system.

Memphis held Lamar to 22% shooting in the first half. I also think they forced 13 turnovers in the first half.

I was disappointed that Memphis couldn't seem to pull away in the first
half. The Tigers actually lead 25 to 13 at the 10 minute mark of the
first half, but went into a lull after that and were out scored 15 to
13 over the next 10 minutes.

Ok, so what about the players.

I thought CDR looked really good. Has was very consistent and had excellent moves getting to the bucket. He is the glue for this team.

While Antonio didn't do much offensively, he had a really solid game with 8 assists, 4 steals and a block in 21 minutes.

Between the two of them, the Tigers got 24 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals and a block. Very solid. CDR did the scoring and the rebounds while Antonio did the rest.

I was happy with Doneal Mack's game. He wasn't able to keep the hot hand he held at the MTSU game, but he played well and Cal rewarded him with 16 minutes.

Once
again I thought Kareem Cooper was gamer. Did you see him step out to
about 12 feet and hit a little jumper from the right side? The guy has
several nice offensive moves. As I've mentioned before. He is a great
compliment to Joey Dorsey.

Look at their combined numbers: 10 of 16 FGs, 3 of 6 FTs, 16 RBs, 23 points, 5 TOs, 3 Blocks, 2 steals. Other than the turnovers, that is a nice contribution.

Ok,
Jeremy had an off night, but he did hit a big 3 pointer early in the
second half that seemed to be the spark the Tigers needed. He also was
7 of 8 from the free throw line.

Andre Allen returned to his former self (save the Arizona game, it was his career offensive game). 0-2 FGs, 0-1 3pts, 0-2 FTs, 2 RBs, 1 assist, 1 TO, 2 steals. I sure hope Allen isn't on the floor in close games down the stretch.

Watching Robert Dozier is frustrating to me because I see these flashes of brilliance and then other times I'm wondering what he is doing. He seems to get lost for long stretches.
He has developed several very nice post spin moves. I'd like to see him
initiate the move a bit quicker because I think the delay he takes
allows the defense time to predict what is about to happen and gives
time for weak side help. I believe if Robert will start his move sooner
he'll score more often or get fouled.

Defensively, I was pretty happy with the Tigers. They are now ranked #9 nationally in total defense by Ken Pomeroy. I think the Tigers should have out rebounded Lamar by at last 5 or 6, but they were tied, 49 a piece.

I did like the assist to turnover ratio, 17 to 12.

Of course the free throws were awful, 17 of 31.

Unfortunately, I won't see the Cincinnati game until Friday night. I'm traveling Thursday night.

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