Tigers have double session of Camp Cal
By Dan Wolken
December 17, 2006
Camp Cal was back in session Saturday.
After a day off following last Thursday's victory over Austin Peay, the University of Memphis began its semester break with two practices Saturday, the first beginning at 8 a.m.
The No. 19-ranked Tigers will have two more practices today before heading to Tucson on Monday to face No. 10 Arizona on Wednesday.
Though it's the first time the Tigers have had two-a-days since the preseason, spending long hours in the Finch Center has been an annual tradition during winter break under coach John Calipari, thus the Camp Cal moniker.
"We figured we'd have to do it with how we're playing," sophomore forward Robert Dozier said. "We're not satisfied with how we're playing right now so we just had to come in, wake up early this morning and get our brains right and get our legs going. And we took care of business."
Indeed, Calipari was pleased with the focus and effort he got Saturday from his players, who will face the best opponent they've seen all year in Arizona.
"The intensity, the level of what we have to do now is starting to go up," Calipari said. "I don't know what it means. Hopefully it means we'll be a little better prepared for a road game than we were last time. I think tomorrow we'll do the same, we'll go twice. We'll go defense (this) morning, and then we'll do some breakdown stuff and then scrimmage in the afternoon and evening."
Against Arizona, Memphis' big men will likely have to play out on the perimeter more than they're used to, given how much 6-10 Ivan Radenovic and 6-7 Chase Budinger like to make things happen away from the basket.
"We've worked on it, we talked about it, saying 'hey you're going to have to go out there and guard,'" Calipari said.
Calipari believes junior forward Joey Dorsey, who could be matched up with Radenovic, is quick enough to guard him out on the floor -- if he can stay out of foul trouble.
"Joey can guard a perimeter guy, if he'll move his feet," Calipari said. "He gets to where he doesn't want to move them so he puts his hand on him and it's an automatic foul. If he moves his feet, he's quick enough, he's long enough, he's active enough."
Odds and ends
Freshmen Tre'Von Willis and Pierre Niles missed Saturday's practice due to illness. Willis was suffering from flu-like symptoms while Niles was having stomach difficulties possibly caused by a virus or food poisoning. ... Dorsey celebrated his 23rd birthday Saturday. ... Calipari said he wasn't sure how the suspension of the Memphis-Ole Miss football series beginning in 2010 might impact the schools' basketball series. Next year's game, in Oxford, is the last one in the current contract. Calipari has been vocal that his preference would be to not play Ole Miss.
-- Dan Wolken: 529-2365