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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tigers Replay

Tigers replay
January 17, 2007

UAB came out with more energy than Memphis and led 13-7 after the first 5:45. With the Tigers badly in need of a basket, senior guard Jeremy Hunt willed his way between defenders on the next possession with the intention of drawing a foul. He successfully did that, but he also got a friendly roll on his off-balance runner. The 3-point play sparked Memphis, which forged a 17-17 tie on a Doneal Mack 3-pointer, then scored the next 12 points to take control of the game.


Chris Douglas-Roberts wasn't the only one with an early exit from Tuesday's game. Freshman point guard Willie Kemp missed two shots on Memphis' first possession, then left his feet and committed a turnover two minutes into the game, prompting coach John Calipari to insert backup Andre Allen quickly.


Joey Dorsey has already starred on ESPN's top plays of the day once this season, for a windmill dunk against Lamar. By that standard, he should be making a second appearance this morning. Because his jam in the final seconds of the first half Tuesday was even more spectacular. After Mack missed a 3-pointer, UAB had trouble corralling the rebound. Dorsey picked it up off the floor with about six seconds left, took a dribble, and reached back as far as he could before powering the ball through the hoop, giving Memphis a 42-26 lead.


Though it probably wouldn't have made much difference, UAB left a lot of points at the free-throw line. The Blazers made just 6 of 17, and if you take out Lawrence Kinnard's 3-for-4 effort, the rest of the team went just 3 of 13. Freshman Jeremy Mayfield went 0-for-4.


Memphis' scoring depth -- and UAB's lack of it -- was a key factor in the game. The Blazers had zero bench points at halftime and finished with just four, three of them coming on one shot by Taurus Dortch. Memphis, by contrast, got 38 points from its reserves, including eight from sophomore center Kareem Cooper and seven each from Allen and Mack.


University of Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson said Tuesday that Memphis would have competition from six cities to host the 2008 Conference USA Tournament. Johnson said groups from Houston, Tulsa, El Paso, Birmingham, Orlando and Dallas had all submitted bids by Tuesday's deadline and that the league's athletic directors would meet at the end of this month to discuss future conference tournament sites. This March, Memphis will host the tournament for a third straight year.

Former Tiger Rodney Carney, a rookie with the Philadelphia 76ers, got a rare opportunity to watch this year's team Tuesday. The 76ers arrived in Memphis early Tuesday evening, and Carney arrived at FedExForum before tip-off. He got a 30-second standing ovation during a media timeout in the first half when he was shown on the scoreboard screen.

Tiger fans can get an early preview of top recruit Derrick Rose at 7 p.m. Thursday, when his Chicago Simeon team will play Oak Hill Academy on ESPN. Rose, who signed in November, is the top-rated high school point guard in the country and arguably the most highly-regarded recruit Calipari has ever signed.


Tigers at East Carolina, Saturday, 5 p.m. CST

-- Dan Wolken

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