It's been roughly 24 hours since Memphis' 88-55 mauling of Cincinnati, and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I saw.
Were the Tigers really that good? And, more importantly, can they duplicate that effort over the next two months?
I'll be honest. I thought Cincinnati would give Memphis a very competitive game. Cincinnati isn't a top-8 team in the Big East, but the Bearcats had beaten Xavier earlier this year, and they will notch a couple impressive league wins.
But the Tigers simply overwhelmed them with their most complete performance of the year. The only game that comes close was the Kentucky win in Maui, though in my opinion, this game was more impressive simply because of how well the Tigers executed their offense.
The one thing coach John Calipari always stresses is to make easy plays, and the Tigers did that all night against Cincinnati. It's taken awhile for that message to get through, but the Tigers, with maybe two or three exceptions, stuck to the plan. I think that shows remarkable growth and maturity.
A couple things that stood out to me from the game. 1) Point guard Willie Kemp shot the ball incredibly well, but he wasn't running the team. Antonio Anderson was. I think that's a development worth following as the season wears on. Anderson is 6-6, but he has point guard skills, and in the past two games he's recorded 14 assists and no turnovers. 2) Robert Dozier finally played the way the coaching staff wants him to play. He was tough inside, he stood up to physical play, and he didn't float on the perimeter looking for jumpers. If Dozier continues to do all those things, Memphis will be a much more dangerous team over the next few months.
Posted in Tiger Basketball by Dan Wolken