Assistants get quick look at foe
By Dan Wolken
March 15, 2007
In the run-up to the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, University of Memphis manager Bryan Settle gathered film from a handful of teams he thought the Tigers might be matched up against in the first round.
North Texas, the Tigers' opponent Friday at New Orleans Arena, wasn't one of them.
Still, Memphis coaches were breaking down film of the Mean Green's Sun Belt Conference Tournament games just a few hours after CBS revealed the brackets. That's because of a Web site -- Hoop1Media Services -- that archives television broadcasts for NBA and college teams.
That's a far more efficient way to get game tapes, Settle said, than to use a shipping service, especially because the matchups are announced on a Sunday.
"To download it, it takes about a half-hour," Settle said. "Then I put it on a DVD. It takes about two to three hours for a whole game. I had (North Texas') tournament games because those were nationally televised."
Scouting is a key part of NCAA Tournament week. In addition to breaking down tapes of North Texas, the Tigers have begun to prepare scouting reports for Nevada and Creighton, the possible second-round opponents.
That workload means very little sleep for Memphis assistant coaches John Robic and Derek Kellogg.
"We've been going ever since the selection show, and it's good," Robic said. "It's a good time not to get sleep because that means you're still playing. You concentrate on North Texas first. That's the most important thing for us. I'm doing North Texas and Creighton, and Derek is doing Nevada. There's just not enough time for one person to do all three. You have pretty much everything done, you watch one more tape when you get down there, and you go with that."
Robic said the Tigers weren't looking at tapes of North Texas' games against Rice and Tulsa because those Conference USA teams played the Mean Green too early in the season to provide much insight.
"It was in the first five or six games of the year, but our league opponents share with us and help us on personnel," Robic said.
If there's one area of North Texas' attack that concerns the Tigers, it's rebounding. The Mean Green out-rebounded its opponents by an average of six and pulled down 14 offensive rebounds per game. With that in mind, the Tigers have spent a lot of time this week on rebounding drills, which includes putting a lid over the basket and having players go one-on-one for rebounds.
"Not only for North Texas but any other game we play, we've got to rebound," freshman Doneal Mack said. "A lot of teams in the tournament are strong rebounding teams, so we've got to be strong too."
The UofM Alumni Association and the athletic department are sponsoring several events in New Orleans at the Wyndham Canal Place hotel. From 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Friday, there will be a pep rally in the 12th-floor ballroom with complimentary pastries and coffee.
At 10 a.m., former Tiger football player and current New Orleans Saint Mike McKenzie is hosting a party at the Jazz Emporium at 424 Bourbon St., beginning at 10 a.m. in conjunction with his 34 Ways Foundation.
-- Dan Wolken: 529-2365