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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dan Wolken's Post Game Blog Entry

Postgame blog: Memphis 63, Oklahoma 53

Posted by Dan Wolken Chris Douglas-Roberts, who had been mauled all night long, might have said it best: “That was a Big 12 team, and they played Big 12 basketball.” I agree, except for one thing. Oklahoma wasn’t playing Big 12 basketball Thursday. The Sooners were playing Big 12 football.

That was as physical a game as Memphis has played in a long time — even more physical, in many ways, than the Sweet 16 game against Texas A&M. Oklahoma did a great job mucking it up with a zone, and grabbing the Tigers whenever they could. Memphis didn’t exactly do a great job standing up to it — they committed 20 turnovers and shot just 38.6 percent from the field — but won the game with defense and made just enough plays offensively. As John Calipari said afterwards, the Tigers have double-teamed an opposing player “five times the last two years,” but they did a great job tonight with freshman Blake Griffin. Griffin, who had been dominant inside the first three games, went just 3 for 9 from the field, had eight rebounds and committed five turnovers.

Other observations:

– Joey Dorsey was the man tonight, with nine points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. The Tigers would have lost without him.
– Where is Robert Dozier? After an embarrassing performance against Christian Brothers, he was a no-show yet again. No points, four rebounds and got pushed around any time he went inside. Robert is better than that, and the Tigers will be vulnerable in these kinds of games if he doesn’t show it.
– Antonio Anderson stepped up and made a couple big 3-pointers, but he still seems out of synch. He’s committed a year’s worth of careless turnovers (by his standards) in the last two games.
– Andre Allen is a scrapper on defense, but he is not helping the team offensively when he tries to do too much.
– Willie Kemp should have played more, in my opinion. Though he went 2-for-7 from the 3-point line, which isn’t good for him, he did have four rebounds, two assists and looked more composed out there to me than some of the other guards. I was shocked when I saw the box score and he only had 10 minutes.


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