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Friday, November 09, 2007

Dan Wolken's Tigers Wrapup of Richmond Game

Tigers wrapup
Posted by Dan Wolken

The Tigers’ 80-63 victory over Richmond will certainly be discussed and dissected quite a bit between now and New York. Overall, it wasn’t an impressive performance. Memphis played poorly for much of the game against a 1-3-1 zone defense, made some defensive mistakes, didn’t dominate the glass and couldn’t really put Richmond away until the last 5 or 6 minutes. Were there reasons to be concerned? Maybe, maybe not.

The first thing to remember is — and I wrote it months ago when this matchup was first announced — playing a Princeton offense team in the second game of the season when you’ve only got one day to prepare is a nightmare. A team like Richmond is just a pain in the you-know-what when you’re not prepared, and the Tigers weren’t. I can tell you, Memphis has probably spent a grand total of 15 minutes in the preseason working against a 1-3-1 zone, so it doesn’t surprise me that their offense did not look the way it usually looks. Richmond mucked it up and dictated the flow of the game, and David Gonzalves made some unbelievable shots.

Having said all that, Antonio Anderson was terrible offensively and defensively. He committed six turnovers and did a poor job against Gonzalves. Chris Douglas-Roberts was getting absolutely mauled all night, but he’s got to do a better job finishing. Though he finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds, it wasn’t a stellar performance. As good a shooter as he is, Doneal Mack shouldn’t be taking 10 shots from 3-point range in 16 minutes. When Joey Dorsey is out and Antonio Anderson and CDR both have below-average games, that’s a recipe for trouble. Derrick Rose was phenomenal again. When the game was tight midway through the second half, he made a handful of plays that really affected the game. Robert Dozier had a good game. Went strong after rebounds and was above average defensively. Even though Shawn Taggart had 10 fewer rebounds than Monday night, he played a much better game. Taggart was tougher, more physical and provided a presence in the paint. Andre Allen did a good job defensively late in the game, which is why he was playing instead of Willie Kemp.

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