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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dorsey slowly making progress

Dorsey slowly making progress
Hopes to play in Monday's exhibition
By Dan Wolken (Contact)
Friday, November 9, 2007

Joey Dorsey was all alone on the Finch Center floor Thursday afternoon, shooting free throws for a solid 20 minutes before the University of Memphis' practice.

No, Dorsey wasn't making a lot of them. But at least he was able to shoot them, which could be considered a sign of progress for the 6-foot-9 senior who has been sidelined for nearly two weeks by a right shoulder joint sprain.


Lance MurpheyThe Commercial Appeal

Memphis forward Joey Dorsey is hoping to return to the team soon. The Tigers' leading rebounder injured his right shoulder about two weeks ago and might see some playing time in Monday's exhibition.

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"If you can't extend your arm, you can't do a lot of things," Dorsey said.

Though Dorsey said his shoulder is still bothering him, he's trying to get ready for No. 3 Memphis' exhibition game against Christian Brothers on Monday at FedExForum. That would at least give him a tune-up before Memphis (2-0) heads to New York for the semifinals of the 2K College Hoops Classic next Thursday.

But at this point, Dorsey will likely be a game-time decision Monday since he's only "about 30 or 40 percent" healthy, he said.

"And that's better than what I was," Dorsey said. "I couldn't go to sleep at night unless I took pain pills."

Up to this point, Dorsey has done everything possible to get ready for New York. He's getting treatment, coming into the gym at 7 a.m. for conditioning before classes and then doing extra resistance training in the afternoon to get his range of motion back.

And though he can shoot free throws and lay-ups with his right hand, he still hasn't tested his shoulder in live drills against physical contact. The biggest fear in taking that step is some sort of setback that could become a long-term problem for the Tigers' leading rebounder.

"The doctor said if I rush back, it's going to be hurting the whole season, so that's why I was real skeptical about going out and playing in the (first two) games," Dorsey said. "Once he told me after Richmond that I start doing the motion and trying to get the strength back, he didn't have to tell me no more."

The Tigers are just as eager to have Dorsey back as he is to return to the lineup. Though Memphis had 11blocked shots against Tennessee-Martin and 10 against Richmond, the Tigers couldn't dominate the paint with a combination of Shawn Taggart and Robert Dozier, who are tall and skilled but not as physically imposing as Dorsey.

Memphis allowed 20 offensive rebounds to UT-Martin and gave up 15 to Richmond, numbers that likely would have been much different if Dorsey, who averaged 9.4 rebounds per game last season, was available.

"We're not going to be one of those teams that can dominate you" without Dorsey, coach John Calipari said. "We can still beat you because we've got enough other guys, but we're certainly not going to just go and be so much better than everybody. With Joey, you have a physical presence."

The Tigers also are having a harder time running their fast break without Dorsey. When he's in the game, Memphis' guards don't always have to crash the defensive glass because they know Dorsey will get rebounds and help them get into their offense quickly. Without him, players such as Chris Douglas-Roberts and Antonio Anderson have to rebound and can't get in position for outlet passes.

"We're a faster team when I'm out there because I get all the rebounds, and we can run," Dorsey said. "When I'm not out there rebounding, everybody else has to stick their nose in and rebound.

"A lot of guys are saying, they can't wait to get me back. I'm trying my best to get back and play against Christian Brothers."

Etc.: Gazelle Group officials have informed Memphis that the Tigers' semifinal game against the Oklahoma Regional winner will likely be moved to 8:30 p.m. CST on Thursday. Originally, Memphis was supposed to play in the 6 p.m. game, setting up Connecticut and Kentucky as the prime time event. But with Kentucky losing to Gardner-Webb, Memphis-Oklahoma will move into that slot, assuming the Sooners advance from their regional.

Reach Dan Wolken at 529-2365; read his blogs on the Tigers at thememphisedge.com.

Iron Tigers

Before sitting out this week's wins over Tennessee-Martin and Richmond because of a sprained shoulder, Joey Dorsey had played in 94 consecutive University of Memphis games. Here are the Tigers' current longest streaks:

Player / Games

Robert Dozier / 76

Willie Kemp / 39

Andre Allen / 27

Chris Douglas-Roberts / 20

Antonio Anderson / 15

Hopes to play in Monday's exhibition
By Dan Wolken
Friday, November 9, 2007

Joey Dorsey was all alone on the Finch Center floor Thursday afternoon, shooting free throws for a solid 20 minutes before the University of Memphis' practice.

No, Dorsey wasn't making a lot of them. But at least he was able to shoot them, which could be considered a sign of progress for the 6-foot-9 senior who has been sidelined for nearly two weeks by a right shoulder joint sprain.

"If you can't extend your arm, you can't do a lot of things," Dorsey said.

Though Dorsey said his shoulder is still bothering him, he's trying to get ready for No. 3 Memphis' exhibition game against Christian Brothers on Monday at FedExForum. That would at least give him a tune-up before Memphis (2-0) heads to New York for the semifinals of the 2K College Hoops Classic next Thursday.

But at this point, Dorsey will likely be a game-time decision Monday since he's only "about 30 or 40 percent" healthy, he said.

"And that's better than what I was," Dorsey said. "I couldn't go to sleep at night unless I took pain pills."

Up to this point, Dorsey has done everything possible to get ready for New York. He's getting treatment, coming into the gym at 7 a.m. for conditioning before classes and then doing extra resistance training in the afternoon to get his range of motion back.

And though he can shoot free throws and lay-ups with his right hand, he still hasn't tested his shoulder in live drills against physical contact. The biggest fear in taking that step is some sort of setback that could become a long-term problem for the Tigers' leading rebounder.

"The doctor said if I rush back, it's going to be hurting the whole season, so that's why I was real skeptical about going out and playing in the (first two) games," Dorsey said. "Once he told me after Richmond that I start doing the motion and trying to get the strength back, he didn't have to tell me no more."

The Tigers are just as eager to have Dorsey back as he is to return to the lineup. Though Memphis had 11blocked shots against Tennessee-Martin and 10 against Richmond, the Tigers couldn't dominate the paint with a combination of Shawn Taggart and Robert Dozier, who are tall and skilled but not as physically imposing as Dorsey.

Memphis allowed 20 offensive rebounds to UT-Martin and gave up 15 to Richmond, numbers that likely would have been much different if Dorsey, who averaged 9.4 rebounds per game last season, was available.

"We're not going to be one of those teams that can dominate you" without Dorsey, coach John Calipari said. "We can still beat you because we've got enough other guys, but we're certainly not going to just go and be so much better than everybody. With Joey, you have a physical presence."

The Tigers also are having a harder time running their fast break without Dorsey. When he's in the game, Memphis' guards don't always have to crash the defensive glass because they know Dorsey will get rebounds and help them get into their offense quickly. Without him, players such as Chris Douglas-Roberts and Antonio Anderson have to rebound and can't get in position for outlet passes.

"We're a faster team when I'm out there because I get all the rebounds, and we can run," Dorsey said. "When I'm not out there rebounding, everybody else has to stick their nose in and rebound.

"A lot of guys are saying, they can't wait to get me back. I'm trying my best to get back and play against Christian Brothers."

Etc.: Gazelle Group officials have informed Memphis that the Tigers' semifinal game against the Oklahoma Regional winner will likely be moved to 8:30 p.m. CST on Thursday. Originally, Memphis was supposed to play in the 6 p.m. game, setting up Connecticut and Kentucky as the prime time event. But with Kentucky losing to Gardner-Webb, Memphis-Oklahoma will move into that slot, assuming the Sooners advance from their regional.

Reach Dan Wolken at 529-2365; read his blogs on the Tigers at thememphisedge.com.

Iron Tigers

Before sitting out this week's wins over Tennessee-Martin and Richmond because of a sprained shoulder, Joey Dorsey had played in 94 consecutive University of Memphis games. Here are the Tigers' current longest streaks:

Player / Games

Robert Dozier / 76

Willie Kemp / 39

Andre Allen / 27

Chris Douglas-Roberts / 20

Antonio Anderson / 15

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