Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturday (11/24) practice update

Saturday (11/24) practice update
Posted by Dan Wolken

Hey folks, sorry the blog has been silent for a few days. I left town for a short Thanksgiving break but am back and ready to resume daily blogging duties.

Everything seems to be pretty much back to normal with the Tigers following the drama of Tuesday night. Apparently, they all had a nice big belated Thanksgiving dinner together on Friday and worked out their differences. I won’t get into it too much, since it is the topic of my story in tomorrow’s paper.

John Calipari had a busy weekend recruiting. Xavier Henry, a 2009 prospect from Oklahoma City, was playing in the Forrest City, Ark., tournament, where Calipari watched him play all three games. On Friday, Henry and his entire team came up to the Finch Center and watched Friday’s practice. Henry, a consensus top-3 player in his class, has become quite a familiar face around Memphis, given that he’s been at the last two Midnight Madness events. Everything I’ve seen and heard leads me to believe that Memphis is the team to beat for Henry right now. That would come as a shock to Kansas fans, as people in that part of the world have long assumed that Henry would go to Kansas since his father is an alum and his brother committed there before choosing to play pro baseball instead. But Carl Henry, his father, played at Kansas when Calipari was an assistant, and the two obviously have a close relationship.

Also, 2008 forward Wesley Witherspoon took in Saturday’s practice with his high school team, who is playing at Ridgeway in a tournament. Witherspoon, a lanky 6-foot-8 swingman, is looking at Memphis seriously. He still hasn’t pared down his list, but Witherspoon mentioned Virginia, Texas and Colorado prominently. On both Friday and Saturday, Calipari was trying to shuttle back and forth from Forrest City to Ridgeway to catch both prospects.

Oh, and there was also a practice Saturday. Robert Dozier sat out; he’s still battling a left foot problem, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat out again Tuesday. Freshman Jeff Robinson had his best practice that I can remember. The Tigers did a lot of work on zone offense and are putting in some new things to get them better looks against a zone. They also worked a lot on their press, and I liked what I saw. Some fans think a press is just chaos, but it’s really complex. The coaching staff last season kind of abandoned it early, but I think it will get better if they stick with it. Antonio Anderson and Derrick Rose were both in the gym early working on their shooting; perhaps that will help them both get their 3-point percentages back to respectable levels.

No comments: