Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Memphis Reportedly Says No to Home and Home With Old Dominion
Andy Katz Blog
Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com. He started working for ESPN.com in 1998, leaving a 10-year newspaper career in 1999 to join ESPN.com full-time. In addition to covering college basketball on a daily basis through his "Daily Word" and breaking news for the site, Katz is a reporter for ESPN's studio and remote coverage of college basketball and the NBA draft. Katz is also one of the hosts of the December-March Saturday "Gameday" program on ESPN Radio.
• When Memphis coach John Calipari was looking for a game, he had his staff call up Old Dominion. The Monarchs were willing to play, but not without a return. The Tigers said no thanks. This is nothing new for ODU coach Blaine Taylor. Each year he holds out one game at the end of the summer and sometimes into September to lure in desperate coaches looking to fill a game. In recent years, he has picked up DePaul, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Georgetown. The Georgetown series started with a shocking upset at Georgetown during the Hoyas' Final Four season two years ago. "John Thompson [III] said to me that was the significant game all year because we had to learn from it," Taylor said of the Georgetown coach. "We do this because everyone needs a game, and as the cast of characters dries up, the guaranteed amounts get so large and some of the schools get priced out of games."
Taylor said the Monarchs had a deal in principle to play a home-and-home with South Carolina, but that recently was pulled. The Monarchs are expected to fill their schedule with a home-and-home starting at Duquesne. ODU is also playing Richmond and UAB and going to Charlotte and Marshall for a A-10/Conference USA hybrid nonconference schedule. That's not bad for a Colonial Athletic Association team.
Taylor said he won't play one-way games without a return. He said after the win over Georgetown, the Monarchs called 10 Big East schools but were told no. "They shy away from us and quite honestly are afraid of us," Taylor said. "Everyone wants home games and sometimes they run out of patience, and that's why we hold a game late."