Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I'm looking forward to Saturday night's Arizona game. When the Tigers play like they can, the way the played Saturday, they are such a force. If they keep up that intensity and determination, we will have much to celebrate in early April. Regardless of how the season ends, though, it will definitely be one to remember.
Monday, December 3, 2007
UCLA lost to Texas last night, and their loss is our gain.
The next game is tomorrow night, vs. USC in NYC at the Jimmy V Classic tournament. It airs on ESPN at 8pm CT.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Let's talk about UConn. The first half of the first half? Was the most beautiful exhibition of Memphis basketball EVER. I was giddy watching it. Of course, then the refs joined in and before long, after shooting 23 free throws to our THREE, UConn was back in it, but the Tigers still put the Huskies in their place by the end. It was nice to see the Tigers hold on and not give up, like they might have in the past. Also? CDR is my pretend basketball boyfriend. Joey Dorsey is too. They're all my pretend basketball boyfriend. I am in love with the Tigers.
I didn't see the CBU game, it wasn't on TV out here. Coach Cal wasn't happy, and he canceled the players' Thanksgiving break. It's one of those issues with getting fired up against a team that you can easily crush. It's hard to do.
The next game is Tuesday against Austin Peay, again not to be televised in my neck of the woods. If you're in Memphis, it's on WLMT.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Derrick Rose... I could see the flashes-- of what is to come-- pure greatness. But last night he seemed a little over-excited, maybe trying to live up to all the hype in his first nationally televised game? But still, the kid is remarkable. He'll have to start knocking down free throws, I imagine he'll find himself on the line quite a bit.
And, I hate to be rude, but... that Oklahoma guy? You know, their "great" freshman? He was unfortunate looking.
Did anyone notice that during the game, ESPN didn't change the graphics, and the UConn husky picture was next to "Memphis" on the score? And the Gardner Webb whatever-that-was was next to "Oklahoma."
Anyway, it's all on for tonight-- Tigers vs. Huskies. Calipari vs. Calhoun. The Tigers are favored by 9. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN2 at approximately 8:30pm ET, after Oklahoma plays Gardner Webb.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I guess last night's game wasn't exactly what we were hoping for, but a W is a W last I checked. So now we await the winner of Kentucky's game, and play again next week in NYC.
I have to say that reading this article about Derrick Rose got me all excited. I heart Geoff Calkins anyway, and the fact that he sounds psyched about this kid? I'll follow that lead. I didn't see all of either of the first two games, but I saw enough of Rose to believe.
Then I watched SportsCenter last night, and when Digger Phelps appeared, I actually looked at my husband and said, "Oh, here we go." Cause The Dig always likes to talk crap about the Tigers. But he and the other guys ALL agreed that Derrick Rose is a freshman that can lead his team to a championship. Oh holy hell, if THEY think so? It's either the apocalypse or this kid, this nineteen-year-old from Chicago, is really REALLY just as good as everyone says. And I'm more than willing to go along for the ride.
Questions: Why did Antonio Anderson change his number? It confused me. I kept seeing "5" and thinking Jeremy Hunt, realizing it couldn't be Hunt, and wondering who the new guy was. I figure there's a reason, I just wonder what it is.
Also? Why were the Tigers wearing blue Monday night? Were we not the home team? Just wondered.
Monday, November 5, 2007
So tongiht the Tigers play UT-Martin. Really? This is how we're going to kick off what should be THE GREATEST SEASON EVER? Okay. Baby steps. But we are favored by 37 points.
On the other hand, as Jim Masilek said yesterday:
History, however, shows that the Tigers' fortunes have varied wildly in the face of high expectations. For every smashing success -- the Final Four runs in '73 and '85 are obvious examples -- there is an equally spectacular failure to serve as a warning. Drexel, anyone?You don't have to tell me. I was there for that Drexel debacle. I witnessed it, up close and personal. And it sucked. So I should know better than to have my hopes this high. But I can't help it! If you need help getting excited, think about this: 2 seasons, 2 Elite Eights, 66 wins, and? Derrick Rose. Read this article, or for a longer, historical perspective, this article. If you need help coming down from the rafters, you can read this one:
Dorsey may be the most important player on the team. Rose is more gifted, certainly. Chris Douglas-Roberts will score more points. But there's only one position where Memphis doesn't have a proven backup. That position is the one occupied by Dorsey. Does that make you sleep well at night?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I just made a hotel reservation in San Antonio for April 4-8.
I couldn't help it!!! I really want to be there, and I want to have a place to sleep. I'm too old to sleep in my car, even though I'd totally do it if that were my only option. I'm too far removed from school days to still have friends in Road Band that will give me floor space. And I'm too poor to wait til the last minute and book the ridiculously expensive team hotel. I do reserve the right to change my mind on any of these points prior to April. Any Mighty Sound of the South members wanna be my friend? I'll buy you beer.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I have created a Google Calendar with all the game dates and tip-off times (when available). You can click on the button in the sidebar to subscribe, and I'll update it as the schedule is changed.
Also, Memphis Madness (yeah, it's not at Midnight anymore) is tomorrow.
From Today's CA:
Tigers' madness never stops
Basketball team kept plenty busy in offseason
By Dan Wolken
Here are four things to know about Memphis Madness, which begins at 8p.m. CT Friday at FedExForum.
1. For a lot of Memphis fans in the city, Friday may be the only opportunity to see the Tigers in person this season. As of Wednesday afternoon, the school was down to about 260 unsold season tickets. Once they're gone, that's it for the year.
The only single-game tickets that will be available are unclaimed student seats. Plus, getting into Memphis Madness is pretty cheap: It's free, though canned food donations are encouraged, and seats will be available.
In most years, Memphis can expect a crowd of about 10,000 fans at Memphis Madness.
Coach John Calipari said he was hoping for "12,000 to 15,000 or more" on Friday, given the excitement about this team, which is ranked No.1 or No. 2 in several preseason polls.
And a full house would likely make a positive impression on the long list of elite recruits who will be in attendance.
2. So, who are the recruits? Well, basically every high school player from Memphis who is on the Tigers' radar has been confirmed as a guest at Memphis Madness. That includes St. George's guard Elliot Williams, who will be making his official visit to the Tigers.
Williams, a consensus top20 senior in the nation according to scouting services, has already visited Virginia, Duke and Tennessee and is expected to make his decision after the Memphis visit.
Briarcrest junior guard Leslie McDonald and White Station junior forward Farrakohn Hall -- both consensus top-75 players -- headline a long list of underclassmen coming to Memphis Madness, which also includes: Gentry Hines (Raleigh-Egypt), Tim Peete (Central), Greg Wooten (Briarcrest), Joe Jackson (White Station), Bobby Parks Jr. (Ridgeway) and Mardracus Wade (Mitchell), among others.
Memphis also will have out-of-town visitors from the 2009 high school class, including Christian Watford from Birmingham and Xavier Henry from Oklahoma City. Watford, a 6-7 small forward, is rated in the top 50 by most scouting services and is also very good friends with DeMarcus Cousins, a consensus top-five player in the class. Cousins was still considering visiting Memphis Madness as of Wednesday.
This will be Henry's second straight visit to Memphis Madness. A 6-6 guard rated No. 2 in the junior class by Scout.com, Henry's favorites appear to be Memphis and Kansas at this point. His father, Carl Henry, played at Kansas when Calipari was an assistant there.
Durand Scott, a 6-4 guard from New York rated as a top-50 junior, also is likely to be in Memphis on an unofficial visit this weekend.
All told, that's between five and seven potential McDonald's All-Americans.
3. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by the Memphis band and cheerleaders on the FedExForum plaza. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and players will be available for autographs until roughly 7:50 p.m. At 8 p.m. players will be introduced, and festivities will continue until about 9:30 p.m.
At some point in the event, Memphis will introduce the 15Chinese coaches who are in town observing the Tigers as part of Calipari's coaches' exchange. A few of the coaches, who played in the Chinese Basketball Association, will have a 3-point shooting contest against Memphis' players. The Tigers also will have a dunk contest and finish with a short intra-squad scrimmage.
4. Though the entire Midnight Madness tradition began in 1971 when Lefty Driesell held a real practice at Maryland just after midnight on Oct. 15, it's now nothing more than a showcase. In fact, the NCAA has even changed the rules to allow the madness to begin the evening before the official day when teams can start practicing.
As for the Tigers, the scrimmage will be organized, but probably not quite full speed. That's because they'll have to get up early Saturday morning to begin the real work with a string of two-a-day practices. Still, fans should be able to get just enough of a glimpse to whet their appetites for the Nov. 5 season opener.
"Our fans know this team," Calipari said. "They'll know how we play, but what they're wanting to see is the new guys too. Who got stronger from the old players? Who's better than they were a year ago? Who's improved?
"And then they'll want to see, what about this Derrick Rose kid, this Jeff Robinson kid and this Shawn Taggart kid? They'll want to leave the building saying, man, is Antonio Anderson better? Robert Dozier is so much stronger. That's what they'll want to say, and then they'll try to figure out where the other guys are."
Friday, July 20, 2007
By Andy Katz
HAVERFORD, Pa. -- Thank you, Joey Dorsey, for returning to Memphis and, for that matter, being invited to the Pan Am Games trials. You see, without Mr. Dorsey, we might not have our most quotable player for the 2007-08 season. Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Joakim Noah both checked out of college after their junior seasons. So, that left a void for all of us scribes and television reporters thirsting for someone to serve up an honest comment or two.
Who can forget his sporting that white tank on the bench after fouling out of the Sweet 16 game against Texas A&M in San Antonio. Later that night, I received an e-mail from an NCAA official saying that wouldn't happen again. (Translation: Dorsey was told to keep the uniform on.) But for what it's worth, the sight of Dorsey looking as though he was just through a workout at Gold's Gym and ready to bust through a door certainly was imposing. So much so that Dorsey didn't hesitate to call out Greg Oden in advance of the Elite Eight matchup against Ohio State. For those who need a refresher course, Dorsey said at the time, "This is the game I wanted." He added that Oden was "overrated as a big man" and that Oden "might be as good as Joey Dorsey." As our columnist Gene Wojciechowski laid out at the time, Dorsey's final prize was saying it was going to be "David versus Goliath." And remember, Dorsey was saying he was the monster. Of course, Oden dominated with 17 points. Dorsey finished with zilch.
Dorsey had to be asked about his comments when I caught up with him in at the Pan Am trials in Philadelphia. "I underestimated my opposition, and that's something I never did playing basketball the past five years," Dorsey said. "My opponent was a very great player, one of the best I've played against." After watching Oden dominate the national championship game, even in a loss to Florida, Dorsey said he understood how good Oden really was. Later, the Memphis resident rooted against the Memphis Grizzlies the night of the lottery because Dorsey wanted no part of Oden in his town. "It was a lift off my back because if Memphis got the No. 1 pick, then I would have had to hear about David and Goliath the whole year," Dorsey said.
It's all been part of the growing process for this senior. "Joey took longer to mature, to understand to get rid of the bitterness, and there was a bit of anger in there," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "A lot of kids come to school with an edge and a bitterness. "But all of the coaches have said he's a good kid and has a good heart. But I've told him he has to get out of his own way. There's only one of him out there. So I tell him if he misses layups and free throws, remember that the other guys can't do what you do. Be proud of what you are and who you are."
Dorsey will lead Memphis, my pick for No. 1 in the pre-preseason. And the Tigers will stay there -- barring some sort of injury in the fall. That's fine with Dorsey. "We deserve to be No. 1 coming off back-to-back Elite Eights," he said.
"I've been working out since the season was over, working out with Carmelo [Anthony, who -- like Dorsey -- is from Baltimore] and Rudy [Gay] in Memphis and trying to improve my overall game," Dorsey said. "I'm working on my free throws, taking 100 a day, so that there are no flaws in my game. "[Scouts] told me that I have to improve my skill level because they said I cannot do left-handed layups and left-handed jump hooks," Dorsey said. That's why he's looked at as being an enforcer on Team USA. No one expects Dorsey to be the finesse player to go to down in the post. No, he's on this team to grab rebounds and to look imposing. And, to be honest, it won't hurt for Dorsey to get the book down on Georgetown's Roy Hibbert since Dorsey will be defending him when the two top-10 teams play in Memphis on Dec. 22.
That game will be a good barometer for Memphis' national title hopes, although according to Dorsey, there's no question which team will be cutting down the nets in April. "We talked about me leaving, and a lot of guys said they would come back if I came back," Dorsey said of the decision by himself and Chris Douglas-Roberts to bypass the NBA draft. "With Derrick Rose coming in, this was our chance to win a championship. And that's what I told Memphis University players and the state of Tennessee -- that we'll win a championship." See? Dorsey is good for the game. He looks menacing. He doesn't back down from an opponent or from saying what's on his mind. Unless Calipari -- who easily is the coach most willing to talk candidly -- reels him in, Dorsey should be the go-to guy to talk Memphis all season long. Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
See you next year.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Memphis Shows Cojones
It's time to stop slagging on Memphis. I was as guilty as anyone of questioning Memphis' No. 2 seed and Conference-USA "pedigree," and I'll admit that I thought the Tigers would not only lose to Texas A&M but perhaps lose big. Yet John Calipari's guys showed some serious cajones in their 65-64 win in front of the Aggies' rabid home crowd. You want tough? Chris Douglas-Roberts plays on a sprained ankle and somehow becomes a huge factor (15 points). You want poise? Antonio Anderson steps to the line for two free throws with his team down one and three seconds left -- and nails them both. Maybe those Bob Rotella visualizing drills really do work on free throws. (Just to make sure we knew what was going on, Anderson grabbed his nether regions, Sam Cassell-style, after the final horn. Classic.)
Streaking Memphis 1 Win From Final Four
Visualize this: The Memphis Tigers are one win away from the NCAA Final Four. Forget those season-long struggles from the free throw line. The Tigers are making them when it counts, with Antonio Anderson hitting two with 3.1 seconds left Thursday night for a 65-64 victory over Texas A&M in the NCAA South Regional semifinal.
Anderson Nails Clutch Shots
Memphis Comes Through at the Line
Wild Night in San Antonio
The Tigers also deserve backslaps for the way they survived and advanced. They overcame a Final Four-caliber A&M team and an A&M crowd that outnumbered Memphis fans by 20 to 1 ... 50 to 1? More?
No wonder, as Memphis coach John Calipari waited to do his postgame interview with CBS, that he walked toward the Tigers' section of the Alamodome, such as it was, and pointed at them. And kept pointing.
"We ... played guys I haven't played all year, in this game, in this environment," said Calipari. "And in the end, made a couple of free throws, made a couple of baskets and walked away with a W in front of 30,000 Aggies, which makes it even more of an amazing thing."
Calipari exaggerated the size of the crowd, but not by much.
Memphis Wins 25th in a Row by Edging Aggies
Antonio Anderson's two free throws with 3.1 seconds left boosted Memphis to a thrilling 65-64 win over Texas A&M, as the Tigers extended the nation's longest winning streak to 25 games and moved into the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Memphis winning critics over
Memphis wants you to know it has one of the nation's best basketball programs. And it shouldn't matter that it plays in a bad conference.
So it's intent on winning and proving you – and me – wrong until we finally admit Memphis is an elite program. Frankly, that shouldn't be too hard after Memphis beat Texas A&M on Thursday night at the Alamodome.
Not after the Tigers won on the Aggies' home court. At least it sounded like their home court, considering the crowd of 26,060 couldn't have had more than 1,500 Memphis fans. Not after the Tigers grabbed three offensive rebounds on their final offensive possession of the game. And certainly not after Antonio Anderson, a 64 percent free throw shooter, made two freebies with 3.1 seconds to give the Tigers a one-point lead. Memphis earned this one. It deserved to win.
Not after the Tigers won on the Aggies' home court. At least it sounded like their home court, considering the crowd of 26,060 couldn't have had more than 1,500 Memphis fans.
Not after the Tigers grabbed three offensive rebounds on their final offensive possession of the game. And certainly not after Antonio Anderson, a 64 percent free throw shooter, made two freebies with 3.1 seconds to give the Tigers a one-point lead.
Memphis earned this one. It deserved to win.
Eyes of Texas were upon them, but Tigers never blinked
Antonio Anderson stepped to the line, spun the ball in his palms, and tried not to think about the stakes or the moment.
Just 3.1 seconds remained in a game that had long since passed thrilling on its way to epic. Anderson had already hit the first free throw to tie the game for the 13th time. Now, after an interminable timeout, he had a chance to permanently untie it.
"When I got to the line, I said ‘Let me get this game over with,'" he said.
Anderson spun the ball in his hands. He bounced it once, then sent it spinning through the hoop and into history.
The massive blot of Texas A&M fans fell silent. The small section of Memphis fans hollered loud enough to make up for it.
John Calipari always said his Memphis Tigers would make their free throws when it mattered, didn't he?
It never mattered more than this, it couldn't matter more than this, as Anderson's two shots gave his team a lead it wasn't about to relinquish.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
According to this CA article, Jeremy's ready to light it up and the Alamodome is really big.
CDR's feeling better and might play tonight. He really wants to.
I would like Acie Law to go away. Really. That'd be great.
So, we're the underdogs. So, we're playing Texas A & M, a lower seeded team, not so far from their home. That's okay.
Seth Davis disagrees, and picks the Aggies to win by 1.
p.s. If anyone out there gets the reference from the title and first line (besides you, Mom) let me know. I thought it was more well-known than it (apparently) is.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Memphis aims to silence doubters
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A 24-game winning streak hasn't convinced everyone that Memphis is a legitimate national championship contender.
After all, the second-seeded Tigers didn't get much of challenge from their Conference USA rivals, none of which made the NCAA tournament. Counting North Texas and Nevada, the two teams Memphis beat to get to the South Regional semifinals, the Tigers have defeated five teams that made the NCAA's field of 65.
It's safe to say that Thursday's game in San Antonio against Texas A&M will be the Tigers' toughest test in months.
And Memphis could be without leading scorer Chris Douglas-Roberts, who is nursing a sprained left ankle. Coach John Calipari said he wasn't positive Douglas-Roberts would play.
"But I think he will," Calipari said after his weekly radio show Monday before a packed house of Tiger fans at a Memphis restaurant.
CDR ankle improving
University of Memphis star sophomore Chris Douglas-Roberts showed signs of progress Tuesday, according to team officials, but it was still uncertain whether his sprained left ankle would prevent him from playing in Thursday's NCAA South Regional semifinal against Texas A&M.
"He's planning on playing, but we'll have to see," coach John Calipari said. "I think he is (improving)."
Douglas-Roberts has been receiving nearly round-the-clock treatment since Memphis beat Nevada, 78-62, on Sunday to reach the Sweet 16. He suffered the injury with 8:11 to go in the game after jumping to tip a ball and landing on teammate Joey Dorsey's foot.
According to team officials, Douglas-Roberts was walking Tuesday without a protective boot. Douglas-Roberts was at the Finch Center late Monday night to receive treatment again and will continue to do so today in San Antonio.
Though Douglas-Roberts, the Tigers' leading scorer at 15.4 points per game, tells teammates he will play, his status likely won't be determined until Thursday.
A year ago, the University of Memphis played an Elite Eight game against a lower-seeded opponent in that team's home state.
In the game, the top-seeded Tigers were defeated as much by No. 2 UCLA's stifling defense and their own inept shooting as by the pro-Bruin atmosphere inside The Arena in Oakland.
The stakes may not be quite as high Thursday when Memphis faces Texas A&M in a South Regional semifinal inside San Antonio's vast Alamodome. But the scenario facing the No. 2-seeded UofM looks familiar:
By Gary Parrish
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- John Calipari has spent the past few years using an East Coast attitude to antagonize his friends from the eastern part of this state.
The Memphis coach has at different times insisted on no longer playing Tennessee, promised to only play the Vols on a neutral court and explained in detail why Bruce Pearl is at a disadvantage in attempting to come into his city and recruit.
|John Calipari is from the East Coast, but he mixes it up in Tennessee. (Getty Images)|
So though Calipari remains more Pittsburgh than Memphis in many ways, one thing he inherited long ago is a disdain for Good Ole Rocky Top. It's a sizeable disdain, and the man has never wavered, privately or publicly.
"All of their fans should be rooting for us and all of our fans should be rooting for them," Calipari said. "We should be cheering for each other."
Ah, strength in numbers.
It's a sensible strategy on the surface, considering the state of Tennessee has a numbers advantage in this NCAA Tournament. Memphis and Tennessee remain in the South Regional and Vanderbilt is in the East Regional -- meaning this state known more for its musical contributions to Rock 'n' Roll (Sun Studio), Country and Western (The Grand Ole Opry), Southern Soul (Stax Records), Rhythm and Blues (Beale Street) and Rap (Hustle and Flow) is the largest contributor to the Sweet 16 with three institutions that are just two wins from the Final Four.
"It's incredible," Calipari said. "What my man (Kevin Stallings) is doing at Vanderbilt is incredible, what Tennessee is doing is great and then we're hanging around, too. So it's kinda nice."
But can everybody play nice?
That's the question, and to fully understand why it's not as easy as it sounds you have to understand the state of Tennessee and the divisions that exist. For the most part, east Tennessee (Knoxville/UT) and middle Tennessee (Nashville/Vanderbilt) despise west Tennessee (Memphis/U of M), and vice versa. The people of Memphis believe the people of Nashville are snobs and the people of Knoxville are rednecks, and the people of Nashville and Knoxville both believe the people of Memphis spend most of the week robbing and shooting each other.
They are wild stereotypes, to be sure. But they exist.
Why didn't Harold Ford Jr. win his U.S. Senate race last year?
Analysts believed it wasn't just because he was a black man running in the south or a Democrat running in a conservative state. The real problem was Ford is a black democrat from Memphis, and that's a hell of a combination to overcome in the eyes of everything outside a 60-mile radius of Memphis.
Plus, Ford is a Tiger supporter; it's doubtful that helped in any way.
Which brings us back to the Sweet 16 and San Antonio, where Memphis and Tennessee fans have converged for the weekend.
The Tigers play Texas A&M in the first game Thursday just before the Vols play Ohio State. Depending on the outcomes and how much alcohol is consumed, don't be surprised if the two schools' contingents shimmy over to the Alamo and re-enact the famous 19th century battle at some point late Thursday night.
But Calipari has offered a truce.
"I'm not going to paint my body orange," he said. "But I might wear an orange shirt."
Gotta start somewhere. Baby steps and all that.
Anyway, when I heard this proposal I decided to call Pearl. I wanted to know whether he was down with the idea. So I asked whether he was down with the idea.
"I'm absolutely down with it," answered Pearl, who added he had already called to congratulate Calipari and Stallings. "Tennessee and Memphis are sister schools in a way, from the same system. So I don't think there's any question we should be rooting for each other."
And what if Memphis and Tennessee both win Thursday and play Saturday with a trip to the Final Four at stake?
"It would be great for the state," Pearl said.
"Then we draw the line in the sand and it's back to civil war," Calipari added. "But up until then we should be rooting for each other."
Bipartisan basketball at its finest.
But in a search to determine whether the notion of Memphis and Tennessee fans uniting is realistic, I bounced the idea off a man with ties to each school. His name is Keith Easterwood, and he's an AAU coach in the state of Tennessee who has worked with players in both programs and regularly talks with both staffs.
Can Memphis root for Tennessee? Can Tennessee root for Memphis?
"It's a nice warm fuzzy thought, but it goes against the grain for too many people," Easterwood said. "I don't think it's going to happen."
In other words, see you at the Alamo late Thursday night.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Confidence is High: According to the CA, CDR's playing Thursday night will be a game day decision, but the players are hopeful he will be able to play. Calipari says he won't play unless they think he can stay up with the game.
ESPN's coverage: Tigers' top scorer nursing sprained ankle
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sorry no updates over the weekend... I was in New Orleans. ;) Go Tigers.
My favorite columnist: Team Effort Seals Deal
With slightly more than six minutes left in the game, Memphis Tigers coach John Calipari could feel it all slipping away -- the game, the season, the back-to-back trips to the Sweet 16.
Chris Douglas-Roberts had been carried off to the locker room with a sprained ankle. The Memphis lead had gone from 7 to 5, from 5 to 3, from 3 to a single layup.
What happened next may be the happiest stretch of basketball in Calipari's tenure at Memphis because it was everything he has always thought basketball should be.
Furious defense. Relentless rebounding. A collection of players who, tested by a moment, survive the moment by drawing on each other and their collective will.
The big surprise: Memphis Turns It's Weakness into Winning Ingredient
"The No. 2 Tigers 78-62 victory against the No. 7 Wolf Pack on Sunday at New Orleans Arena, was their 24th consecutive win. But heading into the game, there were still large questions looming over the Tigers. Two of the main ones were: Could they make their free throws? And could they execute in a half-court game?
The Tigers answered the first question in hilarious fashion; they hit 26 of 34 free throws, with each one they made being met with a wild cheer. That registered at a 76 percent clip, which was decidedly better than the 61.3-percent rate they were hitting entering the game. Much was being made about the Tigers’ struggles, especially when Coach John Calipari said that he had actually stopped having his players practice free throws and had them just work on visualization techniques."
The Scare: Deep Memphis Deals with Douglas-Roberts' sprain
"I'm going to play," Douglas-Roberts told ESPN.com as he hobbled out of the locker room.
Calipari was quick to say, "We don't know yet." But he added, "we hope."
So here is the rub for Memphis. Even if Douglas-Roberts doesn't play, this team is deeper and tougher than a year ago. The Tigers still might survive without him -- or at least, without a healthy version of him -- in San Antonio.
Still no love: Tigers in Sweet 16, but are they any good?
Calipari has some depth, but has been going only eight deep lately. Douglas-Roberts plays the most minutes and score the most points. Calipari points to the fact that they've won without CDR before this season.
But that was against East Carolina and Tulsa.
Not Texas A&M.
"Everyone has doubted us," Memphis sophomore guard Antonio Anderson said.
For good reason.
A little bit of love: Wolves no match for Tigers
Their top scorer was in the locker room getting X-rays. The lead they'd been nursing was down to two points. And the other team's star player was finally rolling. If the Memphis Tigers were going to crack, this was the time - especially because they were facing a formidable opponent for the first time since before Christmas. John Calipari's bunch didn't budge. Not by a single point.
A LOT of love: Kansas, Memphis and Georgetown Storm into Sweet Sixteen
Memphis: Time to stop doubting John Calipari's team, whose winning streak reached 24 thanks to a stifling defensive performance in its 78-62 rout of Nevada. Most impressive about the Tigers was their offensive balance. The only downer: Chris Douglas-Roberts left late in the second half with an ankle sprain and didn't return. They'll certainly need him against Acie Law.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The asshat: Win Your Tournament Pool
The sad truth: Free Throws are Tigers' Achilles Heel
The inspiration: Imagine swish
The dare: South Region quick hits
The psych out: Predictions may keep Tigers humble
The Big Question: Are these Tigers better?
Get a bracket here.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
Tigers win, 92-71. In doing so they tied a school record with 20 straight wins. The Charleston (WV) Gazette said the Tigers "dunked" Marshall. ESPN called it a spanking. The CA thinks Dorsey is making progress. I just think he's AWESOME.
|3:30 p.m.||(1) Memphis vs. (4) Tulane (CSTV)|
|Tigers win, 71-49.|
|6:00 p.m.||(3) Houston vs. (7) Rice (CSTV)|
Tomorrow's Championship game will air on CBS at 10:35 am CT.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
The game is at 6pm CT. On TV: TV: CSTV (Ch. 222 on Comcast digital cable, Ch. 610 on DIRECTV, Ch. 152 on DISH Network).
The CA pregame story is here. ESPN's game preview is here.
|Thurs.||March 8||Noon||(2) UCF vs. (7) Rice (CSTV)|
Watch Live | Gametracker
|Thurs.||March 8||2:30 p.m.||(3) Houston vs. (6) Southern Miss (CSTV)|
Watch Live | Gametracker
|Thurs.||March 8||6:00 p.m.||(1) Memphis vs. No. (8) Marshall (CSTV)|
Watch Live | Gametracker
|Thurs.||March 8||8:30 p.m.||(4) Tulane vs. No. (5) Tulsa (CSTV)|
Watch Live | Gametracker
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Memphis the team to beat in C-USA
MEMPHIS - With No. 5 Memphis the clear favorite in the Conference USA tournament, the rest of the league's coaches are trying to make sure their teams remain motivated.
There's fourth-seeded Tulane closing with a 5-1 record to earn a first-round bye. SMU, the league's 11th seed, challenged Memphis before losing 64-61 in the final regular season game. Coaches are grabbing at anything to inspire a run at the tournament title and automatic bid that is their only hope of reaching the NCAA tournament.Read the Rest...
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Despite Ranking, Memphis Remains a Mystery for N.C.A.A. Tournament
Memphis earned its first No. 1 seeding in the N.C.A.A. tournament and fell a game short of the Final Four last season. But the Tigers were hardly expected to achieve similar success this season after losing two top players from that team to the N.B.A.
Now, having won an N.C.A.A. Division I-best 19 consecutive games and being the first team to streak through Conference USA undefeated since 2000, the sixth-ranked Tigers (27-3) are poised to be seeded No. 2 or No. 3 in this month’s N.C.A.A. tournament.
“Whether they merit a No. 1 seed, I don’t know, but I do think they’re better than they were last year,” Rice Coach Willis Wilson said in a telephone interview.
As the Conference USA tournament starts on its home court Wednesday, Memphis is perhaps college basketball’s most mysterious highly ranked team.
The Tigers have victories against Kentucky (20-10), Mississippi (19-11) and Gonzaga (22-10), and their only losses are to Georgia Tech (20-10), Tennessee (22-9) and Arizona (20-9), all of whom were ranked at the time.
But 16 of their wins were in Conference USA, which is ranked 11th nationally in the Ratings Percentage Index, behind such leagues as the Mountain West, the Western Athletic Conference and the Atlantic 10.
As a result, Memphis, led by the sophomore guard Chris Douglas-Roberts and a stingy defense, is ranked eighth in the R.P.I., but its strength of schedule is 77th.
2006-07 CONFERENCE USA ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
John Fields, East Carolina, F, 6-9, 200, Fayetteville, N.C.
Kevin Sims, Tulane, G, 5-10, 160, Jackson, Miss.
Sai'Quon Stone, Southern Miss, G, 6-6, 205, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ben Uzoh, Tulsa, G, 6-3, 185, San Antonio, Texas
Jeremy Wise, Southern Miss, G, 6-2, 165, Jackson, Miss.
2006-07 FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Jeremy Wise, Southern Miss, G, 6-2, 165, Jackson, Miss.
2006-07 CONFERENCE USA ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Antonio Anderson, Memphis, G, 6-6, 200, So., Lynn, Mass.
Paul Delaney III, UAB, G, 6-2, 200, Jr., Decatur, Ga.
Joey Dorsey, Memphis, F, 6-9, 260, Jr., Baltimore, Md.
Bamba Fall, SMU, C, 7-1, 210, So., St. Louis, Senegal
Oliver Lafayette, Houston, G, 6-2, 180, Sr., Baton Rouge, La.
2006-07 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Joey Dorsey, Memphis, F, 6-9, 260, Jr., Baltimore, Md.
2006-07 SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Jeremy Hunt, Memphis, G, 6-5, 210, Sr., Memphis, Tenn.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Awards: CDR and Dorsey were both named to the 2007 Conference USA First Team. Jeremy Hunt was named to the Second Team.
|2007 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS|
|Wednesday||March 7||Noon||(7) Rice vs. (10) UTEP|
|Wednesday||March 7||2:30 p.m.||(6) Southern Miss vs. (11) SMU|
|Wednesday||March 7||6:00 p.m.||(8) Marshall vs. (9) UAB|
|Wednesday||March 7||8:30 p.m.||(5) Tulsa vs. (12) East Carolina|
|Thursday||March 8||Noon||(2) UCF vs. No. 7/10 winner (CSTV)|
|Thursday||March 8||2:30 p.m.||(3) Houston vs. No. 6/11 winner (CSTV)|
|Thursday||March 8||6:00 p.m.||(1) Memphis vs. No. 8/9 winner (CSTV)|
|Thursday||March 8||8:30 p.m.||(4) Tulane vs. No. 5/12 winner (CSTV)|
|Friday||March 9||3:30 p.m.||Semifinal 1 (CSTV)|
|Friday||March 9||6:00 p.m.||Semifinal 2 (CSTV)|
|Saturday||March 10||10:35 a.m.||Championship Game (CBS)|
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Again? Are they seriously trying to drive me to insanity? Or least to drink. Dude.
Final Score: Tigers win 64-61. This is the team that we beat by 30 something points in January. It was absolutely nerve wracking.
U of M extends streak to 19
Memphis gets 19th straight win
Missed FTs a concern for Cal
Favorite name of the week: Ike Ofoegbu
Next: Tigers have a first round bye in the C-USA tournament, and will play Thursday night.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Latest Line: Memphis by 12.
ESPN game preview
Also? Florida lost Tuesday night and Texas A & M lost last night. Sweet.
Final Score: Tigers win, 78-67.
These Tigers are trying to give me a heart attack, I swear.
ESPN: Memphis defeats UTEP for 18th straight win
CA: Tigers win 18th in a row
Next: the last regular season game, at SMU, tomorrow night at 8:30pm CT, on CSTV.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Tigers are humming along, ranked sixth in the nation and enjoying the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games.
Imagine where they might be if Shawne Williams and Darius Washington hadn't gone to the NBA.
"Who knows how the scoring would've been?" senior guard Jeremy Hunt said. "We don't know. We think about it. But we don't ever get negative thoughts. We're just wondering."
It would be difficult for Memphis to improve much on this season.
The Tigers (25-3), who play Thursday night at UTEP, clinched a second straight Conference USA title outright last week for the first time in school history and have won three of the past four. Only Winthrop of the Big South Conference has gone undefeated in league play this season.
Read the Rest...
Monday, February 26, 2007
The AP poll has moved us up to #6. UNC fell from #5 to #8, Texas A & M is right behind us at #8. Florida fell to #5, Kansas moved up to #3, and Wisconsin fell to #4.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
You can see the CA's matchup here, with stats and info, yada yada yada.
Nice story here about senior Jeremy Hunt's redemption and how his mother deserves some praise. He's getting a second shot at Senior Day today.
Also? Florida and Pitt both lost yesterday. :)
Final Score: Tigers win, 77-64.
From ESPN: Tigers push nation's best win streak to 17.
So, as you will see above, I believed the game started at 2pm. Around 1pm, when I was sitting in Jillian's enjoying a pre-game lunch, I realized that hey! They're showing the FedExForum on TV! Oh, wait... the game's starting? Yes. The game was at 1pm CT. Oops. We ate fast and got to the game halfway through the first half...
Here's a senior day article by my favorite sports writer, Geoff Calkins.
Also from the CA, Tigers Streaking, and Tigers Replay. From the Houston Chronicle: Memphis coasts past UH
Oh, and the Tigers have wrapped up their first perfect home record since moving to the FedExForum. And we have one of the country's longest home court winning streaks, not sure where we are on that list now.
Next: Tigers at UTEP, Thursday night, 8pm CT (I double checked), on ESPN2.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Now, that is not a huge deal for Hunt, who has started many games in his time, and would be the first off the bench anyway. but Wade? and Sandridge? Y'all. They rarely play at all, only when there's a blowout. And they're certainly not used to starting games. Especially ones on national television. And we're talking FREE television, Network television. CBS.
Wade has started exactly one game. His freshman year. It's been a while, and his years at the U of M have been anything but uneventful off the court, but I'm not going to dwell on that now with his Big Day coming up.
Sandridge. Ah, Jared Sandridge. He's a JuCo transfer. He's never started a game. He's played in fewer games than not, probably.
Cal promises to leave them in as long as he can, if they don't try to do "stuff they can't do." Maybe Jeremy Hunt will get to stay in a while at least. I have not been his biggest fan certainly, but I'm very impressed with his apparent turning over of a new leaf. If it's for real, he's an example of how great an influence basketball can be on the life of a kid, and he's a role model for lots of Memphis guys out there who face a lot of struggles and temptations. If it's not for real, then, he fooled me. My bad.
Good luck, guys. I hope your senior season has another five weeks in it. Maybe we'll say goodbye to you finally in Atlanta...
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Current line as of 10am CT: Tigers by 21
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
This is perfect for Memphis coach John Calipari.
The Tigers win a thriller in overtime at Gonzaga and the talk is more about the Zags than the Tigers.
The new polls came out and the Tigers moved up from eighth in the coaches' poll to seventh, and from ninth to seventh in the AP poll. In the coaches' poll, though, Kansas jumped over the Tigers, moving from No. 9 to No. 6.
You don't think this kind of stuff is perfect fodder for Calipari? Of course it is. Cal has a team that, for whatever reason, doesn't seem to be discussed on a regular basis as a high seed, let alone a Final Four team.
Once again, perfect for Cal, as he is relishing playing in a headline-less league in Conference USA.
"We probably should be five with what we've done," Calipari said Monday. "We lost 50 percent of our scoring (Shawne Williams, Rodney Carney and Darius Washington), two first-round draft picks (Williams and Carney), and look how we've responded? Our team is playing better as a team than we did a year ago. We may not have as much talent, but we're playing better."
A year ago, Memphis played its way to a No. 1 seed but had much more of a challenge within the conference from UAB, UTEP and Houston.
This season, the Tigers are cruising along at 12-0 (one of the only two remaining teams that are unbeaten in conference play, along with Winthrop in the Big South). But Memphis isn't booked for a No. 1 seed like a year ago, even though the Tigers look like they could go undefeated in C-USA and have wins at Gonzaga, against Oklahoma and Kentucky in Maui, and versus Ole Miss at home (wins that look and sound good, but are against teams that, save for Ole Miss, aren't playing as well as they did a year ago).
Calipari was quick to say that the perceived weakness of C-USA shouldn't hurt the Tigers since it didn't a year ago when it was a No. 1 seed. But the difference, and Calipari acknowledges this, is there aren't any other at-large hopefuls in the league.
"People are waiting for us to drop one game, to see us lose," Calipari said. "We're not talking about the streak [in C-USA]. But we do tell our kids that we can't lose to that team or they'll make us a 6-seed."
Calipari said that a bit tongue-in-cheek, but he is paranoid when it comes to the NCAA Tournament selection process.
Calipari said the Tigers, who lost at Tennessee and Arizona, as well as to Georgia Tech in Maui, is a better defensive team this season. That's not surprising when you see that Memphis has given up fewer than 60 points in seven of its 12 conference games.
So, if you want to ding Memphis because it's Memphis, that's fine with Cal. He's confident that the crew of Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jeremy Hunt, Robert Dozier, Joey Dorsey and Antonio Anderson can go just as far as the more heralded collection a year ago -- the Elite Eight.
As for the Tigers' latest victim Gonzaga, Calipari said he can't understand why folks are down on the Zags after they lost by one point at Spokane Arena on Saturday.
"People are like, 'They lost,' " Calipari said of commentators making it seem like the Zags are toast since they lost to Memphis, essentially at home. "Did you watch the game? I think what they've done and who they've beaten, even without [suspended center Josh] Heytvelt, means they're in [the NCAAs]."
Gonzaga likely will enter the WCC tournament -- and might have to win it -- as a No. 2 seed. The Tigers will be the No. 1 seed in C-USA, barring a late swoon.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
It was enough to give me a heart attack, but that's okay. It's nice to have some excitement sometimes. What an ending! And the Tigers extend the nation's longest active winning streak.
CA Tigers' replay
With Florida, UNC, Texas A&M, and Pitt losing, the top of the polls will certainly shuffle. It looks like the Tigers could creep up into the top 5.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Memphis (14 consecutive wins)
The Tigers are talented, but not battle-tested. They've dominated a mediocre-at-best Conference USA, and their best non-conference win was against Kentucky before Thanksgiving. They've played only three ranked teams, and none since losing at Arizona on Dec. 20. Not exactly a recipe for March success. Yes, Memphis played a similar schedule last season and got to the Elite Eight. But they were a more talented team a year ago, with Shawne Williams and Darius Washington Jr. -- and they had a pretty easy road to that regional final against UCLA, beating 16-seed Oral Roberts, 9-seed Bucknell and 13-seed Bradley along the way.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tonight it's Tulsa. Tulsa is 15-8, and 5-5 in C-USA. The game is at Tulsa, at 7pm and airs on CSTV (Ch. 222 on Comcast digital cable, Ch. 610 on DIRECTV, Ch. 152 on DISH Network). When we played in Memphis last month, we won 72 to 59.
The current line is Memphis by 10.5. ESPN's game preview is here. The CA's is here.
Final Score: Tigers win, 69-52. Antonio Anderson returned from his ankle injury to score 15 points and pretty much take over. CDR had 20 points and made 10-12 from the free throw line. I missed the game, and I don't have a lot to say about it. The CA's stuff is here and here.
Coming up: Saturday night at Gonzaga. 5pm CT on ESPN. This is a big one, it's our last major test before the tournament, and Gonzaga has quite a home court winning streak going. If we can win, that will be a nice booster heading in to the remaining five games.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Final Score: (8) Tigers 70, UAB 56
Well then. The game was interesting. It seemed very sloppy to me in the first part of the first half. UAB was trying to run and gun, and they were sloppy. The Tigers were just... sloppy. Everytime they started to make a run, UAB was able to stay with them. Until they weren't. The Tigers had a 12 point lead at halftime, in the second half built the lead to as many as 23 points and then held on to win by 14. The story of the night was definitely Jeremy Hunt. He was just ridiculous. He had a career-high 25 points in the first half, including a buzzer beater that was incredible.
Monday, February 5, 2007
The Tigers are now #8 in the AP poll. We hopped above Kansas, Butler, Duke fell to #16, it's crazy! That puts us directly under #7 Pittsburgh. Which could make for an interesting match up in my house.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Sorry I didn't give you a heads up, Mom, I know you're probably missing it.
I'll be back when it's over!
That, my friends, is what we call an arse-kicking. The Tigers were favored by 19 anyway, but they won by 36. So that was nice. (Final Score: 88-52) The game was close for the first couple of minutes, but the Tigers went on a run that had them up by 20 before the first half ended. SMU never really threatened. The Tigers are 9-0 in conference play now, and have the second longest active winning streak in the country.
Polls: Last Monday, the Tigers were #12 in the ESPN poll, #11 in the AP poll. Duke (#10) and Oregon (#9) both lost this week, so chances are we may move up a spot or two. It would seem the Tigers may sneak their way into the Top 10.
Coming up: Thursday night at UAB, at 8pm CT. The game will be aired on ESPN. Then Saturday night back home against Tulane (will be aired on CSS if you have Comcast). The biggest game left on the schedule is February 17 trip to Gonzaga. Gonzaga has the longest active home court winning streak. That game will be our chance to tune up before the NCAA tournament, and give us a chance to end that nice little winning streak. It will air on ESPN.
Here' s a link to the Tigers schedule.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Does anybody read this blog? Seriously? Are there lurkers? Cause I'm considering just killing this blog, because clearly I have not been working very hard at keeping it updated.
Maybe I'll just hold it until March. Cause then I'll get into it again, and when the Tigers are in the Final Four I will be completely PUMPED.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Today? I don't care much. Is it because Huggins is gone? Is it because Cincy is not in C-USA anymore? Is it because the Tigers are favored by 16 points? Probably all of the above, but tonight the Syracuse-Pitt game will probably be more exciting.
Did you see that? I just jinxed us probably. Oops.
The game is at 8pm CT, and airs on ESPN.
Update: Wow. That was interesting. I'd like to say I saw the whole game, but it got so boring that ESPN switched to a different game. Final Score: Memphis 88, Cincinnati 55. Geoff Calkins tells me the crowd was rowdy, Joey Dorsey made it through the game without one single foul, and Jeremy Hunt went 6 for 7 from 3-point range. So maybe it'll carry over to the rest of the season. Maybe I can allow myself to get excited again. But it's a little bit odd, I still don't feel as fired up as I thought I would.
The next game is next Thursday at Houston.