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Posted on: April 10, 2008 9:51 am

This will be short, and to the point. As a Tennessee fan I dislike Memphis as much as anyone, Louisville, Cincinnati, CUSA, etc. So please understand I have a bias take on this program.

Was Memphis overrated?

In short, NO, they had amazing talent. Rose and the entire cast deserved to be in that championship game. They beat good teams all season. Georgetown, UCLA, UCONN, Texas, etc. Any team can fall, and take a loss, that is why they play the games. Memphis played like champions the entire championship game, until the last 2 mins. Then, their problem came up. They are under-coached.

Yes they lost because they could not shoot free throws, what was that 1 of 5? But, they had heard all tourney long that they don't matter...who did they hear that from? Wait for it.......wait......wait.......... John Calipari.

That's right, they had the talent and I think the players had the will to win..but their coach held them back. Not only did they not make free throws (not that I ever could in that pressure situation) but you would think a coach may have them, practice them to say maybe improve? But ok ok ok, they can't make them and don't want to practice because they know they will not improve, or whatever the reason is for him telling them they don't matter. Their Coached still failed them by not calling a foul with 9 seconds left and still up by 3, most any coach in the country would have fouled Kansas then. If truth be known most everyone watching the game other than Kansas fans screamed foul idiot.

But wait it gets better, somehow there have been reports that they where trying to foul and he told them to. Sure didn't look like anyone tried to me. Maybe, just maybe you could have used that time out prior to the inbounds, to set your defense John.

Ok, I said it would be short so here is my closing. I want to say congrats to Memphis on a great season, I can't say my heart hurt any by Memphis losing, but I can say for 39.51 it appeared Memphis was the best team on the floor. Memphis did not lose the game because they had less talent, heart, skill, etc. They lost because they had one weakness...their coach.

Memphis should have finished the season with 1 loss, and that was to Tennessee.


Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: April 21, 2008 11:05 am


Right on.  Free throws, free throws, free throws.  No disrespect to Kansas, however, Memphis lost that one more than KU won it.  What a heartbreak for the Tigers fans.

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: April 10, 2008 10:41 pm


I did not get to see the game but from what i've been hearing that you are so right. sometimes it takes great leadership to go along with the great tallent. thats why Tennessee was as good as they were this year, Had the Greatest year ever, I am still very Proud of the Orange and White Round Ballers,   Memphis should have had only one loss to Tennessee..  

Since: Jun 26, 2007
Posted on: April 10, 2008 3:40 pm


D2W and everyone else, thanks for the replies. I can appreciate that players play, and make plays. But they answer to their coach, and he had the chance to call in for a foul, or take a time out and did not. He preached free throws don't mater and appears his team heard that message loud and clear. I bet Bill at Kansas didn't say that. Maybe they should have made that a focus in the CUSA tourney they walked through, to improve on that area of the game or set extra practices. I don't know what the solution is but their coach had a chance to have a say in the ending of the game, but didn't. I think until he can win a title he will be known for under coaching a great team that choked like few ever have in a championship game.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: April 10, 2008 1:57 pm


Hi Volfan. Nice blog. I understand your point but there is plenty of blame for Memphis. Coach Calapari did not do his team any favors by telling his team, it does not matter about foul shots either. That also goes to your point you are making but in the end, players, play and players need to make the foul shots too. It helps a team that has played under pressure to perform well when it is faced with it again. You could have a team that shoot 85 percent from the line all season but in the final championship game, if they go 1 for 5 at the foul line at the end of the game, that is not on the coach unless he had better foul shooters on the bench.

Absolutely, Calapari should have fouled them but it seems to work both ways for that strategy. Sometimes the team misses it under pressure to hit a 3 pointer. If Memphis did foul, you know Kansas would have fouled Memphis after the free throws as well. Who knows if Memphis would have made their foul shots with a 1 point lead if Kansas made the two free throws ? Kansas may have won the game under that scenario during regulation then. I know it doesn't matter when you lose though - regulation or OT.

Anyway, for Memphis, they will think about all those situations probably for the rest of their lives - about the championship game that got away.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: April 10, 2008 12:12 pm


Memphis certainly didn't lose that game due to lack of talent, but towards the end of the game had a 3 on 1 and didn't take to hoop. That with the missed free throws and a brain fart by the coach and players all = a loss. You can't put all the blame on Calipari.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: April 10, 2008 10:07 am


Great post - I second it wholeheartedly. I really was doubting Memphis at the beginning of the tournament because of their free throw weakness. It proved to be costly.

Oh, and just as a side note, Kansas didn't seem to have too much trouble with high pressure free throws at the end.

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