Posted on: March 21, 2009 2:48 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2009 2:50 pm

Sanchez (or something) isn't impressed by Memphis

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- For those of you into fun storylines, I recommend Memphis vs. Maryland. Why? Because these teams have been trading shots for 24 hours -- shots that included Greivis Vasquez telling reporters that Memphis would finish with a losing record in the ACC. Of course, that might mean something to Memphis if all the Memphis players even knew Vasquez's name.

"I know they got a good player -- I don't know his name -- but he good or whatever, so we just going to try to do what we do and stop him," Memphis forward Pierre Henderson-Niles told The Washington Post . "I ain't never seen them; I know they got one good player, Sanchez or something like that; whatever his name is."

Sanchez or something?


Man, this is going to be fun.

Tip-off is set for 3:20 p.m. ET.

Posted on: March 15, 2009 11:18 am
Edited on: March 15, 2009 3:33 pm

How the possible No. 1 seeds stack up

NEW YORK -- By most accounts, there are still six schools in play for the four No. 1 seeds.

They are Pittsburgh, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Memphis and Connecticut.

The following is a look at what each has done this season, to date.


  • RPI: 1
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Providence)

-- DUKE --

  • RPI: 2
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 11-6
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 3
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 6-4
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 4
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 2 (UNLV, Notre Dame)


  • RPI: 7
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 2-2
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)


  • RPI: 8
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)

(All projections are based on Jerry Palm's Sunday morning bracket .)

Posted on: March 9, 2009 11:50 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2009 2:01 am

Wall calls Memphis his leader

John Calipari has claimed he wants to someday produce an undefeated season culminating with a national title.

He might have a realistic opportunity on tap.

"I think Memphis is in the lead right now," John Wall, the nation's top point guard, told Scout.com's Evan Daniels on Monday night. "I think Memphis has been in the lead for a while."

Obviously, this could all change.

Baylor or Kansas or Miami could be Wall's "leader" tomorrow.

But Wall labeling Memphis his "leader" a day after DeMarcus Cousins committed to the Tigers qualifies as a news worthy development, because -- considering Xavier Henry has already signed with the Tigers -- it now appears likely that Calipari will have three top six recruits on his roster next season, specifically the nation's No. 1 point guard (Wall), No. 1 shooting guard (Henry) and No. 2 center (Cousins). In recent history, that sort of trio would compare favorably to Ohio State's 2006 class featuring the No. 4 point guard (Mike Conley), No. 2 shooting guard (Daequan Cook) and No. 1 center (Greg Oden), or North Carolina's 2006 class featuring the No. 1 point guard (Ty Lawson), No. 1 shooting guard (Wayne Ellington) and No. 1 power forward (Brandan Wright).

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 8, 2009 12:38 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2009 2:02 am

Memphis lands another McDonald's All-American

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- McDonald's All-American DeMarcus Cousins committed to Memphis on Sunday, less than 24 hours after visiting campus and watching the Tigers beat Tulane at FedExForum.

Scout.com ranks the 6-foot-11 center from Alabama as the sixth-best prospect in the Class of 2009. Considering Memphis already signed Xavier Henry (Scout.com's fourth-best prospect in the class), this development gives the Tigers a pair of McDonald's All-Americans in a five-player class that could now rank as the best in the nation.

And it might get even better.

The only top five prospect remaining on the board is point guard John Wall.

Industry sources have long considered Memphis among the leaders to land him, as well, despite the fact that Baylor has already hired one of Wall's AAU coaches. A roster featuring Wall, Henry and Cousins, plus the other newcomers (top 50 recruit Nolan Dennis and junior college stars Darnell Dodson and Will Coleman), plus veterans Doneal Mack, Wesley Witherspoon and Roburt Sallie would make Memphis a favorite to win the 2010 national title even if Tyreke Evans and Shawn Taggart leave after this season, as expected.

Cousins' commitment means 18 of Scout.com's top 20 are now off the board.

Here's an updated look at Scout.com's top 20 prospects with their college situation in parenthesis:

1. Derrick Favors (committed to Georgia Tech )

2. John Wall (uncommitted)

3. John Henson (committed to North Carolina )

4. Xavier Henry (committed to Memphis )

5. Renardo Sidney (committed to Southern California )

6. DeMarcus Cousins (committed to Memphis )

7. Lance Stephenson (uncommitted)

8. Kenny Boynton (committed to Florida )

9. Abdul Gaddy (committed to Washington )

10. Avery Bradley (committed to Texas )

11. Ryan Kelly (committed to Duke )

12.  Daniel Orton (committed to Kentucky )

13. Jordan Hamilton (committed to Texas )

14. Alex Oriakhi (committed to Connecticut )

15. Dominic Cheek (committed to Villanova )

16. Wally Judge (committed to Kansas State )

17. Dante Taylor (committed to Pittsburgh )

18. Dexter Strickland (committed to North Carolina )

19. Mason Plumlee (committed to Duke )

20. Thomas Robinson (committed to Kansas )

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 27, 2009 3:16 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2009 5:08 pm

Dear Gary (on Antonio Anderson and his defense)

Here's Friday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: In light of the recent piece about Shane Battier in the New York Times highlighting Shane as a "no-stats all star" what do you think of the prospect of Antonio Anderson of Memphis becoming a future Shane Battier type player in the NBA? Regardless of height/size and position differences, it seems they both excel at shutting down the opposing teams' top player and amassing all the statistics that don't necessarily show up in a stat line?

-- Matt

I get a similar question from time to time because I live in Memphis, and today seems like a reasonable day to finally address it given that Anderson forced UAB's Robert Vaden into an 0-of-17 effort from the field Thursday night. So let's address it. And I suppose the thing to do first is to point out that Shane Battier was the National Player of the Year in college, a guy who averaged 19.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in his senior year at Duke. Simply put, Anderson is not that kind of college player. He's just not. So what we're really comparing is not whether Anderson can be Battier at the NBA level, but whether Anderson is in college what Battier is in the NBA, and I think that's a fair assessment.

Antonio Anderson is to the Memphis Tigers what Shane Battier is to the Houston Rockets.

That makes sense.

But expecting Anderson to be a "future Shane Battier type player in the NBA" is probably a bit of a stretch, because what you're asking is whether Anderson can start and play 30 minutes per game at the NBA level, and that's going to be difficult for a variety of reasons, most notably because he's a shooting guard who isn't considered a great -- or even good -- shooter. Consider: Battier made 41.9 percent of his 3-point attempts as a senior at Duke while Anderson is currently making 26.7 percent. So again, I think it might be a little much to ask Anderson to be Battier at the NBA level, but there's no question he does for the Memphis Tigers what Battier does for the Houston Rockets, which is why he's leading Memphis in minutes played for the fourth consecutive season.

You get that?

Through the past four years, Memphis has had Derrick Rose, Rodney Carney, Shawne Williams, Tyreke Evans, Darius Washington, Joey Dorsey, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jeremy Hunt and all sorts of talented dudes who are better shooters, scorers or players in general. And yet nobody has played more minutes per game in any of the past four seasons than Antonio Anderson has played for John Calipari, and that should tell you all you need to know about his value as a college player on a succesful college team.


Posted on: February 13, 2009 2:36 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2009 5:17 pm

Memphis ends plans to wear orange and purple

Memphis basketball in orange and purple uniforms?

A source close to the school told CBSSports.com early Friday that there were plans for Memphis to hold a FedEx Appreciation Night during Wednesday's game against SMU -- at FedExForum, it's worth noting -- in which the Tigers would wear FedEx's orange and purple colors instead of their traditional blue and white. In fact, jerseys had been developed. But by Friday afternoon -- after questions started being asked -- a separate source told CBSSports.com that FedEx and Memphis nixed the plan, fearing a backlash both locally and nationally about an NCAA team blurring the lines between amateur sports and commercial revenue.

FedEx is a Memphis-based company that heavily supports the University of Memphis.

According to a source, the NCAA had been contacted.

Memphis was told it could wear the colors as long as the word "FedEx" didn't appear anywhere.

Click this link to see the proposed orange and purple Memphis jersey.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Memphis
Posted on: February 13, 2009 2:34 pm
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Posted on: February 8, 2009 10:46 am

Road win establishes Memphis as Final Four threat

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Tigers arrived back in this city in the middle of the night in possession of a marquee victory, a top 10 RPI and the type of resume that will almost certainly earn a top two seed in the NCAA tournament provided there are no slip-ups between now and then.

Considering the Tigers have won 50 consecutive C-USA games, that's a reasonable assumption.

Given how they played Saturday night at Gonzaga, it's a safe assumption, too.

"We can't play much better," said John Calipari, and nobody is arguing with him. After holding Gonzaga to just 18 field goals in a 68-50 victory, the Tigers now have the second-most efficient defense in the country (according to KenPom.com), which is primarily why they're enjoying this 14-game winning streak that's moved their record to 20-3.

Are they as talented and explosive as they were last season?

Of course not.

How could they be without Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey?

But what they are is big and strong and athletic and tenacious, and in a season where few teams have separated themselves it doesn't seem far-fetched to think this program could string Final Fours because, again, Memphis is going to have the seed to do it. Just look at this body of work compared to the body of work in 2007. The Tigers entered Selection Sunday that season with a 30-3 record featuring wins over a good SEC team (Kentucky) and Gonzaga, and their reward was a No. 2 seed in the same region as Ohio State. If they were to win-out this season, they would similarly enter Selection Sunday with a 31-3 record featuring wins over a good SEC team (Tennessee) and Gonzaga, and with an ever-improving victory over Cincinnati to boot, a No. 2 seed would be likely.

Then, who knows?

"I think we are one of the best teams in the country," said freshman Tyreke Evans.

These days, it sure looks that way.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gonzaga, Memphis
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com