2007 Memphis Tigers Basketball Preview
Last season, the Memphis Tigers (33- 4 overall, 16- 0 C-USA) finished first in their conference and then lost to Ohio State in the NCAA regional finals. No March Madness coverage for the Tiger last year. This year expect more of the same or even better from coach John Calipari’s (181- 63 in seven years at Memphis, 374- 134 overall in 15 years) club. The Tigers are back virtually intact, and they look ready to roll and .
In 2006- 2007, the Memphis Tigers scored an average of 79.9 PPG, ranking them first in C-USA and 14th nationally. Their defense allowed only 63.1 PPG, giving Memphis the best PF/PA mark (plus-15.8) in the conference. The club was also extremely disciplined in handling the ball as they had the fewest turnovers in their league—13.3 TPG. Their rebounding margin was ranked third and stood at plus-5.3, while the club was fourth in assists, making an average of 14.5 per game. This was a solid team, in our NCAA picks, from backcourt to frontcourt and from offense to defense.
Senior forward Joey Dorsey (8.5 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 61.4 FG%) and junior forward Robert Dozier (9.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 47.1 FG%) are both tough offensive rebounders and sound defensive shot blockers. Dorsey won the award for the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year last season . Sophomore transfer Shawn Taggart will back up Dorsey and Dozier. The one problem for the Tigers is the lack of depth in the frontcourt.
However, there’s a lot of depth in the backcourt and a new face that looks to manage the court and the game. Freshman point guard Derrick Rose chose to spend what will be his first and probably last year of college ball playing with the Tigers. Athletic, fast and sure on his passes, Rose will make this team a contender. Junior shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts (15.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 54.3 FG%) can score from just about anywhere and he can defend too. Sophomore Willie Kemp (6.4 PPG, 2.2 APG, 38.1 FG%) is a fine ball handler who possesses a good three-point shot.
A lot is expected of this team. Just how much? A Final Four appearance is not out of the question. We look forward to tracking them in the March Madness odds, should they make it! The one concern is the frontcourt where the club does not have much depth. But the backcourt is stacked and ready to make plays, score and defend the college basketball lines.