Memphis coach John Calipari confident backup Andre Allen's suspension won't distract team Print
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Thursday, 03 April 2008 13:14
NCAAB Headline News


 SAN ANTONIO (AP) -Backup point guard Andre Allen missed only two games the last three seasons for the Memphis Tigers. Now he might miss the two most important.
Allen was suspended for a violation coach John Calipari said he couldn't reveal because of privacy rules. Allen did not travel to San Antonio for the Final Four, counting him out for the national semifinal against UCLA on Saturday and the title game Monday night should Memphis (37-1) get that far.
``Sometimes these guys do stupid things at inopportune times,'' Calipari said. ``He has.''
Allen scored only one basket the last five games and averaged just 3.3 points, 2.1 assists and 1.2 rebounds over 14.1 minutes per game this season. So his absence is likely to affect intangibles more than Xs and Os.
Will it be a distraction? Hardly, according to Calipari, saying it instead might ``elevate my team.''
``Because if you've ever coached or been part of a team, someone gets hurt and what happens? They come together, and they step up,'' Calipari said Thursday before a practice at Trinity University. ``So at the end of the day, it may help us. It will not hurt us. ... It's like a guy making a bad play with 4 minutes left and the guys saying, 'We've got your back. We got this.' I bet you they'll want to, but I don't think they feel the pressure of it.''
Allen's minutes will easily be absorbed by others.
Allen was the third-string point guard, so second-stringer Willie Kemp could see more time. Starting shooting guard Antonio Anderson also is capable of running the offense.
``And obviously I got this kid that's not bad, Derrick Rose,'' Calipari said.
Rose, the freshman sensation, played 39 minutes in the second round and obviously could go all 40 if necessary. After all, this is probably his last weekend in college basketball.
Allen, one of two Memphis natives on the roster, did not play as a freshman because he was an academic non-qualifier. He's on track to graduate this summer and could possibly seek a fifth season of eligibility.
``I don't know,'' Calipari said. ``We'll see.''
 

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