|Memphis, Kansas eager to chase championship again|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 31 October 2008 05:56|
And maybe they just couldn't resist one last chance at a national championship, especially after losing to Kansas in overtime last April?
``We came so close last year,'' Dozier said. ``The guys who came back, we still got that bitter taste in our mouths. We want to try to get back and win it all, because anything else would probably feel like a disappointment.''
Anderson, who also wants to be the first in his family to graduate from college, agrees.
``We're capable of winning a national championship. That's our goal. That's everybody's goal, that's ours,'' he said. ``We have the talent and the leadership and the coaching to get there.''
nine-point lead with 2:12 left in San Antonio in April, and the Jayhawks pulled out a 75-68 overtime victory.
The Tigers might be in the better shape of the two schools to return to the title game this season, because they offset the loss of three starters to the NBA with the return of Dozier and Anderson and a top recruit in Tyreke Evans.
Kansas coach Bill Self lost all five starters from his title team but managed to bring in seven new players in a recruiting class ranked among the best in the country.
So he isn't ready to concede a title defense.
``I don't know what the ceiling is, but I can tell you this: Expectations will not change one bit, regardless of how young we are,'' he said. ``So there's no reason why, just because we're young, that we can't be good. But how good, I have no idea.''
After finishing 37-3 last season, Kansas faces a future missing four of the top five scorers - Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur - from that team.
Self has some leadership back in junior guard Sherron Collins and 6-11 sophomore Cole Aldrich, who played pivotal roles last season.
ss, while 6-5 guard Roburt Sallie transferred in after a season at City College of San Francisco.
The team could have been even better, but twins Marcus and Markieff Morris signed with Kansas after originally committing to Memphis.
``I like my team. I like a lot of stuff about it,'' Calipari said. ``I also know, man, do we got some questions to answer.''
He still must figure out who will replace Rose, last year's leading scorer, Douglas-Roberts, and top rebounder Joey Dorsey. And it's unclear whether this team can mimic the unselfish attitude that allowed Rose and Douglas-Roberts to take over games when needed during the 38-2 season.
Dozier and Anderson are part of a senior class that already has won 104 games, tied with Kentucky from 1996-98 for most victories in a three-year span in Division I history. Another 30 wins and Memphis will be the winningest team in a four-year span in NCAA Division I history - topping Duke's 133 victories between 1998 and 2001.
``We've been on a ride. We want to do it again. There's no question we want to do it again,'' Calipari said. ``We're playing to win every game we play, but the reality of it is it doesn't happen that often.''
AP Sports Writer Doug Tucker in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this story.