|College Basketball Odds: Central Florida at Memphis Spread, Preview & Public Picks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Saturday, 09 February 2008 03:36|
Memphis has managed to avoid any potential distractions on its way to remaining the only unbeaten team in Division I. That is until now.
The top-ranked Tigers will have forward Robert Dozier return from his suspension when they host Central Florida in a Conference USA matchup on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Memphis -22 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Memphis -22 (View College Basketball bet percentages).
The 6-foot-9 Dozier did not play in Memphis' 77-48 win over Southern Methodist on Wednesday after an ex-girlfriend filed a complaint saying that he hit her in the face after an argument over the weekend. No charges have been filed.
On Friday, Memphis coach John Calipari said Dozier will play but won't start Saturday. Dozier is averaging 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Tigers (22-0, 8-0).
"I want to apologize for any harm or misconceptions about our university or school," Dozier said in a statement after Wednesday's game. "I want to apologize to my parents, my teammates and my coaching staff. I'll make sure whatever happens at the end of this, that it never happens again."
The Tigers must also deal with sophomore Shawn Taggart and freshman Jeff Robinson's Feb. 19 court date after the two were arrested outside a club in early September.
"These kids are targets in this town," said Calipari, whose team looks to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 46 games. "I just told them right now we've got the microscope on us. We're No. 1 in the country."
Though Dozier's started 55 of 56 games since his freshman season, the Tigers proved Wednesday they are more than capable of getting by without him.
Senior reserve Andre Allen had a career-high 19 points for the Tigers, who look to improve to 6-0 all-time versus Central Florida (12-10, 5-3).
"Someone else has to step up," said Allen, who is averaging 4.5 points in his career. "We've got five people on our bench who could start for anyone in the country. I just saw (Wednesday's situation) as us being a player down."
Calipari hasn't decided if leading rebounder Joey Dorsey will return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench for 10 points and 14 rebounds Wednesday. Dorsey, who averages 7.5 points and 11.0 boards, was held out of the starting lineup against SMU because of his recent inconsistent play.
"If Joey is not consistent, we've got to be ready to go without him," said Calipari of the 6-9 senior, who has started 91 of 93 games since his freshman season. "If I put him on the bench and he looks like he doesn't want to be there, then just don't play and we're going to go on without you and try to win a ballgame."
Dorsey had a career-high 22 points and nine rebounds in Memphis' 87-65 win at Central Florida on Jan. 31, 2007 in the teams' most recent meeting.
The Bulls look to win two in a row after a 77-63 home victory over Marshall on Wednesday snapped a three-game losing streak.
Jermaine Taylor, Conference USA's second-leading scorer at 22.1 points per game, had a career-high 34 against Marshall on 14-for-23 shooting. It was one game after he had 31 points on 11-for-20 shooting in an 84-81 loss to Houston last Saturday.
"I am proud of Jermaine and his approach to things. He is trying to improve and get better," Bulls coach Kirk Speraw told the school's official Web site.
The 6-4 junior, however, has just seven points in two meetings with Memphis.
by: Staff Writers - Email Us
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