Memphis Rolling Along

Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts tries to build on his biggest game of the season on Tuesday when the third-ranked Tigers host Arkansas State.

A junior from Detroit, Douglas-Roberts is scoring 23.0 points per game for Memphis (4-0), which has averaged 81.5 points while winning its first four games. He earned Conference USA player of the week honors for the second straight week on Monday after helping the Tigers win the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Douglas-Roberts scored a career-high 33 points in the title game on Friday, leading Memphis to an 81-70 victory over Connecticut. He shot a season-high 58.3 percent (14-for-24) from the field one night after scoring a season-low 12 points against Oklahoma.

The Tigers beat the Sooners 63-53 in that semifinal matchup, but failed to reach the 80-part mark for the first time this season thanks in part to Douglas-Roberts' off night.

"He was so lackadaisical" against Oklahoma, Memphis coach John Calipari said. "But it's so early in the season."

Douglas-Roberts also led last season's Tigers team, which won 33 games and fell one victory shy of the Final Four, with 15.4 points per game. Memphis ranked first in Conference USA with an average of 78.9 points per game in 2006-07.

The Tigers still possess most of their players from that team, but have also picked up freshman phenom Derrick Rose, who scored a career-best 24 points against Connecticut.

"Obviously Rose is a great, great young player," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. "And if Douglas-Roberts isn't a first-team All-American, somebody is making a serious mistake."

Rose ranks second on the team with 19.8 points per game, but clearly has plenty of room for improvement. The young point guard turned the ball over five times without getting an assist, and is averaging 2.3 assists and 3.0 turnovers through his first four games at the college level.

Against Connecticut, Calipari had to threaten to bench Rose if he continued to put up wild shots.

"I called a timeout and went right at him," Calipari said. "But he's going to be a pretty good player - pretty good right now."

Forward Joey Dorsey, who missed the first two games with a shoulder injury that he aggravated against Oklahoma, played just 28 minutes and finished with four points and 12 rebounds. The senior was a key member of last season's team, averaging a team-high 9.4 rebounds to go with 8.5 points per game.

The Indians (0-2) dropped their first road game of the season on Friday, falling 75-59 to Tulsa. Ryan Wedel scored 16 points for Arkansas State, which is shooting just 35.1 percent from the field through its first two contests.

Adrian Banks, who had 25 points in Arkansas State's season-opening, 67-63 loss to Utah Valley State, was held to 11 while shooting 4-for-14 from the field. The senior guard remains the team's leading scorer.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Memphis –26.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 82% of bets for this game have been placed on Memphis –26.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Memphis leads the all-time series between the teams 29-26 and has won the last three meetings.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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