College Basketball: Austin Peay at Memphis Preview & Picks Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Tuesday, 27 November 2007 10:00
NCAAB Headline News



No Vacation For Memphis

Unsatisfied with his team's effort last week, Memphis coach John Calipari shortened the No. 3 Tigers' vacation.

Calipari will see if the move paid off on Tuesday night when his team hosts Austin Peay.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Memphis -23 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 87% of bets for this game have been placed on Memphis -23 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

The Tigers (5-0) are averaging wins of 18 points per game, but Calipari was frustrated with their effort following Memphis' 84-63 win over Arkansas State last Tuesday. He canceled the Tigers' day off on Wednesday, giving them only Thursday off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"If you watched that game, you've got to be upset," Calipari said. "It's obvious where we are right now. We've got some work to do. Obviously, if I think they need to practice - and that's what I think - that's what we are going to do."

Calipari's decision comes despite his team shooting 55.0 percent from the field and 43.3 percent (13-of-30) from 3-point range on Tuesday. The coach, however, benched many of his starters within the first five minutes after the Indians jumped out to an early. Joey Dorsey logged just 20 minutes while Shawn Taggart played 16.

Leading scorer Chris Douglas-Roberts was the only starter to score in double figures with 16 points, with the other four combining for 20. Freshman Derrick Rose notably struggled, going 2-for-7 for four points.

Willie Kemp led the team with 22 points while fellow reserve Doneal Mack added 19.

"We had a couple of guys just kind of walk through the game," Calipari said, later adding: "Thank goodness (Kemp) shot the ball like he did. That (Mack) shot the ball like he did. If those guys don't shoot the ball, it's a four-point game."

While the Tigers have faced a light schedule in November, things heat up quickly. Memphis faces No. 22 Southern California, Arizona and No. 5 Georgetown next month.

"We have to worry about getting better every day," Calipari said. "Did we get better today? Did we do anything to improve ourselves? No. We didn't. We went way down the wrong way.

"It's so dangerous these kinds of games, if that's your habit. I've got to let them know that's not acceptable."

Memphis has a 14-4 advantage over Austin Peay (2-3), including a 12-1 mark at home. The Tigers won last year's meeting at home 88-63 behind 28 points from Douglas-Roberts.

The Governors' last win was a 81-80 overtime victory in Memphis in 2002.

Austin Peay is favored to defend its Ohio Valley Conference regular season title after going 21-12 last year and returning all five starters. The Governors have gotten off to an inconsistent start, however, alternating between wins and losses.

They lost their last time out, falling 61-47 to Valparaiso on Saturday in the South Padre Island Invitational. Fernandez Lockett, who averages a team-high 14.4 points per game, led Austin Peay with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Although the Governors had a two-point lead at the half, they shot just 20.7 percent from the field in scoring only 18 points after the break.

"We could not make a shot in the second half," coach Dave Loos said. "We relied too much on the jump shot and didn't penetrate against the zone ... Until we can make a shot to make teams guard us, they're going to pack the zone in and we'll have a tough time."

Tuesday is Calipari's 250th game with the Tigers. He is 186-63.

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