Friday, October 24, 2008

Now Holding Open Tryouts...

This is truly the American Dream. Matt Williams, a transfer from D-II Tarleton State, finds himself as the new placekicker (of PATs) for the #8 Texas Tech Red Raiders. How did this do-little make his way from the bowels of D-II (as a walk-on, mind you) to the PAT duties for the Red Raiders? By winning a ridiculous half-time contest, of course!

Why spend years getting picked on in junior high and high school for being a kicker when you can score your spot on a Top-10, D-I nationally known football team by simply winning the absurd, hi-mom, Dr. Pepper Half-Time Field Goal Contest! The Raiders kicking game was in shambles, having missed PATs and field goals. Rather than hold try-outs and scrape for walk-ons, look no further than last week's field goal contest winner. At this point, Williams is 5 for 5 on PATs as the Raiders pound Kansas. This is truly a story of hope, struggle and the American spirit... or something.

In light of Williams' success, I find myself wondering about a similar situation for our Memphis Tigers. For a team that is so successful offensively, we have been plagued by poor free throw shooting. Flashbacks of DWash and CDR take me to razor's edge, but it doesn't have to be this way.

I'm reminded of a basketball clinic I went to years ago. A 60-something year old fellow came in for a little presentation. He was supposedly the free throw record holder at the time. We were all pumped to learn the secret of free throw shooting. The old fella rolled over a rack of basketballs, lined up, and began to teach us how to shoot a free throw. The man was not Rick Barry. In fact, I don't remember the guy's name, but he could make some free throws. Needless to say, a bunch of 12-year olds were less than impressed.

Since that time, I began following the Tigers. I now understand the importance of consistent free throw shooting. That's why I'm proposing that the Tigers hold a contest of their own! Find the greatest free throw shooters in the city, have them walk on the team, and run isolation plays for them at the end of close games. Set some screens, throw some bows, whatever it takes. Even if it takes someone finding that old cronie from my basketball past so he could sink a few free throws, it needs to be done. Maybe Pepsi could sponsor it?

Episode 2...

Rivals released the second portion of their Tiger webisodes... Thank God. The Memphis scene has been slow for the past couple days.

The basketball team signed on with Nike for their jerseys and gear this year, but no pictures have been released. This is a good move, because Adidas never gave the Tigers the love they deserved. If they'd had their minds right, Adidas could've sold thousands of jerseys during the Tiger's run in March.

I'm a little surprised the Nike move didn't come sooner. Nike has somewhat of a presence in Memphis with a small plant in the Hacks Cross area, so you'd think they would've tried pressing the Tigers a bit more. My understanding is that the coach's have final word on that, so Cal could've had something cooking with Adidas for a while. Either way, Nike is releasing home and away jerseys, plus a couple alternates that (finally!) incorporate some gray.

In other news, Roburt Sallie is a slow mofo, but he's just getting his feet wet. Nothing to fret about.

On to the webisodes... This video showed a bit of the dunk contest and it seems Robinson (who is a freak athletically) and Mack have the best ups. There are some funny moments, especially when Garcia gives it a shot. I thought angels were supposed to fly? Hey, at least he tried.

Rivals also gives a little Memphis Madness/New Season hybrid shout out. CDR makes a video appearance and Cal encourages us to let our hair down. Whatever. I will say, in this video and the other instances that I've seen him, Witherspoon is a trip. I know some Greeks that roll with him and say he's hilarious. The camera doesn't seem to faze him. I think he could be the voice for the team that we lost when Dorsey moved up.

Lastly, X was in a car crash and suffered a minor concussion. Favors will be in town tomorrow for his official visit. Say a prayer for both, throw some Hail Marys (Maries?) up, go lay hands on the Forum or something!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Full Court Press...

Rivals and Yahoo have joined forces to bring a series of webisodes talking about the Tigers. Pretty cool series. I'm embedding the first, but follow the link to get what has been released of the whole series.

Also, check out the video on Niles. It's good to see the big man finally take some initiative, but I couldn't help but get pissed off when he mentioned that he hadn't worked out the past two summers, then the camera panned to see him taking up two seats on the bench in The Game of Which We Will Not Speak. Oh, well. Onward and upward.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cal, we need a Favors...

Sorry. That title was lame. It was either that or, "Cal, do us a Favors...". I made the right choice.

Derrick Favors, Scout's #1 ranked prospect is coming to Memphis on Saturday for his official visit. Give him a look.

If you see him in the street, throw some love, money, bling his way. He has family, probably some cousins, in Memphis, so hopefully he'll feel right at home. There are a few details in the AJC this week and lots of Tech fans (and even a delusional Gayhawk fan) talking smack on there, so make sure you leave a message for those fools.

Call a Doctor! Call the National Guard! Call The Game of Which We Will Not Speak!!!

Because Derrick Rose just sank two free throws with a minute and 41 seconds left.

Derrick Rose just sank two free throws... at the end of the game... to keep his team in contention...

In an NBA preseason game.
Nonetheless, Rose's line was really impressive tonight. He finished with 30 points on 13-18 shooting, with 7 assists. His Bulls trailed the Mavericks by 23 points in the fourth quarter, but Rose led his team back to within one point on his late-game free throws. With 41 seconds left, Rose sank a baseline jumper to put the Bulls ahead 103-101 and they carried the lead until the buzzer rang.

Granted, Dirk wasn't in the game in the fourth quarter, so the win might be a little tainted (or maybe not, since Dirk is like a church girl who never seals the deal at the end of a game). However, it's still an impressive night from Rose. He completely took over the game in the fourth quarter and I couldn't help but shed a tear, thinking of the days when he used to take over Tiger games.

Here's some clips. The teardrops, the jumpers, the thunderdunk... Rose did everything last night.

Meanwhile, Shawne Williams went 1-1 in the game, finishing with 2 points in 2 minutes.
Mayn, shoot.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Required Reading...

Angel Garcia sprained his knee in practice Sunday night, affording him plenty of time to hit the books.

10/22 UPDATE: It's just been announced that Garcia will be out 6-8 weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee. I don't believe he would be receiving extensive playing time, so hopefully he will use this time to learn the offense and get his academics right.

Mack Attack...

Rumors have been flying concerning the where-abouts of Doneal Mack during the Opening Events of Memphis Madness. Reader DGrizzle passed along this incriminating evidence...

It was nuthin, mayn. Mack was just gettin his hair did.

Pierre Niles Represent!

According to a variety of sources, Pierre Niles has teamed up with Coach Cal and Mike Golic to iron out a plan for him to "Get in the Game." Losing 50 pounds? Alley-oops? Salad with light dressing on the side? These are phrases that may soon be associated with our beloved Frenchman. I'm hoping for Chris Massie 2.0.

Take a liston to Chris Vernon on the new and improved Niles here.

Hittin the Links...

Catch the repeat of the CUSA Men's Basketball Media Day on CSTV on the following dates... Saturday, October 25th at 11am CT; Monday, October 27th at 1:30pm; and Wednesday, October 29th at 1pm and 7pm. Keep up with all things C-USA on CSTV. You can find their TV schedule here.

Calipari claims Dozier can be a Top 10 NBA Draft Pick next season in a nice article by Seth Davis, who apparently can't handle Memphis' spicy BBQ sauce... lightweight.

Update on recruiting-bait C. J. Henry, Tiger free-throw drills, and study buddies Simpkins and Garcia in the latest from the CA.

Project Pat, er, Andre Allen, has signed to play with local NAIA program Crichton College. I hope Crichton has a good foreign language department, as AA prepares for a lifetime of basketball in Europe.

The C-USA is expected to be the most improved league by several writers at