Perspective on the Tigers’ 2010-11 season

This was supposed to be the year.

Memphis would climb back into college basketball’s upper echelon just two years after the Calipari a-bomb was dropped on the program.

Well, it hasn’t happened, and I was admittedly  one of those Tiger fans that got caught up in overhyped preseason expectations for this team. I ignored how young they were and thought talent would trump all.

But, to say this season has been a disappointment is a massive mistake. Memphis has gotten better this season – watch film of Tarik Black and Antonio Anderson from November and compare it to now. Look at DJ Stephens last season to now.

Tiger fans were spoiled the past three seasons with newcomers that had immediate impacts – Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and Elliot Williams. All three of those guys came in and immediately contributed at a high level with little to no inconsistencies. That isn’t the norm, however, and for Tiger fans to expect the same from this year’s group of freshmen just isn’t fair.

Rose, Evans and Williams all shared one thing – NBA ready bodies. They were all physically ready to compete against college upperclassmen and play 30+ minutes a night for 35 games. Most college freshmen can’t handle that.

Just a year ago, most of the Tigers were sitting at home, already done with their respective high school seasons. Players like Will Barton and Chris Crawford weren’t playing those type of minutes or exerting a high amount of energy on defense. That kind of physical endurance takes a lot of time to build.

Here’s a picture to show how much change happens with kids physically while in college. This is Chris Douglas-Roberts entering college as a freshman and then as a junior:

Picture showing how good Hogans' workouts are. Left= Chris Douglas-Roberts entering as a freshman. Right = CDR as a junior.

Some notes to put things in perspective for Memphis fans:

  • Remember it takes more than one great recruiting class to become elite. ’05 class (Anderson, Kemp, CDR, Mack) had veterans (Dorsey, Carney, Dozier) to rely on early.
  • Memphis also went 22-16 in 04-05 (last season before great run) with a team that had Carney, Dorsey, DWash, and Hunt.
  • That season (’04-05), Tigers lost to Ole Miss, La. Tech, Providence, TCU, Houston, Charlotte, SLU, and St. Joseph’s
  • Calipari went 48-24 in his first two seasons at Memphis, taking the Tigers to back-t0-back NIT’s. Pastner is 45-19 so far in his tenure.

Josh Pastner preaches the five P’s (Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance) to his team, but Tiger fans just need to focus on one “p” word:

Patience.

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About pmccllln

21 years young. Senior PR student at the University of Memphis. Student intern for Memphis Athletic Media Relations. www.prestonmcclellan.weebly.com. Follow me @p_mcclellan.

Posted on March 3, 2011, in Beat Blog, C-USA Basketball, Josh Pastner, Media Relations, Memphis Athletics, memphis basketball, Memphis Tigers, NCAA Basketball and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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