I honestly don't know what to expect this evening. You thought Alabama or Zags were tough games, Memphis is in a different league (pretty much a minor league NBA team except they don't get - then again it is Calipari's team after all). And they are little ticked off at UCLA for Howland's coach-speak before the Zaga game:
The 6-foot-9, 265-pound Dorsey, who is Memphis' leading rebounder at 7.6 per game, also said UCLA was afraid of a rematch. In the first meeting,Memphis led by 20 points in the second half, and held a 73-55 advantage with 8:20 to play.
"I know when UCLA was watching our game, I know they were hoping they wouldn't play us," Dorsey said. "They've seen us when we played at Madison Square Garden, and it seemed like they don't want to play us again."
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
BTW that's the picture I posted last Saturday and also the Saturday of Stanford game at Maples. Not that I am superstitious or anything. By the way a note from that picture - we are going to be in our road blues today. And we have done not too shabby in those blue uniforms this season. Also another thing I have been posting before the games last couple of weeks is this video. Make sure to watch those 4.8 seconds before the game gets started today.
I wrote yesterday how the coaches probably put the Zag game behind immediately got ready for today. Looky here ... Howland stayed up till 4 am on Thursday morning getting ready for today. From the LA Times today:
For the Bruins, two key freshmen, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Darren Collison, barely resemble the players they were four months ago in terms of poise and confidence. And center Ryan Hollins, though a senior, kicked his game into a higher gear since returning from a strained groin injury in midseason.
The biggest difference is the Bruins' defense. Having learned to play the hard-nosed style demanded by Howland, UCLA hasn't given up 88 points since the Memphis game, or even 80 -- the highest total being 79 by Arizona in a game the Bruins won in Tucson.
UCLA will be challenged to maintain its defensive intensity against a wide-open Tiger offense that is always looking to push the ball up the court. Memphis averages 81 points a game, led by Rodney Carney (17.5), Darius Washington (13.4) and Shawne Williams (13.3).
Howland, immediately putting Thursday's thrilling victory behind him, stayed up until 4 a.m. studying tapes of Tiger games.
No question Memphis may have a little more talent on the court today. But we have the better coach with players who are not too shabby and who have done a lot of growing up (DC, Luc, and even Hollins) during last few months. I have this feeling we are going to be a little less tight than we were on Thursday night. We have nothing to lose today. Nothing. We have had a season that by any measure has been astonishingly and resoundingly successful beyond our (at least mine) wildest dreams. Whatever happens today is just gravy. So let's let it all out and play like we did during those last few mins on Thursday night.
Remember those cheesy T-Shirts we use to see on campus back in the 90s.