Thoughts on Memphis

I am looking forward to this matchup between UCLA and Memphis because I think the contrast in styles make it very interesting.
In a nutshell, I think Memphis has the edge in athletic ability, but UCLA gets a big edge in the coaching department. I know there are some similar opponents — like Texas and Michigan State — but I don’t think comparing how UCLA and Memphis did against each one matters much, especially since the Bruins played both of them in the first month of the season and Memphis played them in the last three days.
Anyway, what are everyone’s thoughts on the matchup?

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  • BruinGirl

    More than a couple of thoughts: 1. the match ups are key, our D on CDR and Rose, their D on Kevin, DC and Russell, 2. the TO department, if the Bruins keep it around 10 that would be a huge positive, 3. transition play, Memphis likes to run the court, few set plays lots of frenetic movement and one on one play–Bruin D and transition turnovers/points will be key, 4. FT shooting–in the loss and its two closest games Memphis shot at or below 50% from the foul line; I think its foul shooting today was a high water mark and the intensity of the final 4 will lead them to revert to the norm and 5. the final 4 factor, we’ve been there they have not.

    My early thoughts, Luc everywhere, K-Love dominating, great game plan, Bruins in an exciting one 75-68.

  • Legalsean

    I am tired of hearing that UCLA is not as athletic as other teams. You can not play the type of defense that they do and not have athletic ability.

    This game is going to be about tempo. The Bruins are going to have to control the tempo. I am not real impressed with Memphis’ half court offense.

    I can see Memphis doing 3 things to bother UCLA:

    1. Double down on Love. They will use their length to try and keep Dorsey out of foul trouble.

    2. Press. They will try and up the tempo and tire out RW and DC.

    3. Play some zone. Teams think that UCLA can not execute in a zone.

    Sean

  • gubon13

    My concern is our weak-side defense. How many dunks did Xavier get on us? Memphis has faster, quicker, more athletic post players than Xavier.

    From what I see, we always seem to be late on switches down low. Against a team like Memphis (that has athletic post players like, say, Florida in the past), we have a known defensive weakness. If we don’t figure it out, we’ll be getting dunked on left and right and the game could get out of hand.

    I think we will be held on our inside scoring as well, because I do think that they will double up on Love. At least one of our role players need to step up.

    …and yes, I consider Shipp to be a role player these days.

  • BradleyBruin

    I agree, Brian, I think the matchups will be very interesting. Who will check who? DC on Rose, Westbrook on CDR, Shipp on Anderson? The backcourt matchups are most interesting. Luc on Dozier and Love on Dorsey don’t concern me as much as the Horford/Noah combo. Memphis doesn’t have anyone like Corey Brewer. We have plenty of fouls and bodies on the inside, it’s the backcourt that concerns me most. If our guys can stay out of foul trouble and hit their normal shots, I like our chances. Love is the difference maker.

  • hogsman

    For anyone interested, the following link leads to an article about Memphis’ style of offense: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/grant_wahl/02/12/memphis0218/index.html. Memphis has the decided height advantage, and UCLA will need to figure out a way to contain Rose (6’3″), considered by some to be the best point-guard in the nation and potentially the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, and Douglas-Roberts (6’7″), a legitimate All-American who has earned all the same national honors earned by Kevin Love. This game will be UCLA’s biggest test this season — I’m sure that UCLA won’t underestimate Memphis, but I’m hoping Memphis will be overconfident after destroying MSU & UT.

  • Bruin_Bry

    Memphis is a super duper athletic team. And I do believe, athletic wise, they have the edge. I don’t think we can run with this team. Of utmost importance is controlling the tempo. Slow the game down to a snails pace. Make it where each bucket is a critical one and more importantly, every free throw be a critical one. Weakside help is going to be a concern (as noted by another poster) as I don’t think our rotations have been as good as the last two years.

    I hope we come out on top. Should be an exciting game.

    GO BRUINS!!!

  • BruinFaithful

    WOW!!!! What a matchup!!!! I’m really really looking forward to this game. I have been really impressed with Memphis. I think they have played better than anybody else in the Tourney thus far. I disagree with Brian that Calipari is not a great coach. I think that Ben Howland is a better coach, but not by much or rather, I think Ben is a different type of coach, but not necessarily better. Calipari is one of only 5 coaches to ever coach two different teams to an AP #1 ranking and one of only two coaches to coach two seperate teams to a Coaches #1 ranking. They also only have 1 McDonald’s All-American on their team. This indicates great recruiting and coaching. Calipari is finally getting a Memphis team to Over Achieve rather than under. You don’t do that with BAD coaching. I agree that Memphis is probably more athletic. However, UCLA is MORE physical and disciplined. As spectacular as Derrick Rose is, I believe Darren is much better, more experienced, more battle tested, and intelligent. I think Rose edges Darren only in physicality, in that he is much bigger and stronger. I also believe UCLA is much DEEPER than Memphis and that we have a much more talented and diverse BIG man in Love. I order to win this game we will have to come out and PUNCH Memphis in the mouth and let them know they will not be able to enforce their will and play their style of play.

    Memphis is also HORRIBLE from the charity stripe. Their free throw shooting lost them the Tennessee game. They only shoot 60% from the line, while UCLA shoots 73%. In the end, I think this will be Memphis’s downfall. UCLA 68 Memphis 65.

  • Stan

    Brian,
    Could you get us some info concerning UCLA’S schedule of events while at the final 4? We will be driving there from New Orleans and need to be aware of BRUIN pep rallys, open practices, etc. Thanks!

  • Bruinmo

    Whether Josh Shipp likes it or not, he is going to HAVE TO absolutely contribute offensively if we are to pull this off…

  • BradleyBruin

    For the first time in the tournament, I think Shipp’s defense in this game will be more important that his offense. He will be checking either Douglas-Roberts or Anderson, depending on who Westbrook guards. Could also end up on Rose after switching on ball screens. If we can keep their backcourt in check as a whole, we win.