April 4, 2008

Ben Howland talks Memphis

Coach Ben Howland met with the media on Tuesday the day before, he and his team traveled to San Antonio to their third straight final four. After a healthy dose of watching Memphis, Howland knows that he, and his team have their work cut out for them when they meet the Tigers on Saturday April 5th. The following is part one of a two part series.

Now that you have been to the previous two final fours is there something that you can bring to the final fours out of those two experiences?

Howland: "Well I think for our players, this is probably the most important part is we have players who have been there and have played in those kind of games and got to the national championship and were beaten by Florida two years ago and got knocked out in the semis last year.

"I think the experience of having been there is always a valuable experience when you go the next time. That being said, I mean this is a tremendously difficult game as I study them more. I mean they are so good.

"In my opinion they are much better than they were the last time we played Memphis and we played them twice in the same year.

"It starts with Derrick Rose. He is so good. I mean you look at when he does decide to come out, he will either be the first or second pick in the draft. That's how good he is.

Jason Kidd is a very good analogy. Rose probably has a better jump shot at the same stage. I mean, Jason Kidd is probably one of the all time great point guards in the history of this game. I think that is pretty high praise for a young man and I mean it.

Chris Douglas-Roberts is just terrific. He's really a hard matchup. He's grown, he came in at 6-5 and he's 6-7 now. He's long. He really puts the ball on the floor. They are a very, very good team at putting the ball on the floor and making plays for others.

"They run that same kind of offense where there is a lot of handoffs, a lot of penetration with kicking, as soon as you come to help they just throw it at the rim and they go and dunk it. So we really have our hands full to defend them.

They are long. Robert Dozier is a very good player. Joey Dorsey seems like he has been at Memphis forever. I remember recruiting him when I was at Pitt six, seven years ago.

"I think Antonio Anderson, their second leading assist guy on the team is an outstanding player. They have really good depth with Willie Kemp coming off the bench with Shawn Taggart. We have our hands full.

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