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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tigers come up rosy in opener

Freshman guard impresses in college debut

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Lance Murphey/AP Photo

Tennessee-Martin guard Andrews Irarrazabal (25) fights for a rebound with Memphis guard Jeff Robinson (32). No. 3 Memphis routed Tennessee-Martin, 102-71, Monday in Memphis, Tenn.

— Derrick Rose didn't take long to adjust to the college game.

The highly touted freshman had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists in his collegiate debut and No. 3 Memphis beat Tennessee-Martin 102-71 on Monday night in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.

"When we were dying, he scored," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "We were dying, he blocks a shot. We were dying, he goes in there and makes a play."

Rose was 8-for-16 from the field and had four dunks, bringing the 16,555 fans at FedExForum to their feet cheering each time. He also had a block on a breakaway in the first half that sent Calipari out of his chair and invigorated the Tigers' bench.

But how does the freshman rate his first performance?

"I'll give it a 'C,"' Rose said. "I can do a lot better."

His teammates weren't as modest.

"He does things that a lot of people haven't seen," guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "He deserves all the credit. It's crazy to think that was his first game."

Douglas-Roberts quietly tied his career-high with 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Memphis (1-0).

Lester Hudson had 35 points for Tennessee-Martin (0-1) and said guarding Rose one-on-one was nearly impossible.

"Fastest point guard I've ever played against," Hudson said.

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