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2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tiger star merits 2 names

Douglas-Roberts a mouthful - and a handful

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Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts skies for a rebound against UCLA in a national semifinal game Saturday.

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— Chris Douglas-Roberts is an All-America basketball player for the University of Memphis.

His parents saw success like this coming, which explains why Douglas-Roberts has a mouthful of a last name that everybody now knows.

"I guess they felt I was going to be somebody," Douglas-Roberts said. "So my dad didn't want to give up his name, and my mom said, 'I'm definitely not giving up my name.' So they just gave me both."

Douglas-Roberts is the most potent offensive option for Memphis as it heads into tonight's NCAA championship game against Kansas University. He averages 18.0 points per game and poured in a team-high 28 in a victory over UCLA in Saturday's first Final Four semifinal.

He has a charming personality and an explosive game, which oddly enough was fine-tuned in a Detroit boxing gym when he was little.

Douglas-Roberts visited Kronk Gym in Motown almost every day, fine-tuning his athletic ability.

"I did a little boxing," Douglas-Roberts said, "but I wasn't fighting anybody."

Nope, he instead went to the basketball court and became a sought-after recruit. KU coach Bill Self wanted him, but Douglas-Roberts said he wasn't familiar enough with the Sunflower State ever to take a serious look.

"Bill Self, he was always genuine," Douglas-Roberts said. "He was always honest, and he was always good to me, and I really liked that. I looked at those type of things when I was being recruited. Him and (Memphis) coach (John Calipari) were the most genuine to me.

"I just thought that Memphis was a better fit."

Douglas-Roberts calls the floater his trademark shot, but he provided the Final Four's most dazzling highlight when he did a backdoor cut and dunked the ball left-handed over two UCLA big men during the second half.

He has a lot of other tricks in his bag - unorthodox moves that often work and help him get as many points as he does. Calipari compares him to Earl "The Pearl" Monroe - no minor comparison considering Monroe is considered an all-time great.

Every bit of Douglas-Roberts' ability will be needed tonight. Kansas has a defensive presence that's hard to ignore, and Memphis' fast-paced style of play will be seriously tested.

It won't be tweaked, though.

"It is going to be an up-and-down game," Douglas-Roberts said. "It is going to be fun to play in and should be great to watch. To us, the half-court game is boring, and I know you guys think so, too.

"I believe that the two teams that have made the finals are the two that should be playing for the national championship."

Comments

Dale Kroening 12 years, 9 months ago

The 3 headed defensive monster of Rush/Robinson/Chalmers will shut CDR and Rosey down.You heard it here first.

milehighhawker 12 years, 9 months ago

Let's not get over excited about this. In no way shape or form are we going to shut them down. If you look at past defensive efforts you will see that teams that rely heavily on an inside presence suffer against KU (omit Beasley). Teams with quick and athletic guards who can get into the lane are the ones that KU struggles with. Az, Tx, Ok St, GTech all come to mind. Even in past years. While our guards are great at denying entry passes and getting into passing lanes, they struggle to prevent lane penetration, with the exception of Rush. I think he will be a key. He is so long and quick that it is hard for a player to take him off the dribble because he keeps such a wide stance. If Rush can nutralize CDR then we have a chance. This team is very one dimensional. Also, if you look at point guards who are all dribble style and try to cross over our guards they will get picked, especially against Chalmers and his long arms. It's guys who are built and can use their size and quickness to get to the lane by just lowering their head and going that challenge us. See Rose exactly. We will not shut him down or keep him out of the lane. But, however, but limiting CDR's chances of easy buckets I don't think Memphis can win with one player. Defense will be the key as well as rebounding. Let's see if they are up to the task, I think Robinson being his last game will come out and get down 'n dirty on the defensive end! Go Hawks!!

classfan 12 years, 9 months ago

Anybody getting nervous yet....How about butterflies....All I can say, is after tonight I hope all the KU fans have new excuses. Its been 20 years since two Carolina guys brought a NC to Lawrence ( Brown and Manning) and all the excuses since are getting old. A curse has been laid upon the KU doorstep. You can watch for it tonight. You will be able to tell when it enters into the game. Its a magical thing to see. The only way for KU to get rid of the curse is to find a little class. Wouldn't it be cool tonight if in the final seconds of the game, with the Chokehawks down, all the fans of the other schools starting chanting Rock Caulk Chokehawk. I can't wait. See you all at the game. I'll be the one in crimson and blue....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk.

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