Tiger star merits 2 names

Douglas-Roberts a mouthful - and a handful

Monday, April 7, 2008


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


2008 NCAA Tournament

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Full video coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2008 NCAA Tournament


2008 NCAA Tournament

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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."