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Jeff Eisenberg

SMU's Doherty trades one-liners with Memphis crowd

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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As a result of a bizarre marketing video touting him as "a recruitin', coachin', winnin' machine," SMU coach Matt Doherty has earned the nickname "RoboDoh" among opposing Conference USA fans.

The way "RoboDoh" behaved Saturday night in Memphis, his circuits must have gotten crossed up.

Memphis fans were jawing at Doherty in the second half of SMU's 76-63 loss to the Tigers on Saturday when the coach reportedly wheeled around and started dishing some smack talk right back.

He called the school "Memphis Tech." He insisted the banner from the Tigers' scandal-tainted 2008 Final Four appearance should come down. He even boasted he "went to a real school," prompting a prominent Memphis booster to yell right back at the North Carolina alum, "Yeah, and they fired you."

"This is a basketball town and the fans here are good," a calmer Doherty told reporters after the game. "It's give-and-take, and they give me a hard time, so I gave them a hard time."

There's probably some validity to Doherty's accusations considering Memphis' history of run-ins with the NCAA, but you would think Doherty would have more to worry about during a game, like say coaching his team.

Plus, as representative of the school whose football program famously received "the death penalty" in the 1980s, should Doherty really be the one making these accusations?

Not surprisingly, Doherty's antics spilled over into a mini-altercation between Memphis and SMU players during post-game handshakes. Doherty and Memphis coach Josh Pastner exchanged words as well, with Pastner telling the Memphis Commercial Appeal his counterpart was "a little upset because the guys were jawing at each other."

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