MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Memphis isn’t easily pleased, and Tigers coach John Calipari says that’s a good thing.
Robert Dozier had 19 points and nine rebounds Saturday to help No. 14 Memphis cruise past Manhattan 77-59. The Tigers dominated inside and their pressure defense was too much for the Jaspers to handle.
Memphis’ five victories have come by an average of 23 points. Despite leading by as many 29 early in the second half against Manhattan, Calipari saw plenty of flaws in the performance. The Memphis coach noted mediocre guard play, inconsistency and a lack of emotion from his team.
“We’re all upset by 18- to 20-point wins. That’s a good sign,” Calipari said.
Dozier shot 7-of-11 from the field and Memphis (5-1), which had five players in double figures, never trailed. The Jaspers managed only one tie, midway through the first half. Still, players, like Dozier, joined in Calipari’s assessment of a less-than-stellar effort.
“Yeah, we got the win,” Dozier said, “but it was ugly.”
“I think we’re getting a little spoiled because even when we play bad, we still win by 20,” said Chris Douglas-Roberts, who finished with 14 points. “We’ve got to know that we’re going to play some elite teams and an effort like this won’t get it done.”
Willie Kemp, Jeremy Hunt and Joey Dorsey scored 10 points apiece. Dorsey also had 12 rebounds. Dorsey had five blocks, and Dozier turned away four shots.
“I thought at times, Robert Dozier was really good making some plays,” Calipari said. “He’s still not balanced, not making a play when he gets bumped. Those are things we’re going to try and keep working on with him.”
Devon Austin led Manhattan with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Darryl Crawford scored 10 points. The Jaspers have lost four straight.
The Tigers forced 26 turnovers and caused the Jaspers to shoot 34 percent. Memphis scored 33 points off turnovers.
“We knew it would be a challenge, and we had too many turnovers,” Manhattan coach Barry Rohrssen said.
Memphis outrebounded Manhattan 44-37 but shot 17-of-32 from the free-throw line.
“You’ve got guys who want to be professionals, who go to the line and barely hit the rim,” Calipari said shaking his head.
The Memphis press caused early problems for the Jaspers and Dozier controlled the inside, scoring eight points before the first timeout. Manhattan was able to beat the press several times by going over the top of the defense with enough success to pull even midway through the first half.
The Tigers then began working inside and clicked off a 14-2 run, then continued to build the advantage, leading 43-26 at the half.
Dozier had 13 points in the half and Kemp had all 10 of his points before the break.
“They were moving the ball around a lot, and they are a difficult team to face because of their pressure and athleticism,” Rohrssen said. “It is a team that can hurt you in many ways and can wear you down during the course of the game.”
The Tigers continued to build the lead after the break, scoring the first 12 points of the half for their biggest lead at 55-26.
But Calipari said he did not see the drive and emotion that should come from such a win. He noted that despite being down by 29, Manhattan didn’t let the game turn into more of a runaway—a sign his team did not keep putting on pressure when it had someone down.
“It shouldn’t be hard at all, if you want to play,” Calipari said. “If you don’t want to be out there playing, it’s not a big deal. Let other guys play.
“Show some emotion. How about a smile? I told those guys: ‘If you’re going to act like you’re not having fun, why? What’s not fun?”’