for this game

Memphis routs Arkansas State despite four points from Rose

Nov 21, 2007 - 6:38 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Memphis had no problem picking up the slack for its high-flying freshman.

Willie Kemp scored 22 points and Chris Douglas-Roberts added 15 as the third-ranked Tigers had very little trouble in an 84-63 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday.

A club expected to be in heavy contention for a national title due to the fact that it returned all five starters from a 33-4 showing last season, Memphis' early campaign has been overshadowed by the impressive play of freshman Derrick Rose.

A prized recruit, Rose wasted very little time establishing himself as one of the top scorers for the Tigers over the first four games of the season, averaging 19.8 points.

However, the 6-4 guard was not at his best on Tuesday, finishing with just four points in 28 minutes. It was the first time that Rose failed to score in double figures, missing five of his seven shots.

One reason for Rose's lack of an impact was the sizzling play of reserve Kemp, who connected on six 3-pointers en route to a career high in points.

"Thank goodness Willie (Kemp) shot the ball like he did," Memphis coach John Calipari said.

Kemp sank four of his first five attempts from the arc in the first half en route to leading Memphis (5-0) to a 43-25 lead at the half.

"They shot the ball extremely well," Arkansas State coach Dickey Nutt said. "Kemp was on fire tonight. We had a hard time holding him."

The Tigers cruised thereafter, finishing 33-of-53 (62.3 percent) from the field and 13-of-28 on 3-pointers.

Afterwards, Calipari credited Kemp's shooting display on his decision to work on his touch prior to the game. He also questioned why other players did not embrace the extra work.

"Willie came out and did a Larry Bird before the game," Calipari said. "He made 200 shots. That's what I've been trying to get guys to do. We've got a couple other guys, 'Come on now, I gotta come in an hour early.' Yeah, and then you go 1-for-8, 1-for-6, 1-for-9, I understand.

"Willie came out and made 200 shots prior to the game. And we've got to get guys that are willing to sacrifice a little bit more to spend a little bit more time and accept their roles even more than they have to this point."

Memphis, which beat Connecticut on Friday to win the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Championship, has won its first five games by an average of 18 points.

Adrian Banks scored 30 points for Arkansas State (0-3), which has dropped its last four games against Memphis.

"I thought that Adrian Banks was one of the best players out there on the floor," Nutt said. "I thought we did a great job of just sticking to what we had put in place for this basketball game. I really believe that at the end of March (our team) will be there, and I really believe that."

A native of Memphis, Banks shot 12-of-20 from the field with four 3-pointers en route to falling just a point shy of his career high.

"Another Memphis kid came in here and tried to get 50, which happens to us a lot," Calipari said.

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    ARKANSAS ST 25 38 63
    MEMPHIS (3) 43 41 84 FINAL

    Nov 20 9:54 PM


    Nov 20 8:51 PM