Calipari and company too
much for UH
By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff
It was John Calipari's opportunity to boast.
Lauren Wilson/The Daily
Junior forward Louis Truscott
led the Cougars with 19 points and 13 rebounds in the Cougars' loss to
Memphis on Saturday.
The Memphis head coach's team had just
finished a thorough 84-66 drubbing of a much-improved UH squad at Hofheinz
Pavilion on Saturday night.
Instead, Calipari praised the improvement
of Ray McCallum's team after the game.
"The fact of the matter is Houston is the
surprise team in our league, Houston's gonna win a lot of ball games. They're
second place in our league (Conference USA's National
Division) and they've got games coming
up that they have a good chance of winning," Calipari said.
In fact, the Cougars' performance was not
that bad. On this night, Memphis' size, strength and athletic ability were
simply too much to handle.
Dajuan Wagner, the Tigers' much-heralded
freshman guard, proved he is the real deal, scoring 25 points and dishing
out four assists without breaking a sweat. Sophomore
Scooter McFadgon added 12 points and senior
Kelly Wise notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
For the Cougars (11-8, 4-3 in C-USA), Louis
Truscott scored 19 points and grabbed 13 boards and Patrick Okafor finished
with 18 points and seven boards.
Memphis (17-4, 7-0 in C-USA) remained in
first place in the National Division, moving three games ahead of second-place
Houston (which remains in a tie for second with South
Memphis stormed out to leads of 16-8, 30-12
and 41-21. The Tigers went to the half up 49-25.
A quick spurt by the Tigers at the beginning
of the second half ended all hope for a comeback and the remainder of the
game was played to determine the Tigers' margin of
victory. The announced crowd of 7,141
was the largest of the season.
A deflated but still proud McCallum summed
up the game best: "It was obvious they were ready to play and they respected
us. They came out focused and expecting a major fight
and they got us on our heels, and we couldn't
get off the ropes."