No. 3 Memphis 84, Tulsa 61
By JEFF LATZKE
AP Sports Writer
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Memphis coach John Calipari thinks Rodney
Carney should be mentioned right with Duke's J.J. Redick and
Gonzaga's Adam Morrison as the best players in college basketball.
For a two-minute stretch Wednesday night against Tulsa, the
Tigers' top scorer showed off an entirely different skill set than
the two player of the year candidates.
Carney, a 6-foot-7 senior, scored 12 of his 19 points during an
impressive first-half run and Darius Washington Jr. added 22 points
as third-ranked Memphis streaked to an 84-61 win.
"I know J.J. Redick is good and I know Morrison is good, but
you've got to have him in the same breath," Calipari said.
"Neither one of those two are athletic like him. He shoots the
ball the same as they do. His numbers are the same for his
Carney scored 12 straight Memphis points - including three dunks
- during a 19-2 run that put the Tigers (20-2, 6-0 Conference USA)
on their way to their ninth straight win.
Memphis extended its lead with a 9-0 run early in the second
half that included a Carney three-point play. Shawne Williams hit
two free throws to give the Tigers a 60-41 lead, and Tulsa (7-12,
2-4) never threatened again.
Washington sparked the first-half run with a fast-break layup to
give Memphis a 19-18 lead and Andre Allen followed with a layup of
his own off a back cut.
Then Carney took over. He scored in the lane and hit a 3-pointer
from the left wing before setting off on a one-man slam dunk
Allen set up two of the dunks by stealing inbounds passes and
lobbing the ball. Carney took the first one out of mid-air and
slammed it down with twoever to play in the
seven-year-old Reynolds Center, Tulsa responded to an early
seven-point deficit with a 14-2 run capped when McDade stole the
ball and set up Darold Crow for a fast-break layup giving the
Golden Hurricane a 16-11 edge.
But Memphis pushed back ahead by holding the Golden Hurricane
without a field goal for more than 6 minutes while Carney took to
Calipari admitted that Carney is not as good as Redick and
Morrison with the ball, but noted that Carney excels when he's
playing aggressive defense and pointed out that he shut out Redick
in the second half of Duke's 70-67 win against Memphis on Nov. 25.
"At the end of the day, let's see where he gets picked in the
draft. Let's see where he gets picked," Calipari said. "I think
he'll be picked very high ... He sells a lot of tennis shoes and
he'll sell a lot of tickets."