Memphis can rebound fast despite loss of top talent

By Teresa M. Walker

Memphis coach John Calipari seems to have the perfect antidote for losing in the national championship: Reload quickly and strongly.

Calipari has done just that despite losing to the NBA Derrick Rose, the No. 1 overall pick, and two other starters from the team that lost to Kansas in overtime in April. Two other starters withdrew their names from the NBA draft, and Calipari also landed top recruit Tyreke Evans in a class that already has three incoming players on campus.

“I’m excited about the team that we have coming back. We have size. We have length. You know, obviously, we are going to be missing three tremendous players. We are losing 53 percent of our offense and probably just as much of our rebounding and three starters,” Calipari said Thursday.

“We are losing a lot. That puts the responsibility on the players coming back to have great summers. We talked about it, and we are thinking of different ways to do things without us being involved because we can’t be involved.”

Calipari has had some experience reloading quickly in recent years.

He lost Shawne Williams, Darius Washington and Rodney Carney from a team that went 33-4 in 2005-06 and earned the school’s first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers won 71 games the past two seasons and reached the title game in April for the first time since 1973.