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March 27, 2009 9:45 AM

Stop Making Excuses for Memphis' Loss

If Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal were to play LeBron James in a game of one-on-one, afterwards he would probably say it just wasn’t his day. He would probably say, “If LeBron had just missed that three-pointer that put him up 38-0 the whole thing would have been COMPLETELY different.” You see, Calkins seems to be the eternal optimist. No, that’s not right. Calkins seems to be completely oblivious.

After Memphis fell to Missouri, 102-91, last night, Calkins wrote an article titled, “In this game, ball bounced right for other Tigers.” In case you didn’t see the game, the Missouri Tigers led for all but three and a half minutes, and never trailed for the last 28 minutes. At one point, Mizzou was up by 24 points. But Calkins doesn’t focus on facts like that. He dwells on the ¾ court shot Missouri’s Marcus Denmon hit at the end of the half:

The guy was not even close to half court when he let it go. Plus, Memphis guard Antonio Anderson had a hand in his face. But Denmon let it fly, and fly it did, dropping, unerring, straight into the bucket and into painful history…Weren’t ridiculous shots reserved for their Tigers this time of year? Didn’t the bounces — and the miracles — always go their way?

Not on this night in Phoenix, not on the night Marcus Denmon threw one in from 60 feet.
There would be no fourth straight Elite Eight after a shot like that.

Yes, blame the 60-foot shot at the end of the first half in a game in which Memphis gave up 102 points. Calkins mentions a couple mistakes – a missed dunk, an errant pass – then seemingly all of a sudden they’re down by 24 and they make a valiant effort at coming back. How about you simply say it – they were outplayed.

Memphis played a poor game and was flustered by Missouri’s up-tempo style. Calkins is like that fan that can never blame his team for a loss. “No, see it was indoors, had they played outdoors Memphis totally would’ve won.” Stop being a homer and say the better team, not the luckiest team, won.

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