Archive for Monday, April 7, 2008

Tiger star merits 2 names

Douglas-Roberts a mouthful - and a handful

April 7, 2008


Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts skies for a rebound against UCLA in a national semifinal game Saturday.

Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts skies for a rebound against UCLA in a national semifinal game Saturday.

2008 NCAA Tournament

2008 NCAA Tournament

Get your March Madness fix at

— Chris Douglas-Roberts is an All-America basketball player for the University of Memphis.

His parents saw success like this coming, which explains why Douglas-Roberts has a mouthful of a last name that everybody now knows.

"I guess they felt I was going to be somebody," Douglas-Roberts said. "So my dad didn't want to give up his name, and my mom said, 'I'm definitely not giving up my name.' So they just gave me both."

Douglas-Roberts is the most potent offensive option for Memphis as it heads into tonight's NCAA championship game against Kansas University. He averages 18.0 points per game and poured in a team-high 28 in a victory over UCLA in Saturday's first Final Four semifinal.

He has a charming personality and an explosive game, which oddly enough was fine-tuned in a Detroit boxing gym when he was little.

Douglas-Roberts visited Kronk Gym in Motown almost every day, fine-tuning his athletic ability.

"I did a little boxing," Douglas-Roberts said, "but I wasn't fighting anybody."

Nope, he instead went to the basketball court and became a sought-after recruit. KU coach Bill Self wanted him, but Douglas-Roberts said he wasn't familiar enough with the Sunflower State ever to take a serious look.

"Bill Self, he was always genuine," Douglas-Roberts said. "He was always honest, and he was always good to me, and I really liked that. I looked at those type of things when I was being recruited. Him and (Memphis) coach (John Calipari) were the most genuine to me.

"I just thought that Memphis was a better fit."

Douglas-Roberts calls the floater his trademark shot, but he provided the Final Four's most dazzling highlight when he did a backdoor cut and dunked the ball left-handed over two UCLA big men during the second half.

He has a lot of other tricks in his bag - unorthodox moves that often work and help him get as many points as he does. Calipari compares him to Earl "The Pearl" Monroe - no minor comparison considering Monroe is considered an all-time great.

Every bit of Douglas-Roberts' ability will be needed tonight. Kansas has a defensive presence that's hard to ignore, and Memphis' fast-paced style of play will be seriously tested.

It won't be tweaked, though.

"It is going to be an up-and-down game," Douglas-Roberts said. "It is going to be fun to play in and should be great to watch. To us, the half-court game is boring, and I know you guys think so, too.

"I believe that the two teams that have made the finals are the two that should be playing for the national championship."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.