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December 10, 2008Tyreke Evans has been good in his debut season.
John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers need him to be better if they have any hope of a return to the glory of the past three seasons that saw the Tigers win 104 games and reach two Elite Eights and the national championship game in succession.
So the coach rides the kid. This is what Calipari said after Evans scored a season-high 24 points in a 100-61 rout of Marist: "I liked how Tyreke played. He messed with the ball about three of four times, opposed to every time. So, the rest of the time he scored, got to the rim."
Getting to the rim is never a bad strategy. It's an even better one at the moment for the 6-foot-6 Evans, who to this point is struggling mightily from the perimeter (4-of-20). He's a better outside shooter than he has displayed, but he also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and score in a variety of ways.
Memphis is 5-1, with games coming this month against Big East teams Georgetown, Syracuse and Cincinnati. If it's going to win at least two and perhaps all three, it will need Evans not to mess around.
Through games of Monday, Dec. 8:
1. B.J. Mullens, Ohio State
4. Brandon Jennings, Lottomatica Roma
6. Tyreke Evans, Memphis
11. Devin Ebanks, West Virginia
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.