OT: Problems in Memphis

Banks Suspended

Is it wrong to take such joy in the misery of Memphis fans? :unsure:

[i]Originally posted by MKNiner[/i]@Dec 14 2004, 04:36 PM [b] Is it wrong to take such joy in the misery of Memphis fans? :unsure: [/b]
NO :D

The Christmas season just became a bit merrier.

Memphis’ Sean Banks suspended indefinitely Tuesday
By Staff reports, Memphis Commercial Appeal
December 14, 2004

Sophomore forward Sean Banks was suspended indefinitely Tuesday, University of Memphis basketball coach John Calipari announced.

“It’s a violation of team rules, nothing major,” Calipari said. "But when a lot of ‘nothing majors’ are let go, you have to do something because otherwise you have no parameters, and it’s just the wild, wild West, and you can’t have that.

“So hopefully he uses this time and comes back and becomes our star because that’s what we need him to be.”

Calipari said Banks will continue to work out, but not with the team. There is no timetable on his return.

Banks, last season’s Conference USA Freshman of the Year, is the Tigers’ second-leading scorer (16 points per game) and rebounder (6.1 rebounds per game), though he’s shooting just 37 percent from the field.

Banks scored five points on 1-of-8 shooting in Saturday’s home loss to Ole Miss that dropped the Tigers to a disappointing 5-4. He didn’t start for the first time in his college career.

Senior Duane Erwin, who started at power forward against the Rebels, should replace Banks again in the lineup when the Tigers return to action Saturday night at 7 at FedExForum against Austin Peay.

A snippet from the ESPN story:

Banks’ suspension has been building for months, starting when he left the team following the season to head home to New Jersey without telling the staff. He then angered Calipari in July when he committed to play for USA Basketball and then didn’t show up for the trials for the World Championship for Young Men’s Qualifying team, even though they were being held at the New Jersey Nets’ facility, less than 15 minutes from his house. Banks then apparently didn’t come back to school in shape.

“Sean didn’t do anything major. He didn’t follow the rules,” Calipari told ESPN.com.

The news got worse for the Tigers when backup point guard Jeremy Hunt underwent surgery Tuesday for a broken left wrist. Calipari said Hunt is out for the next four weeks.

Nice. Sounds like I’ll have some more enjoyable forum reading tonight over at ncaabbs.com. :lol:

Couldn’t happen to a nicer, more mature bunch

[i]Originally posted by HP49er[/i]@Dec 14 2004, 04:39 PM [b]

Memphis’ Sean Banks suspended indefinitely Tuesday
[/b]


Who else thinks the indefinite suspension ends at about 6:59pm on Saturday?
[i]Originally posted by Smoothieking+Dec 14 2004, 07:13 PM-->
[b]QUOTE[/b] (Smoothieking @ Dec 14 2004, 07:13 PM)
<!--QuoteBegin-HP49er[/i]@Dec 14 2004, 04:39 PM [b]

Memphis’ Sean Banks suspended indefinitely Tuesday
[/b]
Who else thinks the indefinite suspension ends at about 6:59pm on Saturday? [/b][/quote]
Smoothie, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the following happen here. Banks could

  1. Transfer
  2. Quit and wait for the NBA draft
  3. Stick with the suspension, finish out the season, then the NBA draft

BTW, I think Calipari needs to take a look in the mirror to see the biggest problem with the Tigers… :rolleyes:

[i]Originally posted by run49er[/i]@Dec 15 2004, 10:58 AM [b] BTW, I think Calipari needs to take a look in the mirror to see the biggest problem with the Tigers... :rolleyes: [/b]
Careful with talk like that. We may end up with MissJ on here talking about how she was sniffing Cal's wife's crotc...I mean talking to Cal's wife and how he's not going anywhere and is the greatest thing in Memphis since Graceland. :rolleyes:
[i]Originally posted by Smoothieking[/i]@Dec 14 2004, 07:13 PM [b] Who else thinks the indefinite suspension ends at about 6:59pm on Saturday? [/b]
[b]Then he made it clear that if Banks shows a willingness to do the things necessary to return to the team, he could be back for Monday's game against Louisiana Tech.[/b]

Tigers bench Banks, Calipari suspends star indefinitely
By Gary Parrish, Memphis Commercial Appeal
December 15, 2004

There had been yelling and screaming, begging and benching. But no matter what the University of Memphis coaching staff did to get a positive reaction from Sean Banks, nothing worked.

On Tuesday, things went a step further. John Calipari suspended the sophomore star indefinitely iin a drastic measure made necessary by escalating desperate circumstances.

“I suspended him for breaking team rules,” Calipari said. “It’s nothing major. But when a lot of ‘nothing majors’ are let go, then you have no parameters. Then it’s the wild west, and you can’t have that.”

The suspension of Banks is the latest development in this season gone wrong, and further evidence that he has been at the core of the Tigers’ problems.

The Memphis staff has criticized Banks, who did not return phone messages from The Commercial Appeal, almost daily since he returned from his home in New Jersey, where he spent the summer and skipped the trials for the World Championship for Young Men Qualifying team.

Banks, a 6-8 forward, has rejected pleas to show more energy and less attitude. He has ignored ultimatums to get closer to the basket and rebound.

Consequently, Banks was benched for the beginning of Saturday’s loss to Ole Miss, marking the first time in his career that he did not start a game. Apparently, that disciplinary action did not resonate because on Tuesday morning Banks broke an unspecified team rule that forced Calipari’s hand.

“Suspending him was the only recourse I had,” Calipari said. “He knows what’s expected of him.”

Asked if the final violation was something as simple as missing a team breakfast or skipping a weight-lifting session, Calipari assured that it was. Then he made it clear that if Banks shows a willingness to do the things necessary to return to the team, he could be back for Monday’s game against Louisiana Tech.

“Hopefully Sean uses this week, and then he comes back,” Calipari said. “But he’s going to have to prove to the team and staff that he’s committed to this.”

Chemistry between stars undeveloped, Washington, Banks an uneasy mix so far
By Gary Parrish, Memphis Commercial Appeal
December 15, 2004

[i]“We’re becoming a team, after only five practices. Believe me when I tell you, we were just a collection of players. But we’re really coming together right now. So I’m happy.” – John Calipari, Oct. 21

“This is going to be hard. I’m tired because every day of practice is a battle. Nothing’s easy. You ask. They don’t give. You yell. They might give. Everything is a battle right now.” – John Calipari, Dec. 11[/i]

In the 51 days from that first quote to the second, the University of Memphis has gone from a team with preseason promise to one with in-season problems.

The Tigers are out of the national rankings. Their star player is suspended. Sportsline.com called them the biggest disappointment of the year, and few would argue, not after last Saturday’s 65-53 loss to Ole Miss that dropped the record to 5-4.

But why? And how?

How could something so good turn so bad so quickly? How could Year Five of the John Calipari era be going like this?

Listen to talk radio any afternoon, and there is no shortage of opinions.

But those close to the Memphis program have in the past few days referenced one obstacle that’s proven hard to overcome.

It is that Sean Banks and Darius Washington have clashed on the court since becoming teammates and created a quagmire that’s left Calipari juggling egos in an attempt to get two of his best players on the so-called same page.

“It’s pretty obvious,” Calipari said when asked about the importance of his point guard and star forward getting along on the court. “But that’s really something you’d have to talk to them about.”

Not all the Tigers’ troubles should be blamed on Banks and Washington. Other factors have contributed to Memphis losing four of its past six games, like two backcourt injuries, the fearless nonconference scheduling, and Rodney Carney’s emergence in New York, and the mild jealousy it seemingly created.

But according to those close to the situation, the problem that dwarfs all others and has prompted an unraveling of team unity is that Banks and Washington have yet to unify in practices and games.

Granted, the situation hasn’t reached Kobe-Shaq levels. Banks, a sophomore, and Washington, a freshman, are still roommates in an on-campus apartment.

But there has been a clear basketball rift between the two, one that produced verbal altercations laced with frustration and prompted a lengthy meeting on Monday between Calipari, Banks and Washington.

It culminated on Tuesday, when Banks was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

“Sean’s still young and Darius is young, but this is just about them coming together,” said former Tiger and current Grizzly point guard Antonio Burks. “At some point, they’re going to have to come together if they want to win.”

In an inadvertent way, Burks is actually at the root of some of this. He was the guy in Washington’s role last season, the guy setting up Banks at every turn and helping him earn Conference USA Freshman of the Year honors.

Washington has had a tough transition to the point, and thus had trouble getting Banks the ball where the 6-8 forward is used to getting the ball.

“Sean’s just so used to playing with Antonio that he’s been frustrated by some of the things I’m doing,” Washington said. “He was used to everything going snap, snap, snap. But now he knows that I’m still learning. I think everything will be OK.”

Which is crucial on many levels.

It’s crucial for Banks, and his NBA aspirations. It’s crucial for Washington, and his NBA aspirations.

But mostly, it’s crucial for the Tigers, and their postseason aspirations. Because unless Banks and Washington learn to mesh on the court, then that Sweet 16 many were predicting this season doesn’t seem likely heading into Saturday’s game against Austin Peay.

“It’s real important for Darius and Sean to get together because for the majority of the game they are out there together,” said injured guard Jeremy Hunt. "Darius has to create for Sean, and Sean has to create for Darius. They have to help each other. They have to have a bond.

“But it can’t get worse, it can only get better,” Hunt concluded. “They just have to agree to get on the same page.”

Wonder why Banks got suspended and Washington didn’t? Hmmm…

[b]"Sean's just so used to playing with Antonio that he's been frustrated by some of the things I'm doing," Washington said. "He was used to everything going snap, snap, snap. But now he knows that I'm still learning. I think everything will be OK."[/b]

Uhhh, he played with him for 1 season.

What else could go wrong for the poor little kitties? All I read last year was how great it was going to be to move into the FedEx Forum. Now, all they can talk about is how bad the fans are treated at the games there.

[i]Originally posted by Smoothieking[/i]@Dec 15 2004, 12:58 PM [b]
[b]"Sean's just so used to playing with Antonio that he's been frustrated by some of the things I'm doing," Washington said. "He was used to everything going snap, snap, snap. But now he knows that I'm still learning. I think everything will be OK."[/b]

Uhhh, he played with him for 1 season.[/b]


Smoothie, not defending anyone here, but if I’m Sean Banks, yes, I would rather have Antonio Burks setting me up than Darius Washington.

Burks, 2003-04 Stats:
16.0 points per game
3.2 rebounds per game
5.5 assist per game
2.5 turnovers per game
2.4 steals per game

Washington, 2004-05 Stats:
12.1 ppg
3.1 rpg
2.7 apg
3.7 tpg
1.9 spg

The thing that really stands out on their respective stats is the assists and turnovers. So perhaps Banks is on to something there.

My only problem with that reasoning run is that Burks was a senior. Washington is a freshmen still learning the system.

No doubt Banks would rather have Burks, but if he had a shred of common sense he’d know that developing a freshmen PG takes time.

[i]Originally posted by MKNiner[/i]@Dec 15 2004, 01:40 PM [b] My only problem with that reasoning run is that Burks was a senior. Washington is a freshmen still learning the system.

No doubt Banks would rather have Burks, but if he had a shred of common sense he’d know that developing a freshmen PG takes time. [/b]


MK, couldn’t agree with you more. Therein lies the rub – in Burks the Tigers had a seasoned veteran who knew the system and the importance of Banks to their success last season. Seems to me that perhaps Calipari had too much faith in his ability to transform Washington into Burks II right off the bat. Injuries haven’t helped the Tigers either.

I’m no Memphis fan, but I had hoped the Tigers would have a breakout season as it translates to the conference RPI and ours as well. Not to mention the opportunity to knock off another top 25 foe on February 23rd. Alas, all of that seems a pipedream now. Hopefully we will still have those opportunities when we play Louisville, Cincy, and Marquette.

[i]Originally posted by run49er[/i]@Dec 15 2004, 02:01 PM [b] MK, couldn't agree with you more. Therein lies the rub -- in Burks the Tigers had a seasoned veteran who knew the system and the importance of Banks to their success last season. Seems to me that perhaps Calipari had too much faith in his ability to transform Washington into Burks II right off the bat. Injuries haven't helped the Tigers either.

I’m no Memphis fan, but I had hoped the Tigers would have a breakout season as it translates to the conference RPI and ours as well. Not to mention the opportunity to knock off another top 25 foe on February 23rd. Alas, all of that seems a pipedream now. Hopefully we will still have those opportunities when we play Louisville, Cincy, and Marquette. [/b]


Agree totally run.

Memphis’ struggles, as joyous as they are to watch, hurt our conference RPI wise and recognition wise. We need a good year in the wins department b/c it doesn’t look like our conference RPI will pull us up later in the year.

Run,

I agree that Burks was better than Washington, but when I read the quote, it seemed to me that Washington was acting as if Burks and Banks had played together for 3 years or something.

I am sorry but I can NEVER pull for Memphis State…

Some of their posts are terrible very arrogant fans…They mostly have a chip on their shoulder against Ole Miss and not being in the SEC.

Plus after this year we are out of this conference and CUSA will be in very, very bad shape football and b ball wise.

Look for Herrion to get the boot at ECU this year as well.

The one bright spot in the league, providing their coach stays, is UAB.

Look for Cal to say adios.