Share “Sooners will take on several star freshmen”

By Scott Wright Modified: November 15, 2007 at 1:15 am •  Published: November 15, 2007
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NEW YORK — As he walked off the court after being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic regional championship game, Memphis freshman Derrick Rose handed the MVP trophy to a team manager.

"He said he didn't deserve it,” Memphis coach John Calipari said.

Unique perspective for a unique talent.

Tonight at 8, Calipari and his humble freshman will take on Oklahoma in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic semifinals on basketball's biggest stage, Madison Square Garden.

In his first two career games, Rose has averaged 19 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and countless "SportsCenter” highlights.

Despite all the attention Rose has generated with his play, Calipari warns media and fans not to overlook the rest of the team — the Tigers returned six key players from a 33-4 squad.

But it's already happening.

"Andre Allen was the reason we won the game, and Chris Douglas-Roberts should have been the MVP,” Calipari said of that Hoops Classic regional. "This isn't Derrick's doing. It's not my doing. It's what we're going to have to deal with.”

As for any internal problems Rose's hype could create, Calipari isn't worried.

"Derrick does not elicit jealousy unless you're a jealous person,” he said.

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Memphis freshman guard Derrick Rose, left, has averaged 19 points and 5.5 rebounds in his first two collegiate games. The Tigers face Oklahoma tonight in the Preseason NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Associated press

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