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Horizon League Notebook

December 8, 2001 Conference Notes No Comments

Horizon Notebook

Getting no respect is part and parcel of being a mid-major program. But Butler sometimes appears as if they’re being absolutely ignored.

Despite rolling to a 7-0 record, including wins against Washington, Indiana State and Purdue, Butler hasn’t even received a sniff of the Top 25. In the latest AP Poll, the Bulldogs received 40 points, putting them in 33rd.

But that isn’t fazing the Bulldogs. After defeating Lipscomb for Butler’s seventh straight win, Darnell Archey told the Indianapolis Star that the Bulldogs are looking within for motivation.

“We’re all about mental toughness,” he said. “We’re trying to be the toughest team in America. And the smartest. So far, we’ve proved that this year.”

Rallying around themselves might be the right motivation for a team that’s not going to get much attention from the national media unless its winning streak gets into the teens. Besides, these early season wins are going to be important later in the year when RPIs are calculated.

And those are the only rankings that matter to coaches and the selection committee, when it comes time to pick the 64-team field.

So far, so good: With only a season-opening loss against Michigan State blemishing its record, Detroit will take a 5-1 mark into its December 8th contest against Maryland, arguably one of the Titans’ biggest regular season contests ever. The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.

Detroit doesn’t have the horses to keep up with Maryland, but if the game is close in the final five minutes, watch and see the moves Titans’ coach Perry Watson makes. The man is one of the best late game coaches in America.

Monopoly for Bailey: David Bailey has won Horizon Player of the Week honors twice already this season, en route to a nation-leading 27.6 points per game average. Arizona’s Jason Gardner is second with 27 ppg. But Bailey has been getting the job done all over the court, adding 5.8 assists and 3.2 steals per game as well.

M.A.S.H. @ UWGB?: Early season injuries are always disruptive, but especially so for Wisconsin-Green Bay this season. In addition to the six-game suspension being served by Calix N’diaye for playing with a pro team in Europe, the top returning scorer from last year’s team has been lost for the season.

Mike King has decided to sit out this season because of chronic back pain and will use this season as a redshirt year. He will have two years of eligibility left. King, who averaged 9.6 points per game last season, was looking forward to being one of the leaders of the Phoenix this year and made the decision to sit the year out grudgingly.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing,” he said. “But I believe its possible for me to get back to 100 percent next year and that is what I plan to do. I’ll rehab and do anything I can to get back.”

No, it’s not a stage name: In addition to starting at guard for Illinois-Chicago, senior T.J. Mixson is also a rapper for a Chicago-area outfit known as “Do Or Die”. The group has opened for the Ruff Ryders and according to the Illinois-Chicago sports infomation office, is also being wooed by Bad Boy Entertainment and Cream Entertainment to join their record labels.

Mixson, who also sports a 3.90 grade point average and coaches youth basketball teams near the UIC campus, has said he’s held off pursuing a rap career to finish his career with the Flames and get his degree.

“When I start something, I like to finish it,” he said.

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