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February 13, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 13th, 2003

by Brian Seymour

It’s an all too familar story lately — a member of the college coaching fraternity stricken with a life-threatening illness.

Yet it’s not deja vu, it’s real life for Marquette assistant coach Trey Schwab, who is near the top of a list of persons nationally waiting for a lung transplant.

Schwab, 38, was diagosed 13 months ago with a rare, incurable lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The disease essentially attacks the lungs’ air sacs, hindering the body’s ability to produce oxygen.

Since then, Schwab has been challenged with getting in the best shape possible to make him eligible for the transplant procedure and improving his chances of surviving the 24-hour-long procedure. He weighed 327 pounds when diagnosed and he’s now down to 215 pounds.

Because he’s in the top 10 on the national organ donor list, Schwab will soon no longer be able to travel with the team in case the lungs become available — he needs to stay as close as possible to the University of Wisconsin Medical Center, where the operation will be performed.

After the surgery, Schwab — who coordinates video, travel and on-campus recruiting for No. 11 Marquette — will spend up to six weeks in the hospital and another six weeks in housing near the hospital so he can get checkups and doctors can monitor his lungs and the medicine which will keep his body from rejecting the lungs.

We don’t get in the habit of supporting many causes here at Hoopville — other than great basketball of course — but we want to point you to possibly becoming an organ donor, one of the most important decisions someone can make.

The Golden Eagles (18-3, 9-1) were in action Wednesday night and moved ahead of Louisville in Conference USA’s American Division standings with a 73-60 win over DePaul.

Side Dishes

Louisville win streak over: Saint Louis put an end to the nation’s longest win streak and any aspirations of Louisville ascending to the nation’s top ranking in a 59-58 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis. Marque Perry scored 25 points, six in the final 13 seconds, highlighted by the game-winning layup with 3.2 seconds remaining. Louisville (18-2, 8-1 C-USA) had won 17 straight games. The Billikens improve to 9-12, 3-7. The Cardinals, meanwhile, face a crucial contest on Saturday at Marquette, which will possibly decide the regular-season conference champion.

Creighton rallies for OT win: Creighton moved a step closer to the regular-season Missouri Valley Conference title after nipping Southwest Missouri State 70-67 in overtime at home. The Bluejays (22-2, 12-1) trailed by 11 points at halftime, but battled back to take the lead in the final five minutes before seeing the game go to the extra stanza. The Bears (13-8, 9-3) lost their fifth straight to Creighton.

NCAA investigating Fresno State: Call me cynical, but you didn’t have be Nostradamus to predict one day seeing this headline — NCAA opens investigation into Fresno State fraud.

Yes, the NCAA was on Fresno State’s campus Wednesday starting a formal investigation into academic fraud by former basketball players during the seven seasons Jerry Tarkanian served as coach at the school.

According to a report in the Fresno Bee, several former players had course work performed for them, which was paid for by money funneled through a Las Vegas agent. The accusations were leveled by a former team statistician who claims he was paid $1,500 to perform course work for Courtney Alexander, Terrance Roberson and Dennis Nathan.

Alexander, now with the New Orleans Hornets, denies the charges. Others at the university implicated in the scandal also deny involvement. For his part, Tarkanian is also skeptical of the allegations.

“In 37 years of coaching I’ve never had a case of academic fraud,” he says. “I can’t believe what you are saying is accurate. We have always taken academics very seriously.”

The NCAA had already investigated allegations of players receiving extra benefits from meals, for which the school issued self-imposed penalties.

Missouri upset: Bernard King scored a season-high 29 points and Bradley Jackson’s basket with two seconds left led Texas A&M to a 73-71 upset over No. 20 Missouri (14-6, 5-4) in College Station, Texas. King’s steal of Missouri’s ensuing inbounds pass sealed the victory for the Aggies (12-8, 4-5).

Tonight’s Menu

Basketball history will be made tonight — you can’t ask for much more than that.

• Yes, history will be made by Tennessee State athletic director Teresa Phillips, who will become the first woman to coach a Division I men’s college basketball team when the Tigers face Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tenn. Interim coach Hosea Lewis was suspended for one game after a bench-clearing brawl last week which led to the ejection of 19 players. Phillips was 212-189 in 11 seasons at the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Tennessee State.

• The only game pitting two teams in Hoopville’s Top 25 finds No. 9 Duke visiting No. 17 Wake Forest. It’s only the fifth road contest of the season for the Blue Devils, who are 1-3 away from Cameron Indoor with three straight losses. Wake Forest is 12-0 at home.

• All three ranked Pac 10 teams will be in action at their respective home arenas — No. 24 Stanford vs. Washington; No. 23 California vs. Washington State and in what will likely be a dangerous game for the nation’s top ranked team, No. 1 Arizona hosts UCLA.

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