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November 7, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Friday, November 7th

A-12 Expanding: As expected, the Atlantic 10 Conference made a play to add their 13th and 14th teams yesterday, by inviting Charlotte and Saint Louis to join up for the 2005-06 seson. Charlotte planned a Monday press conference to announce their decision, while Saint Louis played a little more coy, as athletic director Doug Woolard indicated that the school would conduct research into the move prior to making any announcement. Both schools will boost the profile of the A-10, and will move the conference’s balance of power even more west and south, along with a core hub in Philadelphia. Though not unexpected, the move would further weaken Conference USA, which up to now has put up a pretty good battle. Faced with losing five schools to the Big East, the conference countered with three WAC and two MAC schools. But with football power TCU considering a jump to the Mountain West, and Charlotte and Saint Louis likely packing for the A-10, Conference USA is left with Memphis and Southern Miss as their highest-profile squads.

Fired: As reported earlier this week, Kentucky State head coach Winston Bennett was suspended without pay for allegedly hitting senior guard Ricky Green in the face during a practice in front of the entire team. Well, yesterday the other shoe dropped, and Bennett was fired from the school. Assistant coach Tom Patterson was named interim head coach for the Thorobreds. Bennett leaves the program with a 44-43 overall record in three seasons.

Ow! Wisconsin: Once again, we have another injury to a Wisconsin basketball player. This time it’s sophomore guard Boo Wade, who injured his left knee in practice yesterday. Wade will be sidelined for three to four weeks, though the specifics of the injury were not released. Wade was the Badgers’ sixth man last season, and played in all 32 games, averaging 3 points and 2 rebounds per game. Let’s recap: Sophomore forward Jason Chappell broke his right foot last week in practice, and is expected to miss five to seven more weeks. Meanwhile, starter Alando Tucker is still out with his broken foot, which required surgery, and isn’t expected back until December at the earliest. And then senior guard Freddie Owens has a minor foot injury, and sophomore forward Andreas Helmigk is day-to-day with a sprained ankle.

Redshirting: Utah head coach Rick Majerus has announced that he may end up redshirting up to six players this season. Majerus, who has 16 players on the squad currently, has already announced that freshman guard Ryan Werch and freshman center Stefan Zimmerman would work on their games this season. Werch would be low on the Utes’ depth chart, while Zimmerman was criticized for showing up in school out of shape. Utah opens the season November 17th against Georgia State. Meanwhile, Purdue head coach Gene Keady announced that freshman swingman Adam Liddell will redshirt this season. Liddell, from DeKalb (Indiana) High School, averaged 11 points, 8 boards and 4 assists on the Inidana All-Stars team this summer, but Keady thought that sitting out the year would improve his game. Minnesota freshman forward Kerry Wooldridge has decided to redshirt this season, after head coach Don Monson gave him the option last week. Wooldridge would be behind Moe Hargrow, Ben Johnson, Stan Gaines, Adam Boone on the depth chart. And Texas Tech will be redshirting freshman guard Drew Coffman, who broke his right thumb in practice two days ago. Coffman, a graduate of Midland (Texas) Lee High School, had no timetable for recovery from the injury, and surgery had not yet been ruled out.

Carey Coming Back: Almost a year ago, college basketball held its collective breath as New Mexico guard Senque Carey, as he lay on the floor paralyzed after taking a charge against a Northwestern State player. Carey, whose paralysis later subsided, inspired the team by walking back onto the floor two weeks later. After several procedures at Stanford Medical Center near his East Palo Alto home, Carey was denied medical clearance from New Mexico to return as a player. But that hasn’t stopped him. This season Carey will step out onto the floor as an undergraduate assistant coach for the Lobos, and head coach Ritchie McKay believes he’ll make a good coach someday. Carey will complete his bachelor’s degree this semester, and will be married in June. For now, he hopes to land a D-I assistant coaching position in the Bay Area. Welcome back, Senque, you’re one of the good guys.

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College Basketball Tonight

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