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November 18, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 18th

Huskies Bark Louder Than Bulldogs: But not by much. UConn, No. 1 in the Hoopville Top 25, had to overcome a 31-28 halftime deficit, but defeated in-state rival Yale, 70-60 in Round 1 of the Preseason NIT. Preseason All-America Emeka Okafor led Connecticut with 21 points, 13 boards as his club outscored the Bulldogs 42-29 in the second half. A 14-2 run out of the second-half gate gave Jim Calhoun’s club the lead for good and his first win on the year. Yale had three players in double figures with Dominick Martin and Edwin Draughn each netting 14. UConn will square off against Nevada in the Round 2 on Wednesday.

TJ? No, PJ!: The post-TJ Ford era has begun at Texas and so far, the Longhorns ain’t missin’ him. Freshman forward PJ Tucker posted an 18 point, 13 rebound night as the boys from Austin thumped Brown, 89-51 in the NABC Classic. Three other players scored in double-digits with Brandon Mouton filing for 16 and Kenny Taylor and Brian Boddicker hitting for 12 each. The No. 11 Horns owned the glass in this one. Center James Thomas hauled in 19 of Texas’s 59 rebounds. Brown was led by senior forward Jaime Kilburn’s 16 points and 13 boards.

Xavier Handles Helms: Last season Oakland guard Mike Helms was third in the nation in scoring at a 26.9 clip. His prolific ways continued in the first two rounds of the Black Coaches Association Classic with nights of 31 against San Diego – a tournament record – and 27 against Illinois-Chicago. No. 23 Xavier, however, found an answer for Helms and held the crafty senior to just 6-of-25 shooting and 14 points. The Musketeers took the BCA Classic title game, 76-66, over the Grizzlies to remain undefeated at 3-0. While Lionel Chalmers impressed with 20 points, First-Team All-America Romain Sato disappointed with 1-of-12 shooting for 11 points, but he did have four blocks.

Another Ailing Trojan: The MASH unit that is USC adds another player to its injured list. Senior guard Desmon Farmer hurt his right hip in a Sunday night exhibition win over the Long Island All-Stars. Farmer, who averaged 18.7 ppg last season, joins guard Roy Smiley (ankle) and forward Nick Curtis (knee). Farmer will underwent a precautionary x-ray Monday and hopes to be in the lineup when the Trojans’ face Western Michigan in their opener on Friday.

New Dimensions: In two of Monday night’s Guardians Classic games the NCAA experimented with the international-style trapezoidal lane and extended three-point line. The NCAA Rules Committee voted to implement the 20-foot, six inch arc for the 2003-04 season but stopped short to allow for more study on both the line and the lane. Well, the guinea pigs were South Carolina and Gardner Webb and Idaho and Elon. The Gamecocks and Vandals were both victors 83-74 and 84-60 respectively.

Boo Is Back: Wisconsin must be thrilled to have shooting guard Boo Wade back for the regular season. Wade, who injured his left knee on November 5, returned to the Badger lineup to face the NDBL Charleston Lowgaters last night, a week ahead of doctors’ predictions. But Wade’s return is only one bright spot on an otherwise crippled Wisconsin club. Forwards Alando Tucker and Jason Chappell have two good feet between them. Both have broken tootsies and are out indefiintely.

Tonight’s Menu:

• While a dark night for the Hoopville Top 25, there are still four Preseason NIT contests. Lousiana-Lafayette takes on Georgia Tech in Atlanta, St. Francis of New York visits UMass, Hofstra Meets Marist and Texas Tech hosts Davidson. All eight teams involved in tonight’s games are seeing their first action of the season.

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