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November 19, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments




The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 19th

One Year Anniversary: Today marks the one-year anniversary of our daily Morning Dish feature. 340 dispatches (there were some slow news days this offseason and a few holidays), all starting November 19th, 2002. News that day included North Carolina’s new freshmen Rashad McCants, Sean May and Raymond Felton, who showed some promise for Matt Doherty in Chapel Hill (whoops), Coach K returning from hip surgery, Bob Huggins exercising his newly rebuilt heart by kicking a scorer’s table, and just like this year, the Preseason NIT. Thanks to all of our growing population of loyal resident/readers, and if you have any suggestions for improvements for Hoopville, let us know. It’s your town, too.

Bosh Who?: Despite losing Chris Bosh to the NBA during the offseason, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets throttled Louisiana-Lafayette Tuesday night, 79-45. Leading the way for the home Yellow Jackets in this opening round Preseason NIT game was B.J. Elder, who scored 17 points. While the Yellow Jackets were learning to play without its departed NBA lottery pick, the Ragin’ Cajuns were coping with the loss of five inelegible players. With no players on the bench with any Division-I experience, Louisiana-Lafayette was forced to play four players 36 or more minutes.

Tech rolls: A balanced attack led Bob Knight’s Texas Tech Red Raiders past Davidson Tuesday night in the Preseason NIT, 89-58. Scoring in double figures for the Raiders were Andre Emmett, Jarrius Jackson, Ronald Ross, and Joseph Works. Next up is Massachusetts, an 80-58 winner over St. Francis (NY) Tuesday night.

Gamecocks advance: South Carolina held off Idaho, 76-66, in the second round of the Guardian Classic Tuesday night. They were led by Tarence Kinsay, who scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the win. The Gamecocks dominated throughout, trailing only at the outset, 1-0. South Carolina now plays in the semifinals in Kansas City, Missouri.

Minuteman Down: After the win over St. Francis (NY), Massachusetts head coach Steve Lappas announced that senior guard Marcus Cox will not return to the team due to a lingering knee injury. “He came to me today and said he just doesn’t have the desire to mess with that knee every single day,” Lappas said after the Minutemen defeated St. Francis (NY), 80-58, in the first round of the Preseason NIT. “He said he wants to come and sit on the bench at some games, and I’d love to have him. He’s a great kid. He’s going to graduate, but he’s had it with that knee, and I understand.” A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Cox was considered one of the top 100 players in the high school class of 1999 and signed with Connecticut. He spent two seasons in Storrs before transferring to Massachusetts due to a lack of playing time. Cox averaged 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for the Minutemen last season. Thanks to Hoopville senior writer Phil Kasiecki, reporting live from Amherst, who brings the news to you first.

Peterson Buzz: Reports out of Knoxville are indicating that Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson has agreed to a six-year contract extension that will keep him in Knoxville through the 2008-2009 season. The deal reportedly will be worth more than $800,000 a year. Peterson is a modest 32-28 in two years on the job, but clearly Tennessee is convinced he’s the long-term solution to its basketball program. Perhaps the big-time recruiting class that the coach just inked sealed the deal.

Calipari eyeing extension: The latest news out of Memphis is that Tigers coach John Calipari is very close to signing a contract extension that would keep him there through 2010. According to a report by Dick Vitale, despite Memphis being left out of the latest conference juggling, Calipari appears to be content with his current situation, and should be the top contender for the new C-USA crown for years to come.

Sitting Out: As Connecticut takes the court again tonight, the Huskies will be without star freshman Charlie Villanueva, who is still awaiting word on his possible suspension for possibly having NBA teams pay for workout expenses leading up to the NBA Draft in May and June of this year. Villanueva, who had originally entered the NBA Draft, worked out for several teams, and then decided to honor his commitment to UConn and opted out of the draft. This was fine, but in order to be eligible, he or his family were required to pay for all expenses of his NBA exploration, and it’s not yet certain if this was the case. Villanueva was held out of Monday’s game against Yale, and will sit out tonight as well. Both games will be counted as games served against any possible suspension. Meanwhile, Missouri’s Randy Pulley has not yet been cleared to play for the Tigers by Missouri’s certifying officer, Gary Smith. At issue are six credits from Barton County (Kansas) Community College from last season, from whence he came. Pulley has missed all of Mizzou’s exhibition games so far, and hopes to be eligible in time for the Tigers’ season opener against the surprising Oakland Grizzlies on November 29th.

Judge Won’t Dismiss: In the continuing saga of Nolan Richardson v. the University of Arkansas, a federal judge Monday denied a dismissal petition from the Razorback Foundation to get out of Richardson’s lawsuit. U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson Jr. stated that evidence presented by the Razorback Foundation didn’t separate it from being considered one Richardson’s employers at Arkansas, where he was head coach of the Razorbacks for 17 seasons, including the 1994 national championship campaign. Richardson claims that he was fired on March 1st, 2002 because he was black and outspoken. The university, three school officials, and the Razorback Foundation. The ruling does not implicate the foundation – it just clarifies as who can be named as a defendant in the case, which is still under consideration.

Tonight’s Menu:

• No. 1 UConn faces the Nevada Wolf Pack in the first game on the Preseason NIT slate. Connecticut, which had to come back to defeat Yale, hope to get it together against Nevada, who defeated Vermont 69-49 Monday night. The winner of this match will face the winner of Georgia Tech and Hofstra in the Preseason NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden next week.

• In the second game, Minnesota faces Rick Majerus’ Utah Utes. Minnesota defeated UMKC Monday night 78-67 on the strength of freshman Kris Humphries’ 26 points and 15 rebounds. Just think if he stayed with Duke. Moe Hargrow also notched 18 points. Utah managed to defeat Georgia State in a low-scoring affair 46-38, as another freshman sensation, Australian Andrew Bogut, tallied 15 points and 16 rebounds as the Utes came from behind to defeat the Panthers.

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