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December 5, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments




The Morning Dish – Friday, December 5th

Conference Shuffling: Florida Atlantic has accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference for all sports for 2005-06. The Owls, who are currently in the Atlantic Sun Conference, are moving up to Division I-A in football, where they currently are a Division I-AA Independent. The football program, led by former Miami coach Howard Schnellenberger, formed in 2001, and are currently in the I-AA playoffs, facing Northern Arizona in the quarterfinals this weekend. Also officially making the jump for football was Florida International, who was already a Sun Belt member in basketball. The Panthers have fielded a football team for only two seasons. This past offseason, the A-Sun lost Jacksonville State and Samford to the Ohio Valley Conference because of football, and Troy State will also be leaving to join the Sun Belt for the 2004-05 season.

Longhorned: No. 16 Texas dispatched Wofford 103-72 last night in Austin, as Brandon Mouton notched 20 points in the contest. Mouton was assisted by five other Longhorns who scored in double figures, including Baylor transfer Kenny Taylor adding 13, Brad Buckman and Royal Ivey each with 11 and Sydmill Harris and Brian Boddicker each with 10 points. Wofford, the second smallest school in the D-1, was led by Adren Borders with 20 points. Earlier this week Texas hung a C-Note on Centenary, the smallest D-1 school. Cupcakes are off the menu for next week, when the Longhorns face both No. 5 Arizona in the Jimmy V Classic and No. 7 Duke.

Gator Food: In the only other ranked game, No. 3 Florida yawned through a 59-39 victory over Central Florida. As mentioned in the SEC Notebook, the best Walsh to come along since 90210 – Matt Walsh – tallied 19 points, and fellow sophomore Anthony Roberson added 12 in the first game at the Jacksonville Memorial Arena. Florida had a 23-4 run in the middle of the game, and ended strong with 12 consecutive points. Jose Bodden led the Knights with 14 points as UCF shot a whopping 26% from the floor.

Clemons Photoshopped: Former Missouri guard Ricky Clemons has now had his likeness erased from a team photo in the Mizzou media guide. Clemons, who served a 60-day sentence for assault against his former girlfriend this summer, was released from the team for violating the terms of his work-release program. The photo in question was provided by the Columbia Daily Tribune, and showed a celebration scene after a win against Colorado last February. Clemons, who appeared in the background, was overlaid with a clone of the crowd, although, like in the movie “Rising Sun“, they forgot to erase his reflection off the court. The paper may now have issues for modifying a photo without obtaining the rights.

Speaking Of: Missouri President Elson Floyd met with the NCAA yesterday regarding the allegations of academic fraud surrounding the recruitment of Clemons. After the meeting, Floyd indicated to the press that he feels better about the situation, but that doesn’t necessarily preclude the NCAA from ending the investigation or assessing penalties against the Mizzou basketball program. Clemons’ girlfriend alleged that he received improper academic help and also received improper benefits of cash and clothing. Missouri launched its own internal investigation this offseason of how Clemons, a JuCo transfer, could have obtained 24 credit hours in two months to become eligible to play for the Tigers. Clemons allegedly took classes at Barton County (Kansas) Community College, as well as correspondence courses from BYU and Adams College in Colorado. In October, BYU announced that Clemons’ credits checked out.

Quarter-backup: The Arizona Wildcats, who yesterday discovered that they lost Isaiah Fox to a knee injury for the majority of the season, have activated Ryan O’Hara, the third-string quarterback for the Wildcat football team. O’Hara, a 6-6 freshman who lettered in basketball for four years at Muir High School in Pasadena, California, will be a reserve forward for Lute Olson. Olson also indicated that they are considering redshirting Fox, who may be out for the season following knee surgery yesterday.

Weber Grilled: Two Weber State players have been suspended by head coach Joe Cravens for violating team academic rules. Cravens announced that sophomore guard Jamaal Jenkins and freshman forward Donnell Franklyn will be suspended indefinitely. Jenkins is a starter who scored 31 points against Southern Utah earlier this week. Franklyn has two points in the team’s four games.

Aztec Vote: Next week, students and alumni of San Diego State will vote on keeping the Monty Montezuma mascot, who has been shelved for the past three seasons due to protests by Native American groups. For the Aztec Warrior mascot to be reinstated, students, alumni, and the Aztec Athletic Foundation all have to vote in favor of the human representation of the Aztec. Several rallies on campus regarding the fate of the mascot has seen clashes between the two camps. Two years ago, SDSU changed their logos from the Monty Montezuma logo to non-specific Aztec symbols, such as a stylized text.

Wildcat Appeal: The NCAA will hear an appeal next week in the case of Kansas State forward Dramane Diarra, who has been ruled ineligible because his European team was professional. Typically the NCAA institutes a one-for-one suspension, meaning Diarra will sit one game for each game that he played in his native Paris. Diarra is a transfer from Cloud County Community College, where he averaged almost 16 points and 7 boards per game last season.

Tonight’s Menu:

• No. 24 Marquette is the only ranked team that is seeing action tonight, as the Golden Eagles host Grambling State. Marquette is looking to extend their record to 6-0 after coming off an upset win against No. 21 earlier this week 71-58. Grambling State comes into the contest with a record of 1-3, having just defeated Wiley 113-95, in a game that featured Brion Rush scoring 33 points, including 6 treys. Last year, Marquette downed the Tigers 105-74.

• Several smaller tournaments tip off tonight, including the Brothers Air and Heat Shootout, hosted by Winthrop, along with Hampton, Samford, and Southern Miss; the Iowa State Holiday Classic, featuring the Cyclones hosting Arkansas-Little Rock, Idaho State, and IPFW. Across the state, the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge takes place in Iowa City, with Iowa hosting Eastern Washington, and Northern Illinois facing UIC. Down in Missouri, SMS hosts the SMS Pizza Hut Classic, with Coppin State coming off its upset bid against Missouri facing SMS, and Weber State facing Texas State. Lastly, the McCaffrey Price Cutter Classic takes place in Fresno, with the Bulldogs hosting Arkansas-Monticello, and UC-Irvine facing Princeton.

• Tonight several lower division schools also get to face some D-I foes. As mentioned above, Arkansas-Monticello faces Fresno State, and Libery hosts Virginia Intermont. Additionally, Centenary of New Jersey faces Lafayette, and Texas-Permian Basin plays Texas-Arlington.

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