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December 19, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments




The Morning Dish – Friday, December 19

Where are you?: Bobby Knight is again showing his frustration. Knight, who is in his 38th year of coaching, says he is disappointed with the attendance this season and has pinpointed the West Texas community and the Texas Tech students. Recently, the school pondered the thought of dropping the team if more people do not start showing up. Knight is even threatening to never play in Dallas again if more tickets are not sold when Tech plays Iowa on Monday. Knight has said that there are about 35,000 Texas Tech alums in the Dallas area alone and does not understand why there is not more support for a program that currently has a 9-2 record. “I’m really, really, really disappointed in attendance in basketball games here,” Knight said after Saturday’s night game which only about 6,000 people came to see. “That’s a thing that has come to bother me a lot.” The Red Raiders are averaging 6,976 fans for the 15,098 seat United Spirit Arena. According to some Knight critics, the curiosity factor has worn off since his first season with Texas Tech. He has not thrown a chair and has not had the kind of outbursts he was known for at Indiana. “I think people are still interested,” Gerald Myers, Tech’s athletic director, said. “It’s not that we haven’t sold tickets. His team works hard, he works hard. I think Bob was somewhat frustrated because he wanted the show of support for those players and the efforts and the work they’ve done.” But what might be a contributor to the ‘low turnout’ might very well come from the school’s women’s basketball team as they are currently ranked fourth in the country. “If they’ve got a choice between going to a women’s or men’s game, I think they’ll choose the women,” Gary Elbow, a geography professor at Texas Tech, said. “Whether it bothers Knight or not, it’s a reality.”

A new home coming: After years of playing at their off-campus facility, the Savvis Center, Saint Louis University will soon have a new home on-campus. University officials announced the site and other details for a new 13,000-seat arena which will cost about $70 million. The arena will be built on the campus’ eastern edge, within view of drivers on nearby Interstate 64. The new arena will serve as a center for indoor sports, commencement ceremonies, concerts, circuses and other events. “We know that St. Louisans are excited about this project, which will be good for SLU and good for midtown St. Louis,” university president Lawrence Biondi said. The university hopes to have the open arena in time for the 2005-’06 season, the year the Billikens are scheduled to move to the Atlantic 10 conference from Conference USA. Construction of the arena is scheduled to last about two years, but will not begin until about $40 million is raised in private donations. So far, the school has $10 towards that goal. Athletic Director Doug Woolard said that the reason for the new arena is that the Billikens often run into scheduling conflicts at the Savvis Center, which is also the home of the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. He hopes that the new arena will allow for more flexibility in scheduling games for television and setting up postseason games.

On the injured list: University of Michigan sophomore center Chris Hunter had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will be out indefinitely. Hunter missed the Bowling Green game last Saturday after playing in 35 consecutive games. He had started all five games this season and averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

South Carolina guard suspended: Junior Josh Gonner, who has started eight games and is averaging nine points a contest, was suspended from the University of South Carolina team for a violation of team rules, head coach Dave Odom said before the team’s game on Wednesday against Charleston Southern. Odom said Gonner’s status will be “reviewed and determined” later today.

South Carolina down another player: Guard Jarod Gerald has decided to leave the University of South Carolina basketball team and university, according to head coach Dave Odom. Gerald is academically ineligible and is currently discussing with his family his future plans. “I am extremely disappointed that Jarod was unable to maintain an academic track that would lead to graduation,” Odom said. “To me, this is a sad day, for I know Jarod has the ability to do college work. I truly hope that he will use the time away from school to review his priorities and eventually return to college and resume his education.” In six games this season, Gerald has seen 56 minutes worth of action.

Buckeyes suspend forward: Ohio State University head coach Jim O’Brien has decided to suspend sophomore forward Matt Sylvester on Thursday for one game for flagrantly elbowing a Furman player in Wednesday night’s victory. With 11 minutes remaining in the game and the Buckeyes up five, Sylvester elbowed Furman’s Nick Sanders while lined up for a free throw. There are no indications that there will be an investigation by the NCAA. “What Matt did last night is unacceptable and he needs to learn this lesson,” O’Brien said. “Yes, emotions run high and frustration sets in during the heat of games but he needs to know how to control his emotions and that what he did wrong.” As part of the suspension, Sylvester must write a letter of apology to Sanders. Sylvester is averaging 4.9 points and 2.1 rebounds a contest.

Tonight’s menu:

&#8226 No top 25 games are on the menu tonight.

&#8226 But that does not mean there are any bad soups on the menu. Colorado will host Tennessee State and Utah will host CS-Northridge. In addition, USC will face regional rival Fresno State and Northern Illinois will host San Jose State.

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