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January 6, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – January 6th

The Great Longhorn Escape: Providence had a chance to prove it belonged in the Hoopville Top 25 last night and almost made their case, but a PJ Tucker overtime buzzer beater sank the Friars and lifted Texas to a 79-77 win. Officials took several minutes to deliberate over the game-winning floater in the lane, watching replay after replay before declaring Tucker’s bucket good.

Tucker’s basket broke the hearts of the home crowd, who exulted just 3.7 seconds earlier when Donnie McGrath nailed a three to tie the game at 77. The fans also watched their Friars scorch off a 12-0 run late in the second half to give them a 74-71 lead. Royal Ivey, who knotted things up at 74 with a trey at :15 of regulation, led 8-2 Texas with 22 points. Ryan Gomes of Providence eclipsed all scorers with 28 points. The game brought Texas coach Rick Barnes back to New England. Barnes coached Providence from 1988-94, taking the Friars to three NCAA tourneys in that time.

Hoopville senior writer Phil Kasiecki was at the game and had these comments from head referee Tim Higgins: “No call originally. In our game 00 doesn’t end the game. Game ends with horn or light. The first eight times we could not see the
light. When it was superimposed with 5 screens it was clear that the ball beat the light. We looked at it so many times because we couldn’t see the light.”

Possible Delay in Dotson Trial: The Baylor-gate saga continues. The murder trial for ex-player Carlton Dotson may be delayed. A preliminary hearing was set for February 27th, with a trial for the murder of teammate Patrick Dennehy set for March 22. However, Dotson’s lawyer, Abel Reyna, claims that his team is still sifting through stacks of police reports and wants to gather as much information before moving forward. If the trial were to begin on its original date, it would be held in Waco, TX’s 54th State District Court. As of now, Dotson’s legal team believes it is too early to file for a change of venue or trial date.

More Baylor Bad News: In a story completely unrelated to the Dennehy murder trial, two current Bear starters have been declared academically ineligible. Terrance Thomas and R.T. Guinn, both seniors, are two of the teams top statistical leaders. At 18.6 ppg and 8.0 rpg, Thomas is both the best scorer and rebounder at Baylor. Guinn averaged 11.2 ppg and his 5.2 rpg were good for second best. The departure of Thomas and Guinn leaves the Bears with just five active scholarship players.

Ghosts of Georgia’s Past: Administrators at the University of Georgia stated that they will not contest four rules violations during the Jim Harrick coaching era. After charges of academic fraud and improper benefits came to light last winter, Georgia self-imposed a ban on postseason tournaments for its basketball teams. Jim Harrick, Jr. and assistant coach and son of former head coach Jim Harrick, was implicated in three of the violations. Harrick was fired mid-season last year.

The Athens, Ga., school has until March 2nd to respond to all of the findings, but the university has indicated that it will not fight the charges and that it’s self-imposed penalties were enough of a punishment. The NCAA Committee on Infractions will decide for itself whether those sanctions were enough at an mid-April meeting in Indianapolis.

Lame Duck: Aaron Brooks, Oregon’s freshman point guard, will be out of commission for 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist. Brooks, a starter averaging 6.7 point and 2.9 assists, injured the wrist in an 81-74 loss to UCLA on Sunday. MRIs and a CT scan revealed a broken right hamate bone. Brooks will undergo surgery today.

Jayhawks in the Buff: Kansas opened up Big 12 play on a high note, and they did it on the road. Wayne Simien led four Jayhawks in double figures, filling it up for 21 points in a 77-62 W over Colorado. Keith Langford added 18 in what was a well-balanced effort for KU. Colorado’s Blair Wilson found the bucket for 19 points, including three hits from beyond the arc. Free throws were the bane of Colorado’s night as the Buffs missed 10 of 25 from the line.

Creighton Keeps On Keepin’ On: The Creighton Blue Jays continued their winning ways against Bradley, besting the Bears, 66-49. Brody Deren, who leads the team in points (11.4) and rebounds (6.6), paced his club with 15. Creighton, a weekly receiving-votes team, has jumped out to a 10-0 mark.

Tonight’s Menu:

• The Top 25 is pretty active tonight, with a few high-caliber teams squaring off against conference foes. Number One UConn visits Rutgers in the Huskies first Big East outing, while 14-0 Pittsburgh is at home for Virginia Tech. In the A-10, 11-0 St. Joe’s flies into Richmond while Wisconsin hosts Indiana in Big Ten action. Some of the best are wrapping up their non-conference schedules, like Wake Forest. The 9-0 Deacons entertain Brown, and Duke gives a big Cameron Crazy welcome to Fairfield.

• Intra-conference matchups of note feature St. Peter’s at Siena. The Peacocks’ KiKi Clark is number 2 in the nation in scoring at 26.8 ppg, even though SPC has dropped three of its last five; 8-2 Kent State travels to Marshall for play in the “other” MAC; A clash of Big East titans pits 10-2 Boston College against 10-0 Georgetown; Things get WAC’y when Tulsa heads to Southern Methodist; In the SEC it’s 9-1 LSU visiting Arkansas; Charlotte and DePaul butt heads in C-USA action and The Citadel and Davidson are both looking for their first SoCon win.

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