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January 28, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 28th

Pitino may be back in action: Louisville coach Rick Pitino is saying that he’d like to be pacing the sidelines this weekend after previoiusly stating that he was going to take a leave of absence. Pitino has been sufferring from an undisclosed illness that has been causing him extreme pain. Pitino has not revealed what is causing him pain or what the doctors intend to do to relieve it, he has only revealed that the illness is “not cancer-related or life threatening.” Assistant coach Kevin Willard will take over for Pitino in any games that he does miss. Willard’s father, the coach of Holy Cross, is a long-time friend of Pitino’s. He said that he advised Pitino to take some time off to get to the bottom of his health problems.

Indiana upsets Purdue: It had been 15 years since Indiana and Purdue met when both were tied for first place in the conference. And just like 15 years ago, the Hoosiers prevailed. Indiana topped the ranked Boilermakers, 63-58, to move into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. Indiana was led by A.J. Moye, who scored 15 points. The real hero for Indiana was Roderick Wilmont, who scored all six of his points on two huge three pointers down the stretch. Purdue was led by guard Kenneth Lowe, who scored 13 points despite missing the final 15 minutes of the game with an elbow injury. Lowe’s status for Purdue’s Saturday contest against Ohio State is questionable. Indiana has been quite the surprise in the Big Ten. Since losing its opening conference game by more than 30 points to Wisconsin, the Hoosiers have reeled off five straight wins, including three road wins. The Hoosiers’ resurgence, coupled with what looks like an improving Michigan State squad, gives the Big Ten hope that it might land more than four teams in the NCAA Tournament.

Georgia Tech holds off Clemson: It wasn’t easy but the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defeated the Clemson Tigers, 76-69, Tuesday night. Despite occupying last place in the ACC, the Clemson Tigers stayed with Georgia Tech on the road for most of the game. But B.J. Elder’s career-best 36 points ensured that Georgia Tech would avoid the upset loss. Elder was deadly from three-point range, connecting on six-of-ten attempts. Clemson was led by Sharrod Ford’s 21 points and 13 rebounds. Next up for Georgia Tech is a meeting with Duke. With Wake Forest and North Carolina struggling, the ACC is quickly turning into a three-horse race with Georgia Tech, Duke and North Carolina State.

Florida upends Alabama: Playing without leading scorer Earnest Shelton, the Alabama Crimson Tide were unable to challenge the Florida Gators Tuesday night, losing 88-78. Shelton is out indefinitely with an MCL injury. The Gators jumped to a nine-point halftime lead and held off Alabama. Florida was led by Anthony Roberson, who scored 26 points. David Lee added 24 points in the win. Sophomore Kennedy Winston filled the scoring void for Alabama, notching 25 in the loss.

UWM wins big road game: With Butler having a down year, the Horizon league is wide open. Both University Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Wright State are contenders for the title. UWM made a big move for the crown with a decisive 68-53 road victory at Wright State. The Panthers dominated the second half to seal the win. They were led by Dylan Page, who poured in 23 points. Wright State had a brutal offensive night, shooting just 35 percent from the floor.

Tonight’s Menu

• There is a heavy slate of good action tonight. The premiere game of the night is in North Carolina where the North Carolina State Wolfpack travel to take on the North Carolina Tarheels. With three conference losses in five outings, the Tarheels desperately need this game. The Wolfpack, on the other hand, can make a major statement and move to 5-1 in the ACC with a victory. Other good games include South Carolina at Vanderbilt, Tennessee at Mississippi State, Boston College at Pittsburgh and Wisconsin at Ohio State.

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