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February 13, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Friday, February 13th

Edelin sits out: Syracuse point guard Billy Edelin did not practice Thursday and will be out indefinitely, coach Jim Boeheim said. Edelin, a sophomore, sat out against Virginia Tech and Connecticut before returning Saturday and playing 23 minutes in a loss at Providence. After he missed Tuesday’s game against Rutgers, Boeheim refused to discuss the matter. Boeheim, on his radio show Wednesday, said that Edelin’s troubles had nothing to do with playing time or his role on the team. “Billy’s having personal issues that really have nothing to do with basketball,” Boeheim said on Syracuse radio station WHEN. “It’s more of an overall issue of what he wants to do.” Edelin, averaging 13.8 points and 4.2 rebounds with 22 steals, 88 assists and 34 turnovers, will not accompany the team to Miami for a game Saturday.

Missouri loses freshman for season: Missouri freshman forward Linas Kleiza will miss the rest of the season due to a dislocated right shoulder, coach Quin Snyder announced on Thursday. Kleiza suffered the injury in the closing minutes of a January 28 game at Colorado and missed the team’s last four contests. “We have met with Linas’ family and our medical staff here at Mizzou and we believe that the severity of the injury would have reduced his effectiveness on the court, making immediate surgery necessary,” Snyder said. “We feel that this is the best option for Linas’ career and his eventual contribution to our program.” Snyder indicated that the surgery will take place in the next two weeks and that the recovery process takes approximately three to four months. A 6-8 post presence from Lithuania, Kleiza averaged 11.1 points and 8.4 rebounds in 16 games this season. He shot 44 percent from the field and earned Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week honors two times.

Wade pleads innocent: University of Wisconsin guard Maurice “Boo” Wade pleaded innocent Thursday to a charge of choking a woman at her apartment. At the hearing, Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Todd Meurer ordered Wade to stay away from the area where the woman lives in an off-campus apartment. Wade did not attend the hearing. His attorney, Stephen Hurley, entered the plea on the charge of misdemeanor battery. A 19-year-old woman accused Wade of attacking her last week off campus. She said the player choked her twice. She was treated at a hospital and released. According to the complaint, Wade pushed her into a bathtub but he denied trying to choke her. Wade was suspended by university athletic officials after he was arrested, and missed two games. The suspension was lifted by a school appeals committee on Monday, and Wade played against Iowa on Wednesday night. He scored four points in a 54-52 victory.

Charlotte loses top scorer: Charlotte guard Demon Brown, the team’s second-leading scorer, was suspended indefinitely Thursday following an incident last week. The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that Brown, a senior, was arrested and charged with two counts of communicating threats. He allegedly brandished a gun and threatened two women on February 4. Brown missed Saturday’s game at East Carolina and was on the bench in street clothes during Thursday’s game with Louisville. The 23-year-old is averaging 12.6 points and 4.5 assists.

St. John’s to suspend program??: The president of St. John’s told a newspaper he might recommend suspending the school’s basketball program if it can’t remain scandal-free. The school’s chief spokesman, however, said Thursday there hasn’t been any consideration of dropping the team. “In no way, shape or form are we thinking of disbanding the program,” spokesman Jody Fisher said. The Rev. Donald Harrington told the Daily News for Thursday editions: “I would go to the board (of trustees) and say, `It’s now my conviction we can’t do it,” if the program’s troubles persist. “The university’s values and mission are too important,” Harrington said. “If the question is, `Would you sacrifice your principles rather than face fact?’ The answer is no. We will not sacrifice our principles or our mission. Ultimately, that would be the decision of our trustees, but that would be my recommendation.” On Wednesday, guard Elijah Ingram withdrew from the university, one week after he and five teammates broke curfew to go to a strip club. Ingram, a sophomore who led the team in scoring, left on the same day the St. John’s judicial board suspended teammate Abe Keita from school for one year, the university announced. Both Ingram and Keita already were permanently suspended from the basketball team. A third player, Grady Reynolds, was expelled from St. John’s last week. Two other players were suspended from the basketball team but remained in school.

49ers beat ranked Louisville: Charlotte’s Curtis Withers scored 23 points — including two free throws with 30 seconds to play — to give the 49ers its fourth consecutive victory, 77-71 Thursday night over ninth-ranked Louisville. It was the 49ers’ third win this season over a top-10 opponent. Louisville (17-4, 7-3), which lost for the third time in four games, was led by Larry O’Bannon with 17 points.

Utah State extends streak: Utah State’s Mark Brown had a career-high 25 points, and Nate Harris 14 points and a career-best 13 rebounds in their 17th straight victory. The Aggies (20-1, 12-0 Big West Conference) shot 75 percent in the first half to take command and wound up shooting 63.4 percent. The school record for consecutive wins is 19, set in the 1999-2000 season.

Tonight’s menu

&#8226 The only major conference in action is the Conference USA. Southern Miss heads to South Florida. Southern Miss, who is 11-9 overall is just 2-7 on the road and need to fix that.

&#8226 Other action: Penn at Columbia and Iona at Manhattan.

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