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News Nuggets, 03.24.04

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Marquette breaks Broncos to advance in NIT


03.23.04: NCAA to take over policing of grad rates... .. Tournament TV ratings skyrocket... .. Irish reduce C-USA to one NIT survivor... .. Pirates still anchored in baseball polls... .. More...
03.22.04: 'Forty minutes of hell' takes UAB to Sweet 16 ... .. All-talk, no-walk Bearcats sent packing by Illini... .. Cowboys lasso Tigers early and cruise to Regionals... .. Late Vandy flurry extends State's round-of-16 drought... .. More...
03.21.04: The one that got away could haunt Huggins ... .. Former Razorback Richardson backs Blazers... .. Calhoun-disciple Leitao comes up short against mentor... .. Injury-plagued Houston tight end gains 6th year of eligibility... .. More...
03.20.04: Former shortstop hits home run in pursuit of ECU chancellor job ... .. UAB blazes path past Huskies to second round... .. Memphis bombs Gamecocks from long range... .. Second-half collapse eliminates Louisville... .. More...
No Nuggets Mar. 18-19, 2004.
03.17.04: Cal visit to 'The Rock' highlights USM football slate... .. Cincy clears Whaley to play on eve of tourney... .. Low blow leaves status of DePaul guard in doubt... .. Ex- Longhorns coach in running for Houston job... .. More...
03.16.04: Hamrick hires Kruger to restore Rebs' Tark-era glory... .. Inspiration for 'Pitt County Offense' returns to Stanford roots... .. Baseball polls... .. AP basketball poll... .. More...
03.15.04: NCAA, NIT sweep up eight C-USA teams... .. NCAA conference-by-conference selections... .. O'Leary, UCF seek redemption together... .. More...
03.14.04: Bearcats capture 4th tourney title... .. Cop charged after gun-shot in tush at ACC tourney... .. NCAA Tournament selection committee members... .. More...
03.13.04: C-USA Tournament semifinals roundup... .. Hot action in Cincinnati extends to band bus... .. Hanky-panky nets stiff discipline for BYU players... .. Big 'D' ponies up to keep Red River Shootout... .. More...
03.12.04: C-USA Tournament quarterfinals roundup... .. 49ers legend stepping down as Texas A&M coach... .. LSU to meet Sooners, seeks 2005 home foe... .. Games on aircraft carrier scratched... .. More...

MILWAUKEE — Travis Diener scored 15 points and Marquette held Boise State to a season low in scoring, beating the Broncos 66-53 in the second round of the NIT on Tuesday night.

Marquette (19-11), the first team since Minnesota in 1998 to fail to make the NCAA Tournament after advancing to the Final Four a year earlier, will play Iowa State (19-12) in the quarterfinals March 25 or March 26, with the time and location to be determined.

Boise State (23-10) averages 74 points a game, but missed 32 of 58 shots in failing to tie the school record of 24 victories set in 1987-88.

Boise State's previous season low was in a 55-44 victory over Fresno State on Feb. 14.

The Broncos used an 8-3 run to pull within 53-48 on Jermaine Blackburn's fast-break basket with 2:37 left. Diener, who missed 10 of 14 shots, then hit a 3-pointer and Dameon Mason made two free throws with 1:29 left for a 58-48 lead.

Boise State, which had won nine of 10, could get no closer than nine points the rest of the way as Marquette made all 10 of its free throws in the final 89 seconds.

UAB coach brushes off Auburn speculation

BIRMINGHAM — Mike Anderson is too busy preparing for UAB's next opponent in the NCAA Tournament to be distracted by rumors Auburn wants him as its next coach.

Anderson said Tuesday he has not been contacted by Auburn and is concentrating on his ninth-seeded Blazers facing fourth-seeded Kansas on Friday night in the round of 16.

"It's flattering for your name to be mentioned ... I think that means we're doing a good job here," Anderson said. "But at the same time, my focus I know is to stay grounded and try to pursue a national championship.

"We're in the hunt for a national championship, so it'd be doing the kids a disservice if I tell them, 'Hey, we've got to be focused,' and I'm floating out here and there."

Anderson surfaced as a possible candidate shortly after Auburn fired coach Cliff Ellis on Thursday. Three days later, UAB pulled off the tournament's biggest upset, a 76-75 win over top overall seed Kentucky.

The Blazers, returning to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1982, became immediate media darlings. And it also fueled speculation Auburn would pursue Anderson, a Birmingham native.

Auburn senior associate athletic director Hal Baird, who is leading the search for a new coach, said Monday the school has not contacted any potential coaches. An All-America baseball player at East Carolina in the 'seventies and former coach of the diamond Pirates, Baird didn't immediately return a call to the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Penders envisions return to glory for Houston

HOUSTON — Tom Penders was hired Tuesday to coach at Houston, the once-powerful program that hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game in 20 years.

Penders agreed to a five-year contract, but terms weren't finalized. Penders, a coach at Texas for 10 years, replaces Ray McCallum, who was reassigned March 8 after going 44-72 in four seasons.

"I feel like I am coming back home. I am excited about this opportunity here at the University of Houston," Penders said. "It is both a dream and a desire of mine to bring the Cougars back to national prominence and compete for a national championship."

Penders, 58, is best known for resuscitating Texas after his arrival in 1988 following successful stints at Tufts, Columbia, Fordham and Rhode Island. He led Texas to a 208-110 record and eight NCAA Tournaments, including a regional final in 1990.

"We feel very fortunate to have someone of Tom Penders' caliber as our coach," athletic director Dave Maggard said. "He has been to the NCAA Tournament numerous times and has a breath of experience at the collegiate level."

Penders is the seventh UH coach, but the fifth since the revered Guy Lewis retired in 1986 after 30 seasons and five Final Four appearances. Pat Foster, who followed Lewis, took the Cougars to three NCAA Tournaments and went 142-73 in seven seasons.

Since Foster, Alvin Brooks, Clyde Drexler and McCallum combined to go 117-195 with no tournament bids. The Cougars have not won an NCAA Tournament game since a 1984 semifinal.

Penders resigned from Texas in 1998 after his second losing season with the Longhorns. The move came amid a rift with some prominent players and a lawsuit accusing Penders of being involved in the public release of a player's grades. The suit was settled when Texas agreed to pay $7,500 in legal fees and admitted there was no wrongdoing.

Penders moved on to George Washington, but resigned in 2001 citing "burnout" following allegations of players making unauthorized long-distance calls. He has worked in broadcasting since.

Maggard said he verified with the Texas attorney general's office that there were no outstanding issues for Penders from his 10-year tenure with the Longhorns.

Women parallel men in TV ratings surge

NEW YORK — On the heels of the previous day's announcement that the NCAA men's basketball tournament is experiencing a boom in television ratings, the Associated Press reported Tuesday that the first round of the organization's women's tournament were up more than 50 percent from last year.

The ratings of women's games on two ESPN networks increased from 0.3 last season to 0.7 this year, up 133 percent. The ratings for the six games shown on ESPN2 doubled from 0.2 to 0.4. The games on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. Sunday appeared in more than 650,000 households, making it that networks most-viewed first-round telecast.

As reported Tuesday, the average ratings for the first four days of the men's tournament were up 53 percent from last year to 5.5.

The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs watching a program whether or not the sets are in use.

Associated Press All-America Team


  • Jameer Nelson, Saint Joseph's, 5-11, 190, senior, Chester, Pa., 20.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.9 steals (72 first-place votes, 360 points).
  • Emeka Okafor, Connecticut, 6-9, 252, junior, Houston, 18.1 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 60.1 fg pct, 4.3 blocks (72, 360).
  • Lawrence Roberts, Mississippi State, 6-9, 230, junior, Houston, 16.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 51.9 fg pct (49, 308).
  • Josh Childress, Stanford, 6-8, 205, junior, Los Angeles, 15.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 82.1 ft pct, 1.6 blocks (34, 235).
  • Ryan Gomes, Providence, 6-7, 245, junior, Waterbury, Conn., 18.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 50.7 fg pct, 87.0 ft pct, 1.6 steals (24, 208).


  • Devin Harris, Wisconsin, 6-3, 185, junior, Milwaukee, 36.3 minutes, 19.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.8 steals (15, 180).
  • Julius Hodge, North Carolina State, 6-6, 191, junior, New York, 18.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 51.3 fg pct, 82.8 ft pct (15, 174).
  • Luke Jackson, Oregon, 6-7, 215, senior, Creswell, Ore., 21.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 4.6 apg, 44.4 3-pt fg pct (16, 159).
  • Andre Emmett, Texas Tech, 6-5, 225, senior, Dallas, 35.8 minutes, 20.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 52.9 fg pct (10, 142).
  • Blake Stepp, Gonzaga, 6-4, 192, senior, Eugene, Ore., 14.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.7 apg, 40.7 3-pt fg pct, 83.1 ft pct (9, 140).


  • Chris Duhon, Duke, 6-1, 185, senior, Slidell, La., 10.1 ppg, 6.1 apg, 2.3 steals (8, 125).
  • John Lucas, Oklahoma State, 5-11, 152, junior, Houston, 15.3 ppg, 4.6 apg, 40.8 3-pt fg pct, 89.0 ft pct (10, 114).
  • Hakim Warrick, Syracuse, 6-8, 205, junior, Wynnewood, Pa., 37.2 minutes, 19.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 50.8 fg pct (3, 103).
  • Rashad McCants, North Carolina, 6-4, 207, sophomore, Asheville, N.C., 20.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 40.8 3-pt fg pct (3, 75).
  • Wayne Simien, Kansas, 6-9, 250, junior, Leavenworth, Kan., 17.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 53.7 fg pct (3, 75).

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order)

Tony Allen, Oklahoma State; Rafael Araujo, BYU; Andre Barrett, Seton Hall; Odell Bradley, IUPUI; Darren Brooks, Southern Illinois; Dee Brown, Illinois; Antonio Burks, Memphis; Taylor Coppenrath, Vermont; Erik Daniels, Kentucky; Miah Davis, Pacific; Paul Davis, Michigan State; Greg Davis, Troy State; Luol Deng, Duke; Ike Diogu, Arizona State; B.J. Elder, Georgia Tech; Gerald Fitch, Kentucky; Luis Flores, Manhattan; Jason Forte, Brown; Matt Freije, Vanderbilt; Francisco Garcia, Louisville; Danny Gathings, High Point; Ben Gordon, Connecticut; David Harrison, Colorado; David Hawkins, Temple; Kris Humphries, Minnesota. LeRoy Hurd, Texas-San Antonio; Andre Iguodala, Arizona; Arthur Johnson, Missouri; Domonic Jones, Virginia Commonwealth; Carl Krauser, Pittsburgh; Jaime Lloreda, LSU; Bryant Matthews, Virginia Tech; Sean May, North Carolina; Attarrius Norwood, Mississippi Valley State; Dylan Page, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Chris Paul, Wake Forest; Tim Pickett, Florida State; J.J. Redick, Duke; Anthony Roberson, Florida; Ron Robinson, Central Connecticut State; Austen Rowland, Lehigh; Romain Sato, Xavier; Alvin Snow, Eastern Washington; Kirk Snyder, Nevada; Chris Thomas, Notre Dame; Ronny Turiaf, Gonzaga; Cuthbert Victor, Murray State; Zakee Wadood, East Tennessee State; Nick Welch, Air Force; Mike Wells, Western Kentucky; Delonte West, Saint Joseph's; Mike Williams, Western Michigan; Shelden Williams, Duke; Thurman Zimmerman, South Carolina State.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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