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News Nuggets, 04.02.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Terps assistant Dickerson named coach at Tulane


04.01.05: Gamecocks capture NIT title in thrilling finish ... Coaches pushing for more distant 3-point arc ...  More...
03.31.05: Preparations in place for closed ECU scrimmage ... Texas legislature maneuvers to reign in BCS ... NIT master Odom leads USC into title game ...  More...
03.30.05: Night-time football on the menu for Pirate fans ... Gamecocks top Terps to reach NIT title game ... Hawks halt Memphis in NIT semifinal battle ... More...
03.29.05: East Carolina southpaw takes Conference USA honor ... Beale Street helps Memphis star cure the blues ... More...
03.28.05: McCants helps Heels seal the deal over Badgers ... Scintillating finishes supercharge TV ratings ... More...
03.27.05: Cards, Illini mount monumental rallies to reach Final Four ... Terrapins dump TCU to win Garden date with South Carolina ... Sunday preview: North Carolina vs. Wisconsin ... More...
03.26.05: Duke, State bite the dust; Heels survive ... Louisville, WVU rumble for spot in Final Four ... Fires plague Morgantown after tourney win ... Players nabbed for passing fake currency ... More...
03.25.05: Holland named to powerful USA Basketball panel ... ECU fans to have rooting interest in NIT semis ... Triangle's Sweet 16 teams converge at RDU ... Another DUI charge embarrasses Cincinnati ... More...
03.24.05: NIT: Memphis whips Vandy to advance to Garden ... NIT: Maryland overcomes big Davidson lead ... Big East hops on replay bandwagon ... More...
03.23.05: NIT win over UNLV extends Stokes' ties to USC ... Davidson-Maryland NIT matchup set for TV ... Activists file suit over 'Chief Illiniwek' ... More...
03.22.05: Break over for East Carolina football team ... Frogs in NIT quarterfinals after overtime win ... CBS reaping ratings bonanza from tourney ... Baseball America & Collegiate Baseball Polls ... More...
03.21.05: Spurrier straps on visor, gets down to business ... NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 pairings & schedule ... Tournament's TV ratings up over 2004 ... More...
03.20.05: Kentucky proves it still has Bearcats' number ... Memphis zaps Hokies, starts thinking NIT title ... Davidson tames Bears, turns focus to Terps ... Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (5) Georgia Tech ... More...
03.19.05: Hodge leads Wolfpack to comeback win over 49ers ... Louisville escapes upset bid by Ragin' Cajuns ... Preview: (7) Cincinnati vs. (2) Kentucky ... Preview: (11) UAB vs. (3) Arizona ... More...

Maryland assistant Dave Dickerson, whose name was mentioned prominently in connection with the recent East Carolina coaching search that culminated in the hiring of Ricky Stokes, was introduced Friday as the new basketball coach at Tulane.

Dickerson, who has spent the last nine seasons at Maryland, replaces Shawn Finney, who was fired March 13, three days after Tulane lost to DePaul in the Conference USA tournament. Finney had a 60-86 record in five seasons with the Green Wave.

Dickerson was on the staff of Gary Williams at Maryland, his alma mater. During his time in College Park, the Terrapins made nine straight postseason appearances.

In 15 years as an assistant coach at four schools, Dickerson's teams never had a losing season while making 10 postseason appearances.

UNC-G coach beats out Herrion for Siena job

Fran McCaffery, basketball coach at UNC-Greensboro the past six seasons, resigned Friday to take over as head coach at Siena.

According to various reports, McCaffery beat out former East Carolina coach Bill Herrion and Georgia Tech assistant Cliff Warren to land the Siena position.

UNC-Greensboro officials said McCaffery met with his players Friday morning. McCaffery led the Spartans to a 90-87 record in six seasons, including an 18-12 mark this past season.

UNC-G lost to Chattanooga in the Southern Conference Tournament championship game last month.

McCaffery led the Spartans to one NCAA tournament berth, one NIT appearance and twice led the team to the Southern Conference title game.

'P.H.D.' Pitino gets life in perspective at U of L

LOUISVILLE — When Rick Pitino resigned from the Boston Celtics in January 2001, it didn't take long for the college offers to start rolling in.

Michigan. UCLA. UNLV. And Louisville.

Two months after he left Boston, Pitino was ready to accept the job in Ann Arbor. His wife, Joanne, convinced him to take the Louisville job instead.

``She felt Michigan was a great school, great academic university, great university athletically,'' he said. ``And she said, `You don't know one person, including the athletic director, in the state of Michigan.' At our age, friends are very important, very significant.

``She was right. It turned out to be great.''

Did it ever.

Louisville (33-4), in its first Final Four since 1986, plays Illinois (36-1) in St. Louis on Saturday (6:07 p.m., CBS). And Pitino is back in the Final Four after an eight-year odyssey marked by professional failure and personal tragedy.

``This will probably mean as much to me as any time in my life, just because I'm going to have a large contingent with me, with family,'' he said. ``We're all going to be in it together. It's going to be a special time for everybody.''

North Carolina meets Michigan State in Saturday's other Final Four pairing at the Edward Jones Dome (8:37 p.m., CBS), with the national championship game set for Monday night (9:21 p.m., CBS.)

Pitino left Kentucky after the 1997 NCAA championship game to become the Celtics' coach and president. But his high-intensity style, controlling nature and a few bad personnel moves turned his dream job into his first coaching disaster. He resigned after 3 1/2 unsuccessful seasons and moved to Florida.

Pitino considered taking a full year off to re-examine his life. Instead, his passion for the game returned.

``The Celtics was a great thing for me,'' he said. ``It got me back with that P.H.D. — being poor, hungry and driven.''

Shortly after he left the Celtics, Pitino visited Florida coach Billy Donovan, who as a player helped Pitino reach his first Final Four, at Providence in 1987.

Donovan said that despite the failure, Pitino believed leaving Kentucky was the right thing to do.

``Coach Pitino has always been a big believer in change,'' Donovan said. ``He's always been interested in taking on something new and that next challenge. He could be sitting at Kentucky right now, not knowing what would've happened in Boston. He had to find that next great challenge.''

Easier for Pitino, maybe, than Kentucky fans. They could forgive him for leaving for the pros, but coming back to Louisville, of all places, was downright betrayal. To them, he was Traitor Rick, and they let him know with hate mail and radio call-in shows.

It was almost enough to keep Pitino from taking the job.

``I will always love UK and my players. It's always going to be great in my heart,'' Pitino said. ``I'll always root for them and always be behind them. But now is my time to lead the Cardinals back to prominence.''

He accepted the Louisville job with renewed vigor, using the Celtics experience as motivation.

``I'm too wise to ever think you're not going to fail in life,'' he said. ``Failure is great if you accept it, accept ownership of failure and do something about it. There are a lot of people out there a lot better than me who have failed and have gone on to be successful.''

But as he rebuilt the Louisville program, more adversity followed. In March 2001, the husband of his wife's sister was struck and killed by a New York City taxi. And on Sept. 11 that year, Billy Minardi, his wife's brother and Pitino's best friend since high school, died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Last season, he missed a game to address an undisclosed health issue. And earlier this season, his mother died.

Pitino shies away from questions about his ordeals. Donovan, still close to him, sees a changed man.

``There has got to be a different perspective you have on life when you lose some of the people he's lost,'' Donovan said. ``People ask me if he's mellowed. I don't think so. He's still as passionate about the game as he ever was, but he may view things in life a lot differently.''

Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, one of Pitino's best friends and the father of Louisville assistant Kevin Willard, said the tragedies have taught Pitino patience.

``He used to be so impatient about success,'' Willard said. ``I think that's what happened with the Celtics. He just wasn't patient enough with that situation.''

Pitino had to be patient this season. The Cardinals were ravaged by injuries early and Pitino had to cancel a handful of practices because he didn't have enough healthy players.

Like their coach, the Cardinals figured out a way to overcome the setbacks.

``That's what makes this season so fulfilling,'' he said with a smile. ``Everything you believe in as a coach, every principle, every dream, has come true.''

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:22 PM


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