|UNC Greensboro's Hines could join some select company|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 11 January 2008 09:20|
UNC Greensboro couldn't wait to honor Kyle Hines.|
The school announced that the 6-foot-6 senior forward's No. 42 jersey will be retired at the next-to-last home game of the season.
Hines is already Greensboro's all-time leading scorer and shot-blocker and he is close to moving to No. 1 in rebounding as well. Hines has 1,836 points (25 percent of the team's total in his four seasons), 900 rebounds (24 percent of the Spartans' total while he has been there) and 297 blocks.
The Southern Conference player of the year last season can join an exclusive club if he gets to 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocks. The only players to reach those figures in Division I were Pervis Ellison of Louisville, David Robinson of Navy, Alonzo Mourning of Georgetown, Tim Duncan of Wake Forest and Derrick Coleman of Syracuse.
``I am not sure what to say. I am speechless,'' Hines said when told of the jersey honor. ``I have always said I would trade all of the individual honors and records for a conference title and a trip to the NCAA tournament and that could never be truer.''
School officials decided to have the ceremony at the next-to-last home game on Feb. 28 so the rest of the senior class could still enjoy their final home game the following Monday.
``Kyle's honor should not alter the spotlight for what our other seniors have brought to this program,'' athletic director Nelson Bobb said. ``Kyle would not have that nor would we.''
PASSING NUMBERS: The top of the Atlantic 10 has drawn plenty of attention this season with Dayton, Rhode Island and Xavier all in the Top 25, the first time the league has had three ranked teams since 2003.
There's been some serious improving going on at the bottom of the standings.
Duquesne's 11 wins are one more than the Dukes managed last season and they have won seven home games, two more than all of last season.
Richmond's eight wins are one more than the Spiders had in 2006-07. St. Bonaventure has six wins, one shy of last season's total, but the Bonnies have won four home games, one more than had in 2006-07.
ANY UNBEATENS?: There were five unbeatens left in Division I entering the weekend - North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas, Washington State and Vanderbilt.
The last team to finish a season undefeated was Indiana in 1976.
Tom Izzo, who has led Michigan State to a national championship and four Final Fours, was asked if any of the current teams could finish unbeaten.
``Memphis has the best chance because of the league,'' Izzo said, referring to Conference USA which is ranked 12th among the Division I leagues and in which the Tigers had a 29-1 record the last two seasons. ``There's a couple teams with a chance, but I wouldn't be putting my ducats down on it.''
CYCLONE CITING: Iowa State will retire the jersey of Barry Stevens, the program's second-leading scorer and a key player in the Cyclones' resurgence in the mid-1980s.
Stevens, who died of a heart attack in February at age 43, will have his No. 35 retired Wednesday when the Cyclones play Missouri at Hilton Coliseum. He will be the seventh Cyclone to have his jersey retired.
Stevens played at Iowa State from 1982-85 and briefly for the Golden State Warriors in 1993. He led Iowa State to the NCAA tournament in 1985, the school's first appearance since 1944.
Stevens scored 2,190 points (18.7 average) trailing only Jeff Grayer on the school scoring list. Grayer, who was Stevens' teammate at Flint (Mich.) Northwestern High School, scored 2,502 points.
The retirement ceremony will include a video scoreboard tribute at halftime and be attended by Grayer and Stevens' family.
The other retired jerseys are: Waldo Wegner (14), Gary Thompson (20), Zaid Abdul-Aziz (35), Jeff Hornacek (14), Grayer (44) and Fred Hoiberg (32).
INTERIM COACHES: Kevin Mondro has taken over as interim head coach at Detroit while Perry Watson takes an indefinite leave of absence for medical reasons.
Mondro is at least the third interim coach at a Division I school. Kevin O'Neill is replacing Lute Olson at Arizona and Eddie Sutton took over for Jessie Evans at San Francisco.
Former Syracuse player Wendell Alexis had been the interim coach at New Jersey Tech, but head coach Jim Casciano returned at the end of December after missing more than a month for health concerns. The Highlanders entered the weekend winless in 17 games.
LOVIN' IT: If the Pac-10 didn't know enough about Kevin Love before the first weekend of conference play, every team now realizes just what kind of an impact the UCLA freshman can have in what's considered one of the nation's most talented leagues.
At Stanford: 15 points, seven rebounds. At California: 19 points and 14 boards.
And two wins for the Bruins on the tough Bay Area trip.
Love hardly looks like a freshman - and not just because he stands 6-foot-10 and weighs 271 pounds.
Both his coach, Ben Howland, and California's Ben Braun haven't seen many first-year players like him.
Love hung with the 7-foot Lopez twins, Brook and Robin, in a win over Stanford on Jan. 3, then dominated against DeVon Hardin and Ryan Anderson in beating the Golden Bears and their top big men two days later.
``I've never seen a freshman that good against those high-level players,'' Howland said. ``All four of those guys we played against this weekend are NBA players. They'll all play in the NBA for sure. He's what I expected. He was the best player in the country coming out of high school last year and he played like it this weekend on a really good team with a bunch of good teammates around him.''
Hardin, who stuck around Cal for his senior season rather than turning pro, acknowledged he had been looking forward to playing against Love.
``You've got to give him his props. For a freshman to come in and do what he does, he's a good player,'' Hardin said. ``His diligence on offense and the way he's working for position, that's rare for a freshman. He has a wide body. He's very good at drawing the foul. He has a very fine-tuned game.''
For Braun, Love's success goes beyond his big body.
``Kevin Love's got a tremendously high basketball IQ. He's got the highest basketball IQ for a freshman as I've ever seen,'' Braun said. ``He's a tough kid. He's not just physically tough. He's mentally tough. That's what impresses me.''
EXTRA TIME: Lafayette has already played four overtime games this season and the Leopards (9-6) have won them all, three on the road.
This week Lafayette rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to beat Princeton 76-71 in - what else? - overtime. The Leopards also needed five extra minutes to beat Towson, Maryland-Baltimore County and Stony Brook.
The Leopards are halfway to the Division I record. Western Kentucky went 5-3 in overtime games 30 years ago. Portland, in 1983-84, and Valparaiso, in 1992-93, both went .500 in eight overtime games.
Three schools played in four consecutive overtime games in one season: Jacksonville in 1981-82; Illinois State in 1984-85; and Dayton in 1987-88. Jacksonville and Illinois State both went 3-1 while Dayton won only one of its games.
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