|Bozeman's team playing at same site as Cal|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 18 March 2009 15:34|
Yep, Bozeman's new team is playing at the same site as the school where he got into so much trouble.
``Well, I can't say that I didn't raise my eyebrow,'' Bozeman said Wednesday. ``I smiled because I know that although the circumstances of me leaving Cal weren't necessarily the greatest, I know that I still have a lot of family and friends out there.''
Bozeman left Cal in disgrace in 1996 after admitting he paid the family of a recruit $30,000. The NCAA hit him with one of its stiffest penalties: an eight-year ban and a requirement that any school wanting to hire him had to ``show cause and reason'' why his past mistakes should be forgiven.
esman - all along wanting to return to coaching.
Finally, in 2006, Morgan State took a chance on Bozeman. He rewarded the gamble by leading a 4-26 team to its first NCAA tournament in jut three years.
``I never thought that I wouldn't get back in. I just never did,'' Bozeman said. ``I always thought I would have a chance to get back in. I wasn't sure when it would happen, how old I would be - maybe I would volunteer coach at 75 - but I was determined to get back in.''
Bozeman, by the way, won't have to face his old team in Kansas City. Morgan State is in the South Regional and Cal is in the West, so the only way they could meet is in the national championship game.
BROTHERLY ADVICE: Radford coach Brad Greenberg has watched his brother's Virginia Tech teams lose close games to North Carolina the past two years that ultimately might have cost the Hokies an NCAA tournament bid.
Now it's his turn to take on the Tar Heels in March.
And yes, he has talked with younger brother Seth about Thursday's first-round matchup.
``Nothing that we didn't know already and nothing that you guys don't know already,'' Brad Greenberg said, when asked what advice he was given. ``It wasn't like I needed him to tell me they're pretty good.''
red the first meeting well - it ended with Tyler Hansbrough hitting a shot with less than a second left for the win.
By coincidence, Greenberg happened to be back at the Tar Heels' Smith Center that day for the prep basketball state championships. He remembered watching the game over the shoulder of a security worker on a handheld television, then being asked why he wasn't celebrating the win.
``I went, 'Damn,''' Brad Greenberg said. ``'That's my brother they just beat.'''
BIG SHOT: LSU advanced to the Final Four in its last NCAA tournament appearance because the Tigers were led by a senior guard who thrived on knocking down big shots.
In Marcus Thornton, they hope they've found the next Darrel Mitchell.
``When he got here, I said, 'He's a 6-foot-4 Darrel Mitchell,''' Tigers guard Garrett Temple said. ``Darrel used to hit that big shot. Hopefully, we won't have to make a big shot, but if we do, I have confidence that if he's shooting it, it will go in.''
``It's hard to replace a Darrel Mitchell. He was a great leader, great point guard. ... But Marcus is in a category of his own,'' teammate Tasmin Mitchell said. ``He's one of the greatest scorers I've ever seen. He's always up for the big shot.''
M is playing in Philadelphia, where he spent a year as an assistant with the 76ers on Larry Brown's staff a decade ago.
``I'm really excited about being back, being in this building,'' the Aggies' coach said. ``My wife wanted to divorce me when we left because we left Philadelphia for Jacksonville, Alabama. She thought I was crazy.''
Turgeon played point guard for four seasons under Brown at Kansas in the 1980s and became an assistant coach at the school after graduating. He later served as an assistant at Oregon before joining Brown in Philadelphia in 1997 for his first job in the NBA
Turgeon didn't even finish out the season with the dismal 76ers. He left for his first head coaching position at Jacksonville State before the Sixers completed a 31-51 campaign. Despite the team's record, Turgeon and his wife enjoyed their time in Philly.
``Being around a guy that I believed in what he was doing, it just gave me the energy to continue and try and be successful,'' Turgeon said. ``It was just a great experience.''
MOVING ON: Memphis can't seem to stop talking about its overtime loss to Kansas in last year's title game - because people won't stop asking about it.
About the fourth time he was asked whether the loss will be on their minds during Thursday's game against Cal State-Northridge, senior Robert Dozier rolled his eyes.
y behind us, man,'' he said.
Coach John Calipari asked reporters at one point, ``Can't we talk about this game?''
From the Kansas perspective, it was a great comeback victory. From Memphis' point of view, it was a debacle of a collapse, losing a nine-point lead in the final 2 minutes, 11 seconds.
``My first job was to make sure that no one felt responsible for what happened,'' Calipari said. ``I didn't want any player to think a turnover or a missed free throw, a missed shot or foul cost us a national championship. They shouldn't have to live with that.''
COOL CAT: If Northern Iowa's Ben Jacobson was nervous about his first NCAA tournament as a head coach, he didn't show it.
The final practice before the Panthers played Purdue in the opening round Thursday was a low-key affair. Jacobson's 5-year-old son even donned a jersey and took some shots on the court at Portland's Rose Garden Arena.
Jacobson had been around for two tournament appearances as an assistant to former Northern Iowa coach Greg McDermott, but the Panthers didn't even reach the NIT in his first two seasons as head coach. They weren't expected to this year, either.
But pushed by an 11-game winning streak that spanned January, the Panthers rolled into the Missouri Valley tournament, where they beat Illinois State to earn the bid.
ories or whatever it might be,'' Jacobson said, perhaps explaining the relaxed atmosphere surrounding practice. ``I haven't had to trick these guys into playing hard. And that, I think, is the key.''
FORCED REUNION: Washington and Gonzaga broke off their annual series in 2007, after 43 games and 10 consecutive meetings of cross-state rivals. And it appears dead for awhile - Washington sees little to gain by playing home-and-home sets anymore.
They almost certainly won't play in this NCAA tournament, either, being in separate brackets. Yet the Huskies and Zags can't avoid each other this week.
They are not only No. 4 seeds playing separate games in Portland, Ore., on Thursday, part of the NCAA's effort to keep top seeds close to home, but they are also sharing the same hotel.
It would be a stare down at the upscale, boutique Benson - if their rooms weren't separated by five floors of the ornately restored hotel.
``It's the Huskies and the Zags. Just drive down, sipping a latte,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said before arriving, teasing those who follow both teams.