The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 10, 1993, Page 7, Image 7

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    Coach predicts dual to be ‘best of the year’
Meet will show
Olympic talent
By Matt Woody
Staff Reporter
Gymnastics fans arc in for a treat
this weekend when fourth-ranked
Minnesota journeys to Lincoln for a
dual against No. 1 Nebraska.
The meet, scheduled for 2 p.m.
Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports
Center, will be the best dual of the
year in the United States, Nebraska
wjuui nancis mien said.
The dual is a must-win for Minne
sota, he said.
Nonetheless, Allen said Nebraska
would prove itself worthy of its rank
ing and the Gophers would leave Lin
coln with a loss.
“I expect a win,” he said.
Allen predicted Nebraska to win
by a score of 281 to 279.5 points,
saying that Minnesota would not be
able to overcome the Comhuskers’
Last season, Minnesota finished
third at the NCAA Championships
behind second-place Nebraska and
national champion Stanford.
This year, the Gophers are led by
two-time NCAA all-around champion
John Roethlisberger, who last year
I expect a win.
NU gymnastics coach
—-*f -
placed in the top six of four individual
Allen said he was looking forward
to seeing the 1992 Olympian again.
Allen was the coach of the United
States gymnastics team thatcompeted
in Barcelona.
1992 Big Ten Freshman of the
Year Kerry Huston and All-American
Rob Hanson and are also main con
tributors for the Gophers.
Minnesota’s top three gymnasts
are the heart of the Gophers’ attack,
Allen said. But the Comhuskers’ top
three should be able to stay with them,
he said.
The rest of Nebraska’s lineup
should “mop up” and allow the
Comhuskers to pull away for a two
point victory, Allen said.
Nebraska is coming off a dual win
two weeks ago against Ohio State.
Allen said he expected everybody on
the team to perform well Saturday,
adding that Nebraska can have “one
guy have a bad mcer and still win
against Minnesota.
The meet will be a showcase for
great talent, and is an opportunity for
people to sec future U.S. Olympic
gymnasts, he said.
“I think the students should go out
and see this thing. They ain’t going to
sec a belter one,” he said.
Huskers hope
TV coverage
paves way to
NCAA tourney
By Jeff Singer
Senior Reporter
Three years ago, playing on national televi
sion and talking about the NCAA Tournament
would be foreign ideas around the Nebraska
men’s basketball team.
But things have certainly changed.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Comhusker
coach Danny Nee’s main topic of concern was
what Nebraska needed to do to make school
history in a third-straight trip to the NCAA
It we win our home games, I think we 11 get
in,” said Nee, whose Huskers are 3-4 at the
midpoint of the Big Eight season, and will play
fourof their final seven league games at the Bob
Devancy Sports Center.
“I think the next 15 to 20 days, all the
questions that you wonder about us will be
answered as to what’s going to happen,” Nee
Recently, what has been happening for Ne
braska has been registering Big Eight victories.
The Huskers have won three of their last four
conference games, including Sunday’s upsetof
No. 3 Kansas at the Devancy Center.
The 68-64 win over the Jayhawks, which
improved Nebraska’s record to 15-7, was shown
regionally by ABC-TV, and the final half
minute of the game was picked up live around
the country.
Nee said the coverage was great for getting
Nebraska national recognition.
“You couldn’t put a price tag or buy this
weekend,” he said. “To pul it in perspective,
three years ago Nebraska wouldn’t have even
dreamed of being in that position.”
The Kansas win wasn’t only good for TV
exposure, but it should have put the Huskers in
a group of Big Eight teams competing for a
postseason position.
Nee said at least five teams would make it
into the NCAA tournament, even though many
people believe after a dismal performance by
the six teams in last year’s tournament the
NCAA Committee might not pick that many
this season.
See NEE on 8
Staci McKee/DN
Nebraska’s Rissa Taylor battles Colorado’s Abby Wirfs for a loose ball.
The Buffaloes and Oklahoma State are atop the Big Eight with 8-1 records.
1 hree teams
narrow race
for Big Eight
By Tim Pearson
Staff Reporter
With more than half the Big Eight women’s
basketball season gone, the conference race is
still up for grabs.
At 8-1 in the conference, both Colorado and
Oklahoma State appear headed for a Feb. 26
showdown in Stillwater, Okla., to determine
the regular-season league champion.
Nebraska follows the co-leaders with a league
record of 6-3.
Kansas, the defending conference cham
pion, is tied with Missouri in fourth place with
a 5-4 record.
Although the Big Eight regular-season cham
pion doesn’t get an automatic NCAA tourna
ment berth, it will receive a No. 1 seed for the
conference tournament, which will be held
March 6-8 in Salina, Kan.
Oklahoma Stale assistant coach Jack Easley
said Colorado was the favorite to win.
“Colorado is aw'ully lough, and they’re an
experienced team,” he said.
The Buffaloes arc ranked No. 4 in the coun
try with a 20-1 record. Colorado’s only loss was
against Nebraska in Lincoln on Jan. 22.
Although Colorado—a team that starts four
seniors — may be the conference favorite
because of experience, Buffalo coach Ccal
Berry said she didn’t want to put her team in that
role going down the stretch.
“I think that Oklahoma Stale, Nebraska and
Colorado all have a shot at the regular-season
title,” Berry said.
Berry said for a team to win the title, it would
have to go undefeated for the rest of the season.
“I think in order for us to win the regular
season, we need to win the rest of our games,”
Berry said. “I think Nebraska and Oklahoma
State also need to win the rest of their games to
Nebraska has home games remaining this
weekend against Kansas and Kansas State. The
Comhuskers will travel to Colorado and Mis
souri before wrapping up the season at home
against Iowa State.
Earlier in the season, the Jayhawks defeated
the Huskers in Lawrence 69-62.
See BIG EIGHT on 8
Vitale s comments could be as important as his pep talk
By now, most people have heard
that Dick Vitale gave the Nebraska
Comhuskcrs an ego-squashing, team
inspiring pep talk before Sunday’s
68-64 victory over Kansas.
And, baby, Nebraska delivered
after his speech.
With those results, I have justa few
questions for the man who never met
a sentence he wanted to complete:
Is a trip to Manhattan, Kan., and
another pep talk for the Huskcrs be
fore their matchup with Kansas State
too much to ask?
Come on, master motivator, what
do you say?
Never mind, I think we already
Vitale’s comments during and af
ter Sunday’s game could be as valu
able for Nebraska as his pep talk
obviously was.
His thoughts:
• On Huskcr coach Danny Nee’s
polka-dotted tie Sunday: Lose it.
Viialc panned the sideline from
“Dapper Dan” Roy Williams to Nee
and in one trip of his longue shouted:
“Ohhh Danny Nee ... I don’t like
his tic. He’s got the ugliest lie in the
So it wasn’t so dapper, Dick, but it
was dang lucky Sunday. -
• On Nee’s 10-player rotation:
“They’re so young and they rotate
so many players. It’sdifficull to really
develop the consistent rhythm with
the young freshman. I think down the
stretch, he’ll start to reduce those
I hope you’re right, Dick.
• On Derrick Chandler’s two
happy dances after Jamar Johnson’s
opening basket and after he dunked
over Kansas’ Eric Pauley:
“A little showboating right there
by Mr. Chandler. A little dance, a
little body English, a little duck walk.
“He always wants to showboat af
ter a score. He just has to play strong
and play some basketball and forget
about doing the little disco routine.
John Travolta he doesn’t have to be.”
But he does have to be a scorer.
By scoring 17 points and pulling
down 14 rebounds after Vitale called
him a ‘‘role player,” Chandler proved
that he’s also a player on a roil.
• Onpointguard Jamar Johnson’s
He’s having an up and down kind
of year — like a Dow Joneser.”
But before Johnson made his key
three-pointer to pul Nebraska up by
two with 58 seconds left, Vitale was
shouting his number.
“Even though Johnson’s struggling,
I really believe you want the experi
enced guys to shoot it during crunch
• On Eric Piatkowski, after he
dove for several loose balls:
“I’m telling you he’s a real scrap
per. Tom Osborne wants him right
now. He’s sending a helmet down.”
Hold up, Dickie. Call him, as you
did, the Polish Rifle. Call him, as you
did, a slasher.
But don’t ever steal the nickname
“blue collar,” as you did, from Dr.
Floorbum himself, Bruce Chubick.
• On Erick Strickland, after his
dive into the scorer’s table:
“Ohhh . . . great athletic ability,
what agility. He shows why he could
be a great defensive back, too.”
• On Jaron Boone:
“Remember that name. He’s going
to be a special player here at Ne
• On Terrance Badgett:
“He’s a slasher, very active. And
he’s aggressive on the rebounds.’’
The common denominator in all of
the gusts of wind about NU players?
Hustle. If Nebraska is going to ride
a magic carpet to the NCAA tourna
ment on Vitale’s hot air, the Huskcrs
will have to continue the defensive
hustle he preached.
As he said, “The defense — it’s
awesome, baby.”
• Speaking of that, one last Vitale
After cameras panned to a fan
wearing a basketball on his head and
holding a sign that said ‘‘Awesome
Baby Cornhuskers.”
“Steal my saying ‘It’s awesome
baby?’Come on. He can’tdo that. Get
him outta here.”
And get Vitale down to Manhattan
as quickly as possible.
Cooper is a junior news-editorial major,
the Daily Nebraskan wire page editor and a
sports columnist