The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 22, 1994, Page 8, Image 8

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    Missouri shoots for success after last year’s letdown
By Trevor Parks
Staff Reporter
The Missouri Tigers’ success this
season might be attributed to last year’s
disappointment, Coach Norm Stewart
said Monday during the Big Eight
coaches’ weekly teleconference.
The Tigers, who moved up to No.
6 in the Associated Press Top 25, are
20-2 overall and 11-0 in the Big Eight
after struggling last year to a 19-14
overall mark and a 5-9 conference
Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs said
Missouri, which is trying to become
the first Big Eight team since Kansas
in 1970-71 to go undefeated in confer
ence play, will have a tough time
remaining unbeaten in conference
“You have to be good and very
fortunate,” Tubbs said. “You also have
to make the right plays at the right
times down the stretch. It’s really a
difficult thing to do.”
But it certainly won’t be impossi
ble for Missouri. Afterbeating Kansas
— which fell ta 1 Oth in AP’s Top 25
— Sunday, Missouri has three games
left, with two at home.
Missouri plays Oklahoma in Co
lumbia, Mo., Saturday, at Kansas State
March 2 and at home against Nebras
ka March 5.
The Tigers have pulled off some
difficult wins already. They won in
overtime at Iowa State, won after trail
ing by 15 at Oklahoma State and won
Sunday at Kansas after trailing by 11
in the second half. -
Stewart said his team learned the
difference last year between winning
and losing.
“There’s no doubt last year helped
our ball club,” Stewart said. “Most of
the bad things from last year will
balance out after awhile.”
M issouri had a good team last year,
Nebraska coach Danny Nee said, but
couldn’t get any breaks late in games.
“Last year we were lucky against
them,” Nee said. “Both games were
close, and they could have gone either
Nebraska beat the Tigers 88-87 in
an overtime game in Lincoln and won
at Columbia on a free throw in the
final seconds by Jamar Johnson 76
Missouri turned the tables on the
Huskers this year winning 89-73 in
A kev part of Missouri’s success
this season has been senior guard
Melvin Booker.
Booker—the Big Eight player of
the week for the second straight week
—- is considered by many of the Big
Eight coaches to be the favorite for the
league’s Most Valuable Player with
three games to go.
Booker is averaging 18.7 points
per game, 4.5 assists per game and is
shooting 40.9 percent from beyond
the three-point line.
Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton
said that Booker deserved the honor.
“There’s no doubt,” Sutton said.
“He’s had a sensational season, and
they won the league.”
Actually, Missouri has only
clinched a tie for the league title. But
if the Tigers win one game or if the
NU gymnast springs to new heights
High confidence
helps Joy Taylor
collect two titles
By Tony West
Staff Reporter_
Sophomore gymnast Joy Taylor
said she dec ided to attend Nebraska
because it would be the perfect place
for her to improve her performanc
After one complete season, it
appears that Taylor has done just
Last year, T aylor was just anoth
er member on the women’s gym
nastics team, Nebraska women’s
gymnastics coach Dan Kendig said.
But this season, she has given the
Comhuskers more than just depth.
“Coming in as a freshman, you
really don’t have a defined role,”
Kendig said. “But she’s a definite
contributor now, and that makes a
big difference.”
The 5-foot-2-inch sophomore
from New Palestine, Ind., has cap
tured all-around competitions twice
this season and has helped lead the
Comhuskers to a 7-1 start.
Taylor scored a personal best of
38.475 in the all-around against
Southeast M issouri State on Jan. 22
in Lincoln. She also had a career
best performance on the uneven
bars — 9.825 — at Oklahoma on
Feb. 6.
l ay lor said coni ioe nee was one
key ingredient to her success this
“Pm confident about what I’m
doing, so I’m performing better,”
Taylor said.
However, that may not be the
only factor in Taylor’s success. She
spent eight weeks during June and
July at Woodward, Pa., helping
coach the Woodward Gymnastics
The camp is the “premiere gym
nastics camp in the world,” Kendig
Taylor said she learned invalu
able lessons by teaching at the camp.
And those experiences have paid
dividends this season, she said.
“I’m putting in better routines,”
Taylor said. “I’m doing better, but
there’s still room to improve.”
Taylor said she was concerned
with her performances of late. Only
two weeks after achieving her per
sonal best in the all-around
(38.475), she was down to 37.575
in the all-around. On Saturday in
Salt Lake City, she finished 11th
with a 36.675.
“I need to improve consistency,”
she said.
Taylor said her goal was to be
come consistent enough to qualify
for the NCAA tournament. Last
year, no one qualified from the
women’s gymnastics team.
Damon Lee/DN
Nebraska gymnast Joy Taylor performs on the balance
Conference Games All Gamas
Oklahoma State
Kansas State..
I Mi 0 5-0 6-1
8 3 5-1 3-2
6 4 3-2 3-2
5 5 3-2 2-3
4 6 2-2 Pi
4 7 3-3 1-4
2 <1 1-4 1*4
2 9 2-4 0-5
zo 2 am mm
19 7 .731
tu 5 mm
14 8 .636
114 mmm m
16 8 .667
112 16 Hi
10 13 .435
Iowa State 81, Colorado 78
Kansas State 89, Oklahoma 76
Oklahoma State 98, Nebraska 80
Missouri 81, Kansas 74
Cowboys lose one game, Stewart, who ceived tne attention it aeserves.
has won seven Big Eight champion
ships, will lay claim to his first Big “I don’t understand why there’s
Eight title since 1990. such a lack of respect,” Nee said.
Despite Missouri’s success. Nee “Missouri’s not ranked where they
said, the Big Eight still hasn’t re- deserve to be.”
Florida State offers job to NU coach
From Staff Reports
Nebraska receivers coach Ron
Brown has been offered a similar
coaching job at Florida State Univer
Chris Anderson, Nebraska’s sports
information director, said Monday that
Brown hoped to decide by the end of
the week whether or not to take the
The Florida State job became avail
able when John Eaton left the Semi
noles to become an assistant coach at
South Carolina.
Brown came to Nebraska in 1987
after being an assistant at Brown Uni
versity for four years.
Brown said he was praying about
what direction to go in the matter,
Anderson said.
Continued from Page 7
The remaining four teams in the
79-year-old SWC — Southern Meth
odist, Texas Christian, Rice and Hous
ton — have been told they were not
invited to join the Big Eight, the news
papers said.
“All I can say is we have had an
informal invitation,” Texas President
Robert Berdahl told the Chronicle.
“No decision has been reached. That
would have to be made by the board.”
A&M Regent Bill Clayton said:
“There was an...invitation. 1 don’t
know if it was oral or written. And it
has been discussed.”
Houston President James Pickering
confirmed that four SWC schools have
been asked to leave theSWC.and said
he was “shocked” that Houston was
not invited to become a member of the
Big Eight.
“I think it is a very shortsighted
notion to move unilaterally without
considering what the consequences
will be for the four remaining pro
grams and for Texas as a whole,”
Pickering said. “Clearly, the Univer
sity ofHouston wants to be included in
any realignment or merger, or what
ever they're talking about.”
The Chronicle reported that the
presidents of Tech, Baylor and Texas
were contacted last week following a
Thursday conference call of Big Eight
presidents and chancellors. A&M was
contacted Monday.
A conference call was made Mon
day morning to the four schools not
extended invitations, the Morning
News reported.
Big Eight officials withheld com
ment Monday night, but Kansas State
President Jon Wefald said no deal had
been finalized.
It s premature tor anybody at tne
Big Eight to speculate about it now,”
he said. “We just have to wait and sec.
The political situation down there is
always intriguing. Nobody in the Big
Eight should say anything that would
create any problems for anybody in
the Southwest Conference.”
SWC Commissioner Stew Hatchell
said the league office has no knowl
edge of the deal and wouldn’t have to
know because it would be handled by
the individual schools.
Texas athletic director DeLoss
Dodds said Monday that “a decision
may be coming soon.”
The Morning News said an an
nouncement could be made within
days by Colorado Chancellor James
Corbridge, president of the Associa
tion of Big Eight Universities.
The Texas A&M Board of Regents
is scheduled to meet in a conference
call Thursday, the Chronicle report
ed. Berdahl said he had heard Texas
would work to schedule a regents
meeting on the issue.
Rice athletic director Bobby May
said late Monday he could not confirm
the report.
Baylor athletic director Dick Ellis
said he’s also heard about the possible
movement,but that any official word
also would have to come from his
school’s president’s office.
The S WC and Big Eight are search
ing for television contracts beginning
after the 1995-96 season, when the
current College Football Association
deal expires.
One report says the two leagues
have been offered a football television
contract with ABC worth a reported
$60 million over five years, starting in
There was no immediate word about
what kind of television deal the new
12-team league could receive.
Crunch Time
Continued from Page 7
do something at home,” Nee said. “If
we are going to get it done this year, it
is going to be in the next three games.”
If tne Huskers are going to put
together a run for apostseason tourna
ment bid, they will have to be ready for
the first test, which will come in the
form of No. 10 Kansas on Wednesday
“We are very focused, very moti
vated, and we want to play them,” Nee
said. “We had a good practice (Sun
day) night, and we arc focused and
ready to go. We know what we have to
do; it is just getting on the floor and
doing it.”
After battling Kansas, the Huskers
play host to Kansas State on Saturday.
The Wildcats, who are coming off
an 89-76 win over Oklahoma, are 16
8 and 4-7 and have won two straight
games, temporarily salvaging their
hopes for a berth in the NCAA Tour
After the Wildcats, No. 24 Oklaho
ma State will come to Lincoln. The
Huskcrs will be seeking revenge after
Saturday’s 98-80 loss to the Cowboys.
The Huskers then close out the season
at No. 6 Missouri.
Nee said Kansas would give Ne
braska its toughest test.
“I think we arc going to have the
biggest challenge of the year, as far as
being ready to play and playing against
a team that is going to very focused
and very determined,” Nee said. “And
I expect it to be a very hard battle.”