The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 28, 1997, Page 10, Image 10

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By Mike Kluck
Senior Reporter
After Nebraska’s 28-point victory
over Oklahoma on Sunday, Comhusker
said she had hoped
15-1 squad
not be
lougnesi pan oi
the season, which includes two games
with 12th-ranked Kansas, a game at
_ No. 10 Texas, a game at Colorado—
the only team to beat NU this season
— and a home contest with 11th
ranked Texas Tech.
But on Monday when the new AP
poll was released Beck was amazed
that her wish came true. Despite being
just one of six teams in the country with
fewer than two losses, the Huskers re
ceived 55 points, 53 fewer than No. 25
What’s even more amazing is that
five teams in the top 25 have more than
five losses — including ninth-ranked
and defending national champion Ten
nessee, which has seven losses.
“I’m surprised more than anything
that we aren’t ranked,” Beck said. “I’m
happy because it’s less pressure for our
team and it really doesn’t matter until
the end. Right now, we’re just build
ing a reputation.”
Nebraska’s lack of reputation
around the nation has hindered it in
receiving top 25 recognition, AP vot
ers around the nation said.
Mike Organ, who covers the
Vanderbilt women’s team for The Ten
nessean in Nashville, said it’s hard for
new teams to break into the top 25.
“I had no idea they were 15-1,”
Organ said. “There is no way I could
know that.”
Organ said he learns a lot about
women’s teams around the country by
letters and faxes he receives from the
schools’ sports information depart
mmm mmm m
»• .
I had no idea they
were 15-1. There is
no way I could
know that”
Mike Organ
AP poll voter
However, if a school doesn’t send
out information about their team, it is
difficult to learn how good or how
poorly they are doing. Organ said he
spent 30 minutes before this week’s
poll looking for information chi Michi
gan State, a team that had beaten then
seventh-ranked Vanderbilt by 30
lhis week the Spartans, who are
leading the Big Ten Conference, broke
into the poll at No. 23. It’sjust the third
time in school history Michigan State
has been ranked. The irony of the situ
ation is that two weeks ago Michigan
State wasn’t ranked while Big Ibn
school Penn State, which was 10th in
the conference, was ranked in the top
“The only thing that I can say is the
poll is something that I have no con
trol over,” Michigan State Coach
Karen Langeland said. “We’re frus
trated a lot of times about it.”
Organ said the women’s poll is also
hindered because national wire ser
vices don’t run women’s conference
standings, and scores are often unavail
able if the team is not in the top 25.
Greg Johnson, who covers Colo
rado women’s basketball for the Boul
der Daily Camera, is one voter who has
been picking Nebraska this season.
Johnson — who has put the Huskers
at No. 21 or No. 22 the past few weeks
—was in Lincoln when Nebraska lost
65-58 to Colorado, the Huskers’ lone
loss of the season.
He said more resources are mak
ing it easier to get information about
women’s teams, but by Monday after
noon —24 hours after Nebraska’s vic
tory over Oklahoma — Johnson still
had not heard the final score. AP re
quires all voters to submit their top 25
TOP 25? A
Despite having a better '
percentage than 19 teams ranked in
The Associated Press Top 25 pol, 15-1
Nebraska still has not cracked the ratings.
Team Rec. Pts. Prev.
applicaticxis by Sunday night.
“A lot of people are questioning the
integrity of die poll ” Johnson said. “I
wish it wasn’t this way, but a lot of
teams are receiving votes on name rec
Dick Rockne, an AP voter for the
Seattle Times who also didn’t know
Nebraska had a record of 15-1, agreed
with Johnson about the polls being
based primarily on name recognition.
Rockne said he knows the poll isn’t
an exact science and that many of the
teams in the top 25 are in the poll ev
ery year, but he does have a formula
for Nebraska to get into the polls.
“You have to beat those teams
(Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas), then
you’ll make the poll,” Rockne said.
“Until you beat one of those teams it’s
tough to say you belong in the top 25.”
Although Nebraska’s ranking in the
top 25 may depend on how they fare
against the poll’s established teams,
Beck and her players said that isn’t
their main focus right now.
“The rankings will come in time,”
Husker senior Tina McClain said. “We
might talk about it every race in awhile
but it’s not our major focus right now.
If we continue winning, though, we’re
going to have to get the recognition.”
Kansas start best since 19d5-<jb
By Vince D’Adamo
Staff Reporter
For only the second time in the
program’s 99-year history, the Kansas
basketball team remains unbeaten af
ter 20 games.
The last
time KU was 20
the 1935
season when
the country was
experiencing the
urcui repres
sion. However,
the Jayhawks (a
unanimous No.l
in this week’s As
sociated Press
poll) won only one game after their
torrid start as they finished 21-2 under
Coach F.C. Allen, the man for whom
Allen Fieldhouse is named.
Sunday’s 77-68 road victory over
upstart Colorado enabled top-ranked
KU to keep its stranglehold as the
nation’s top team.
The Buffaloes erased a 12-point
second-half deficit to take a 64-63 lead
before a 10-0 Kansas run cemented the
Jayhawks’ 20th straight victory. KU
forward Raef LaFrentz scored six of
his 21 points during that stretch.
After the game, LaFrentz drew rave
reviews from CU Coach Ricardo
“He’s a premier player,” Patton
said. “He’s really strong and athletic.
He’s going to make a lot of money at
this game someday.”
LaFrentz continues to develop into
a force. The junior has twice been
named Big 12 Player of the Week. He
is averaging 17.4 points and 8.8 re
bounds per contest.
KU Coach Roy Williams said the
team never wilted in the mile-high al
“We have an experienced team,”
Williams said. “When somebody
makes a run at us, we don’t panic. It’s
a 40-minute game.”
KU has kept its unblemished record
despite the absence of 6-foot-11 cen
ter Scot Pollard (one game) and all
everything point guard Jacque Vaughn
(10 games).
Vaughn missed KU’s first 10 games
with a wrist injury and Pollard suffered
a broken foot in practice Thursday. He
did not play in the win at CU and will
be out more than a month.
u s more irusiraung on tne
coaches,” Williams said. “It keeps our
attention because we haven’t been able
to put it on cruise control.”
Offensively, KU leads the Big 12
in scoring offense (86.4 points per
game), field-goal percentage (58.5)
and rebounding margin grabbing 12
more boards than its opposition every
Against the Jayhawks’ physical
defense, opponents are converting only
38.7 percent from the field, just an eye
lash above Iowa State’s 38.6 percent
Paul Pierce and Jerod Haase have
lent LaFrentz a helping hand, both av
eraging double figures. Pierce is
averaging 15 points per game while
Haase averages 13.8.
“It’s amazing,” Texas A&M Coach
Tony Barone said. “You lose someone
of Vaughn’s status and continue to win.
No knock on Vaughn, but LaFrentz is
the key to that team.”
Last Wednesday, the Jayhawks
spanked the'Aggies 72-46 in Lawrence.
KU’s next hurdle is Wednesday night
at No. 22 Texas Tfcch before playing
host to Nebraska Saturday.
“Maybe the lights will go out and
they can postpone the game,” Red
Raider Coach James Dickey joked.
“They have the total package and they
don’t beat themselves. I feel right now
they’re a notch above everybody else.”