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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 10, 1998)
With nine teams within four
games of each other in the Big 12
Conference men’s basketball race,
the last six games of the season
will be crucial in determining
which teams get bids to the Big 12
“The logjam is partly due to
the fact there is a lot of parity in
the middle of the league,”
Colorado Coach Ricardo Patton
said. “The team that will emerge
will be the team that continues to
play hard, but also the team that
plays a lot smarter.”
One of the teams that appears
to be making a move is Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders have won their
last four games, including a 70-68
win at Oklahoma and a 102-75
win over Texas A&M on Saturday.
Kansas guard Paul Pierce was
named Big 12 player of the week.
Pierce scored 19 points in the
Jayhawks’ 83-62 win against Iowa
State and 29 points on Sunday
Texas’ Chris Mihm was named
Big 12 rookie of the week. It was
the third time this season Mihm
received the honor.
The Nebraska women’s bas
ketball team fell from No. 22 to
No. 24 in the CNN/USA Today
Coaches Poll released on Monday.
Iowa State, which defeated NU
83-69 on Saturday, replaced the
Huskers at No. 22, while Texas
Tech moved up to No. 6.
The six teams in the Big 12
Southern Division, along with
Kansas State, opened their 1998
baseball seasons last week.
Oklahoma first baseman
Casey Bookout was named the
Big 12 player of the week after
knocking three home runs in two
games against Missouri Southern
Texas A&M pitcher Ryan
Rupe tossed five innings of no-hit
ball Friday against the University
of Texas-Pan American en route to
being named the Big 12 pitcher of
the week. Rupe struck out five,
and two relievers followed to fin
ish the first ever no-hitter by a Big
12 team since play began last year.
Big 12 men’s basketball standings:
Kansas 26-3 10-1
Oklahoma 17-7 8-3
Oklahoma State 17-4 7-4
Texas Tech 12-8 6-4
Kansas State 14-6 5-5
Missouri 13-10 5-5
Colorado 11-9 5-5
Baylor 10-10 5-5
Nebraska 13-10 4-6
Texas 10-12 4-6
Iowa State 10-14 3-8
Texas A&M 6-14 0-10
Big 12 Notebook compiled by
staff reporter Mike Kluck.
NEBRASKA LONG JUMPER Chris Wright gave up his basketball career to pursue track and field. Wright currently
owns the second-best indoor jump in the nation and hopes to qualify for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
By Darren Ivy
One visit was all it took for
Nebraska’s newest football signee,
Matt Shook, to fall in love with the
campus and city.
“It was everything I expected
and more - the people, communi
ty, players, academics and facili
ties,” Shook said.
After visiting Lincoln last
weekend, Shook, a 6-foot-3, 285
pound lineman from Medina,
Ohio, signed a letter of intent to
become the 21st Cornhusker
NU announced its first 20
recruits on signing day last
Shook was ready to commit to
Miami of Ohio last week, but
phone calls and a visit from NU
Head Coach Frank Solich helped
convince Shook, and his father,
Dale, to give Nebraska a shot.
Neither Shook nor his dad had
ever been to Nebraska before the
weekend, but they were impressed
with what they saw on their visit.
“Nebraska offers everything I
wanted,” Shook said. “Miami of
NU jumper eyes Olympics
By Andrew Strnad
Not many people turn down a bas
ketball scholarship from UCLA.
Even fewer turn away offers from
Chris Wright turned them both
down to run track at Nebraska.
A two-time NCAA All-American
in die long jump, Wright currently owns
the second-best indoor jump in the
nation at 25 feet, 10 inches.
Wright also runs the 55-meters and
is expected to compete on the 4 x 100
meter outdoor relay team.
The senior, who insists he is only 6
fooMVi, began jumping only five years
ago at a charity event at home in the
At Preston Albury High School in
Nassau, Bahamas, Wright didn’t run
track, but he played basketball and
received several scholarship offers from
top-notch schools across the country.
But eventually, Wright found he had
a future in track mid field and decided
pursuing a track career was the right
“My parents said if I wanted to dis
cipline myself, I should take on an indi
vidual sport,” Wright said.
Wright did entertain the thought of
playing basketball at the collegiate
level, but lost interest when he said the
fun was gone.
“I just like to play to feel good - the
happiness of playing basketball,”
Wright said. “When you look at it,
you’re all out there to have fun - and it’s
just not like that anymore.”
In the summer of 1994, Wright
made a decision to enroll at Kansas City
(Kan.) Community College, and run
An agricultural science major,
Wright entertained several track offers
but settled on Kansas City after talking
with his mother.
“I really wanted to go to UCLA, but
my mom told me that there were too
many earthquakes out there,” Wright
said. “She said, ‘No child of mine is
going out there”’
At Kansas City (Kan.) Community
College, Wright wasted no time jump
ing to new heights as he claimed the
1996 National Junior College Athletic
Association indoor long jump title with
a leap of 25 feet, 9Vi inches.
After he finished second in the out
door championships, Wright found
himself a highly sought after junior col
Nebraska first inquired about
Wright during his freshman season in
1995, when his coach, Todd Biggs, told
him the Huskers woe interested in him
as a long jumper.
“They wanted to know who was this
athlete who came from the Bahamas as
a basketball player, but is actually a long
jumper,” Wright said.
NU Head Coach Gary Pepin said he
was very impressed with Wright the
first time he saw him and knew he had
the potential to be an outstanding long
jumper at Nebraska.
“Chris really has excellent speed,
and it sure helps to be tall when you’re a
long jumper;” Pepin said.
The slender Wright credited his suc
cess to his extraordinary 41-inch veiti
umo couian i ao mat. it is a dream
come true for me.
“Nebraska has always been my
top choice. It’s quite an honor to be
recruited to Lineman Country. ”
At Medina High School,
Shook was a three-year starter and
first-team all-state offensive guard
his senior year. Ohio Football
Magazine listed him as the top
offensive lineman to come out of
Ohio this year.
Shook helped Medina to an .8-2
record as a senior last fall playing
both defensive and offensive line.
The captain of his football team,
Shook was also recruited by
Pittsburgh and Indiana.
He owns a GPA above 3.0 and
has qualified academically. At the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
he said he planned to major in
He also said he plans to work
hard this spring, where he will
compete in tuck and field at _
Medina amt work on getting 7
. stronger for football.
7 Shook said he will move to
Lincoln this summer and begin,
working out with die Huskers. <„. -
By Darren Ivy
It didn’t take long for the Nebraska Men’s
Gymnastics Coach Francis Allen to start working on
bar routines and a new lineup order.
After his gymnasts finished
third in a triangular with Ohio
State and Oklahoma Friday
night, Allen had his team practice
Sunday morning before the
women’s meet in Norman, Okla.
“I wanted to make them go
but they needed a
points - which was two
"■!«*•« puuus higher than NU scored at
Rocky Mountain Open Jan. 23
24 - but Allen wasn’t quite satisfied, because the
ninth-ranked Huskers finished behind No. 8
Oklahoma and No. 4 Ohio State.
“I was pleased we did betK^pn^lisIpse^l
Allen said. “I don’t think Oklw^yWWwBfefe ifep?
same ballpark with us.”
Only Marshall Nelson and Derek Leiter scored
better than a 9.20 on die parallel bars, as the Huskers
missed four of their six routines.
“We lost the meet on the parallel bars,” Allen said.
By not scoring well on die first few parallel bar
routines, NU couldn’t utilize the punping effect Allen
said the pumping effect is when the judges perceive
the first gymnast to be the low scorer-and each gym
nast afterward is better.
Allen said the key to utilizing the pumping effect is
to find the perfect lineup, where the top gymnasts are
interspersed with the lower scorers.
“If you can match guy to position, you can maxi
mize your score,” Allen said. “It comes down to which
gate you want your horses to go out or*
In the other events, NU seemed to be lined up in
the right gates.
The horizontal proved to be the best routine for die
Huskers, as they scored a 38.50 and nearly edged the
Sooners for second place.
a 9.80 and finished second, while
neededlhe 9.85 effort of Dan Fink
on the final performance of the meet to beat NU by
three-tenths of a point
NU got some career high scores in other events.
Jim Koziol placed second on the still rings with a
career-best tying score of 9.75, and Bill Mulholland
tied a career best with a 9.60 on the vault to finish
In die all-around, Leiter finished second with a
56.7, and freshman Jason Hardabura, who suffered a
hip injury at die Rocky Mountain Open two weeks
ago, finished sixth-his first competition with a 55.70.
At the beginning of the year, Allen said he thought
NU had the potential to have four athletes score 57 or
greater in the all-around.
And Leiter still thinks they do.
As the Huskers continue to get healthy, Leiter said,
he thought their routines also will get better.
“It is better to have this happen at the beginning of y
the year and get it worked out, than to have it happen at
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