The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 21, 1999, Page 10, Image 10

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    NU loses one recruit,
has chance at others
■ Omaha’s Williams
picks MU, but many seniors
remain in the running.
By Jay Saunders
Staff writer
An hour before a Wednesday
afternoon press conference,
Brandon Williams walked around
the halls of Omaha Central High
Williams, a 5-foot-11 senior,
was still trying to decide where he
wanted to go to college to play foot
ball. Would it be Michigan or
His mother, Paula Bartee
Williams, did not know which
school her son was going to choose
until five minutes before he told the
crowd gathered in Central’s library.
“He sat down next to me and I
said, ‘Where are you going to go?”’
Bartee-Williams said. “Then he
rubbed the blue on his shirt.”
That simple act let his mother
know he chose the Wolverines over
the Comhuskers.
The 180-pound Williams, who
runs the 40-yard dash in a electronic
4.4 seconds, said he made his final
decision five minutes before he
walked in to the press conference.
Williams played a variety of
positions for Central Coach Joe
McMenamin. Williams was listed as
a comerback by several recruiting
services, and with Nebraska’s depth
in the defensive backfield, Michigan
was a better fit
“It just came down to playing
early on the defensive side of the
ball,” Williams said. “I decided I
didn’t want to take the year off at
Williams said the Michigan
coaching staff told him he has the
possibility of being a second-string
player next year, and could play on
both offense and defense in his
sophomore season.
Williams might also be return
ing kicks, just like his favorite play
er, 1997 Heisman Trophy winner
Charles Woodson.
“I took my game after his,”
Williams said. “Both of these
schools have been my favorite, but I
think I still have a lot to learn play
ing comer.”
In other recruiting news, two
players are expected to make deci
sions today concerning their colle
giate futures. They include Tomatu
Togoai, a 6-3, 280-pounder from
Honolulu. He and teammate Joe
Siofele, a 6-2, 235-pound line
backer, both hail from St. Louis
High School. Togoai is looking at
NU and California, while Siofele is
looking at NU and Arizona.
Nebraska is expected to have a
decent chance at landing both.
Another standout, BJ Ward of
Kimball High School in Dallas,
remains undecided between the
Huskers and Florida State, Kimball
Coach James Jones said. UCLA also
remains in the picture.
Darin Naatjes, a 6-6, 230-pound
athlete from Inwood, Iowa, also has
Nebraska in his final two. Naatjes,
who also is a baseball player, will
choose between NU and Stanford.
The Huskers remain in the run
ning for Travaris Robinson, a 5rl 1,
175-pound receiver from Miami.
He’s looking at NU, Virginia Tech
and Miami. Jeff Faine, a lineman
from Sanford, Fla., has his choices
down to Nebraska and Florida.
Onterrio Smith, a running back out
Sacramento, Calif., is looking at
Nebraska, Tennessee, California,
Oregon and Southern California.
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A faction Company
Texas slows down under Barnes,
rattles off a string of victories
Team's quality hasn't suffered from change of pace
By Christopher Heine
Staff writer
Coaches around the Big 12
weren’t fooled by Texas’ 4-8 noncon
ference start under new Coach Rick
They knew the Longhorns had
way too much talent on the court to be
that bad.
Forwards Kris Clack and Gabe
Muoneke, and center Chris Mihm all
had shown spurts of big-time ability
in previous seasons under the run
and-gun style of their former coach,
Tom Penders.
Clack, a 6-foot-5 senior, entered
the 1998-99 season with more than
1,000 career points. Muoneke, a 6-7
junior, had posted 27 double-digit
scoring efforts in his first two seasons
at Texas.
Mihm was named Big 12 rookie
of the week three times last season.
Preseason rumors had even enter
tained the idea of the 7-0 center mak
ing himself eligible for this season’s
NBA draft.
Texas Tech Coach James Dickey
said during a teleconference Monday
that it was just a matter of time before
the Longhorns got on track.
“Those are as good a set of three
players in the league at their posi
tions,” Dickey said. “Rick has done a
nice job of getting the guys around
them to understand the patience of
getting Mihm, Muoneke and Clack
the basketball.”
Under Penders, the Longhorns
had become accustomed to a fast
paced style of play.
Dickey said Texas’ slow start had
a lot to do with Barnes’ new players
having to slow down and not “play
the full 94 feet like they did under
Tom Penders.”
Kansas State Coach Tom Asbury
said it was natural for the Longhorns
to need time to learn Barnes’ more
patient style.
“Whether you want to run off 25
seconds or 10 seconds off the shot
clock, patience is going to be the
key,” Asbury said.
“Patience is always a good philos
For Texas and Barnes, it is starting
to prove to be a winning one.
The Longhorns are off to a 5-1
start in the Big 12, and are in position
to give league preseason favorites,
Kansas and Oklahoma State, a run for
the regular-season conference title.
Oklahoma Coach Kelvin
“Whether you want
to run off 25 seconds
or 10 seconds off the
shot clock, patience
is going to be the
key. Patience is
always a good
Kansas State coach
Sampson said he isn’t surprised by
Texas’ slow start or their recent emer
gence. Both developments can be
attributed to Barnes and his players
adjusting to each other, he said.
“Initially I think Rick was proba
bly doing a real good job, but the kids
-weren’t buying into his philosophy,”
Sampson said.
“I think all the coaches knew they
were really talented.”
Women’s basketball team
proud of hard-hitting game
Sanderford stresses physical play, adaptability
We played really physical.
It was downright dirty basketball
where I came from.”
Com McDill
NU basketball player
By Darren Ivy
Senior staff writer
In Gillette, Wyo., high school
girls’ basketball was a lot like rustling
According to Nebraska senior
basketball player Cori McDill, a
Gillette native, almost anything went
in those games.
“We played really physical,”
McDill recalled. “It was downright
dirty basketball where I came from.”
When McDill came to NU four
years ago, she brought that toughness
and aggressiveness with her, but it
wasn’t always appreciated, she said.
“I think my freshman year I came
in and even then people thought I was
pretty dirty on the team and pretty
physical,” McDill said. “Coach
(Angela) Beck never really thought
that was a good thing, but Coach
Sanderford, he loves it.
“I think everybody has really got
ten into it now and we love pounding
on each other. But then we don’t take
it personal - we pound on each other
and smile about it.”
Kansas standout Lynn Pride was
n’t smiling about NU’s physical play
McDill and junior Cisco Gilmore
took turns pounding on the preseason
Big 12 Conference player of the year.
And Pride wasn’t effective for most
of the game.
“We tried to come out and estab
lish that it was going to be a physical
game, a knock-down-drag-out
(fight),” Assistant Coach Jeff Walz
“They banged (Pride) the first
five or six times down the floor. It
frustrated her a great deal. They kept
on banging on her. Every time she
cut, she had someone leaning on her,
elbowing her, a little forearm here
and forearm there. That makes a big,
big difference.”
It did make a big difference, as
Pride scored just three first-half
points and committed seven
turnovers, while her team fell behind
NU 42-24 at halftime.
“Our game plan was to go out and
just be physical with her the whole
game and just wear her out,” said
Gilmore, a 5-foot-10 forward. “I think
at one point in the game, she was so
tired she couldn’t shoot free throws.”
Since coming to Nebraska from
Western Kentucky last year,
Sanderford and his staff have stressed
physical play, Gilmore said.
“He’s not about having finesse
players,” Gilmore said. “He’s all about
being physical, roughing people up.”
The physical play started the first
day of practice^Gilmore said.
“We’re taught to bump cutters,
just bump people all the time as far as
getting them out of position,” Gilmore
said. “It’s sort of like fundamentals,
you learn to bump people.
“But boy, the higher you get up in
levels of play, I think when you’re
being physical with other players on
different teams, it really helps.
“It shows what kind of shape
they’re in. We bump each other every
day. We’re physical every day. I think
it helps us to get into shape. It builds
us up pretty good. We’re used to it
when other people are more physical
with us.”
Walz said the Huskers stress phys
ical play because Big*12 referees
don’t call too many fouls, sometimes
a trend in major conference college
But the key is being able to adapt
if the refs call games tighter, Walz
“What’s going to make us a really
good team is the ability of our girls to
adjust to the officiating,” Walz said.
“If they are going to let us play physi
cal, then we need to come out and
keep playing physical.”
The advantages of playing physi
cal are clear, Gilmore, said. It wears
players down and takes them out of
their game.
While some might call the style of
play dirty, McDill said, it’s just physi
cal play - physical play with a pur
pose, that is.
“I think we intimidate a lot of
teams that we play,” McDill said.
“I think they come out and they
know they are going to get a pound
ing. Maybe they think a little bit
before they are making that cut
through the lane. After they make that
first cut, maybe we get a foul called on
us, but they aren’t going to make that
cut again.”
The Huskers haven’t been the
aggressors in all their games, though.
“I think in most of the games
we’ve lost, we’ve let those teams be
more physical than we were,” Gilmore
“In the Kansas State game, we let
them beat us up. That’s something we
can’t do. We just didn’t play hard.”
The whole team may not have
played hard in those losses, but play
ing hard is something McDill always
From her days in Gillette, she’s
learned she must in order to survive.
That attitude has rubbed off on her
teammates and now the Huskers want
all future opponents to take notice.
“When people think of Nebraska
women’s basketball,” McDill said,
“we want them to think they’re going
to get a pounding and it’s going to be a
physical game.”