The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 09, 1999, Page 7, Image 7

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Praise for the Nebraska men's
basketball team abounded from
Kansas Coach Roy Williams on
Two days before the
Cornhuskers go to Lawrence.
Kan., to take on the Jayhawks in a
rematch of NU’s 84-69 win Jan.
27, Williams said the Huskers'
Danny Nee might be doing the
best coaching job in the Big 12
“It's a shame that (Nee) has to
hear the little rumors and hear the
talk; I've heard them myself,”
Williams said. “That's ridiculous,
and he’s proven on the court that
it’s ridiculous with the great job
that he's done - maybe the best job
in the league."
In response to Williams' adula
tion and his own perceptions of the
NU environment. Nee responded:
“You're only as good as your last
win. From a fan's perspective, they
want to win, and they want to win
them all. Sometimes our fans have
a football mentality, but so many
things can happen. You can get hot
at anytime, and we’ve been hot.”
Missouri Coach Norm
Stewart’s fashion sense of late was
what first came to mind for Iowa
State Coach Larry Eustachy
before his Cyclones took the floor
with Mizzou on Monday night.
“I like the way Norm puts that
black turtleneck on,” Eustachy
said. “That's very dapper.”
ISU sophomore forward
Marcus Fizer garnered Big 12
player of the week honors after
scoring 21 points in the Cyclones'
67-62 loss to Kansas State and fol
lowing up with a 32 points in ISU’s
loss to Oklahoma State 81-72.
Fizer leads the conference in
scoring with an average of 18.3
points per game.
Following a 17-point perfor
mance in a 71 -59 loss to Texas and
19 points in a 69-58 win over
Baylor, Texas A&M junior guard
Clifton Cook was named Big 12
newcomer of the week.
Cook has been the mainstay in
the Aggie front court this season
and is among the leaders in the
conference in scoring (sixth in the
Big 12, 15.5 points per game),
assists (second with 6.1 per game),
and steals (second with 2.8 per
Cook is also playing an aver
age of 36.2 minutes a game for
“I'm used to playing a lot of
minutes,” Cook said. “But I'm
nearly playing the whole game,
and that wears on my body.”
Aggie Coach Melvin Watkins
said Cook’s minutes, while plenti
ful, were still quality.
“Clifton has come in and
found a hole for himself,” Watkins
said. “We’ve asked him to domi
nate the basketball. Fle’s had to run
the team, score, defend. Maybe
there's a little more pressure on
him than I'd like, but we need his
Big 12 Notebook compiled by
senior staff writer Adam
DN File Photo
NU FORWARD Cisco Gilmore pumps up the crowd at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Gilmore and her front court mates have done a
better job of scoring inside, NU Coach Paul Sanderford said.
NU women elevate inside attack
Sanderford preaches ‘inside-out’ game, and team starts to listen
By Jay Saunders
Staff writer
Logic will tell you that, in basketball, a 3-foot
shot is easier to make than a 14-foot one.
But for the Nebraska women’s basketball team,
that logic hasn’t come so easy this season.
Only three times this year has one of the
Cornhuskers’ front-court players led the team in
the scoring.
“There are two things you have to do to be a
successful basketball team,” NU Coach Paul
Sanderford said. “You have to get to the ffee-throw
line and score inside.”
The Huskers have reached the ffee-throw line
plenty of times, but the inside scoring has some
times been invisible this season.
Juniors Charlie Rogers and Monique Whitfield
have led the Huskers in scoring for a game each,
but in 13 of Nebraska’s 23 games this season, point
guard Nicole Kubik has led the charge. Guard
Brooke Schwartz led the team in seven games.
Those statistics don’t go along with the
Sanderford plan.
“(Post play) has been inconsistent,” Sanderford
said. “We put a lot of emphasis on that, but we
haven't developed it very well.”
The third-year coach is not accustomed the
lack of a dominant front court, which is a comfort
he often enjoyed while coaching at Western
Sanderford preaches what he calls an 'inside
out offense,” which requires front-court players to
be involved in shooting, rebounding and passing.
“Having a good inside-out game is a key to
having a good basketball team,” Sanderford said.
“We have to get the ball in the post.”
Sanderford said developing that inside-out
game had not been easy. /✓
three times.
The record crowd at the Bob Devaney Sports
Center Sunday saw the Huskers beat the No. 1
rebounding team in the conference on the boards
“The No. 1 thing I think about is rebounding,”
Whitfield said. “The scoring will come to you if
you are working hard and busting your butt.”
- With the increase
But after Sunday's 69-68 win
against No. 15 Iowa State, the
times may be changing.
The post players combined
for 35 of NU’s 69 points against
the Cyclones, led by Whitfield’s
16-point performance. Senior
Cori McDill added 10 points and
five rebounds.
“Cori McDill and Monique
Whitfield were huge,”
Sanderford said. “Charlie Rogers
played like the old Charlie
The No. 1 thing I think
about is rebounding. The
scoring will come if you
are working hard.”
Monique Whitfield
NU forward
in scoring and
rebounding, a new
confidence seems to
be brewing in the
Huskers’ inside
game. If the front
court players start
attracting more atten
tion, Sanderford said,
the NU guards should
reap the benefits.
Schwartz scored
20 points against
Rogers. We went inside like we have to do.
Anyone in the Sanderford system will say scor
ing is not looked at in the same light as rebounding.
The cover of this year’s media guide depicted
the team as a mean, lean, rebounding machine.
That machine had not been too well-oiled, but ran
smoothly against ISU.
In nine conference games before Sunday,
Nebraska held the rebounding advantage only
Iowa State. But the new success may get tested
with Baylor and Texas Tech on the schedule.
Those teams have players taller than anyone on
the Husker roster. Sanderford said he thought the
confidence of the front court was coming along.
“At times we haven’t been patient enough,”
Sanderford said. “If you have the confidence, you
will make good decisions with the basketball.”
Coaches blow the whistles on officials
■ An increase in physical play puts
the spotlight on referees, who work
long, hard shifts in the Big 12.
By Adam Klinker
Senior staff writer
Put simply, officiating is a thankless job.
While it may also be joyless, hopeless and
nameless for those who ply the trade, it is the nec
essary means to keep order in the oft-disordered
world of athletics.
Around the Big 12 Conference, as around the
nation, officials are forever coming under the close
scrutiny of fans, players and coaches, especially
with the physicality of play increasing with each
And with so many things to watch, so many
seconds to count and so many times down the court
in a 40-minute game, Big 12 coaches are wonder
ing about the strain being placed on basketball ref
erees these days.
“Think about what we’ve done to the referees
in the last three years,” Oklahoma Coach Kelvin
Sampson said. “We’ve got them counting; we’ve
got them thinking about possession. Sometimes,
they’ve got so much to think about, they forget to
call the obvious fouls underneath.
“We’ve overloaded the officials on what they
need to do.”
While some coaches have complained about
the overt physicality underneath the boards this
season, Sampson said, it is just another part of the
game that has fallen by the wayside in favor of
more order in terms of the game clock.
In addition to on-court decisions, referees also
are logging more hours on the road and filling a
fuller schedule of games.
“It took us forever to put a man on the moon,”
Sampson said. “Yet we can get can a guy from
Norman, Oklahoma, to Ann Arbor (Mich.) in a
span of 12 hours to officiate a basketball game.
“It seems like it’s easier to do outer space stuff
with technology than it is to move officials from
Maine to California. These guys pop up all over.”
Notwithstanding, the critics are still getting in
their roast of the whistle-blowers.
Following his team’s 69-58 win over Baylor on
Feb. 6, Texas A&M Coach Melvin Watkins said he
felt play underneath was getting out of hand.
Please see REFS, on 8