The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 23, 1999, Page 7, Image 7

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

There was some heated
debate around the Big 12
Conference on Monday as to
whether or not the conference
tournament should be moved
from Kemper Arena in Kansas
City, Mo., after the contract
expires following the 2001 sea
Talk ranged from moving the
tournament to Dallas and appeas
ing the old Southwest Conference
teams, or rotating the tournament.
The tournament, which took
root at Kemper when the Big
Eight was still intact, is criticized
most openly by coaches of the
former SWC.
“There had been some great
traditions in the Big Eight,” Texas
Tech Coach James Dickey said.
“But there were also some great
traditions in the Southwest
Conference. We should at least
examine some options for rotat
ing the tournament.”
Oklahoma State guard Adrian
Peterson was named Big 12 play
er of the week after notching 20
and 21-point games in Cowboy
wins over Nebraska and
Peterson now leads the league
in scoring with 18.1 points per
Clifton Cook, for the second
time in three weeks, was named
the Big 12 newcomer of the week.
Cook is eighth in the confer
ence in scoring with 15.3 ppg and
had 9 points and seven assists in a
loss to Colorado and 19 points
and nine rebounds in Saturday’s
loss to Texas.
“You can't really describe
what Clifton has meant to our
program,” Aggie Assistant Coach
Tom Billeter said. “Clifton is as
good a guard as we’ve ever played
against or coached.”
In an early verbal poll of Big 12
coaches, Venson Hamilton’s name
surfaced as a potential conference
player of the year.
“He's a wonderful young man,”
Dickey said. “He's really improved
his face-up game, and that’ll help
him on the next level.”
Some of Hamilton's peers on
the court also praised the
Comhusker big man, who is averag
ing 15.6 points and 10.5 rebounds
per game.
"I'd have to go with Venson for
player of the year,” Colorado for
ward Jamahl Mosley said. “He's
averaging a double-double per
game - that's not easy to do - and he
gets it done night in and night out.”
Kansas Coach Roy Williams
notched his 300th career win with
the Jayhawks’ 60-50 win over
Oklahoma on Saturday.
However, with the end of the
season approaching, Williams said
he hasn't had much time to savor the
“With everything going on, I
really haven't been able to think
about it,” he said. “But it’s been a
great run. and I hope it continues.”
Big 12 notebook compiled by
senior staff writer Adam Klinker
Coaches look toward tournament
By Adam Klinker
Senior staff writer
It’s tournament time ... almost.
And as is usually the case in the
waning weeks of February, things are
starting to come together, compared
to weeks before.
Things are no different in the Big
12 Conference, where the scrap is on
for seeding in the March 4-7 confer
ence tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
With six teams vying for four
first-round byes in the double-elimi
nation contest, the pack leaders have
changed considerably from just a
week ago, but as coaches around the
Big 12 are saying, none of that’s going
to matter when the tournament season
“This is what's great about tourna
ment play - everybody gets a new
lease on life,” Texas Coach Rick
Bames said. “If you can go there and
catch some magic in a bottle for three
or four days, you get a bid to the
NCAA Tournament. You have to
expect the unex
The Long
horns (17-10
overall, 12-2 in
the Big 12), who
have nearly run
away with the Big
12 Conference
need to win just
one of their
remaining games
against Baylor or
Missouri to clinch the title, a No. 1
seed in the conference tournament
and most likely, an NCAA
Tournament bid.
This league is awfully balanced. Its going
to make for a great tournament.”
James Dickey
Texas Tech coach
Thus far, however, only Baylor, at
0-14 in conference play, has come up
with a concrete seeding. They will go
into Kansas City having to play at the
bottom of the heap.
Texas and Baylor aside, the 10
other teams are still controlling their
own destinies as two games remain in
the season.
And with such parity in the
league, many coaches are preparing
for a dogfight at the tournament.
“This league is awfully balanced,”
Texas Tech Coach James Dickey said.
“It’s going to make for a great tourna
ment, but everyone’s going to want to
win as many games as they can, and it
may come down to a lot of tie-break
ers because so many teams are
bunched together.”
In addition to Texas Tech, Iowa
State and Colorado are also 5-9 in the
conference and, along with Kansas
Please see TOURNEY on 8
Spring in your step
Matt Miller/DN
NU GYMNAST NICOLE WILKINSON vaults during Nebraska’s meet with Oregon State and Brigham
Young on Monday. Wilkinson, who finished second in the all-around competition to Misty Oxford,
helped the Huskers to victory over the Beavers and Cougars as NU had a team score of 196.075.
Oregon State had a 194.575. BYU had a 193.4. The score was a team high for the season and the
fifth-best score in NU history. It was achieved without the help of NU gymnast Heather Brink, who
was out with an injury. The victory marked the the 200th win of NU Coach Dan Kendig’s career in
gymnastics. The meet went much more slowly than normal because of the lack of judges at the
meet. Only two judges were able to brave the snow and wind to make it to the Bob Devaney Sports
Center. Nebraska is next in competition this weekend for the Masters Classic, which will be host
ed by the Huskers.
coach headed
back to NU
■ John Cook, who is a former
assistant coach for Nebraska’s
volleyball squad, was named
associate head coach Monday.
From staff reports
The Nebraska volleyball team will be welcom
ing a familiar face to the coaching staff for the 1999
John Cook, head coach at Wisconsin and former
NU assistant coach, was named Monday as the
Cornhuskers new
associate head
coach. Cook steps in
for assistant coach
Cathy Noth, who
resigned Jan. 24.
His tenure is slated
to begin March 1.
“We are fortu
nate to get a coach
familiar with
Nebraska, and who
has been successful
at all levels,” NU
Coach Terry Pettit
said. “In order for
Nebraska to remain
a national power, it
is important to go
The support
that Nebraska
receives is
from top to
John Cook
NU associate head coach
out and recruit a person with John s experience.
In six seasons at Wisconsin, Cook had a 161-73
record, won a Big Ten title and led the Badgers to
post-season play in each year, including the regional
finals in 1997 and 1998.
Cook was most recently in Lincoln for UW’s
five game loss to the Huskers in the NCAA Pacific
Regional Championship last December.
While an assistant under Pettit from 1988-91 at
NU, Cook saw the Huskers reach the Final Four
twice, including a second place finish in 1989.
“I’m excited to be working with Coach Pettit. I
think he’s the best coach in the profession,” Cook
said. “The support that Nebraska receives is unpar
alleled from top to bottom.”
Cook's coaching resume also extends into the
Olympic ranks, where he was an assistant on the
Barcelona 1992 bronze medal-winning U.S. men’s
national team.
Cook’s arrival could signify a possible passing
of the torch, should Pettit decide to retire in the
But for now, Cook said he is happy just to be
back at NU.
“This is an excellent opportunity for my family
and I,” Cook said. “We are excited about moving
back to Lincoln. We always had a saying during my
time at Nebraska - 'Once a Husker, always a