The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 30, 2001, Page 10, Image 10

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    Sports Weekend
Daily Nebraskan Friday, March 30,2001 Page 10
A practical
lesson in
to popular
belief, not
needs college,
a fact that star
high school
players have
realized in the
last few years.
The latest version of the
McDonald’s High School All
American game, held Wednesday
night at Duke's Cameron Indoor
Stadium, continued the trend of
the past half-decade as four of the
athletes invited are considering
skipping college and going direct
ly to the NBA
For them, the future is now,
and they're answering opportuni
ty’s knock. That tidbit alone is
enough to make nauseated col
lege basketball fans foolishly
claim that athletes are becoming
greedier and sports are circling
die moral drain. An estimated 72
NBA scouts were at this year’s
game, according to the Durham
(N.G) Herald-Sun. That’s three for
each of the 24 players competing,
and I guarantee an equal number
of agents were crawling around
the Duke campus this week as
They were all there to see
Eddy Curry,“Baby Shaq,” a 6-foot
11,290-pound center who has
committed to DePaul as the
nation's consensus top recruit.
The youngster pleased all in
attendance, scoring 28 points and
grabbing MVP honors.
The scouts and agents also
would have been there to see
DeSaganaDiop (the nation’s No. 4
recruit, according to Rivals, Ousamme Cisse (No.
5), who were both injured, and
Tyson Chandler (No. 6) who
decided not to play.
Since nabbing a guaranteed
three-year, seven- to eight-figure
scholarship doesn’t exist, all four
have said jumping to the NBA
looked very enticing. In the cases
of Curry and Chandler (a rail-thin
seven-footer), it’s almost certain.
“It would be tough to turn
down millions of dollars," Curry
has told the Chicago Tribune. He
and the rest of this year's high
schoolers have until May 13 to
declare for the draft and cannot
withdraw once they’ve done so.
This is where basketball
purists groan in agony about
these athletes skipping college.
Admittedly, I used to groan right
along with them.
Not anymore. I’ve asked
myself, why should I even care if
any of these kids go to college to
{day basketball? I have no interest
invested in any of them, and I
doubt you do, either. I’m going to
watcb and love college basketball
whether these four are wearing
Carolina Blue or Vancouver
Grizzly Teal. Why should I give
two shakes about these kids’ deci
It sure isn't because I care
about them having an uplifting
time experiencing the collegiate
atmosphere. I'm sure it isn’t too
hard to find a party with beautiful
gills on the NBA circuit either.
It sure isn’t because I care
about diem having a future. If it
doesn’t overly concern me that
one of my fellow high school grad
uates decided not to go to college,
instead starting a plumbing
apprenticeship, why should I
worry about someone I will never
meet who also has a much more
secure financial future?
It doesn't concern me in the
least that, right now, there are four
professional women’s tennis
players ranked in the top 10 that
can’t buy beer - and if they don’t
win, they don’t get paid. Wouldn't
it be somewhat hypocritical not
to criticize Martina Hingis, the
Williams sisters and Anna
Koumikova but liken these four
NBA prospects as money-grub
bing thugs?
In baseball, where career
ending injuries are more com
mon and die initial contracts are
significantly smaller, young,
white suburban prospects skip
college by the hundreds each
year. Not one peep is heard even
though it’s doubtful that player
wiU even see a glimpse of daylight
in The Show (can you say career
Double A journeyman?). i
I can guarantee that if you had
a son or daughter who could
make millions (seriously think
about if millions) as an 18-year
old doing something they loved,
Please see NBA on 9
Even though his
record stands at
6*1, Shane
nomine is trying
to rediscover the
dominance he
enjoyed last
Returning to
this dominance
means throwing
more strikes
early in the
count and using
his slider less.
Rodaway set
to start game
After his No. 2 and No. 3 starters gave up a com
bined seven runs in three innings against Big 12-fbe
Missouri, NU Coach Dave Van Horn says the eighth
ranked Nebraska baseball team is in need of finding a
consistent starting rotation.
Against Oklahoma this weekend, the Huskers (19
7,5-2) will look to senior Brian Rodaway to stop the
deluge of opposing runs that have often come after
ace Shane Komine has taken his start
Rodaway is scheduled to make his first career
conference start in Sunday’s finale of a three-game
series in Norman (10-19,5-7) that begins tonight
In his last action, Rodaway (1-0,1.69 earned run
average) pitched four-and-three-fourths innings of
relief without giving up a run or hit against Missouri.
Rodaway, who entered this season with career 1-3
record and 831 ERA, said he was pitching better than
he ever had.
Please see BASEBALL on 9
Komine finding his groove
It’s a Wednesday afternoon, and the
dawn of a new technological age for
Shane Komine and the Nebraska base
ball team; he’s charting pitches on a
Palm Pilot, lounging on a picnic table
and talking to a friend while the
Huskers wallop Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
It’s a good day for Komine. He goes
out for a midweek throw between
games in the doubleheader. He slums
in a long-sleeved shirt and running
pants. And the new owner of the NU
school record for strikeouts finally feels
his pitching coming around.
“You know, I haven’t been near what
I think I should be this year,” he says as
the Panthers change pitchers. “I missed
a lot of pitches I should have made.”
Komine sports a 6-1 record, but his
4.15 earned run average is simply
beneath him, or above him, depending
on how you look at it. He knew
approaching this season that’d he cap
ture the strikeout record, barring seri
Tm just into pitching well.
For me, good is just
making the pitches
Shane Komine
NU pitcher
ous injury. It’s behind him now, the kind
of moment he’ll reflect on much later
someday. A thing to tell die kids about
Now is for ascending above what
he’s considers a mediocre season, one
that his coaches aren't necessarily
happy with, either. On a few occasions,
Komine was flat-out fortunate
Nebraska has developed into a potent
. hitting team in 2001; they've given him
the run support he’s needed to win. It
can create a false sense of security.
False securities have dogged
Komine for awhile earlier this year.
While he, coaches and fans expected a
year better than his 11-4,2.24 ERA cam
paign last season, some fabulous work
outs in the fall, as well as subtle changes
in the team, hurt the 5-foot-8,160
like many pitchers, Komine found
a new way to throw strikes during fall
baseball and fell in love with it the slid
er. Not often what most would consider
a setup pitch, Komine threw it consis
tently enough in the strike zone to
make it a more significant part of his
five-pitch repertoire. In some cases, it
replaced his curve ball, always a staple
in Komine’s game.
And then he started throwing faster,
nearly into the mid-90s. Speed's as
intoxicating as anything. Komine
already threw hard, but it felt good to
hum even faster.
Both those fall developments,
which Komine said were supported by
Pitching Coach Rob Childress, back
fired this spring. He got behind in
Please see KOMINE on 9
Huskers'focus will be on Sooners
With a win in its next
game, the 18th tanked Husker
softball team would tie a
school record for consecutive
victories - NU already has 16
games in a row under it's belt
The record-tying 17th
won’t be easy. Defending
national champion and
sixth-ranked Oklahoma is
coming to town.
In fact, forget the streak.
These are ^ie Sooners.
“We know they’re good,
they know we’re good, but
we're just going to go and lay
out everything that we have,”
freshman outfielder Nicole
Ttimboli said. “It's going to be
a nice, clean game but an
intense one because there is
that rivalry.”
NU and OU have recent
history. Last year the two
teams split the four games
they played, but Nebraska
took the upper hand by
knocking Oldahoma out of
the Big 12 Tournament
“Anytime you’ve played
teams for conference cham
pionships on the line - you
finish one they finish two,
they finish one you finish two
-1 think you develop a natural
rivalry,” NU Coach Rhonda
Revelle said. “The last couple
years it’s been us battling
each other.”
The two teams faced each
other once earlier this season,
and Oklahoma came away
with a 6-5 extra-innings win.
“I think what it does, since
we have new players on the
team, it helps demystify who
Oklahoma is,” Revelle said of
die earlier game. “Instead of
putting the label 'Defending
National Champions’ on,
they actually have faces.”
DN file Photo
The Nebraska softball team, winners of 16 straight games, will try to break the school record of 17 consecutive
wins this weekend. Standing in the team's way is sixth-ranked Oklahoma,the defending national champion,
who comes to town today.
Oklahoma (27-5, 2-0)
plays a doubleheader against
Nebraska today at the NU
Softball Complex starting at 5
p.m. The Huskers also have
games on Saturday and
Sunday against unranked
While Oklahoma tries to
keep NU from setting the
consecutive wins mark, the
Huskers will try to keep OU
pitcher Jennifer Stewart from
becoming the winningest
pitcher in school history. The
junior needs one more win to
set the record at 76. Stewart,
one of four returning All
Americans for the Sooners,
has compiled a 18-2 record
with a 1.47 ERA this season.
The other opponent,
TexasIbch (22-12,1-1), is also
led by a record-setting pitch
er, senior Amanda Renfro. On
March 18 against Iowa,
Renfro became one of 10
pitchers with 1,000 career
strikeouts. Senior Sandy
Butler holds a school record
herself, with 199 career hits.
Butler also has a .330 career
batting average.
The Saturday game starts
at 2 p.m., and the Sunday
game starts at noon at the NU
Softball Complex.
Sweeping the four games
this weekend is obviously the
only way to keep the winning
streak, which Revelle says is
“great for the fans.”
The 17 consecutive wins
would be the most since
1987, when the team went 41
11 and made it to the College
World Series.
That streak takes a back
seat today, though.
“At the end of die season,
if we look back at a 30-game
win streak that’s great,”
Trimboli said. "Right now
we’re really looking forward
Jacobson lauds
Frisch's effort
While she may only play No. 4 singles for the
Nebraska tennis team, Amy Frisch has been its
most dominant player this season.
Frisch looks to improve on her 15-1 record this
season when the Cornhuskers (15-1,2-2) travel to
Kansas State (6-6,2-1) on Sunday.
The Huskers, coming off a 6-1 win last week
end at Texas Tech, will take their best-ever ranking
of 39th up against the No. 74 Wildcats, who have
been in the top 50 most of the season. Four of
KSU’s six losses have been decided by one point.
Individually, KSU is led by 81st-ranked Alena
Jecminkova. At the No. 4 spot, Kathy Chuda (8-2)
should provide a tough challenge for Frisch.
But Frisch has had little trouble overcoming
“Amy’s just a winner," Coach Scott Jacobson
said. “Ever since she’s been here, she’s won."
The junior from Crescent Springs, Ky., has
compiled a 52-9 career record at NU, including a
19-3 record last season to capture the Big 12 tide at
No. 6 singles.
This season has been just as impressive for
Frisch, whose one loss came in a 6-1 team loss at
ninth-ranked Texas A&M.
The team captain's strength of mind is what
carries Frisch to her success, Jacobson said.
“When she steps on the court, she always
believes," he said. “She really believes in herself
and believes that she has the gifts to excel at a real
ly high level. And she does.
“Off the court, that positive energy reflects on
the other members of the team, especially the
younger members of our program. You can’t ask
for a better attitude than that of Amy Frisch."
Jacobson, who said Frisch could play the No. 1
spot at several other schools, said Frisch was
happy playing anywhere to help the team.
He said her playing at the No. 4 spot was a per
fect example of how deep this year’s team was.
Said Frisch: “There’s not much difference in
our players at all. That’s what makes it really good
for us as far as practicing. Whoever we got out and
hit with, we're all good competition for each other.
“No matter how our coach switches the lineup,
it seems like we end up getting wins everywhere