News Nuggets, 04.02.05
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NOTES FROM ECU AND BEYOND...
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Compiled from staff reports
and electronic dispatches
Terps assistant Dickerson named coach at Tulane
capture NIT title in thrilling finish ... Coaches pushing
for more distant 3-point arc ...
in place for closed ECU scrimmage ... Texas legislature
maneuvers to reign in BCS ... NIT master Odom leads USC into
title game ...
football on the menu for Pirate fans ... Gamecocks top Terps
to reach NIT title game ... Hawks halt Memphis in NIT
semifinal battle ...
Carolina southpaw takes Conference USA honor ... Beale
Street helps Memphis star cure the blues ...
helps Heels seal the deal over Badgers ... Scintillating
finishes supercharge TV ratings ...
Illini mount monumental rallies to reach Final Four ...
Terrapins dump TCU to win Garden date with South Carolina
... Sunday preview: North Carolina vs. Wisconsin ...
State bite the dust; Heels survive ... Louisville, WVU
rumble for spot in Final Four ... Fires plague Morgantown
after tourney win ... Players nabbed for passing fake
named to powerful USA Basketball panel ... ECU fans to have
rooting interest in NIT semis ... Triangle's Sweet 16 teams
converge at RDU ... Another DUI charge embarrasses
Memphis whips Vandy to advance to Garden ... NIT: Maryland
overcomes big Davidson lead ... Big East hops on replay
win over UNLV extends Stokes' ties to USC ...
Davidson-Maryland NIT matchup set for TV ... Activists file
suit over 'Chief Illiniwek' ...
over for East Carolina football team ... Frogs in NIT
quarterfinals after overtime win ... CBS reaping ratings
bonanza from tourney ... Baseball America & Collegiate
Baseball Polls ...
straps on visor, gets down to business ... NCAA Tourney
Sweet 16 pairings & schedule ... Tournament's TV ratings up
over 2004 ...
proves it still has Bearcats' number ... Memphis zaps
Hokies, starts thinking NIT title ... Davidson tames Bears,
turns focus to Terps ... Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (5)
Georgia Tech ...
leads Wolfpack to comeback win over 49ers ... Louisville
escapes upset bid by Ragin' Cajuns ... Preview: (7)
Cincinnati vs. (2) Kentucky ... Preview: (11) UAB vs. (3)
Maryland assistant Dave Dickerson,
whose name was mentioned prominently in connection with the recent East
Carolina coaching search that culminated in the hiring of Ricky Stokes, was
introduced Friday as the new basketball coach at Tulane.
Dickerson, who has spent the last nine
seasons at Maryland, replaces Shawn Finney, who was fired March 13, three
days after Tulane lost to DePaul in the Conference USA tournament. Finney
had a 60-86 record in five seasons with the Green Wave.
Dickerson was on the staff of Gary
Williams at Maryland, his alma mater. During his time in College Park, the
Terrapins made nine straight postseason appearances.
In 15 years as an assistant coach at
four schools, Dickerson's teams never had a losing season while making 10
UNC-G coach beats out Herrion for Siena job
Fran McCaffery, basketball coach at UNC-Greensboro
the past six seasons, resigned Friday to take over as head coach at Siena.
According to various reports, McCaffery
beat out former East Carolina coach Bill Herrion and Georgia Tech assistant
Cliff Warren to land the Siena position.
UNC-Greensboro officials said McCaffery
met with his players Friday morning. McCaffery led the Spartans to a 90-87
record in six seasons, including an 18-12 mark this past season.
UNC-G lost to Chattanooga in the
Southern Conference Tournament championship game last month.
McCaffery led the Spartans to one NCAA tournament berth, one NIT appearance
and twice led the team to the Southern Conference title game.
'P.H.D.' Pitino gets life in perspective at U of L
LOUISVILLE — When Rick Pitino resigned
from the Boston Celtics in January 2001, it didn't take long for the college
offers to start rolling in.
Michigan. UCLA. UNLV. And Louisville.
Two months after he left Boston, Pitino
was ready to accept the job in Ann Arbor. His wife, Joanne, convinced him to
take the Louisville job instead.
``She felt Michigan was a great school,
great academic university, great university athletically,'' he said. ``And
she said, `You don't know one person, including the athletic director, in
the state of Michigan.' At our age, friends are very important, very
``She was right. It turned out to be
Did it ever.
Louisville (33-4), in its first Final
Four since 1986, plays Illinois (36-1) in St. Louis on Saturday (6:07 p.m.,
CBS). And Pitino is back in the Final Four after an eight-year odyssey
marked by professional failure and personal tragedy.
``This will probably mean as much to me
as any time in my life, just because I'm going to have a large contingent
with me, with family,'' he said. ``We're all going to be in it together.
It's going to be a special time for everybody.''
North Carolina meets Michigan State in
Saturday's other Final Four pairing at the Edward Jones Dome (8:37 p.m.,
CBS), with the national championship game set for Monday night (9:21 p.m.,
Pitino left Kentucky after the 1997
NCAA championship game to become the Celtics' coach and president. But his
high-intensity style, controlling nature and a few bad personnel moves
turned his dream job into his first coaching disaster. He resigned after 3
1/2 unsuccessful seasons and moved to Florida.
Pitino considered taking a full year
off to re-examine his life. Instead, his passion for the game returned.
``The Celtics was a great thing for
me,'' he said. ``It got me back with that P.H.D. — being poor, hungry and
Shortly after he left the Celtics,
Pitino visited Florida coach Billy Donovan, who as a player helped Pitino
reach his first Final Four, at Providence in 1987.
Donovan said that despite the failure,
Pitino believed leaving Kentucky was the right thing to do.
``Coach Pitino has always been a big
believer in change,'' Donovan said. ``He's always been interested in taking
on something new and that next challenge. He could be sitting at Kentucky
right now, not knowing what would've happened in Boston. He had to find that
next great challenge.''
Easier for Pitino, maybe, than Kentucky
fans. They could forgive him for leaving for the pros, but coming back to
Louisville, of all places, was downright betrayal. To them, he was Traitor
Rick, and they let him know with hate mail and radio call-in shows.
It was almost enough to keep Pitino
from taking the job.
``I will always love UK and my players.
It's always going to be great in my heart,'' Pitino said. ``I'll always root
for them and always be behind them. But now is my time to lead the Cardinals
back to prominence.''
He accepted the Louisville job with
renewed vigor, using the Celtics experience as motivation.
``I'm too wise to ever think you're not
going to fail in life,'' he said. ``Failure is great if you accept it,
accept ownership of failure and do something about it. There are a lot of
people out there a lot better than me who have failed and have gone on to be
But as he rebuilt the Louisville
program, more adversity followed. In March 2001, the husband of his wife's
sister was struck and killed by a New York City taxi. And on Sept. 11 that
year, Billy Minardi, his wife's brother and Pitino's best friend since high
school, died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Last season, he missed a game to
address an undisclosed health issue. And earlier this season, his mother
Pitino shies away from questions about
his ordeals. Donovan, still close to him, sees a changed man.
``There has got to be a different
perspective you have on life when you lose some of the people he's lost,''
Donovan said. ``People ask me if he's mellowed. I don't think so. He's still
as passionate about the game as he ever was, but he may view things in life
a lot differently.''
Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, one of
Pitino's best friends and the father of Louisville assistant Kevin Willard,
said the tragedies have taught Pitino patience.
``He used to be so impatient about
success,'' Willard said. ``I think that's what happened with the Celtics. He
just wasn't patient enough with that situation.''
Pitino had to be patient this season.
The Cardinals were ravaged by injuries early and Pitino had to cancel a
handful of practices because he didn't have enough healthy players.
Like their coach, the Cardinals figured
out a way to overcome the setbacks.
``That's what makes this season so
fulfilling,'' he said with a smile. ``Everything you believe in as a coach,
every principle, every dream, has come true.''
News Nuggets are
compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data
published by ECU, Conference USA and its member
schools; and reports from Associated Press and
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