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News Nuggets, 04.10.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Virginia sizes up DePaul's Leitao as candidate


04.09.05: ECU-bred coach signs up for 2nd tour at UNC-G ... Garcia taking NBA route with Pitino's blessing ... More...
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04.02.05: UNC-G coach beats out Herrion for Siena job ... Terps assistant Dickerson named coach at Tulane ... 'P.H.D.' Pitino gets life in perspective at U of L ...  More...
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RICHMOND — University of Virginia officials interviewed DePaul basketball coach Dave Leitao for the Cavaliers' coaching vacancy Friday, DePaul's sports information director said.

Scott Reed said Friday night that Virginia contacted DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto ``within the last 24 hours'' and received permission to talk to Leitao, who was attending a basketball tournament for NBA prospects in Portsmouth, VA.

Reed said Leitao attended the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament to watch two DePaul seniors, Drake Diener and Quemont Greer. He said Leitao talked to Virginia officials Friday morning and was back on the Chicago campus by afternoon. He said Leitao said nothing about the meeting.

Virginia is seeking a replacement for Pete Gillen, who resigned after seven seasons and just one NCAA tournament appearance. Athletic director Craig Littlepage refused to comment Friday night on the search, including the Leitao interview.

Leitao has compiled a 58-34 record in three seasons at DePaul.

He also has been a head coach at Northeastern, where he was 23-35 in two seasons, and served as an assistant to Jim Calhoun at Connecticut from 1986 to 1994 and again from 1996 to 2002. The Huskies won the national championship in 1999.

South Carolina coach Dave Odom, a Virginia assistant during the tenure of longtime Cavs coach Terry Holland, denied a published report earlier this week that he had been offered the Virginia position.

Odom, whose resume also includes head-coaching stops at East Carolina and Wake Forest, met with Littlepage during the Final Four in St. Louis but has said they did not talk about his ``potential interest'' in the Virginia job.

Aussie beats out Reddick for Wooden award

LOS ANGELES — Utah's Andrew Bogut barely heard of John Wooden while growing up in Australia. He knows a lot more about the coaching great now.

Bogut was the runaway winner of the John R. Wooden award, presented Saturday to college basketball's player of the year.

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who received the legends of coaching award, filled in some details about Wooden for Bogut.

``I'd heard the name before. College basketball isn't very big in Australia,'' Bogut said. ``He's a legendary coach — one of the best of all time.''

The award was first presented in 1977 — two years after Wooden retired as the coach at UCLA, where he led the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in his last 12 years on the job. The first winner was UCLA's Marques Johnson.

Now 94, Wooden didn't attend the award ceremony, but was expected at a banquet Saturday night.

Bogut, a 7-foot sophomore, became the first non-American to win the men's award, collecting 4,314 points from a national panel of more than 1,000 voters of sports media members and college basketball experts. Duke's J.J. Redick was second with 3,552 points.

``It's very special just to have my name engraved on that trophy with the likes of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan,'' said Bogut, who is giving up his final two years of college eligibility to enter the NBA draft, where he's expected to be one of the top picks.

``I think he's going to be a great pro and have a long career — as many years as he wants to play the game,'' Utah coach Ray Giacoletti said.

The 20-year-old Bogut averaged 20.4 points and 12.2 rebounds in leading the Utes to a 29-6 record this season.

``Bogut is a phenomenon,'' Calhoun said. ``The greatest thing he has is a feel for the game.''

Dee Brown of Illinois finished third in the voting with 3,003 points, followed by Sean May of NCAA champion North Carolina with 2,806; Wayne Simien of Kansas with 2,707; Chris Paul of Wake Forest with 2,659; Salim Stoudamire of Arizona with 2,395; Hakim Warrick of Syracuse with 2,257; Francisco Garcia of Louisville with 1,178, and Deron Williams of Illinois with 1,016.

The votes had to be in March 28. May probably would have finished higher than fourth had the deadline had been after the Final Four, where he was the MVP.

``You can pick any one of these guys. We're all winners,'' May said.

May, a junior, said Tuesday — a day after North Carolina beat Illinois 75-70 to win the NCAA championship — that he would return next season.

He hedged a bit Saturday.

``I'll sit down and talk with Coach (Roy Williams) and weigh my options,'' May said. ``It's not set in concrete that I'll return for my senior year. I love college, I love playing college basketball. I'll make my decision soon.''

LSU's Seimone Augustus, a 6-1 junior guard, received 422 points from a panel of more than 200 voters to win the women's award. Monique Currie of Duke was second with 155 points.

Duke's Alana Beard won the inaugural women's award last year.

``It's at the top because it has John Wooden's name on it,'' Augustus said. ``He's a basketball icon as well as a legend.''

Augustus averaged 20.1 points in leading LSU to a 33-3 record and a second straight Final Four appearance.

Kendra Wecker of Kansas State finished third in the women's voting with 130 points; followed by Janel McCarville of Minnesota with 94 and Jessica Davenport of Ohio State with 92.

The top five in both the men's and women's categories attended the nationally televised ceremony at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

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 other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:22 PM


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