Wednesday, December 23, 1998

UC NOTEBOOK


Bearcats set C-USA scoring record

BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Cincinnati Bearcats dished up a Conference USA-record 115 points in their first league outing this season, breaking the record of 109 they established last February against DePaul.

        It was their third consecutive game facing a zone defense, following Minnesota and UNLV, and the second game in a row they handled it without difficulty.

        Their 43 field goals made and 89 attempts also were league marks. Conference USA is in its fourth season.

        “We were going to force them to shoot the ball from the outside,” Houston coach Clyde Drexler said. “That was our game plan.”

        UC coach Bob Huggins said it does not matter to him if opponent defend his team with zones. “I don't care. We ought to be able to play against both.”

        The Bearcats turned over the ball just 15 times in the past 80 minutes of basketball, nearly all of that played against zone defense.

Time off
        The Bearcats were given two days off from their practice routine and will regroup for a Christmas Day practice before leaving for Cleveland and the Rock & Roll Shootout game Sunday against Dayton.

        “I am ready for two days off,” said Huggins, who hopes to recover from a cold he picked up in Minneapolis.

K-mart weekly special
        Bearcats center Kenyon Martin became the second Conference USA player this season to win two league player of the week awards.

        He was honored for his play against Nicholls State, Minnesota and UNLV. Martin averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, four steals and 3.7 blocks in those games. His 11-of-12 shooting night against UNLV was the third-highest single-game field-goal shooting night in UC history (.917).

The 800 club
        Senior guard Melvin Levett reached the 800 mark in career points against Houston, but barely. He needed five. He got six, and now has 801 in 97 games.

        At his present rate, he will become the 37th player in UC history to top 1,000 career points. Levett is averaging 14.9 points and is on pace to finish with 1,123 points, figuring a minimum of one game each in the Conference USA and NCAA Tournaments.

        That would place him 24th on the Bearcats career scoring list, but a decent run in either or both postseason events could get him into the top 20.

       



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