Saturday, March 11, 2000

UC tries to pick up the pieces




BY JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer

[mickeal]
Pete Mickeal and Donald Little are greeted by cheering fans after the Bearcats returned to campus Friday.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        Kenyon Martin will be OK, but what about the UC Bearcats? Their prognosis isn't nearly so rosy.

        “It's kind of devastating,” said Dr. Angelo Colosimo, who oeperated on Martin's broken right leg Friday. “Actually, I took Tums this morning for the first time in a long time. It's a shock to you.”

        A day after Martin's injury in a 68-58 loss to Saint Louis in the Conference USA tournament, the Bearcats were still trying to regroup from the two devastating losses.

        “He's going to be fine, and we're going to be fine,” coach Bob Huggins told a crowd of about 100 fans on hand for the team's return from Memphis, Tenn., on Friday. “I think our guys were kind of shellshocked yesterday.

        “We had a meeting last night. They were a whole lot better last night and they're going to be a whole lot better today.”

        But the No. 1 Bearcats (28-3) will almost lose certainly a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, the thing they've played for all season. They also lost their leading scorer, leading rebounder and on-floor leader in Martin.

        When Martin went down Thursday, the rest of the team went into shock. The Bearcats went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal in the second half. They held a meeting Thursday night to try to regroup.

        “We just basically talked about the rest of the season and how we're going to respond,” senior forward Pete Mickeal said, holding a CD player in one hand and gear in the other after he got off the bus. “I think everything was positive. That's the way it's got to be. It's an opportunity for guys to really show what they can do.

        “And everything that happened bad, it's finding a positive in the situation — I don't know how, but it's a positive in the situation.”

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