Friday, March 16, 2001

Games not UC's only test




By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SAN DIEGO — Some of the University of Cincinnati players brought their books to Southern California, even though next week the school is on spring break.

        This has been finals week in Clifton. But the most important days of the winter quarter are also the most important days of the basketball season.

        The UC players tried to take as many finals as they could Monday; the team left Tuesday morning for San Diego. Other tests they will have to make up. Arrangements were made in advance with professors, said Geoff Schimberg, assistant to the athletic director for basketball operations.

        On Selection Sunday, while UC fans awaited the team's seed, site and opponent in the NCAA Tournament, the Bearcats spent a total of five hours in two mandatory study halls. This was one day after an emotional loss to Charlotte in the Conference USA Tournament final in Louisville.

        “You were thinking about (the NCAA draw),” sophomore Leonard Stokes said. “You were anxious, but you've got schoolwork to do. You won't be in the tournament if you don't get your schoolwork done.”

        Some players took as many as three exams Monday.

        Last week, players were able to attend classes for two days before leaving Tuesday evening for Louisville, site of the C-USA tournament. The previous week, the Bearcats attended three days of class before leaving for Tampa, Fla., where they played South Florida, then went directly to Chicago to play DePaul.

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