Friday, March 15, 2002

UC notebook


Maxiell shakes off sore knee, dunks

By Michael Perry, mperry@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PITTSBURGH — If there were any doubts Jason Maxiell is healthy enough to play tonight, one athletic, convincing dunk during the University of Cincinnati's low-key, open-to-the-public shootaround Thursday at Mellon Arena put them to rest.

        “It feels about 95 percent,” the 6-foot-7 freshman said of his sore knee.

        Given UC's history with late-season injuries (Kenyon Martin in 2000, Keith LeGree in 1996, A.D. Jackson in 1993), when Maxiell went down during Monday's practice holding his knee, it would have been understandable for coach Bob Huggins to feel snake-bit.

        Maxiell said junior center Derek Hollman came under him and took out his legs. On Tuesday, Maxiell was riding a bike and shooting on the sideline.

        On Wednesday and Thursday, he went all out with the Bearcats. He has been doing exercises in the hotel pool in the morning and wearing a protective brace on the court.

        “I'm back to normal,” Maxiell said. “I'm fine.”

        Said Huggins: “... He was terrific today in practice.”

        READY, SET GO: By all accounts, UC's practices in Pittsburgh have been excellent. The Bearcats have been working out in Duquesne's auxiliary gym. The Dukes' floor is in the Mellon Center for the NCAA Tournament.

        Huggins said that Thursday, “We passed the ball really well. We shot the ball really well. ...”

        Senior guard Steve Logan said the starters ran plays against the reserves and “just creamed them.”

        TOP SCORERS: Logan is tied for 12th in scoring in the country at 22.0 points a game, but he and Stanford's Casey Jacobsen enter the NCAA Tournament as the top scorers. Nobody with a better average is in the tourney.

        CHASING NO. 1: South Florida was bounced by Ball State in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, and Bulls senior Altron Jackson finished his college career with 2,017 points. He is the all-time leader in Conference USA history.

        Now that Jackson's finished, Logan — who is No.2 on the list — can mount his charge. He needs 77 points to tie for the top spot. Logan averages 22.0 points; at that pace, UC would need to advance to the Elite Eight for him to take over as No.1.

       



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