Sunday, January 19, 2003

UC notebook: Flowers uses his time wisely


Center earns more minutes, produces

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[img]
Rod Flowers makes a two pointer over Tulane's Brandon Brown.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
The revolving door that has become the University of Cincinnati's center position swung open for junior Rod Flowers on Saturday afternoon.

The little-used Flowers, playing a career-high 26 minutes in UC's 77-54 victory over Tulane, scored eight points, pulled down seven rebounds and in the process stated his own case for more playing time in the middle.

Flowers played 17 minutes a week ago at TCU and grabbed six rebounds, but when the Bearcats went to Saint Louis on Wednesday, Eugene Land started.

When the team arrived home Thursday, Flowers approached Huggins about his playing time.

"I just had to suck it up and realize that I wasn't doing something right because I wasn't playing," Flowers said. "I just told him every player on this team wants to play. He can't fault me for wanting to play. I asked him what I had to do to play, and he told me."

What he had to do was work harder in practice, rebound and play better defense.

Flowers, a 6-foot-8 junior from Huntsville, Ala., is the most offensively accomplished of UC's five post players. Because he's in his third year in the program, he also has a better grasp of Huggins' schemes than the newcomers. But that wasn't enough to earn him much playing time.

"Rod finally practiced better," Huggins said. "I told Rod two or three weeks ago that he was irritating me. I could put him in because he knew what he was doing, but he wasn't rebounding the ball well and he wasn't defending well. Yesterday (in practice) he was our best post guy by a landslide.

"Anybody who doesn't play ought to feel frustrated over a lack of playing time, but you don't earn playing time around here by sulking and pouting."

Said Flowers: "I feel better now. But I have to keep it up. I can't be satisfied with today."

LINEUP CHANGE: Forward Jason Maxiell arrived back in Cincinnati on Saturday after visiting his sick grandmother in Texas, but he did not start because he missed two days of practice. Eric Hicks made his first start in Maxiell's place.

Derek Hollman started at center because Land, who played so well against Saint Louis on Wednesday, pulled a calf muscle in practice Friday. Land played three minutes.

It was the seventh different lineup UC has used this season.

DOMINATION: With the win over Tulane, UC is 30-0 in regular-season games against National Division foes since Conference USA adopted the two-division format in 1997-98.

E-mail bkoch@enquirer.com




UC BEARCATS
UC 77, Tulane 54
UC notebook: Flowers uses his time wisely

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