By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The revolving door that has become the University of Cincinnati's center position swung open for junior Rod Flowers on Saturday afternoon.
Rod Flowers makes a two pointer over Tulane's Brandon Brown.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
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.
UC 77, Tulane 54
UC notebook: Flowers uses his time wisely
Xavier 86, UMass 73
OTHER COLLEGE BASKETBALL
No. 16 Kentucky 88, No. 10 Notre Dame 73
Short benching at Vandy motivates Hayes to play
No. 18 Indiana 84, No. 8 Illinois 66
No. 15 Louisville 87, TCU 74
Miami 77, Ohio 65
No. 17 Maryland 87, No. 1 Duke 72
Top 25 roundup
How the Top 25 fared
Flanagan's 31 pace Norse women's win
Women: UConn sets win streak record
Coach endured lengthy search but got the job
Daugherty: Team must rethink scouting
QB coach Anderson next to go
Curnutte's NFL playoff picks
Raiders feeling pressure to win now
Titans have something to prove
Matchups for AFC championship game
Eagles eager to savor football's best feeling
Bucs savor opportunity of NFC showdown
Matchups for the NFC championship game
Fans celebrate Buckeyes' championship
OSU seniors have trouble saying goodbye
Senior Bowl: North 17, South 0
REDS / BASEBALL
Fay: Reds insider
Ozzie says Rose should admit wrongdoing
Gwynn wants more than ol' college try
Groeschen: St. X ready to rebuild its stadium
Schmidt: Kentucky insider
Boys: FTs lift Indians over Purcell
Girls: Riley's 1,000th point sends Trojans to win
Ky: Dixie storms past Dunbar
LeBron hums along amid OHSAA's inquiry
Swimming: Tomes upsets Myers, wins 200 freestyle
Venus cruises into quarters
Coach threatened to punch McEnroe
Baddeley on verge of first PGA Tour win
9,611 watch Ducks tie 2-2
Weiss wins third U.S. title on ugly afternoon
Olympic gold medalist Hughes wins silver
Time to rekindle those Kentucky Derby dreams
NASCAR lacks last-lap drama
Earnhardt Jr. hesitant about lifetime contract
Camacho stops Villareal in return to ring
Tszyu retains super lightweight titles
Enquirer Page Two Power rankings
50th straight home win in sight for Surge
Just call him Ryan Boitano