Thursday, January 28, 1999

CROSSTOWN NOTEBOOK


Is Crown in series' future?

BY MIKE DeCOURCY and MICHEAL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The idea of moving the Crosstown Shootout to the Crown and splitting the tickets evenly between the two schools — as Indiana and Kentucky do in their neutral-site series — has been proposed to Xavier and Cincinnati by the building's owners.

        There are logistical problems with this idea, primarily the value of the game to each school's season ticket package. But both teams' coaches said Wednesday the idea merits consideration.

        UC coach Bob Huggins said the schools should look at it for “financial reasons, and it would give more people an opportunity to see the game.” The Shoemaker Center holds 13,176; capacity at Cincinnati Gardens is 10,100. The Crown seats more than 16,000 for basketball.

        “I think it's something worth exploring,” said Xavier coach Skip Prosser.

Even keel
        When Pete Gillen was Xavier's coach, there was often a different atmosphere just before the game against UC.

        Prosser, an assistant under Gillen, has tried his best not to make this week any different for his team. There were no media restrictions and no change in practice routine.

        “I think that's the only way you can do it,” he said. “I think as best you can you want to keep it the same every time. We want to prepare for every single team the same way and (the media) will take care of the players understanding it's a big game and it's of great local interest and national interest.”

Big crowd
        More than 900 people attended Wednesday's Crosstown Shootout luncheon at the Hyatt Regency downtown. Interest was so great that Betsy Neyer, director of development and strategic communications for the Greater Cincinnati Sports Corporation, said 200 to 300 people were turned away because the event's 91 tables were sold out.

        After lunch and a video presentation, Prosser and Huggins took questions from the crowd. Though they didn't always answer.

        The best of the bunch: Which player from the other team would you pick to play for your team in the Shootout?

        “I'm not often speechless,” Prosser said. “That's a good question.”

        Said Huggins: “That's a very good question.”

        Bullet dodged.

Veteran speaking
        XU senior Gary Lumpkin can't forget his first Crosstown Shootout. It was at the Cincinnati Gardens, and he had so much adrenaline that it affected his shooting; he finished 5-of-11 but missed all four three-point attempts. UC won 99-90.

        Now, as a four-year starter, he hopes to be calm and poised in a hostile environment.

        “You can't get caught up in the hype,” he said. “The adrenaline shouldn't be pumping like it was as a freshman.”

Tate's been there
        This is not the first Shootout for junior forward Jermaine Tate, even though he did not transfer to UC until last spring.

        Tate committed to the Bearcats after sitting in the stands at the Cincinnati Gardens for last year's 20-point rampage by the Musketeers.

        “I thought it was just a bad day,” Tate said. “I'd never seen one of his teams ever lose like that. I thought I could help.”'

        Tate has started the past three games for the Bearcats and grabbed 16 rebounds in 55 minutes of playing time, along with hitting 5-of-6 from the field for 11 points against Louisville.

Good, bad and ugly
        As a basketball game, Prosser likes the Crosstown Shootout.

        Two teams with a combined record of 33-5?

        “But some of the negative that is around I don't like,” he said. “I think it's sad some people can't celebrate. They'd rather denigrate the schools and the kids, especially. That's part of it I don't listen to as best I can. It saddens me that people can't just celebrate two pretty good teams.”

For UC and XU, this is personal
Sure it's too big, but that's why it's fun
Harrick's analysis: XU 'certainly underdog'
UC asks OK to delay tipoff
Xavier front line must bring its 'A' game
CROSSTOWN NOTEBOOK
Couples in Crosstown cross-fire
Rivals join hands for Crosstown Helpout



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New Miami coach gets rousing welcome
Miami coach vows: 'We will win MAC'
Six days, three biggies for Miami
Bengals sign West Hi product
shootout logo
Xavier (15-4) at
Cincinnati (18-1)

• 9:30 tonight.
• UC's Shoemaker Center (13,176).
• TV: ESPN.
• Radio: WLW-AM (700); WKRC-AM (550).
• Line: UC by 13.
• Series: UC leads 43-22.

Today's coverage
'Let's get ready to rrrrmmmmbbbbllll'
For UC and XU, this is personal
Sure it's too big, but that's why it's fun
Tim Sullivan column
Harrick's analysis: XU 'certainly underdog'
UC asks OK to delay tipoff
Xavier front line must bring its 'A' game
Crosstown Notebook
Couples in Crosstown cross-fire
Rivals join hands for Crosstown Helpout

Previous coverage
Huggins keeps focus on court
Huggins era in review
Xavier seniors hold 2-1 edge
'Shootists' don't share fanaticism
Shootout Notebook
UC's Land fighting uphill battle
XU's McIntosh schools 'em
UC was option for XU's Frey
Another XU win would be divine
Shootout goes coast to coast
ESPN disregards Xavier and UC fans
Shootout Notebook
Shootout 'bigger than the calendar'
Crosstown highlights

Season's coverage
BEARCATS PAGE
XAVIER PAGE