Saturday, February 16, 2002
Q&A with Perry and Schmidt
Little seeking his game
By Michael Perry and Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Q, from Will in Amelia: What has happened to Donald Little? He really seemed to be on his way to being a big star this year in the first half of the season.
A: Donald freely admits he is not playing as well as he was at the beginning of the season. The Enquirer ran a story Feb.1 in which Little talked about his struggles. It's all about concentration, really, he said. It's also about getting into foul trouble. Little was able to be more aggressive early in the season when he wasn't picking up fouls early in games.
Q, from T. Herbst in Columbus: I realize this isn't a basketball question, but Do you guys know what the ticket breakdown is for the UC vs.-OSU football game on Sept.21? I thought I heard that OSU received a larger allotment than normal for an away game. Is it truly an away game for OSU? I'm sure the crowd will be heavy OSU, but I'm curious if they already have a majority.
A: For our third football question of the year, we turned again to Brian McCann, UC associate director of sports information, who informs us that it is, in fact, the Bearcats' home game and they just elected to play it in a larger stadium than Nippert. McCann said the contract allows for Ohio State to get 3,000 tickets, the same number UC receives for its games in Columbus.
Q, from Robert in Cincinnati: I know Xavier goes west to play games but doesn't play anyone of importance. I know, too, that name teams don't want to play Xavier for fear of losing. What can be done to resolve this?
A: Heading west is actually something XU hasn't done often in recent years. It had a game at San Francisco this season to return a visit USF made last year. It also had home-and-home deals in the Skip Prosser era with Loyola Marymount and St.Mary's (Calif.), but its only other games in his tenure played west of the Central time zone were in the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout.
Why bigger-name West Coast schools won't schedule XU is the same reason bigger-name East Coast teams frequently won't: The Musketeers are perceived nationally as being in that gray area between good and great.
Nobody will play them, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas has said of XU. If you beat Xavier, the bang you get out of it is not worth the risk of losing to them. Unfortunately, it's not a marquee, sexy name.
The only apparent solution is to further raise XU's profile, probably best accomplished with some lengthy postseason runs.
Then, Atlantic Coast, Big East or Southeastern conference powers might more readily think of XU as their equal and call for games.
FYI, XU has tried repeatedly to schedule budding West Coast power Gonzaga, a fellow Jesuit institution, but the Bulldogs keep saying no.
Q, from Nance in Cincinnati: What is the Richmond team really like? Xavier has never had any problems with other teams' fans until they entered the picture. Did they cause the after-game problem?
A: Richmond, as a team, obviously appears a great addition to the Atlantic 10. The Spiders have an 8-3 league mark in their first season.
Their fans, specifically in the student section, are certainly among the league's loudest. Yes, their taunts helped prompt the Musketeers to preen a bit after winning in the Robins Center, but XU actually heard worse from the St.Bonaventure fans a week later; those are probably the A-10's wildest students.
Whatever the Richmond fans' role may have been in inciting the teams' scuffle, Richmond athletic director Jim Miller said he will address the student section about their actions and advise them to eliminate any profane cheers.
Read more questions and answers at Cincinnati.com, keyword: basketball. E-mail your UC or XU basketball question to email@example.com.
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Schedule: Boys basketball
Schedule: Girls basketball