Saturday, January 11, 2003

Enquirer's Tipoff page



Our crack Enquirer hoops staff divines who's hot & who's not, top five biggest surprise teams this season, must-see TV, Sweet 16, and our player of the week.

WHO'S HOT

Dayton

After a 4-2 start, the Flyers have won five of six, including victories against Villanova and Marquette. Dayton could become a legitimate challenger to Xavier in the Atlantic 10 West.

LeBron James

He's not - and probably never will be - a college basketball player, but James' between-the-legs dunk against Villa Angela St. Joe's was off the charts. By this time next year, "LeBron" might be the most recognized name in basketball.

Jimmy McKinney

Missouri's talented freshman guard gave the Tigers a spark off the bench early and is leading the team in the starting lineup now, even with a mask to protect an eye injury. He hit a pair of key 3s to beat Iowa.

WHO'S NOT

Gun-toting coaches

Tennessee State coach Nolan Richardson III, son of former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, resigned after being suspended for bringing a gun to practice after he had an argument with assistant coach and now interim head coach Hosea Lewis.

Will Bynum

Arizona's guard averaged 7.8 points in eight games this season but decided to transfer this week. Apparently, winning isn't enough.

Boston College

Troy Bell was once the future of the Big East. Now the Eagles are 6-5 and will be fortunate to finish above .500 in the league.

Player of the week: Hollis Price

Oklahoma's smooth shooting guard delivered his best week of the season, scoring 19 and 33 points in wins against Top 25 foes Michigan State and Connecticut. He made 10 free throws in the final minutes to put away the second-ranked Huskies.

TOP 5

Five biggest surprise teams this season:

Notre Dame: Unranked at the beginning of the season, the Fighting Irish knocked off Marquette and Maryland in one week to climb into the top 10 and now are ranked No. 5.

Kansas: The "best starting five in the country" began the season at No. 2, then slipped out of the top 15 with early losses to Florida, North Carolina and Oregon, leaving the Jayhawks at 3-3. They've won seven games in a row since then and climbed back to No. 14.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons' schedule has been suspect, but who would have thought that on Jan. 11 only Duke and Wake Forest would be undefeated? They play each other Sunday.

UCLA: Ranked 15th in the preseason, the Bruins fell to 4-6 after their loss to crosstown rival Southern Cal.

Louisville: Rick Pitino's Cardinals are 9-1 and ranked 19th after starting the season unranked. They play Saint Louis today.

SWEET 16

1. DukeBlue Devils gearing up for ACC dominance.
2. Arizona Waiting to regain No. 1 status.
3. Pitt Solid second half against Notre Dame.
4. Alabama Mississippi St. awaits next week.
5. Oklahoma Back-to-back wins over Michigan St. and UConn.
6. Florida Big test against up-and-coming Georgia today.
7. Notre Dame Hit bump in the road at Pitt.
8. UConn Huskies played well in road loss to Oklahoma.
9. Illinois Brian Cook a monster inside.
10. Texas Needs to improve team shooting.
11. Mississippi St. Florida stopped 10-game win streak.
12. Missouri Getting big production from guards.
13. Kansas Looked like its preseason top-5 self against Iowa State.
14. Creighton Recovered nicely from loss to XU.
15. Wake Forest Unbeaten Demon Deacons get shot at Duke on Sunday.
16. Indiana No recent blowups from Mike Davis is good sign.

MUST-SEE TV

Indiana at Ohio State, 8 p.m. today (Ch. 25): The Hoosiers are the best team in the Big Ten, but OSU is tough at home.

UMass at Saint Joseph's, 10 p.m. today (FSN): Stay up for some late-night A-10 action.

Missouri at Syracuse, 7 p.m. Monday (ESPN): Two of the top freshmen tangle in a Big Monday cross-conference showdown.

Michigan State at Purdue, 7 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN): Michigan State will be the favorite, but it's never easy at Purdue.

Arizona at USC, 10:30 p.m. Thursday (FSN): USC is playing better and could give Arizona all it wants on the road.




BENGALS
Lewis leaves without job
Daugherty: Right coach, wrong team
Krumrie leaves Bengals for Bills' defensive line job

NFL PLAYOFFS
NFL reviewing Shockey for throwing cup into stands
Curnutte's NFL picks
Best bets
Gunslingers Vick, McNabb square off
Bulluck won't shy away from hitting Maddox
Longtime writer McDonough dies at age 67

REDS / BASEBALL
Reds trade for Penny still possibility
All-Star outcome could add meaning

XAVIER
Struggling A-10 clubs need cure
Women: Xavier 65, Duquesne 57

UC BEARCATS
UC hasn't let defense rest

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Enquirer's Tipoff page
Five questions with Clark Francis
Catching up with Brian Grant
UC-XU Q&A
Things get rougher for aching Bucks
Wildcats sharing the scoring
UK's Hayden dies

PREP SPORTS
Moeller rallies behind Duncan
Anderson gets physical and wins
Holmes embraces the pass, beats Holy Cross
Indians go from surprise to streak
Ohio: Top-ranked Bacon holds off No. 2 Badin
Kentucky: Wendeln keys Scott upset of Dixie
Prep schedules, Friday's results

TRISTATE SPOTLIGHT
Ducks gain tie, 'Clones win
Mercy, Pig hold free run clinics
Wishing Well today at Turfway

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Strange bedfellows

GOLF
Els making easy work of season-opening event

NBA
Fans might bench top MVP candidates in All-Star game
NBA rookie Stoudemire is something special
Shaq's joking, not being racist about Yao
NBA notebook

PLAN YOUR DAY
Sports on TV, radio this weekend