Tuesday, January 12, 1999


Gillen wants to open Cintas Center

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Nobody has formally asked — yet — but former XU coach Pete Gillen knows the question may come.

        Xavier is scheduled to play its first game in its new home, the Cintas Center, in the fall of 2000. And Gillen is well aware that his Virginia team will be a popular choice to be the Musketeers' opponent in that game.

        “When you go back there, you know you're going to take an L probably,” Gillen told The Enquirer last week. “I couldn't write it down in blood that it would be yes, but I would be very interested. Certainly we'd think about it if they were to ask.”

        Gillen is in the first year of a rebuilding process at Virginia and admits he would be more willing to play at Xavier if his Cavaliers were on the rise. With such a tough schedule in the Atlantic Coast Conference, he doesn't want too difficult a non-conference schedule.

        “My emotional side says yes, but my business side says no,” Gillen said. “If somehow we're coming off a good season, that would be easier.”

        BUZZER-BEATERS: If Xavier is looking for someone to make a last-second shot in the upcoming years, it will have a couple guys with experience doing just that.

        Both high school recruits signed by the Musketeers in November have hit game-winning buzzer-beaters for their teams this season.

        David Young, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from New Castle, Pa., made a game-winner from the top of the key Saturday night to give his team a 79-77 victory over perennial power St. Raymond's of New York.

        Young, who is averaging more than 25 points and seven rebounds, finished with 40 points to break the school record, which he set last season with 38.

        New Castle (12-0) is ranked No. 6 in the country in the new USA Today poll.

        There was good news and bad news for XU recruit Lionel Chalmers on Dec. 27. The 6-foot point guard scored 31 points and hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer that made Albany (N.Y.) High School 9-0.

        But Chalmers learned later that he broke his hand in the first quarter of that game. He tried to play in Albany's next contest with a soft cast on but was ineffective — and Albany suffered its first defeat. Coach Paul Lyons said he expects Chalmers will be sidelined another three weeks.

        Chalmers, in his first year at Albany, is averaging 26 points, five rebounds and six assists, Lyons said, adding: “He's a better player than what I thought he was. He doesn't have a weakness.”

        HONOR ROLL: Lenny Brown became the first Xavier player this season to win the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Week award.

        The senior guard averaged 22.7 points in three league games, including a career-high 31 against Rhode Island.

        Brown, who won the honor for the third time in his career, leads the Atlantic 10 in three-point field goals and percentage.

        He has scored 53 of his 68 points in the past three games in the second half.

        GUESS WHAT: Xavier's 11-4 record is the same as it was after 15 games last season, and its 3-0 A-10 start is its best ever.

        WHO'S HOT? The Musketeers, on a six-game winning streak, are the hottest team in the Atlantic 10. They also have the most victories and best winning percentage.

        WHO'S NOT? Duquesne, Virginia Tech and Fordham have started 0-3 in the conference.


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