Expecting Holloway, Oklahoma State keeps its guard up

Seton Hall star's status questionable for semifinal

Notebook

March 24, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Oklahoma State is fully expecting to see Seton Hall's stellar point guard, Shaheen Holloway, on the court tonight, injured ankle and all.

"I'd be surprised if Holloway doesn't play some," said Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton. "He's a senior. I know he wants to play. You never know about ankles. Sometimes, they do slow you down a little bit. He is a great player, and if he doesn't play, it hurts their ball club. But [Ty] Shine was a very good replacement the other day."

"Personally, I think Holloway will play just because this is a big game and he's been through a lot as a senior," said Doug Gottlieb, the Oklahoma State point man. "I'm sure he'll be ready to go."

Holloway could not practice yesterday, though the Pirates underwent only a light workout for their East Regional semifinal. He has not been active since turning the ankle in the early minutes of Sunday's thrilling overtime win over second-seeded Temple.

Pirates coach Tommy Amaker said he feels "distraught" for Holloway. "I think that it takes the wind out of your sails a bit as a coach, when you see that happen to your best player and a kid who has put so much into it."

Holloway has come off crutches and has been spending 15 hours a day in the training room.

Another player, Florida's Justin Hamilton, suffered a slightly sprained right ankle during yesteray's shoot-around but is not expected to be affected.

Carrawell, Battier get vote

Gators coach Billy Donovan anointed Duke's Chris Carrawell and Shane Battier as "by far the two best players in America."

He elaborated by saying Battier "is always into the next play, meaning that if something positive happens, he's not caught up in that moment. He creates so much momentum for their team with the things he does, whether it's taking a charge or rebounding, whatever."

Donovan said both players are masters at finding a way to win and elevating their teammates' play.

More from the East

Oklahoma State had some flight problems getting out of Buffalo last Sunday, so the team (except for two players with academic concerns) remained in New York state. The Cowboys have the benefit of two workouts in the Carrier Dome. Seton Hall's Darius Lane, who should know, believes the rims in the Dome "are pretty friendly for our perimeter guys." Florida is the kind of team that can make opponents look bad -- if its frenzied press is working. The Gators handed five SEC teams -- Mississippi State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Louisiana State and Kentucky -- their worst defeats of the season. Three of those made the NCAA field.

Guthridge relieved

North Carolina coach Bill Guthridge, whose team will play Tennessee tonight in Austin, Texas, is more relieved than sad at the death of his 96-year-old mother, who died Wednesday.

"It's really a blessing because she had been out of it for the past five or six years," said Guthridge, who will be in Kansas for the funeral Monday. "I wish it would've happened sooner because she wouldn't have wanted to live like that."

Knight under review

Two Indiana University trustees will investigate former player Neil Reed's allegation that he was choked by coach Bob Knight.

"Anytime a student-athlete raises questions of physical abuse by a coach, it is a serious matter," university president Myles Brand said yesterday. "Once charges of this nature have been raised, we are obligated to review the matter."

Brand's action came a day after an athletics advisory committee urged a review of Reed's claim that Knight choked him at practice in 1997. Knight has denied choking Reed.

The trustees were told to report their findings to Brand within 90 days.

"The objective is to get to the truth of the matter while being fair to all parties involved," Brand said.

He appointed John D. Walda, the president of the board of trustees, and Frederick F. Eichhorn, a trustee and former president of the Indiana State Bar Association, to investigate.

At a news conference, Walda said his objective would be "to get to the truth. The integrity of Indiana University is at stake.

"I want to emphasize one thing: There are no sacred cows at Indiana University. That includes the basketball program," Walda said.

Brand said he spoke to Knight, who was on a hunting trip, about the investigation.

"His response was, `I welcome it. I will do whatever is in the interest of the university,' " Brand said.

Eustachy Coach of Year

Larry Eustachy, who led Iowa State to the Big 12 regular-season and conference tournament championships, was selected Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Under Eustachy, in his second year, the Cyclones were 31-4 heading into last night's Midwest Region semifinal game against UCLA. He is 46-19 in two seasons at Iowa State and 205-105 for his career.

The Cyclones were picked last in the Big 12 in some preseason polls. The 31 wins is a school record.

Minnesota grades improve

The grades of Minnesota men's basketball players have risen significantly in the first semester under coach Dan Monson.

The team earned a collective 2.50 grade-point average for the spring semester, improving upon the 1.71 GPA -- or D-minus -- turned in after spring quarter last year, when the team was involved in academic scandal.

Monson replaced Clem Haskins, who was bought out of his contract for $1.5 million last year before investigators implicated him as knowing about academic cheating in the program.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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