Sunday, March 7, 2004

Banks grabs Bearcats' attention


UC notebook

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

As the Memphis players walked off the court following the University of Cincinnati's win over the Tigers on Saturday, UC guard Tony Bobbitt caught up with Memphis freshman Sean Banks.

[img]
Armein Kirkland puts up a shot as he is fouled by Memphis' Arthur Barclay in the second half.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
"I said, 'Sean, when you're done, after we beat you in the conference tournament, you need to go make you and your parents some money, because you can,' " Bobbitt said.

Banks, a 6-foot-8 forward who will almost surely be named Conference USA Freshman of the Year this week, lit up the UC defense with 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Three different Bearcats tried and failed to stop him.

"He's terrific," said UC coach Bob Huggins. "If there's many better players in the country than he is, I've never seen them."

Bobbitt agreed.

"If I was Sean Banks, I'd leave," Bobbitt said. "You guys just sat out there and watched the game and wrote. We actually had to guard him. We can laugh about it and joke about it, but that kid is for real."

Banks said he didn't hear a word Bobbitt said.

"I wasn't listening to him," Banks said. "He's a little crazy."

SENIOR LEADERSHIP: When Bobbitt was slacking off in practice earlier in the week, senior guard Field Williams got in his face.

"For three days of practice, he was in there playing around," Williams said. "The team would run (sprints) just because of him and he'd be the last one to come in. If you make somebody run, you're supposed to be the first one back and he wasn't doing that. We just got in his face and told him, 'You're a senior. This is your last year. Just leave on top.' "

MAXIELL HITS 1,000: Junior forward Jason Maxiell scored the 1,000th point of his career on a short jumper in the lane with 15:28 left in the game. Maxiell missed seven of his first eight shots but finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. His 1,009 points leave him at No. 40 on UC's career scoring list with a year to go.

NEW LINEUP: Nick Williams, who had started 25 of UC's previous 26 games at point guard, did not start Saturday and played only three minutes. Armein Kirkland started in Williams' place and shared the point guard chores with James White.

"I wanted to put James on (Antonio) Burks," Huggins said. "I didn't want Max having to chase Banks and I thought Armein was the best matchup for us."

MEEKER UPDATE: John Meeker did not get the eight points he needed to avoid having his head shaved because of a bet he made with assistant strength coach Scott Greenawalt, but he might have earned a reprieve. Meeker said UC athletic director Bob Goin told him the NCAA frowns on gambling, even innocent bets such as this one.

Conference USA Tournament schedule

Wednesday

Game 1: No. 5 Charlotte vs. No. 12 Tulane, 1 p.m.

Game 2: No. 8 Marquette vs. No. 9 TCU, 3:30 p.m.

Game 3: No. 6 Louisville vs. No. 11 East Carolina, 7 p.m.

Game 4: No. 7 Saint Louis vs. No. 10 Southern Miss, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. No. 4 UAB, 1 p.m.

Game 6: Game 2 winner vs. No. 1 DePaul, 3:30 p.m.

Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. No. 3 Cincinnati, 7 p.m.

Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. No. 2 Memphis, 9:30 p.m.

 

Friday

Game 9: Semifinal No. 1, 4:30 p.m.

Game 10: 7 Semifinal No. 2, 7 p.m.

Saturday

Championship: 11:40 a.m.

---

E-mail bkoch@enquirer.com




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