Monday, March 15, 2004

Familiar faces square off in Bearcats' 1st-round game

UC's opponent: East Tennessee State

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Murry Bartow spent seven years as the head coach at Alabama-Birmingham trying unsuccessfully to beat Bob Huggins and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.

East Tennessee State's Tim Smith, top, provides a challenge for UC's defense.
(AP photo)
Now he gets another shot at them as the East Tennessee State head coach in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday in Columbus.

"I consider Bob to be a good friend," Bartow said Sunday night. "We know it's going to be a hard game playing Cincinnati in Columbus, but we've got a pretty good basketball team."

Bartow, the Southern Conference Coach of the Year, has one weapon at his disposal that he didn't have at UAB - point guard Tim Smith, a 5-foot-9 sophomore who has the ability to control the game with his speed.

"He's a fantastic player," said Bartow, in his first year at ETSU. "The ball goes phrough his hands. We push it and go.

"He's not that true, cerebral point. He doesn't get you 10 points, six assists and one turnover. Tim is a high-octane guy. He's going to make things happen. You can't overanalyze things and you can't pull your hair out every time he makes a turnover. You've just got to let him go."

Smith, who averages 17.5 points and 4.5 assists, is the fourth-leading scorer in the Southern Conference. He has reached the 20-point mark nine times this season. He was named Most Valuable Player in the Southern Conference Tournament for the second straight year and was runner-up for player of the year in the conference, finishing behind his teammate, Zakee Wadood.

Wadood, a 6-5 forward, averages 14.7 points and 7.8 rebounds.

The Dance (Index)
Seeds: UK 1, UC 4, XU 7
Daugherty: Bandwagon jumpers look silly now
Seeds are planted, now for the games
Bracket breakdown
Women: UConn passed over for a top spot
Printable bracket (PDF):
Men | Women

Local teams:
Cincinnati | Opp.

Xavier | Opp.
Kentucky | Opp.
Women's NIT: Miami, Xavier and UC in

"He's kind of a do-it-all guy," Bartow said. "He's very athletic. He gets his hands on a lot of balls. He's capable of making the 3, capable of going by you and capable of posting up. He scores in a variety of ways.

The Bucs (27-5) have won 19 of their last 20. They own a 65-51 win at Houston, which UC struggled to beat by three points, and lost in overtime 100-86 to Clemson, a team UC beat 79-56. They beat Elon twice 75-72 and 73-58. UC beat Elon 102-63.

ETSU's other losses were to Texas Tech, IUPUI, American and the College of Charleston.

UC has two members of its program who can help with the scouting report. UC assistant coach Andy Kennedy was an assistant for Bartow at UAB for five years. And UC forward James White played at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy, where he played with Smith.

"I was just talking to Andy three or four days ago," Bartow said. "We were hopeful we'd stay away from each other because we're good friends. But we knew the type of seed we'd be. When you're going to be a 12 or 13 you know you're going to play a four or five and you know it's going to be a hard game."

About East Tennessee State

Nickname: Buccaneers

Location: Johnson City, Tenn.

Conference: Southern

Record: 27-5

Bid: Conference tournament champion

Coach: Murry Bartow (27-5, first season)

Key players: Tim Smith (17.4 ppg., 4.5 apg.); Zakee Wadood (14.7 ppg., 7.8 rpg., conference player of the year)

Notable: Country singer Kenny Chesney is an ETSU graduate.



So far, so good for Reds
Inside Reds camp
Vander Wal to rehab with club
Royals getting adjusted to new role as favorite
Dodgers suffer a loss

Defense remains work in progress
Owens decision expected by Tuesday

MND faces Final 4 for the ages
Prep sports schedules

Golf: Hamilton puts dramatic touch on unlikely win
Earnhardt leaves troubles, field behind
James, Cavaliers continue playoff push
Minus injured Duncan, Spurs stall against Kings
Sports digest
Sports today on TV, radio

Which Xavier win was bigger: UC when the Bearcats were ranked No. 1 or No. 1 St. Joseph's?

Mail This Story (Click here) Send this story to a friend.

vs. South Florida (3-4)
• 1:00 p.m. Sat. Nov. 20
• Nippert Stadium
• Radio: WLW-AM 700


Paterno Won't Coach Penn St.-Temple Game

Paterno Won't Go to Penn St.-Temple Game

Spurrier Shadow Looms Large in Florida

No. 15 Rutgers Bracing for Historic Game

Hurricanes Stunned by Teammate's Murder

Big East logo
UC joins Big East
• A special section of complete coverage, as the UC Bearcats join one of the nation's elite sports conferences.


Terps Sign Gary Williams Through 2010-11

Bob Knight Approaches Winning Milestone

Buckeyes' Oden Content to Wait for NBA

Larranaga Enjoy Spoils of Final Four Run

Hansbrough Leads AP's All-America Team

AP's Preseason All-America Team

Gators Runaway Preseason No. 1 in Poll

Gators Return Starters to Defend Title

Texas Tech's Jackson Returns to Practice

Sutton Released From Hospital in Okla.


Paris Headlines AP's All-America Team

ACC New Powerhouse in Women's Basketball

Maryland Tops AP Women's Basketball Poll