Sunday, March 21, 2004

Huggins doesn't use Tourney failures to motivate his team


UC notebook

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - A win today could help the University of Cincinnati basketball program shake its reputation as a program that can't get past the first weekend of the Tournament.

But UC coach Bob Huggins says he doesn't use his team's recent Tournament failures as motivation.

"We don't talk about it," Huggins said. "We talk about how it's a two-game tournament. You want to win two games so you can play another week, but other than that, no."

UC last went to the Sweet 16 in 2001, when it beat Kent State in the second round in San Diego before losing in the West Region semifinals to Stanford in Anaheim.

The Bearcats have failed to survive the Tournament's first weekend in six of the last seven years.

By contrast, Illinois coach Bruce Weber talks frequently about his team's loss to Notre Dame in the second round last year, even though he wasn't the Illini's head coach at the time.

"It's a big step," Weber said. "Last year our guys won one and lost the second game, so we've used that as a motivator."

Illinois has played in the Sweet 16 in two of the last three years.

STAYING PUT: Huggins has been at UC for 15 years, but there's still a perception among some writers that he has been waiting for the right job to come along so he can move on.

Asked Saturday if he would have considered leaving UC if the school were not heading for the Big East Conference in 2005, Huggins said: "I have stayed at Cincinnati because I like it there. I've had plenty of opportunities to do otherwise. I don't have any plans to coach anywhere other than at Cincinnati."

PURSUING BROWN: Imagine this UC team with Illinois point guard Dee Brown at the helm of the Bearcats' offense.

Huggins did.

"Coach Huggins was the first coach to come to my high school and talk to me," said Brown, who is from Maywood, Ill. "I was recruited by Cincinnati pretty hard.

"Once Illinois started recruiting me, that's where I was going to go. (Cincinnati) was kind of far away from home. I wanted to stay closer to home. I'm happy at Illinois and I knew from the get-go I was going to Illinois."

DIFFERENT STYLES: Brown said that Illinois plays a different style of basketball than UC.

"We outplay people," he said. "We outsmart people. They are an intimidating team, but I know a lot of people on our team don't fear no one. We played a lot of great teams this year and if they think they're going to punk us or intimidate us, that's not going to happen."

NOTES: UC is 1-1 vs. Illinois. The two schools have not met since 1984, when the Illini won, 87-65. The Bearcats' win was a 62-53 decision in 1963. ... UC and Illinois have one common opponent this year. Illinois beat Memphis, 74-64, Dec. 13 at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill. UC beat Memphis, 83-79, March 6 at Fifth Third Arena. ... UC last played a Big Ten team on Dec. 22, 2001, when the Bearcats defeated Purdue, 79-62, in the championship game of the Las Vegas Classic. ... UC is 9-6 against NCAA Tournament teams.---

E-mail bkoch@enquirer.com




PREP SPORTS
MND wins state title with national upset
Rams run out of surprise wins
Leininger named Indiana Miss Basketball
Youngstown Ursuline, Minster capture titles
Big Blue back at state for first time in 50 years
Brookhaven returns favor
After hot start, Devils fall short
CovCath runs out of clock
Brock shoots Dragons to title
Groeschen: Season has been one for the ages
Ernst: Maysville 'Punk' Sweet 16 legend
Prep sports results, schedules

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals stunned Sapp-less
'We want a lease that's fair'
Curnutte: Buffalo fit the bill for CB Vincent
Steelers keep Logan for reworked secondary

REDS / BASEBALL
Kearns eager to play the field
Inside Reds camp
Acevedo endures rough outing
Kelly: Benevolent Devil Rays want McGriff to be seen
Fantasy BB: Lesser-known players make for key picks
Astros court postseason success
Molitor not intimidated with tasks as hitting coach
Relieving is Riske's business

NCAA TOURNAMENT
Illini view Bearcats as bullies
Daugherty: With no guards, UC has no chance
Huggins doesn't use Tourney failures to motivate his team
Johnson's comeback miracle in the making
XU seeks new 2nd-round tune
Matta looks for more from Muskie rookies
Fired-up Blazers ready to put heat on Kentucky
Air back in sails of Redick, Blue Devils
Defending champs nearly lose grip
Demon Deacons, frosh Paul hold off upstart Manhattan
No. 2 Gonzaga gets what comes around
Connecticut coach departs game early
NCAA men's tournament at a glance
Wilmington wills its way to first title
Ohio State holds off West Virginia, will play BC
Other women's regional games
NCAA women's tournament at a glance

TURFWAY PARK
Sinister G's Lane's End victory muddles Derby

PAGE TWO: GOOD SPORTS
XU grad finds place at the table
What's up with that?
A quick chat with ... Julie Isphording
Bolten, Hewitt headed to NCAAs
Local women push teams toward hoops glory
All thumbs
This week's poll question

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Sports digest
Sports today on TV, radio

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

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

FOOTBALL

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

THE BIG EAST
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.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

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.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Paris Headlines AP's All-America Team

ACC New Powerhouse in Women's Basketball

Maryland Tops AP Women's Basketball Poll