UH FUELS NASA WITH ASTRONAUTS

by Kristine Fahrenholz

Daily Cougar Staff

Seven NASA astronauts completed degrees at the University of Houston-University Park and UH-Clear Lake, launching them into research endeavors in space.

"Since 1959, a total of 195 astronauts have been involved at Johnson Space Center," said Pat Malpassi, a public affairs assistant at JSC.

Eighty-eight astronauts are in the program, and 19 are candidates for astronaut training, she said.

One reason for the number of astronauts earning degrees at UH could be the proximity to NASA and where they live, said Ralph Metcalfe, a mechanical engineering professor, adding that most astronauts live in Clear Lake City.

Bonnie Dunbar, the second woman in space, earned a doctorate in biomedical engineering from UH in 1983.

In an article dedicated to Dunbar in Design News, Robert Nerem, a Georgia Tech professor who had been the head of the mechanical engineering department at UH, told Dunbar there were better places in the United States to pursue research related to studying the effects of a simulated microgravity environment on bone mass and strength.

However, Dunbar was apparently not deterred from pursuing her doctorate at UH.

Dunbar is married to Ron Sega, an adjunct professor in physics at UH who is working with UH's Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center for the November STS-60 shuttle mission. It will be his first shuttle mission.

NASA astronaut Bernard A. Harris Jr. earned a bachelor of sciences degree from UH in 1978.

Harris was selected by NASA in January 1990 and became an astronaut in July 1991.

NASA astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave has logged more than 598 hours in space. In 1987, he received a master of arts degree in literature from UH.

Musgrave will be aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour working as the payload commander with a mission assignment of repairing and refurbishing the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission is scheduled for late 1993.

Guion S. Bluford Jr., a colonel in the United States Air Force and a NASA astronaut, earned a master's in business administration from UH-Clear Lake in 1987.

Other NASA astronauts who have received degrees from UH and UHCL are William Fisher, an English degree at UH; Greg Harbaugh, a physical science degree from UH-CL and Bruce McCandless, a master's degree from UH-CL.

 

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FRENCH PROFESSOR KNOWS ROMANIAN TERROR FIRSTHAND

by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

When UH Professor of French Georgeta Georgescu decided to escape the oppression of communist Romania, she was interrogated weekly by the secret police and forbidden from doing what she loved most, teaching.

Students who know Georgescu know she cannot be stifled. She is a strong woman with an insatiable curiosity.

Recently, Rice University accepted her into their Ph.D. program. She said UH doesn't offer a doctorate in French. The petit, lively teacher beams when speaking of her latest accomplishment.

In class, she rarely misses a thing, asking students about everything that's said. Her dedication is infectious, and students seem to want to please her.

For a person who knows English, French, Romanian, a little Italian and Latin, she is pleasantly patient with even the weakest student. She said she hasn't always been this way.

Six years ago this April, Georgescu boarded an airplane in Constanta, leaving behind a part of herself.

"It was sad to leave. I felt like I was going to someone's funeral -- burying something. I cannot deny it; I left part of me there. It was my youth, my friends, everything," she said.

In Romania, they have a saying: "The sword doesn't cut the head that bends." Georgeta Georgescu's head didn't bend, so she left.

Despite Georgescu's politics, she was a reserve lieutenant in the Romanian army and told her French class that her biggest fear used to be that the army would force her to return to Romania and serve.

Fortunately for UH students, this never happened.

"I had very little idea of what to expect. To me, Texas meant oil, cows and NASA. I was moving to the unknown. The only thing I could rely on was that my husband was here."

Two years earlier, Georgescu's husband had defected to America without warning. She said she found out her husband wasn't coming back when he called her from the United States.

"When my husband defected, I had to choose between following him or divorcing him. I had no alternative, so I decided to follow," Georgescu said.

Leaving Romania meant leaving everything behind except that fit into her suitcases. "Probably the thing that hurt me the most was to leave my friends and my books behind."

Georgescu said her parents, who are simple, working people, were upset, but they wanted her to be happy, so they gave her their blessing.

Georgescu's strength was tested constantly during the two-year ordeal of waiting for an exit visa so she could join her husband.

"I don't think I'm strong, maybe ambitious. I work for something and try to achieve it -- if that's strength , OK, I'm strong. I haven't surprised myself yet," Georgescu said.

"I had to go through humiliation that I cannot describe during those two years. First of all, I wasn't allowed to teach because a teacher is supposed to spread ideology. Since I was leaving, I wasn't fit to be an educator. I was a traitor," Georgescu explained angrily.

Every week, she was called in for interrogations by the secret police, who knew everything about her, she added.

"They knew when I talked and wrote to my husband. They didn't even try to hide the fact. I would get the letters already opened," Georgescu added wide-eyed.

She remembers waiting to be interrogated for hours in a room full of anti-American propaganda. On the wall was written: "Don't go to the states for a fistful of dollars," she said laughing.

Georgescu said that during those two years, the more she thought of leaving, the more excited she became.

Eventually, Georgescu and her husband were reunited at Houston's Intercontinental Airport.

"We just looked at each other for a while. We couldn't speak at first," she said with a huge grin.

Georgescu said she feels lucky that her husband and her knowledge of English made the transition from communist Romania to America easy.

"People get used to communism. They get brainwashed to a certain extent so that you don't care, but it didn't work for me," she said.

Romania is a small country about a quarter the size of France with a population of about 20 million. Probably more than half the people living there are dissatisfied, Georgescu said. However, showing dissatisfaction is another thing, she added.

On Dec. 18, 1992, Georgescu became a United States citizen.

"That was a very big deal for me. I took it very seriously. It was a great moment in my life. Now, I get more touched when I hear the American national anthem than I did when I heard my own," Georgescu said with a proud expression.

She attributes her newfound patriotism to the fact that she never felt she belonged to Romania, which is like Orwell's book <i>1984<p>, she said.

Georgescu explained that the Romanian government deals with dissidents by making them "disappear."

"It's no big deal to them -- what's a person? Professors and writers I knew disappeared unless they compromised and played the game. They had families, and you learn to survive. It's a form of blackmail," Georgescu said with a serious face.

According to the U.S. State Department, Romania is a democracy. Unfortunately, said Georgescu, this is not so.

She claims that all that has changed over there are the names of the parties and the places. Basically, the people in power are the same, she added.

"The president was a prominent party member leader. The so-called revolution wasn't really a revolution. It was prepared and approved through Moscow and apparently, President Nicolae Ceauseccu knew about the movement to overthrow him," Georgescu said.

During a certain period of the revolution, Georgescu was tempted to return; however, she said her husband talked her out of it.

"I guess I'm the idealistic one. My husband brought me back to reality, telling me, 'There's nothing for you there. They took everything from you,' " she said.

"Living in Romania, then living here, I came to appreciate and enjoy every moment of life."

She adjusted to American culture quickly, she said, thanks again to her husband and her knowledge of English.

She said she had to adjust to the American mentality of being shockingly open about everything. Europeans, in general, are more reserved, she added.

Georgescu had several misconceptions about Americans which were dispelled. She said she thought since Americans moved from city to city so easily that their relationships were superficial.

"Everything over here seems so hectic. In Romania, we have friends for life, and we have one job for life," Georgescu said.

"I was wrong about Americans being superficial because getting to know them, you realize they are very hard-working and serious people," she said.

"United States' policy toward Romania saddens me because any time we hear about them helping new democracies in Eastern Europe, Romania isn't mentioned," she said, shaking her head. "I don't really blame the U.S., though."

Georgescu recommends that Americans not judge Romania by the government. It's a beautiful country with very kind, hospitable people, she said proudly.

Georgescu speaks of her parents and her childhood fondly. She said she had everything she needed growing up and more than anything, she is thankful that her parents encouraged her to study.

"There are two things I wanted to do very badly in my life -- marry my husband and teach French," Georgescu said warmly.

 

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UH UPGRADES TEST EQUIVALENCY TABLES

by Heather Wolk

Daily Cougar Staff

The university has adopted a new concordance table for SAT/ACT scores to be put into effect for fall 1993.

The concordance table is used to show similarities in performance on the two standardized tests.

Using the new table, an SAT score of 900 is now equivalent to an ACT score of 21, down from 22. An SAT score of 1100 is now 26, down from 27.

Jerry Osborne, director of Counseling and Testing, said that with the new values, students will be treated more fairly when it comes to admissions.

"The previous table had inflated values. It required an over-performance of students," Osborne said.

The new table was set by the American Testing Service, also used by Texas A&M and the University of Texas.

The ACT became a part of UH admission requirements in the fall of 1979, according to the 1978-79 undergraduate catalog.

"When the ACT test came in, we used it with little research, knowing it was preliminary," Osborne said.

He added that while the SAT standardized test has remained basically the same, the ACT test has changed dramatically, so it was necessary to adapt to the changes.

Brian McKinney, associate to the senior vice president, said researchers came across new data and revised the tables as needed.

"When they find a change in population or scores, they may change the values. SAT and ACT concordance values change from time to time," McKinney said.

Because so many more people take the SAT than the ACT, this change will affect a very small number of people, Osborne said.

UH requires an SAT score of 800 for applicants in the top quarter of their graduating classes, or an ACT score of 19.

The administration expects to change the table again when ACT introduces its revised test in 1994.

 

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SWC CLASSIC IS COOGS' TICKET TO NCAA DANCE

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

After 26 grueling games in the regular season, Houston's chances to make the NCAA Tournament have come down to one final game against Texas A&M.

If the third-seeded Cougars, 19-7, triumph over the sixth-seeded Aggies Friday, they will reach the all-important 20-win plateau that seems to be an integral part of the tournament selection committee's granting of at-large berths.

Houston can still qualify for the NCAA's if it secures the automatic bid given to the winner of this weekend's SWC tournament in Dallas. But if the Cougars make it to the final game and fail, the games they won in the first and second rounds should be enough to give them an at-large bid.

Four of the five starters for the Cougars remember what it was like last year when they won the SWC tournament and received the NCAA's automatic bid. Georgia Tech, which progressed to the Sweet 16, drop-kicked the 25-5 Cougars from the first round. What began as a hopeful season ended in blistering defeat.

Derrick Smith, David Diaz, Jesse Drain and Bo Outlaw don't want to repeat last season's ignoble feat. (The other starter, point guard Anthony Goldwire, transferred from Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College this season.)

"If we get the chance to go to the NCAA Tournament, I would like to go further," said Diaz, who leads the Cougars with an average of 18 points a game.

"If we can get at least to the second or third round in the NCAA's and win the Southwest Conference tournament this week, that will be a big accomplishment on my list," said Smith, Houston's 6-5 senior forward. "It will help the guys who are sophomores and freshmen for next year.

"It will set a base for them to continue the success we hope to have."

Success, though, was not assured when Houston's season first took flight.

Junior guard Tyrone Evans, who was expected to step in to a starter's role this season, broke his foot in the North Carolina game.

That left sophomore Jesse Drain, who averaged 11 minutes per game last year as a freshman, to contribute more effective minutes.

And it was a call he answered with a passion. For the season, Drain shot a torrid 44.2 percent from the three-point line (42-of-95) and sank more than half his shots from the field, averaging 10.9 points per game.

With Drain filling the need for an accurate outside shooter, seniors Outlaw, Diaz and Smith were able to play their normal game, and Goldwire, the Houston Post and Houston Chronicle Newcomer of the Year, ran the offense.

Because of the lack of depth, the starters have been forced to play more minutes. Diaz, Outlaw and Goldwire average 34, 35 and 36 minutes respectively. Drain and Smith average 28 minutes each.

But with the wealth of experience comes the fear of losing that experience when a member is injured or sick.

That was the case in the middle of the season when Goldwire caught the flu and Houston stumbled into a four-game skid. At the same time, a stress fracture in Smith's shin hampered his performance.

"We never doubted ourselves," Smith said. "We just knew we had to get over that situation."

"During those four games we had a mental letdown," said Goldwire, who has been the Cougars' spark, averaging 14.5 points and six assists. "If Outlaw had gone down (instead of myself) it would have been the same thing.

"We don't have any special players on the team. Then, we weren't really going that deep into the bench, and now, everybody's getting a chance to play. We're coming together towards the end where we need to be."

The surprise for Houston this season has been the steady bench- play of Rafael Carrasco, a 6-9 junior from Bogota, Colombia. Since last year, he has improved three-fold in scoring (4.2) and rebounding (4.1).

Carrasco's teammates call him their sixth man.

"He's been a big help throughout everything," Goldwire said. "He gives us an extra big body inside. He's somebody who can rebound and that can take up space in the middle of our matchup zone."

 

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HEAD TRAINER WILSON RETIRES WITH NO REGRETS

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The sign on Tom Wilson's door reads, "Take No Prisoners." And for 40 years the man who refused to become a prisoner of his own body, has lived, worked and taught according to this motto.

From his humble beginnings in 1953, through the glory of numerous athletic achievements, the soon-to-be-retired head athletic trainer has "outlasted everybody" in the UH athletic program.

The walls of Wilson's office are lined with pictures, plaques and awards that serve as vivid reminders to the success of a distinguished career.

These include: 1976 National Trainer of the Year, 1978 National Trainers' Hall of Fame inductee, Governor's Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers in 1989 and UH's distinguished C.F. McElhinney Award in 1991.

These awards obviously have a special meaning for Wilson, who is quick to give thanks for them.

"Anyone who starts out in a career wants to be recognized as special," Wilson said. "But it's not like you set out to win any awards. I'm very fortunate and blessed to have received the awards I've received in this profession."

Memories also fill the office. Remembrances of past athletic glory and defeat. One of these memories is of 1983's Phi Slamma Jamma basketball squad. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Guy Lewis' Final Four team.

"The memories would be better if we'd won it but I don't correlate any anniversary with anything," Wilson said. "It wouldn't be any benefit to me to look back, but I'm very appreciative of our past success."

Wilson is looking forward to this, his last tournament as a trainer.

"I think it's a wide-open tournament. Basketball is a very rapid, changing sport. Any team can get hot at the right time," Wilson said.

"I feel good about our opportunities. It's gonna be a great tournament."

Working with and caring for young athletes such as this year's basketball players provides much of the job's fulfillment.

"I keep them healthy, and try to influence them into getting their education," Wilson said.

Along with the personal satisfaction of helping young people succeed in life there is the professional gratification that comes from watching the growth and expansion of an athletic program.

The UH athletics program has made tremendous strides in the past 40 years, and Wilson witnessed and took part in much of this development.

"When I came to work here we were not at the (current) level," Wilson said. "You felt like you were helping to build something."

Wilson credits former athletic director Harry D. Fouke as an influence to himself and the entire program.

"He told us to 'never become complacent.' We never complained about things we didn't have," Wilson said. "We took what we had and made it successful."

An even more important influence on Wilson's life and career choice was former Oklahoma State trainer, Byron Byrd. Wilson, who lost his leg to a football injury at the age of 15, met Byrd as a junior in college at an artificial leg company in Oklahoma City.

Byrd, who lost his leg in military service, suggested that Wilson look into becoming a trainer. As a pre-med student with a lifelong love of athletics, Wilson found out that athletic trainer was the career for him.

"He gave me a plan and I executed it," Wilson said. "It's funny how small things like that affect your whole life."

The loss of his leg was no small thing to Wilson. As a youth, Wilson was involved in athletics. He played high school football and was an amateur boxer with a 24-4-1 record.

"I enjoyed things with high risk. When you lose a leg your (athletic) career is over," Wilson said. "I don't think football is a career -- it's too high risk."

As a trainer, Wilson has tried to instill this idea in the players he cares for.

"The biggest survival is how you educate your mind, not how you play a sport," Wilson said.

Looking back, Wilson has no regrets about his handicap nor his career. The handicap made him work harder for what he accomplished and appreciate those accomplishments more.

With no regrets, Tom Wilson looks forward to spending time with his grandchildren.

"The university has been very nice to me. I've been here 40 years. I think it's time for me to go," Wilson said. "If I was to do it all over again I would do it the same, only faster."

 

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POOR SHOOTING COULD HAUNT TOP-SEED SMU

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

The Southern Methodist Mustangs will have a tough time in the SWC tournament this weekend in Dallas.

Why? Bad shooting.

As a team, the Southwest Conference champs shoot the ball at only 43 percent from the field and a mere 60 percent from the free-throw line. The only league team with worse stats is last-place Texas Christian, the Mustangs' first-round opponent on March 12.

"The way I see it is that there is always room for improvement," said coach John Shumate. "If we shot 60 percent from the floor and 90 percent from the line I'd still think that we can improve."

The worst shooting stat of all, however, is SMU's percentage from three-point land. The Ponies connected on a horrendous 30 percent of their trey attempts.

These are not the type of stats from which champions are made.

Senior guard Mike Wilson was fifth in the conference with 19.8 points a game, but shot only 48 percent from the field and 49 percent from the the charity stripe.

But going into the tournament, Wilson is coming off a 30-point performance against Texas, in which he nailed 10 of 18 shots.

Teammates Tim Mason and Gerald Lewis average 16 and 14 points, respectively, in the conference, but they too also shoot for low percentages.

Lewis' 36 percent field-goal percentage is the worst among SWC leading scorers, and Mason's 59 percent free-throw shooting is only better than five other qualifying players in the league.

Nevertheless, there was one key to the Mustangs' success that helped them win the SWC regular season title -- their defense.

The Ponies' 42-percent field-goal defense was third in the league, and their averaged of 45 rebounds per game was fourth.

"The conference season is over," Shumate said. "What we did then is in the past. It is going to be a different season come this weekend."

The Mustangs' shooting will determine how far SMU goes in the tournament.

 

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RICE MIRRORS WILSON'S WINNING ATTITUDE

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Under his calm, cool exterior, Rice head coach Willis Wilson might have cause to worry.

His Rice Owls basketball team ended its 11-3 Southwest Conference season with an 82-76 loss to the sixth-place Texas A&M Aggies at home on Autry Court.

Most coaches wouldn't be too disturbed with only three conference losses, but for Wilson every loss pushed his team further away from the 20-game mark the NCAA looks at when selecting teams for the NCAA tournament.

"One of our goals is to make it all the way through the SWC," Wilson said. "Now, the only thing we can control is who we are playing."

Rice can't control its destiny, but the Owls can exert some of their power over the beleaguered Texas Longhorns at 2 p.m. today in Reunion Arena.

The Longhorns, who finished seventh in the SWC, 4-10 in the conference and 10-16 overall, can rely on their bench for support against the Owls.

Senior center Brent Scott and the Owls are out to do all that they can to win the tournament so they will be guaranteed an NCAA bid.

At 6-10, Scott's presence can be felt on the boards, where he averages 8.6 rebounds a game, and from the field as well, where he shoots 60.8 percent.

The Owls have succeeded this season because of a team effort.

"The players have done what was asked of them by the coaching staff," Wilson said. "They have built their confidence because they have come out intense every game.

Emotion hasn't been part of the Owls' winning mixture. Throughout the season, Rice has been faced with important games and they entered them with intensity.

"We pride ourselves on playing intense basketball, not emotional basketball," Wilson said. "We come prepared to play."

If reality holds true, Rice might have to concern itself with playing the Cougars in the second round of play, whom they defeated twice during the regular season.

 

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SHOOTING IS KEY FOR HOUSTON'S SUCCESS

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

For Houston to succeed in the Southwest Conference tournament this weekend, shooting will be the key.

The Cougars closed out the 1992-93 regular season with a 19-7 record and eight wins in their last nine games. They averaged a torrid 52.4 percent from the field and scored more than 75 points in each game during the stretch.

"We need to try to win every single game we can," Houston coach Pat Foster said about the upcoming SWC tourney. "You're going to come down to close games where one play means the ball game. Hopefully, we'll catch a break or two and get on a roll."

What Houston doesn't need is a repeat of its 89-78 overtime loss at Rice on March 3.

The Cougars were stricken with poor shooting from the floor, hitting a dismal 39.7 percent, along with 61.3 percent from the free-throw line. In 31 attempts, the Cougars missed 12, including guard David Diaz's potential game-winner with just under four seconds left.

Also, Diaz and sophomore forward Jessie Drain were a combined 5-of-21 from three-point range.

Houston forward Derrick Smith said the Cougars need to execute offensively, while taking their opponents out of any offensive rhythm, to win in the tournament.

"We need to create things off the defensive end and get some easy shots," said Smith, who averaged 10.5 points and five rebounds this season. "If we can do that, we can control the game all day."

With three games in three days, Houston's bench is also a factor.

Rafael Carrasco (4.2 points, 4.1 rebounds), Jermaine Johnson (1.2, 1.2) and Lloyd Wiles (3.2 points) will be called on to contribute, something they have done well recently.

"The bench has played their part the whole year to give us seven games in a row," Smith said. "It's going to be good work for them to come into the tournament just in case something goes wrong."

 

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BEARS EXCEED JOHNSON'S EXPECTATIONS

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

When first-year Baylor head coach Darrel Johnson arrived in Waco after two consecutive NAIA championships at Oklahoma City, he didn't know what to expect.

"I really don't know much about this team at this point in the transition process," Johnson said before the season. "I have not seen any of the returning players play or recruits play in person or on tape. So, I just can't make much of a guess on just how competitive we can be."

As fourth-seeded Baylor, 16-10 (7-7), enters the Southwest Conference tournament, Johnson has a much better idea of what his players can do.

"This team has far exceeded our expectations," Johnson said.

Senior Alex Holcombe, of Houston's Kashmere High, is the Bears' leader with 17.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

He is not the only standout. Junior Willie Sublett and sophomore Aundre Branch supply outside scoring to the tune of 18.4 and 13.1 points per game, respectively.

Sophomore point guard Nelson Haggerty, of Houston's Willowridge High, runs the Bear pack. Haggerty averages 6.8 assists per game.

Baylor's real strength is a bench that leads the SWC with 21.3 points per contest.

Senior Anthony Lewis brings rebounding strength (7.9 per game) off the pine when he subs for Holcombe or starting forward David Hamilton.

Sophomore guard Joe Blasingim provides instant offense of the bench, a la Baylor-ex Vinnie Johnson.

Blasingim scored 10 points in the second overtime period of the Bears' win over first-round conference opponent Texas Tech.

Baylor will need strong contributions from the bench to complete a three-game sweep of the Red Raiders this season.

"I don't think the previous two games will have anything to do with this game," Johnson said. "It will be who comes out and plays well."

After his first season, Johnson knows what he's got and what they have to do.

 

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RED RAIDERS NEED TO SOLVE BAYLOR PUZZLE

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

Maybe the third time will be the charm.

After two overtime losses to Baylor, the fifth-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders, 15-11 (6-8), are staring at a pack of hungry Bears for the third time as they enter the Southwest Conference tournament.

Tech's first loss to Baylor came in a 105-102 scoring fest on Feb. 6 in Lubbock. The Bears' 105 points were their season-high.

The second meeting went two overtime periods before Joe Blasingim put in 10 second- overtime points to finish off the Red Raiders, 91-90.

"They can beat you inside or outside," Tech head coach James Dickey said of Baylor. "They've got Alex Holcombe inside, Willie Sublett and Aundre Branch outside."

To slip through another Bear hug, the Raiders will depend on an inside-outside game of their own.

Senior center Will Flemons must deliver at or above his conference-leading 65.8 field-goal percentage and 10.9 rebounding average.

At the same time, sophomore Lance Hughes and SWC Freshman-of-the-Year candidates Koy Smith and Lenny Holly need to hit their outside shots and continue Tech's SWC-best 38.9 percent three-point shooting.

"We have to shoot the ball well," Dickey said.

"The big key for us is how we take care of the ball. We have to play a more consistent ball game and minimize turnovers."

Turnovers have been a problem for the Red Raiders. They are averaging 15.4 per game, which is 3.3 more miscues per game than their opponents.

This may not be a problem against the stone-pawed Bears, who average 15.6 turnovers. "We have two very similar teams," said Baylor head coach Darrel Johnson. "It could go either way."

Dickey agreed.

"I don't make predictions, but I think anything could happen (in the tournament). It's hard to pick a clear-cut leader. The league is that balanced."

 

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YOUNG AGGIES SEARCH FOR REDEMPTION

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

The last time Texas A&M faced the Cougars, Houston gave the Aggies a 27-point pounding, coach Tony Barone was ejected and Charles Outlaw scored a triple double.

The Aggies are hoping history does not repeat itself in the Southwest Conference tournament when they play the Cougars at noon today.

The Aggies, 10-16, (5-9 in the SWC), ended their season with a bang, upsetting the second-place Rice Owls at Autry Court.

Coach Barone told his team before the game that if they wanted another shot at Houston, after losing both regular season games, they had to take the Owls down.

They complied with Barone's request, defeating the Owls 82-76. Now they are the sixth seed in the tournament and pitted against Houston, the third seed.

Barone's boys are a young group, with no seniors on the squad.

He depends on junior guard David Edwards for leadership on the floor. Edwards contributes 11.9 points a game for the Aggies and is third in assists in the SWC with 6.5 a game.

The Aggies' other man running the show is sophomore forward Damon Johnson. His shooting ability from the field has placed him fourth in the SWC with a 60.4 shooting percentage.

The Aggies could pose a threat to the Cougars if they heat up from three-point range. They sank 32.5 percent of their three-pointers.

The SWC tournament has not been kind to the Aggies in recent history. Last season, the Longhorns bumped the Aggies out of the tournament quarterfinals, 88-69.

However, the last time the Aggies faced the Cougars in the tournament they beat Houston, 82-70, in 1989.

The Aggies have not made it past the quarterfinals of the tournament since 1987, when they went all the way to the championships and walloped Baylor, 71-46.

Texas A&M hopes to rekindle that winning spirit against the Cougars. For Barone and his Aggies, a win today could boost the young squad's confidence going into the second round of the tournament.

 

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TEXAS TRIES TO SALVAGE UNLUCKY SEASON

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

The once mighty Texas Longhorns, 10-16 (4-10), limp into Dallas this weekend licking their wounds and just trying to play well.

Seventh-seeded Texas will face No. 2 Rice in the opening round of the Southwest Conference Tournament at 2 p.m. today in Reunion Arena.

"Everything that could have gone wrong this year did," Texas coach Tom Penders said. "We've had one of those years."

Texas will go into the tournament without starting center Albert Burditt and sophomore forward Al Segova. Burditt was dismissed from school in January after failing to meet grade requirements and Segova tore ligaments in his knee.

"Due to injuries and grades we are playing with a young, small lineup," Penders said. "We'll just have to keep it simple."

One bright spot for the walking wounded could be the return of junior point guard B.J. Tyler, who missed 14 games after breaking his foot.

"We are definitely a more dangerous team with B. J. back," Penders said. "Even at 75 percent he is still a phenomenal athlete."

Tyler finished the season averaging 18.1 points and 3.7 assists per game.

One of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal year for Texas has been the emergence of senior Michael Richardson. The 6-3 forward led the SWC in scoring with 20.4 points per game.

Sophomore guard Terrence Rencher finished fourth in the SWC with 19.6 points per game.

After serving an eight-day Penders suspension for "failing to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress," Rencher played his way into the elite group of Texas players who have scored 1,000 or more points. He reached the goal in only 55 games.

Rencher finished the regular season ranked among the SWC elite in free-throw percentage (71.3 percent), assists (3.5 per game) and steals (1.9).

As a team, the Longhorns finished seventh or eighth in five categories, including shooting- percentage, field-goal defense, rebounds and assists.

 

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HORNED FROGS LOOK TO SURPRISE MUSTANGS

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

The Texas Christian Horned Frogs, 5-21 (2-12), limp into Dallas this weekend with the arduous task of taking on the top-seeded Southern Methodist Mustangs.

The TCU and SMU hook-up at 6 p.m. today at Reunion Arena in the first round of the Southwest Conference Tournament.

"We haven't played very well this year," Horned Frogs coach Moe Iba said. His team finished 15 games behind the Mustangs. "We will have to do some things different against SMU."

Iba said although his team hasn't put up impressive statistics, there have been some bright spots, such as point guard Brent Atwater. The 5-8 senior led TCU with 1.5 steals, 5.2 assists per game and a 74.7 free-throw percentage.

"We have a good point guard in Brent Atwater," Iba said. "That is one of our strong points."

Iba also noted the improvement of center Eric Dailey and forward Allen Tolley.

Dailey, a 6-6 junior, led TCU with 57 percent shooting from the field, and pulled down 9.5 rebounds per game.

Dailey garnered SWC Player of the Week honors Feb. 9 when he scored 17 points in a losing effort against San Francisco.

Tolley led TCU with 14.4 points per game and 0.6 blocked shots per game. He shot 73.3 percent from the line and 31.4 percent from three-point land to rank first in those SWC categories.

The Frogs have also gotten promising performances out of 6-6 junior Myron Gordon and 6-2 freshman Jentry Moore.

Gordon, who started 24 of the 26 games at power forward, averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Moore, the starting shooting guard, led the team with a 34.8 percent from three-point land.

As a whole, TCU finished last or next-to-last in every offensive category except three-point shooting. The Frogs also finished last in rebounding.

"Every year there are some surprises," Iba said. "I think Baylor and Texas Tech could surprise people."

 

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PHI SLAMMA JAMMA CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Sit back, close your eyes, and remember.

Jan. 2, 1983: Hofheinz Pavilion empties with more than 5,500 screaming fans celebrating a Cougars' victory over Pacific, 112-58.

Across town later that night, Houston Post writer Thomas Bonk comes up with a term to describe the onslaught he had just witnessed.

And lo and behold, Phi Slamma Jamma was born. The rest is history.

Ten years later in 1993, many Cougar fans still reminisce about the success of that group, because to many it is regarded as one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time.

"That year we were the talk of the nation," said former coach Guy V. Lewis. "The name Phi Slamma Jamma caught on quick, and within weeks, we had people calling from all over wanting Phi Slamma Jamma paraphernalia."

Bonk created the name following the Cougars' 10-dunk performance against Pacific to describe the aggressive, high-powered offense Houston ran.

"That was the way I coached," Lewis said. "I was a firm believer in the slam dunk because I wanted my guys to have fun out there."

The Cougars' "fraternity" was led by players like Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets, Clyde Drexler of the Portland Trailblazers, Larry Micheaux formerly of the Chicago Bulls, and Michael Young, formerly of the Boston Celtics.

All four players earned All-American honors that year as Houston finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

"I was very proud of that team," said Lewis. "They were a great bunch to coach."

The Cougars ended the '83 season with a record of 31-3 and were a perfect 18-0 in the Southwest Conference.

They were fifth in the nation in scoring at 82.4 points per game, first in winning percentage (.912), and first in average margin of victory (17.4 points).

After winning the SWC tournament championship game 62-59 against TCU, the Cougars advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where they won the Midwest Regional, beating the Villanova Wildcats 89-71.

Next was the Final Four in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Behind Olajuwon and Drexler's 21 points apiece and 11 dunks, the Cougars downed the Louisville Cardinals 94-81 and advanced to the coveted NCAA Championship Game against Jim Valvano's North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Unfortunately, Houston's dream season came to an end when the Pack beat the Cougars at their own game, 54-52, on Lorenzo Charles' last-second dunk.

Phi Slamma Jamma's reign of excellence was over.

Despite the loss, Olajuwon was elected the tournament's most valuable player after averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds a game.

"All throughout his college career, that was a player who really came along," Lewis said of Olajuwon. "Getting him to play on my team was a stroke of God."

"When he first got here he couldn't play a lick and weighed only about 190 pounds at 6-11," Lewis said.

But it was Olajuwon's intense desire to learn that impressed Lewis enough to take the young Nigerian under his wing.

"He just started taking control of practice one February in '83," he said.

As far as Drexler, Young, and Micheaux, they were all hometown products, graduating from Sterling, Yates and Worthing High Schools, respectively.

"I am so proud of all my players' accomplishments," Lewis said. "They were exceptional."

But to the rest of the college basketball world in 1983, Phi Slamma Jamma was best described as awesome.

You can open your eyes now.

 

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OUTLAW'S DREAM-LIKE CAREER MADE COUGAR BASKETBALL EXCITING AGAIN

ADAM KING --- FROM THE BASELINE

When Hakeem Olajuwon first came to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, he had never played a lick of basketball.

A native Nigerian from the port city of Lagos, Nigeria, Olajuwon protected a net of a different sort in high school. A soccer field was most likely where he learned the fundamentals of playing on the hard court.

Of course, a goalie never had to dribble.

Not surprisingly, Olajuwon was not a heavily recruited prospect when he came to America at the start of the MTV generation. Actually, he was an unknown.

But 1981 marked the year a man named Guy V. Lewis, the University of Houston's head coach, would make one of the most important decisions in his coaching career.

Lewis had been coaching at UH since 1956 and had taken the Cougars to the NCAA Final Four in '67 and '68. But Houston, with future All-American Clyde Drexler, had been struggling to stay above .500 the two years before Olajuwon's arrival.

Lewis signed the young man, and suddenly, the forgotten Cougars were the toast of the Bayou City.

Olajuwon led his team to three consecutive Final Fours in '82, '83 and '84. including the championship game in the last two. He holds four UH records, including blocked shots in a game (16), blocked shots in a season (207), career blocks (454) and most games played in a season (37).

And until last season, the 6-11 center had dibs on the field goal percentage record at 67.5 percent. That was, until a young upstart named Charles "Bo" Outlaw snatched the record away.

Outlaw hit a nation-leading 68.4 percent of his shots his first season with the Cougars, and when something like that happens, it usually leads to comparisons.

The 21-year-old Outlaw was never a nobody. He excelled at San Antonio's John Jay High School and South Plains College, making him a prime target for many college recruiters. Cougar head coach Pat Foster won the recruiting war when he convinced Outlaw of UH's merits.

Houston's 6-8 senior center recorded his first triple-double of his career versus Texas A&M on Feb. 17, registering 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots -- the first Cougar since Olajuwon to accomplish such a feat.

For his career, Outlaw has blocked 193 shots, second only to Olajuwon, and Bo still has several games to go.

Outlaw is averaging 14.7 points and nine rebounds in his two years at Houston. In contrast, Olajuwon averaged 13.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in three years.

Olajuwon is slightly better at the charity stripe -- 55.5 percent compared to Outlaw's 49 percent.

But what does all this mean? Trying to convince someone that Outlaw is somehow similar to Olajuwon is like saying bean dip won't cause gas.

But what you can say is both Houston stars had outstanding careers at UH.

Olajuwon went on to the NBA and is presently torching his fellow centers on the court and in the stat book.

Outlaw was named Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year and made All-SWC first team. He also has a promising career in the NBA waiting for him.

So, in fact, the two O's are similar in one respect: They both made Houston basketball what the everyday fan wants it to be -- exciting.

 

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RENEGADE FEMINIST DRAWS CONTEMPT FROM COLLEAGUES

by Jenny Silverman

News Reporter

March is Women's History Month, and the future of feminism is bright, despite Susan Faludi's book, <i>Backlash<p>, which contends that the future of feminism is being sabotaged by everyone.

One feminist regarded as highly controversial by women in academics and women's studies programs around the country is Camille Paglia, best known for her support of Madonna. She is also the author of <i>Sexual Personae, Sex, Art, and Politics in America<p>.

Cynthia Freeland, director of Women's Studies at UH, is not in favor of Paglia. "She is an advocate of her own personal desires. She fails to step back and examine social policies and is unconcerned with people who don't have individual liberties," Freeland said. Her belief that most feminists discount Freud is erroneous, and Women's Studies programs are very heavily influenced by Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory, Freeland added.

Paglia claims to have been influenced by Simone de Beauvoir's pioneering work, <i>The Second Sex<p>. Freeland said that while de Beauvoir's statement, "Little girls get turned into women through a highly repressive social order," is true, most of her work is outdated.

Luz Marin, coordinating assistant at the University of Pennsylvania's women's studies program, said, "Paglia is one to watch out for. . .She is not only a threat to feminism, she is a threat to society." Marin said Paglia has used the accomplishments feminists have worked for to gain publicity for herself.

Marin criticizes Paglia's claim that she is a feminist. Marin sees her as a bitter, vindictive woman, angry at the academic population. The media has latched onto her because she is controversial, Marin added.

"A new generation of feminists is born. These are young women not afraid to call themselves feminists and attack issues relevant to them. Paglia runs counter to this group of young women,"she said.

 

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TACO BELL LOOKS FOR GRADS

by James Alexander

News Reporter

In today's economy, landing a well-paying job after graduation is never a given, but two words can give you a TIP to financial success: Taco Bell.

A program called TIP (Taco Bell Internship Program), initiated last year, provides students with a management position at a Taco Bell after graduation. Starting salary is approximately $24,500, said regional market recruiter Anthony Pizzatola.

TIP encourages students who are interested in managing positions to work part-time at Taco Bell during their last semester, 15-20 hours a week at $4.35 an hour, Pizzatola said.

Matthew Perry, who graduated from the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management last December, was one of the first participants in TIP.

"TIP worked around my schedule, and I was able to learn Taco Bell's system which enabled a smooth transaction once given a managing position," Perry said.

Pizzatola said a student's only qualifications are a good personality, an ability to manage people and a willingness to control his or her destiny.

"Positions are endless," he said. "While a majority of companies are restricting and downsizing, Taco Bell is in full expansion nationwide."

 

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PRIVATE PROPERTY A MOB SCENE

Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

"How well do your friends really trust you?"

Tom Vaughan, junior drama major, asks viewers this question in his play Private Property, which is being produced at the UH Wortham Lab Theatre this weekend.

"The play is about how people say they trust each other when they really don't," Vaughan said.

The cast in Private Property consists of three professional thieves and one of their wives.

The mob hires the thieves to do a job. When problems arise, the thieves have to create additional crimes to appease their bosses, Vaughan said.

Vaughan said he wanted to use unfamiliar situations, such as working for the mob, to discuss subjects most people can relate to. There are many people who say they trust others when they really don't, he said.

Private Property also involves people who say they're satisfied when they're really not," Vaughan said.

It took about two weeks to write "Private Property," Vaughan said. "I've been rewriting it forever," he said.

Vaughan said having his plays produced at UH has allowed him improve his work for other theatres. "The UH School of Theatre has been really supportive with producing my plays," he said.

The 23-year-old playwright has written 20 plays. Three have been produced at UH and one has been performed in the Texas Playwrights' Festival at the Stages Theatre. Vaughan said the Texas Festival was a major breakthrough in his career because it gave him name recognition.

Vaughan, who plans to move to New York in June, hopes to get an agent by September.

The cast and crew of Private Property has been rehearsing for five weeks. "I'm really happy about what Bronwyn Andrus (the director) is doing," Vaughan said. "Thank God she's here because I've got plenty to do acting in this play."

Other cast members include Peter Bauquet, Gina McCullough and Renee Corrella.

Vaughan smiled and gave a warning. "This is not the play I'd take my dad to, but it's definitely a lot of fun," he said.

The School of Theatre presents Private Property March 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and March 14 at 2 p.m. Admission is free.

 

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AZALEA TRAIL BLOSSOMS

by Gram Gemoets

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite the recent chill and impending bad weather, the show must go on for the annual Azalea Trail, a tour of six fabulous homes and gardens in River Oaks.

A Houston tradition since the '30s, this spring tour provides a lush peek at life along winding streets and the bubbling Bayou, once a swamp, now a chic settee for Houston's rich and famous.

The Texas Gardener's Society has proclaimed spring '93 as "the most colorful flower season in six years," said flower expert Ray Chandler. "Global warming as well as a wet and warm winter have provided lavish buds on flowers ranging from Azaleas to Texas Bluebonnets."

The tour is best accessible on bicycle. In fact, this travel method is recommended as great architecture abounds throughout the neighborhood, not just the homes along the tour. In a car, you may miss gawking at a few.

The most spectacular garden is that of Bayou Bend at 2940 Lazy Lane. Donated to the Museum of Fine Arts by the late Miss Ima Hogg, the gardens cover 14 acres and resemble a Houston Versailles. The house with its priceless antiques is closed for remodeling, but the garden tour is still well worth seeing. Curving pastures and sculpted gardens accentuate the pink stucco facade of the home.

Bayou Bend was one of the first homes in River Oaks and is by far the most spectacular. And why not -- Miss Hogg's brothers developed River Oaks, transforming swamp into swank.

2923 Del Monte, a home said to have been admired by Fergie on her "man hunt" through Houston, is another landmark on the tour. Featuring sweeping staircases, extensive woodwork and hand-painted Zuber wallpaper, this house is a must see.

3374 Chevy Chase and 3439 Del Monte are two of the more modest stops along this year's trail. If you consider $1 million houses to be modest.

3713 Chevy Chase features a doll house display. Mohammed Ali is rumored to have considered buying this house in the '70s. 5644 Briar Grove, also on the tour, features an intimate, indoor garden setting.

Tour hours run from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission to each house is $3, but for $15 you can see all sites. Tickets can be purchased at any of the homes in any order you choose. Maps can also be obtained at the individual homes.

Last weekend was by far the best time to go. However, Mother Nature promises a reprieve from the gloom on Sunday (with a change of sun Saturday). After all, clear skies with plenty of sunshine complement the trail best.

Representatives from the River Oaks Garden Club say they can't do anything about the weather. "We plan the tour a year in advance so we have to take it as it comes," said a member of the club.

 

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