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Thursday, October 29, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 48






Top 25 Notebook
 



About the Cougar
 

First day giveaway of basketball tickets bumpy, but successful

On the Front Roi

Rohith Nandagiri

Another boom in Houston

Before any classes began and the parking lots were full Wednesday, a large group of students showed up at the Alumni/Athletic Center. They werenit there for any class on athletic marketing or sports medicine, but rather to get free tickets to the hottest game in town. In case you live under a rock, that would be the Houston Cougar basketball team.

Although games arenit scheduled for nearly two weeks, students were allowed to pick up individual game tickets for the first three games of the season. Hundreds of students gathered to pick up their general-admission tickets.

The first game is an exhibition against the Australian All-Stars, a team to which the Cougars lost last year.

The second game, and the first in the regular season, is against the hated Texas Longhorns Nov. 17. The Cougars lost to them last year as well.

That will be the first official game for head coach Clyde Drexler, and it is being played up big. ESPN2 will cover the game, and thus it will start in "The Tomb," a.k.a. Hofheinz, at 9 p.m.

The third game is against Sam Houston State. According to the ticket office, UH will be out of tickets by Friday.

There were some complaints about the new system of ticket distribution. Students only being able to get tickets for themselves made it difficult for groups of friends to get together.

"I wish I could have gotten tickets for my friends using their Ids," said Adam White, a senior communication major. "I wasn't too thrilled with getting up so early, but at least I didn't have to park in the outlying lots. It will be fun going to the games with a real college basketball atmosphere."

Later in the afternoon, however, the ticket office was allowing people to get as many tickets as they had Cougar OneCards. With luck, these problems will be corrected by the next pickup day.

Friday night madness, part 2

Mattress Mack of Gallery Furniture, the entrepreneur/philanthropist, is always in the mood to give. Whether it is selling furniture to flood victims for a fraction of the cost or giving a huge donation to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which took care of his father, he is always there wielding a pen and his checkbook.

Friday at Hofheinz Pavilion, more than 30 NBA players gathered to raise money for M.D. Anderson. Mack got help from Drexler and Kenny Smith and together they brought in some of the NBA stars who are involved in a labor dispute.

All of the ticket money went to charity, except for an estimated $250,000 that had to be dealt out to the players for "appearance fees."

Excuse me, but I thought they were playing for charity? Even with that, a lot of money was raised, and appreciation should be given to all those who worked the event.

Bluechippers plentiful

Much has been reported about players possibly coming to UH. The Daily Cougar has reported extensively about players such as Antonio Falu, Chris Andersen, George Williams and Yao Ming. The bottom line is that Falu and Andersen will come, and UH is on Williams' short list. Ming will take some work to get here, but could be a steal.

Alton Ford, the nation's No. 1 high school junior, was at Midnight Madness and saw how loud "The Tomb" can get.

Around Conference USA, DePaul University has received much press saying it has the best freshman class in the nation. Swing guard Quentin Richardson might be the next Larry Hughes. Also signing with the Blue Demons were forwards Bobby Simmons and Lance Williams.

Richardson was the best player in Illinois last year, but Simmons has drawn comparisons to another Chicago player -- Scottie Pippen.

DePaul also signed two point guards. Junior college transfer Kenny Hartfield should start at point guard, and the team also signed super-quick 5-9 Massachusetts prep star Rashon Burno.

Memphis will have 6-8, top 50 forward Paris London on the floor this season. Head coach Tic Price will have Omar Sneed to "mold" London. Remember, it was Sneed who allegedly stole a science book from the UH bookstore, which may be the reason he is not playing for the Cougars right now.

However, Sneed just might be the best player in the conference right now. He is the pre-season player of the year.

Cincinnati's troubled program signed several players to supplant graduated Bobby Brannen and Ruben Patterson. There are a lot of expectations on junior transfer forward Pete Mickeal. Some scouts say he has NBA potential next year. Head coach Bob Huggins also signed freshman power forward Eugene Land, a top incoming player who will come off the bench.

Recently, Huggins was asked about his point guard situation, which includes 6-1, 200-pound Michael Horton, 5-9, 190-pound Steve Logan and 6-0, 185-pound Shawn Myrick.

He said, "I have 650 pounds of point guard. I have the fattest point guards in America. I've got one guy who set a school record for turnovers (Horton). I've got one guy who can't dribble at all." 

Seems like his players have been eating too much of that "Queen City" chili.

Off-the-court troubles

While C-USA has a positive image with the likes of Pat Kennedy at DePaul and Drexler in Houston, there are some negative stories all over the conference.

Denny Crum's Louisville had better be careful these days. Its basketball and volleyball teams have come under fire for illegal recruiting activities, and they have been suspended from all post-season tournaments. The Cardinals have appealed the ruling.

Also, first team pre-season all-conference forward Nate Johnson was suspended for the first two games of the season for being arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Could this be the beginning of the end for the marriage between Louisville and Crum?

Johnson is also the reason Louisville is on probation, as it was his father who received the hotel room from a Louisville assistant coach. The room was paid for on the coach's credit card, a direct violation of NCAA rules.

In next week's edition, I will talk about UNC Charlotte's Charles Hayward, who fought his way back from leukemia. Also, the all-preseason C-USA team will be announced.

Nov. 10, The Daily Cougar will publish its annual basketball preview edition. It will also be the day of the first drawing for The Daily Cougar Sweet Seats. The drawing will take place at noon in the UC Arbor. Your entry form awaits you on Page 5 of todayis print edition, along with rules for the contest.
 

Reach Nandagiri at
rvn73289@bayou.uh.edu
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