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Top preps traveling to North Dakota

 

It looks as if the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) will be the place to watch some exciting basketball this coming winter. The men and women teams at the Division I two-year institution will feature some of the metro area’s top players from the class of 2013. LASHONDRA CURTIS (St. Paul Central), TAMERA CURTIS (St. Paul Central), LOLA HORNE (St. Continue Reading →

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Final 4 memories

 

 

 

As this year’s NCAA tournaments crown new men’s and women’s national champions, this reporter took a stroll down my own memory lanes. I didn’t begin watching college hoops until the mid-to-late 1960s – I sneaked downstairs and watched the UCLA-Houston game played in the Astrodome on television – it was past my bedtime.  As a result, I watched Lew Alcindor (UCLA 1967-69) but not Bobby Joe Hill of Texas Western (1966), the first national champion with five Black starters. The UCLA great — now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, guards Earvin Johnson (Michigan State 1978-79) and Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State 1998-2000); and forwards Keith Wilkes (UCLA 1972-74) and David Thompson (North Carolina State 1974) are my personal five-player, all-time great tournament team. Georgetown (1983-84) always will be my all-time championship team simply because the Hoyas were the first men’s national champs coached by a Black man.  The UCLA squads (1966-69; 1971-73), N.C. State (1973-74), Indiana (1975-76), Michigan State (1978-79) and UNLV (1989-91) ranks just right behind them. If I had to choose the most memorable historic moment, although I didn’t witness it, it would naturally be Texas Western’s 1966 title win. Continue Reading →

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U of M assistant coach helps guards transition to college play

 

 

The main teaching point Saul Smith stresses to the Minnesota Gophers basketball guards he works with is tempo. “As a former point guard, I think tempo is going to be crucial to any player. “[Controlling] tempo — whether that’s faster or slow, whatever you play — you are going to be more successful. This is what we preach to our guys,” says Smith, the sixth-year assistant coach who helps develop the team guards. Does the fact that he once played guard in college help? Continue Reading →

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