Friday, February 23, 2007

1993-94 Redux: November 1 – November 10

(Man, was the Big 8 stacked nicely that year. And I’m sorry, but I just cannot picture Monte Hardge playing for UNLV.)

November 1, 1993: Tigers Put on Scary Preview

By DAVID HOLZMANof the Tribune's staff

Last night's Haunted House of Hoops was not quite the costume extravaganza of past years. The Missouri Tigers entered the Hearnes Center floor amid fog in Dracula capes. Further costuming was optional.

Once they got down to playing basketball, everybody pretty much looked like everybody else.

There was a fairly even split of talent in the Black vs. Gold scrimmage. Lamont Frazier opened the scoring with a pair of three-pointers, and the Black which started Frazier, Melvin Booker, Chris Heller and freshmen Jason Sutherland and Kelly Thames went on to win 66-55.

The Gold started Jevon Crudup, Julian Winfield, Derek Grimm, Mark Atkins and Derrick Johnson.

Grimm, a 6-foot-8 freshman from Morton, Ill., led all scorers with 18 points. A crowd of about 3,000 attended the public scrimmage.

Redshirt freshman Chip Walther, a 5-10 walk-on, had 16 points. Walther spent time on both teams.

Much like the halftime Halloween costume contest, it was a night for the younger set.

“They ought to be really encouraged, and I include all of them in that,” Missouri coach Norm Stewart said. The veterans on a senior-laden team didn'tcome in for a blanket endorsement.

“You should be able to do some of the fundamental things better than some of our veterans did,” Stewart said.

The Haunted House of Hoops returned after a year's hiatus depending on NCAA rules regarding practice. Last year, the opening date was moved from Oct. 15 to Nov. 1. This year, teams were allowed to begin on Saturday, making last night the second day of practice for Missouri.

The Tigers went without senior guard Reggie Smith and junior forward Marlo Finner. Both have been held out of practice because they've missed classes, Stewart said.

Smith took part in the pre-game introductions and sat on the team bench. Stewart said Finner was at the library last night.

They're not expected to be out much longer. “I've got to check something,”Stewart said. “They'll probably be back tomorrow.”
November 5, 1993: Cowboys Unseat Jayhawks as Media’s League Favorite

By DAVID HOLZMANof the Tribune's staff

If voters in the preseason basketball Big Eight media poll are right, not only will Kansas' reign end, Oklahoma State will win its first title in 29 years.

The Cowboys were the overwhelming favorite, receiving 46 first-place votes from 60 ballots cast.

Kansas finished second in the poll. Indicating how wide-open a race is expected, seven teams, including Colorado, received first-place votes.

Missouri received two first-place votes and is the choice for third.

Sophomore guard Julian Winfield of the Tigers was named Newcomer of the Year with 14 votes in 38 cast, beating out forwards Calvin Curry of Oklahoma and Belvis Noland of Kansas State, each of whom had 10.

Missouri coach Norm Stewart said his team placed about as he expected, but he couldn't agree with taking the Jayhawks off the favored perch.

“They won the championship three years in a row,” Stewart said. “It's always been my opinion that if you win the championship, you're the favorite until somebody displaces you.”

Kansas loses four starters, including NBA first-round draft choices Rex Walters and Adonis Jordan from the backcourt.

“When you play that system, you're playing a lot of players, and they have a lot of players returning,” Stewart said.

While forward Richard Scott is nominally the only returning starter, Steve Woodberry, Greg Ostertag and Patrick Richey are all proven players. Woodberry is a preseason all-conference selection, joining Oklahoma State center Bryant Reeves, guards Eric Piatkowski of Nebraska and Donnie Boyce of Colorado and forward Jeff Webster of Oklahoma.

Reeves, last season's Big Eight Player of the Year and the conference leader in scoring and rebounding, was a unanimous choice and dominated Player of the Year voting with 51 of 59 votes.

The Tigers' Melvin Booker, a first-team selection on the coaches' all-conference team last season, and Jevon Crudup were named to the second team. They were joined by guards Anthony Beane of Kansas State and Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State and Scott.

Winfield received one all-conference vote, giving him honorable mention status. Missouri guard Jason Sutherland received one Freshman of the Year vote. All the freshman candidates were guards first-place finisher Jacque Vaughn of Kansas, Chianti Roberts of Oklahoma State, Dameon Page of Colorado and Sutherland.
November 10, 1993: Hardge Tops Off List of MU Recruits

By DAVID HOLZMANof the Tribune's staff

The word came from near and far today, the start of the early signing period for college basketball recruits. Jefferson City center Monte Hardge scheduled a ceremony for this afternoon, where he is expected to sign with Missouri, ending a down-to-the-wire decision between the Tigers and Nevada-Las Vegas.

At 7-foot and 280 pounds, Hardge would bring needed size to the Tigers. Derek Grimm, a 6-8 freshman, is the only non-senior taller than 6-6 on the current Tiger roster.

Hardge averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds last season as the Jays won the Class 4A high school championship. He shot 58 percent from the field, and 52 percent at the line.

Kendrick Moore, a 6-2 point guard from Hartford, Conn., also waited until today to make his choice known. It's the Tigers. “I thought they had the best overall package for me,” Moore said this morning.

Moore steered Hartford Public High School to an undefeated state title in Connecticut Class LL, the larger of the state's two classifications.

“I think his best position is the point,” Hartford Public coach Stan Piorkowski said. “He's an exceptionally skilled ballhandler while at all times knowing what's happening on the rest of the floor.

“He's not a guy who's going to take over and say `Here, let me score 50 points,' although that's what I'm going to ask him to do this year.”

Last season, Moore averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

A member of the National Honor Society, Moore plans to study accounting.

Corey Tate, a 6-4 guard from Mineral Area Junior College, orally committed in early October. “If you know you want to do something, just go on and get it over with,” Tate said.

He had a longstanding relationship with Missouri, dating back to his days at Pattonville High School in the St. Louis area.

“They stuck with me all through high school,” Tate said. “That says a lot.” Because he did not meet Prop 48 requirements, Tate said, he went to junior college.

Tate said he had interest from schools such as Syracuse and Alabama, but his final decision came down to Missouri or St. Louis.

After suffering a broken leg Aug. 22, Tate is back playing his sophomore season at Mineral Area.

He's kept track of the Tigers since high school and has a desire that should be easily achieved before next season. “I've never stepped on the Hearnes floor. Every time I see it on TV, my hands break out in a sweat.”

Like Moore, Tate gets high marks for passing. “I think I pass better than I do anything,” he said.

Scott Combs, a 6-7 forward from Paoli, Ind., orally committed to MU last week and was scheduled to sign today at Paoli High School.

Combs averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds last season as Paoli advanced to the round of 16 in Indiana's all-in one state tournament for the second consecutive year.

Missouri's current roster of 15 players includes eight seniors and five scholarship recipients with eligibility beyond this season. With today's signings, the Tigers still have three scholarships available. Forward Marlo Finner projects to be the only senior next season.