The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 9, 1997 · Page 15
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 15

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, May 9, 1997
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Page 15
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FRIDAY MAY 9, 1997 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports HAWKS BEAT BULLS / C3 MONEY/ C4 CLASSIFIED / C5 c T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Belcher posts third straight win The Associated Press Royals Jay Bell connects on a solo home run in the third Inning off Detroit's Brian Moehler. T PRO BASKETBALL Bird to coach Pacers Pitino takes command in Boston; Carlesimo fired by Trail Blazers By The Associated Press • Rick Pitino's move to Boston sent Larry Bird back to Indiana aftd shifted Red Auerbach, the man \yho built a dynasty as Celtics coach, out of his president's chair. ; More than Boston's front office changed Thursday as the NBA coaching carousel switched into full gear. P.J. Carlesimo was pushed out of Portland and Eddie Jordan was kept on in Sacramento. Next to take a ride may be Detroit's Doug Collins, who, despite a 54-win season, reportedly is ready to leave the Pistons after just two seasons. > Bird, a native of Indiana and a star at Indiana State before his stellar NBA career with Boston, on Thursday accepted the job as coach of the Pacers. j TSKe Pacers gave Bird a contract reportedly worth $4.5 million a jjear, although Bird has never coached basketball at any level. ; "I'm very excited about this opportunity to go back home and coach the Indiana Pacers," Bird said in a statement. • Bird, who led the Celtics to three NBA championships and had been ah adviser for the franchise since retiring in 1992, will return to his home state for a news conference on Monday, the club said. I Despite Bird's lack of coaching experience, Pacers president Don- hie Walsh has no doubts about his ability. i "He looks at the game from more of a coach's mind than a player's ipind," Walsh said. "He's a very bright guy and a very honest guy, as well as a very tough guy. All those qualities add up. He'd be very successful anywhere he went." ; Auerbach, who won nine championships as coach and who has been president since 1984, yielded tjhe team presidency to Pitino and \jvill become a vice chairman. ; The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, fired Carlesimo after three seasons, though their general manag- e'r thought the coach did a "good jbb." | Portland won 49 games this season and Carlesimo was 137-109 as coach, but the Blazers were Royals right-hander blanks Tigers despite facing several jams By The Associated Press DETROIT — Tim Belcher will never love pitching in Tiger Stadium. But the right-hander doesn't hate it anymore, either. "It's certainly not healthy to go on hating pitching someplace, because you always have to pitch there again," Belcher said Thursday after he escaped several jams to win his third straight decision, a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Belcher openly hated Tiger Sta- dium when he pitched for Detroit in 1994, and with good reason. His 7-15 record that year was the worst of his career. "I hated pitch- BELCHER in S here in >94 be " cause I didn't pitch well," Belcher said. "Now I know the most I'm going to pitch here in any given year is twice." Jay Bell homered as the Royals gained a split of a two-game series at Detroit. Kansas City is 3-1 on a seven-game, three-city road trip that continues this weekend in New York. Belcher (4-3) scattered four hits in seven innings, lowering his earned run average to 1.12 over his last five starts. "Every time, every game this year he's had a great outing," Royals manager Bob Boone said. "He pitched two games where we didn't score a thing for him and another where the bullpen let it go. "He's been terrific; he's been a consummate professional." Detroit stranded eight runners, including three at third base. "Today I had some dicey situa- tions," Belcher said. "I gave up a couple of leadoff doubles, and those are hard to pitch around." He did, however, as the Tigers scored two or fewer runs for the fourth time in five games. "I thought Belcher was very good today and he deserves about 90 percent of the credit," Detroit manager Buddy Bell said. "But we didn't swing the bats very well and we need to be a little smarter when we're hitting." Belcher struck out five. "Early in the game he was just placing his fastball in and out," Detroit's Brian Hunter said. "We didn't see a lot of offspeed pitches, and then later on he came back with a j See NBA, Page C3 j T COLLEGE BASKETBALL T COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOM DORSEY/The Salina Journal KU basketball coach Roy Williams signs autographs for cadets before speaking at St. John's Military School on Thursday. A short chat with Roy Roy Williams addresses recruiting, Robertson, LaFrentz and Pierce, and jobs By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal K ansas basketball coach Roy Williams came to Salina Thursday night to speak to invited guests and the cadets at St, John's Military School. Williams was at the school as the featured speaker to help honor the 30-year charter members of the SJMS Mule-skinners Club. Before his speech, Williams spoke with the Salina Journal on a variety of subjects concerning college basketball and his KU program. • On the so-called frustrations of the recent recruiting season: "I'm really curious, you're the third person who's told me I said it was frustrating, and I never said that. Recruiting is always frustrating to a certain extent, but we're ecstatic about our recruiting year. "Yes, it could have been better. If we would have signed one more kid, it would have been the best recruiting year we've had in the nine years we've been there. But I definitely believe when all those 'recruiting experts' start rating the recruiting classes in the league, my guess is we'll be first or second in the Big 12. We're the only team in the league to sign two McDonald's Ail-Americans. That doesn't necessarily mean anything right now, but it's been a fantastic year for us. "We had four needs I wanted to address — center, power forward, big guard and point guard. We got the center in Eric Chenowith and got the power forward when Lester Earl decided to transfer and the big guard when we signed Kenny Gregory." "But the one place we were trying to get someone was at the point guard spot. It's been funny because the papers said we lost three kids. Well, I only wanted one of the them. We definitely turned down one kid (Khalid El-Amin) and held off on another (Bernard Smith) so long that it probably upset him. We were trying to recruit one kid, Baron Davis, and we didn't get him. It is frustrating to finish second because all that means is you spent a lot of time and a lot of money." - On Ryan Robertson as next season's point guard: "I'll tell you what, Ryan has handled this better than anyone. The way we play, I feel we need three point guards. Why I was recruiting a point guard when we still had Ryan is the same reason I recruited Ryan when we had Jacque Vaughn. Because, when Jacque went down, I didn't have to look up in the stands and find someone to play the point guard spot. "I'm extremely happy with Ryan. He did a fantastic job for us last year, but we do need a third point guard. There's a possibility we still may come up with one, but if we don't, we'll try to give Nick Bradford more time back there." • On Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce returning for another season: "I'm selfish like anyone else, I wanted to coach them again. But I would've been ecstatic if they'd chosen to go to the NBA because the only thing I pushed the whole time was I wanted them to do what they wanted to do. And, had they chosen that, it would have been like one of my own children trying to step out and reach for a dream they'd always had. "I would have been extremely happy for them. It would've been more difficult for KU's basketball team, but I still would've been so happy for them. People have a hard time believing that, but it's true." • On the big money earned by Rick Piti- no and Larry Brown this week and Williams turning down NBA offers: "I'm glad to see those guys getting that kind of money ... I'm happy for Larry and Rick. I've been fortunate even this spring to have people interested in me coming to coach their teams in the NBA, but I told both of those (Celtics and 76ers) that I had a better job than what they were offering me. They said, 'Well, we can pay you a lot more money,' and I told them that I still had a better job." forkball and slider." The Royals scored twice in the third against Brian Moehler (2-2). Jose Offerman brought Tom Goodwin in from third base with a groundout before Bell hit his eighth homer. Singles by Johnny Damon and Offerman finished Moehler in the eighth. Bell bunted the runners up and Bip Roberts drew an intentional walk to set up Jeff King's sacrifice fly. Chili Davis followed with an RBI single. Hipolito Pichardo allowed one hit over the final two innings for Kansas City. He has not permitted a run in more than 16 innings in 14 appearances this season. T COLLEGE BASKETBALL Smith offered UK job Georgia officials expect their coach to take position left by Pitino By PAUL NEWBERRY The Associated Press ATHENS, Ga. — Kentucky has offered its coaching job to Tubby Smith, a former Rick Pitino assistant who led Georgia to consecutive 20-win seasons, Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley said Thursday. Dooley, speaking to reporters at the Georgia athletic building, said Smith flew to Lexington, Ky., on Wednesday night to meet with Wildcats athletic director C.M. Newton. "I do know that they would like to have him in Kentucky," Dooley said. "He was offered the job. It's his job to either take or turn down. More than likely, knowing the situation, he would probably take the job." Dooley said Smith was meeting with his family and friends before deciding whether to accept the Kentucky offer. One of Smith's sons, G.G., is a point guard at Georgia and another son, Saul, recently committed to play for the Bulldogs next season. Smith couldn't immediately be reached for comment, but Dooley said he expected a quick decision and already was compiling a list of possible candidates as Smith's successor. Pitino was at Kentucky for eight seasons, leading the Wildcats to the 1996 national championship, but resigned Tuesday to become coach of the Boston Celtics. "It's one of the truly great coaching jobs," Dooley said of Kentucky. "On the other hand, it's not an easy- decision for him (Smith). I think it's a difficult situation. There are some family considerations." Dooley said he had not talked with Smith since the coach returned from his meeting with Newton, but the Georgia athletic director said he expected a decision either by this morning. "I would think it would be rather quick," Dooley said. Lexington stations WKYT-TV and WLAP-AM said Thursday that Smith reached an agreement with Kentucky during his meeting with Newton, who refused to confirm the reports. An offer from Kentucky would be for five years and probably would exceed $1 million a year. Pitino had a $2 million deal annually. T COLLCUB DATIVE I DMUL ^tudent columnist says Dies, Vasiljevic threatened him i __..„„,„, o, _ n_ _j_ j_i_ i .-A n „„; j ir«iirt«» *u« r»<-vii«_ C+£»ir'ifr*i- nallari nnlirft from a friani > Stewart said : K$U players broke into his i house early i Wednesday I ; morning . By The Associated Press MANHATTAN — A Kansas State student newspaper columnist said two university basketball players came to his house and threatened him after he wrote a column critical of one of the players. Basketball players Manny Dies and Pero Vasiljevic allegedly came looking for Kansas State Collegian columnist Todd Stewart at his off-campus house early Wednesday morning. Neither Dies, a 6-foot-8 junior from Wichita, nor Vasiljevic, an Australian who missed most of last season because of an injury, would comment on the incident, coach Tom Asbury said Thursday in a news release. Asbury said he would take disciplinary action as needed but it wasn't the department's policy to make internal actions public. "You can be assured no harm will come to Todd and Jeremy (Kelley, Stewart's roommate)," Asbury said. "I'd stake my reputation on that. Manny's not into that. He's just frustrated." Riley County Police Capt. Steve French said Thursday afternoon that the two players had not been arrested or charged with any crime, but the incident was under investigation. Stewart and his roommates gave this account: Stewart was studying in his room about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when a call came from his fraternity house, warning him that Dies and Vasiljevic had been there looking for him. Stewart hid in a back bedroom and locked the door. Soon after that, Dies and Vasiljevic arrived. "They just helped themselves into the apartment," said Kelley, the Colle gian sports editor. "They started calling Todd's name and looking for him." When they got to the locked door in the back, Dies kicked it in, Kelley said. Stewart had escaped to the roof through the window. "I'm out on the roof running around without a shirt or shoes, and I hear the door to Jeremy's room get broken down," Stewart said. "Then I hear Pero say, 'I'm going to kill him.' "The best I can do is jump, so 1 hang on to the gutter and drop to my feet. Then 1 just take off running." Stewart called police from a friend's house. The police spotted Dies and Vasiljevic nearby and spent about 15 minutes talking to the players. In February, Stewart called Manny Dies "the worst player in the history of college basketball" in his column. He said he didn't know why Dies was upset more than two months later. "I'm not going to say I regret writing the column," Stewart said. "But. I'm very confused over why now. It would have made a lot more sense if something like this had happened in February." i : (j • v SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjnewsesaljournal.com

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