Southern Illinoisan from Carbondale, Illinois on December 17, 1987 · Page 11
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Southern Illinoisan from Carbondale, Illinois · Page 11

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Carbondale, Illinois
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Thursday, December 17, 1987
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Page 11
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Southern Ulinoisan, Thursday, December 17, 1987 Page 1 1 f is. V " V One more year: Dale Kisten will be back for SIU. By Scott Monserud Of The Southern Ulinoisan Dale Kisten, the bellwether of the Southern Illinois University pitching .staff for the past two years, has received an early Christmas present in the form of an extra year of eligibility. Kisten, 16-6 over the past two seasons, was the Missouri Valley Conference's Most Valuable Player in 1986 when he was 5-0 in conference play. The MVC's eligibility committee recently has ruled in SlU's favor, allowing Kisten to pitch next spring. He has been unable to work out with the Salukis this school year, pending the appeal to the conference. "I'm happy, oh yeah," Kisten said n (Ml ifll 1 HUBS IMS NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - How difficult, Billy Tubbs was asked several times during the preseason, will it be for the Oklahoma basketball team to adjust to losing three outstanding seniors? The coach's answer was something like, "We'll have to wait and see." The wait is over, and the opponents are having more trouble adjusting than Oklahoma. Through six games, all victories, the 14th-ranked Sooners are averaging 112 points a game. Last Saturday against Centenary, Oklahoma scored a school-record 152 points, 12 shy of the NCAA Division I record held by Nevada-Las Vegas. And the always up-tempo Sooners are playing some defense, too opponents are turning the ball over 30 times per game and have been beaten by an average of 36 points per game. Clearly, the loss of Tim McCalis-ter, Darryl Kennedy and David Johnson each a member of the school's 1,000-point club has not done much to slow Tubbs' team. "We did lose a lot of experience, but I liked our foundation," said Tubbs, in his eighth season at Oklahoma. "I didn't know how quick we'd put it together, and I don't think we've put it together yet." The foundation started with forward Harvey Grant and point guard Ricky Grace, both seniors. Grant averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game last year, while Grace had 191 assists and scored 11 points per game. Each has continued to play well this year. Grant is averaging 18 points and a team-high 11 rebounds, and Grace is dishing out a team-high eight assists per game while averaging 19 points. Two other returnees who played extensively a year ago are forward Dave Sieger and center Stacey King. Sieger provides long-range shooting and good defense. King, 6-foot-10, has blossomed into an inside force with a team-leading 21 points per game and 22 blocked shots. "He's a guy that sees a great opportunity and is playing with confidence," Tubbs said of King, who averaged seven points per game last year. "I don't care who you are, confidence is a real key. I think he feels like he has a job if he produces, and the playing time is going to be there." Aside from King, the biggest impact has come from the smallest player, 6-foot point guard Mookie Blaylock. One of five junior-college transfers on the team, Blaylock has 28 steals and a 17-point scoring average. "I don't believe anybody's got a better backcourt than Grace and Blaylock," said Texas A&M Coach Shelby Metcalf, whose team lost to Oklahoma by 24. "I haven't seen a pair I'd trade for," said Tubbs. "I said before the I f ; WW Since before the season, I just felt like there's something about this team that I really, really like. Billy Tubbs, Oklahoma coach season that Ricky Grace is one of. the best point guards around. And Mookie Blaylock has fit in so well with what we're trying to do." Blaylock gave Centenary fits last week, stealing the ball an NCAA record 12 times. Oklahoma forced 54 turnovers and stole the ball a Big Eight-record 33 times. Oklahoma made 63 field goals, two less than Centenary attempted. "I just have one quote: The score speaks for itself," said Centenary Coach Tommy Canterbury. "They say this is Oklahoma's best team ever. They can't be any better. They are unrelenting. They're everywhere." Tubbs, known in the past for his short bench, has been quicker this year to grab players such as Tony Martin, Terrence Mullins, Andre Wiley and Tyrone Jones. Although only eight players saw time in an 89-87 victory over Florida State, everyone played against Centenary and nine of those logged 12 minutes or more of playhing time. Tubbs says this team probably has more quickness than any others he has coached at Oklahoma, and is willing to play and practice as hard as he likes. "Since before the season, I just felt like there's something about this team that I really, really like,", Tubbs said. "I felt this team, if everything stays in place, that a lot of good things can happen to it because I think they'll work hard enough to make things happen. "But I think we have a lot of room for improvement. We're not sitting back and saying we've got it made." HERCUL I 4 I j SPECIALS , rmuc a Largo Selection As low as $095 I l Size J5580jT3 j SIZE P16580R13 P17580R13 P18580R13 P18575R14 P19575R14 P20575R14 P21575R14 P20575R15 P21575R15 P22575R15 P23575R15 STEEL RADIAL ALL-SEASON PRICE $32.95 $34.95 $35.95 $35.95 $36.95 $38.95 $39.95 $40.95 $41.95 $42.95 $44.95 $1 I USED TIRES V . As ' Low I As LUBE-OIL FILTER FR0Wt"EWD"$ ALIGNMENT Up to 5 qts. oil Most cars I -1 I El O FWD extra I WISIGSST TIKE, MHJFFILIEft CARBONDALE n a MURpHYSBORO 320 N. Illinois "flsT B 202 N. 14th St. 457-3351, 684-3621 potchetr ITlLflte(Q DO Basically, they never thought Td be playing (varsity) here. Why declare someone a red shirt if you don't think they're going to play? Dale Kisten, SIU pitcher Wednesday. "It made me feel a lot better going into finals." At the heart of Kisten's case is poor bookkeeping. Kisten was a walk-on or non-recruited player. SIU baseball Coach Itchy Jones had no inkling during Kisten's fresh man year that the right-hander from Des Plaines would develop into the all-conference pitcher he became. For that reason, Jones did not request a red-shirt year after Kisten's freshman season. (College athletes have five years to play four seasons of competition and can use the red-shirt season at any time). "Basically, they never thought I'd be playing (varsity) here," Kisten said. "Why declare someone a red-shirt if you don't think they're going to play?" According to SIU records, Kisten threw in only two games as a freshman before injuring his arm. That qualified him for a red-shirt season. SIU did not submit a formal application to have Kisten red-shirted, how- ever, until this past summer. After Kisten came out of the blue to be the leader of the Saluki pitching staff two years ago, an appeal wasn't considerd because it appeared Kisten would be drafted by a professional team following his senior season in 1987. "When I wasn't, they asked if I'd like to play," Kisten said. The answer was yes, and SIU finally appealed to the MVC to get another year of eligibility for its star pitcher. SIU Assistant Athletics Director Nancy Bandy, who worked on the appeal, said as a result of the case the records of all players, including walk-ons, will be carefully monitored and timely eligibility appeals ffoir TO will be made whether or not the coaching staff believes that player will ever use a red-shirt year. Kisten will graduate this semester with a degree in electrical engineering. He says is going to take some business courses in the spring semester. He would have turned pro last summer had he been drafted. Having been let down once, he's not going to get upset if he isn't drafted next year. "My goal is to go out and win the conference and go to a regional again," he says. 'Td love to have a good season and maybe get drafted but I'm taking the position whatever happens, happens. 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