It was quite a week for Rhode Island. On Feb. 8 John Bennett, a
reserve forward on the Rams team that made the Elite Eight last
year and a friend of many current Rhode Island players, died of
injuries he sustained in a car accident 11 days earlier. The
Atlantic 10 offered to let the Rams reschedule their Feb. 10
game at Virginia Tech, but Rhode Island decided to play and,
after what turned out to be an eight-hour trip to Blacksburg,
pulled out a 76-67 win. Last Saturday the Rams (15-10) overcame
a 15-point halftime deficit to knock off UMass 59-56 and keep
their NCAA tournament chances alive....
Keep an eye on Nebraska in the Big 12. The Huskers scratched out
a 59-57 victory over Iowa State last Saturday for the ninth win
in their last 10 games and improved to 17-8 (9-3 in the league).
They may also have the conference player of the year in unsung
6'10" senior center Venson Hamilton, who on Saturday became only
the fourth player in league history to get 1,000 points, 1,000
rebounds and 200 blocks during his career. The others were Danny
Manning of Kansas, Wayman Tisdale of Oklahoma and Byron Houston
of Oklahoma State....
Syracuse's Etan Thomas, second in the nation in blocks with 4.2
per game, had 104 rejections through Sunday, a higher total than
that of six teams in the Big East.