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ON THE HUNT
The rebuilding of men's basketball, year two.

When glen miller took over as head coach of mens basketball last winter, he inherited a team coming off a 422 season. He set about laying a solid foundation for recovery, posting an 819 record, and now, in his second year, hes ready to throw open the doors of the Pizzitola Sports Center and let fans have a look at phase two.

I was satisfied, Miller says of last year, in the sense that we got a system in place, as well as an expectation level and a work ethic that are conducive to winning. With the addition of a new crop of recruitsseven freshmen are joining the team this yearhe believes the teams talent has deepened, even if many of his players are still a bit short on experience. Were not where we need to be, but Im confident well be a better team this year. Hopefully, that equates to more wins than last year.

Millers confidence is based in part on last years scores. Of Browns nineteen losses, eight were by six points or fewersuggesting that even slight improvements on the floor could trigger a big difference in the win-loss ratio. Still, the coach sees the season as a transitional one. We should really start to turn the corner in year three, he says. Thats not copping out on this year at all. But were still going to be extremely youngyoure talking about our two best players being sophomores, and [about] seven freshmen who are going to get thrown in the fire and play significant minutes.

Those two best playersEarl Hunt 03 and Alaivaa Nuualiitia 03are coming off outstanding freshman seasons. The six-foot, six-inch Nuualiitia, a five-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, averaged 13.3 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds a game. He scored in double figures in twenty-one of Browns twenty-seven games. Hunt, the six-foot, five-inch-small forward, shooting guard, and point guard, is poised to become a rare specimen in Brown basketball: a bona fide star. In a January game against Harvard, Hunt poured in thirty-nine points (thirty in the first halfa school record) and snared eleven rebounds. Over the course of the season, Hunt averaged a team-leading seventeen points per game and a conference-leading 18.8 points per game in Ivy contests. He was second only to Nuualiitia in per-game rebounds, at 5.5.

But basketball games arent won by stars alone. Hunt and Nuualiitia need a better supporting cast, and help may be on the way. Power forward Shaun Etheridge 02, who missed twenty games last season with a broken foot, is back to help Nuualiitia in the front court, where Brown was consistently outmanned last season. Miller will also be looking for rebounding and defensive contributions from Will Collier 04, Matt McLeggon 04, and James Augustine 03. In the back court Miller is hoping for immediate punch from Mike Martin 04, last years Western Massachusetts player of the year; Matt McCloskey 04, who played for New England prep school champ St. Thomas More; and Ramel Carrington 04.

Though well under way, Millers reconstruction project remains a work in progressto everyone, that is, but the team. If you talk to our players, were shooting for an Ivy League title, Miller says. Realistically, I think .500 in the Ivy League would be a tremendous year. We wouldnt be satisfied, but that would be progress.

 


 

WHAT IT TAKES
Womens basketball gets its players back.

The combination of injuries and youth made the 19992000 womens basketball campaign a great season for learning, says head coach Jean Burr. This winter it would be fine with Burr if her Bears learned a little less and won a lot more.

Injuries sidelined key contributors Rada Pavichevich 02, Erin-Kate Barton 02, and Ragan Kenner 03 for significant chunks of last season, and all the Bears felt their pain. A midseason eleven-game losing streak sent the team skidding to a 919 overall record and a 410 finish in the Ivies (the first time in Burrs twelve seasons that her team finished under .500 in conference play). But this season the Bears may be back in the business of winning. They won four of their last six games to close last season; injured players are back and healthy; and All-Ivy Rookie Barbara Maloni 03 is back for her second year of bombs-away basketball. Maloni, a five-foot, nine-inch guard, led the Bears in scoring with 16.9 points per game (20.2 in Ivy competition) and was secondin the league in steals and third in scoring. She dumped in forty points against Pennsylvania on March 3, a school and Pizzitola record.

Last seasons finish, says Burr, shows we work hard and we have what it takes. She seems undaunted by the prospect of starting the new year with twelve freshmen and sophomores on her roster. Its a process. Were just taking it a step at a time, she adds. We want to challenge for that championshipwe know what it takes, and were starting it. Scott Cole

 


 

OLYMPIC WRAP-UP
Three medals, one surprise, and lots of disappointment.

 

For only the second time in history, and for the first time in seventy-two years, Brown athletes won three medals in the Olympic games. Unfortunately, though, some favorites also faced bitter disappointment. One of the surprising highlights came on the first day of competition, when former swim-team star Joanna Zeiger 92 astonished observers by finishing fourth in the first-ever Olympic triathlon. Her time of two hours, one minute, and twenty-six seconds was a mere seventeen seconds short of the bronze-medal time. Ranked thirty-eighth in the world, Zeiger, who also qualified for (but did not compete with) the U.S. marathon team, thus entered the history books as the first American ever to finish an Olympic triathlon. (For more about Zeiger, see Quick-Change Artist, May/June.)

Two water-based Olympians took silver medals, and a third won a bronze. In one of the more dramatic finishes of the games, Pease Herndon Glaser 83, along with skipper J.J. Isler, passed four boats in the last leg of the 470 dinghy-class sailing final to beat the Ukrainian team by one point. Representing the United States, Isler and Glaser finished fourteen points behind the Australian pair that won the gold.

Also taking a silver was Xeno Mller 95, who rowed through the single-sculls final in six minutes and fifty-one seconds. Mller, competing for Switzerland, finished less than two seconds behind New Zealands Rob Waddell, thereby adding a silver to the gold medal hed won in Atlanta in 1996. (For more about Mller, see Rivals, September/October 1999.) Igor Boraska 95, meanwhile, won a bronze medal as part of the Croatian eight crew that upset the U.S. boat, whose crestfallen crew, including Porter Collins 98 and Dave Simon 02, had been expected to win a medal but instead finished fifth.

Among the other disappointed athletes was Jimmy Pedro 94, who, as the worlds premier lightweight judo wrestler, was a favorite to at least repeat his bronze-medal performance in Atlanta four years ago. Pedro, who has said he will retire from competition by the end of this year, had had a remarkable four-year, 844 run until he was upset by Choi-Yong Sin of Korea in the bronze-medal match at Sydney. Another competitor with an uncertain future is rower Jamie Koven 95, whose coxless-four boat finished in fifth place. (For more about Koven, see Rivals, September/October 1999.) Nikola Stojic 97, who, like Koven and Mller, has excelled in single sculls, also finished fifth while representing Yugoslavia in the coxless pairs. The womens eight crew, which included coxswain Raj Shah 96, finished last in its final, coming in a full ten seconds behind the gold-medal Romanian boat.

The Sydney Olympics marked the end of competitive running for Irelands Susan Smith-Walsh 93, who retired after failing to qualify for the 400-meter hurdles semifinal. Hampered by a hamstring injury three days before the race, she quietly ended a career that included fifteen individual and nine relay heptagonal titles during her years at Brown, where she may have been the most distinguished track star, male or female, ever to have donned racing flats.

Many other competitors with Brown roots lost before reaching the semifinals. Croatias Tinka Dancevic 02 was eliminated when she did not qualify for the 200-meter butterfly semifinal, while Dawn Chuck 02, who represented Jamaica, was beaten during an early 50-meter-freestyle round. Brown wrestler Alex Ottiano 98 went down in an early judo matchup against Spains Kiyoshi Uematsu.

Alumni who went to Sydney as alternates did not get into the games: Helen Betancourt 98, of the U.S. womens eight crew, Siri Lindley 91, of the U.S. womens triathlon team, and Whitney Post 95, of the U.S. womens lightweight double sculls. With so many Brown athletes at the end of distinguished careers, though, perhaps some of this years reserves will be among the fresh faces to compete in Athens in 2004.

Much of the information in this report was taken from stories filed from Sydney for the Providence Journal by former Brown All-Ivy center fielder Carolyn Thornton 90.

 


 

LIFE AFTER LASGANA
A new head coach for mens lacrosse.

For the first time in sixteen years, mens lacrosse will be taking the field without Peter Lasagna 84 looking on. A former player himself, Lasagna has been a perennial presence with the team since he began in 1984 as an assistant coach, but his Brown career ended in July with the announcement that hed accepted the head coaching job at Bates College in Maine. Since 1993, when he became the Bears head coach, Lasagna had posted a 6551 record and led the team to three Ivy titles.

His will be a hard act to follow, but the man chosen to replace him is Scott Nelson, former coach at Michigans Nazareth College. With an impressive twelve NCAA appearances and three national championships during his fifteen years at Nazareth, Nelson knows how to quickly build a team into a national contender. My goal for the season is to seriously compete for the championship, he says. I want the team to be competitive and improve with every game. Im know Im ready to work hard, and Im very optimistic.

It wont be easy. The last time the Bears took home an NCAA trophy was in 1995. Their last appearance at the tournament was in 1997, when they were defeated by Duke in the first round. At Nazareth, Nelson built the lacrosse program from scratch when the school put up its first team in 1985. Three years later Nazareth landed its first NCAA playoff spot, reaching the tournament more quickly than any team in collegiate athletics. By the end of 1992, Nelson had led Nazareth to its first-ever Division Three national championship.

Nelson has already garnered the support of the team and Browns sports community. I bring my wife and kids to the practices, and everyone is really friendly, he says. Even Lasagna has provided some guidancealthough the two havent traded strategies. Weve talked many times, Nelson says, but we havent talked lacrosse. Kari Molvar 00





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