U women’s hoops down to 8 players

by Todd Zolecki

Things keep getting worse for the Gophers women’s basketball team — and the season hasn’t even started yet. Minnesota lost forward Sarah Schieber for the season on the Gophers’ first day of practice Tuesday, when she tore her left anterior cruciate ligament.
The junior, who played in all 27 games last season, will redshirt. Gophers coach Linda Hill-MacDonald penciled Schieber in as the starting small forward for the 1996-97 season.
Schieber’s injury brings the Gophers roster down to eight active players. Cheri Stafford and Swantreca Taylor are out for the season because of medical reasons. Kay Schmidt transferred to Minnesota-Morris over the summer and Kelly McNulty, a would-be senior, graduated.
Schmidt and Stafford would have started this season. Hill-MacDonald met with women’s athletics director Chris Voelz on Thursday to see what the team can do to get more players.
Hill-MacDonald has asked other head coaches in the women’s department if any of their players, either seniors or redshirted athletes, could walk-on as practice players or as actual members of the team.
The Gophers finished last season 4-23 (0-16 in the Big Ten).
Loge keeps positive attitude
Gophers men’s basketball player Kevin Loge, who was involved in an unusual gunshot accident last month, said he hopes to be back practicing with the team by the end of December or early January.
Loge, while training his dog near the family farm in Morris, Minn., severed the fifth finger on his left hand when his shotgun accidentally discharged.
The freshman will redshirt for the 1996-97 season.
“I’m thankful it was just my finger,” Loge said. “It could have been a lot worse. It could of been my head, it could of been my knee, it could of been my whole hand. Any of that would have put me out of basketball for good.”
Loge had his second surgery Monday to repair the finger.
During the first surgery, skin from his hip was attached to the injured finger and the finger next to it, making it one finger. The process was intended to improve the injured finger’s circulation.
Monday’s surgery separated the two fingers. Loge had both fingers bandaged Tuesday during practice.
Loge has kept a positive attitude despite the frustration of being redshirted.
“I want to be redshirted because if I wasn’t it would be a waste of one of my years,” he said. “I have this year off so I can work hard and get stronger. And as soon as I can play, I’ll start playing again.”
Gophers coach Clem Haskins was out of town when the accident happened. Loge said Haskins was extremely supportive.
“He just gave me a call and said, `Accidents happen,'” Loge said. “He said the same thing my dad said, `You better be thankful it was just your finger and nothing else.’ He told me I still had my scholarship; that was the first thing he said, so that made me feel good.”
ù The Gophers aren’t only more confident this season, but they look much better, too. They have a new Nike contract, dropping the zigzag pattern on the Converse Voltage shoes and uniforms.
Gophers tennis
ù The Gophers men’s tennis team opens its home schedule this weekend as it hosts the Maroon and Gold stars in the Alumni match. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. today, at the 98th Street Racquet Club in Bloomington.
ù Most of the Gophers women’s tennis team heads to Raleigh, N.C., this weekend for the Wolfpack Invitational. Junior Jennifer Hayes and sophomore Alice Rangsithienchai travel to Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the Riviera All-American Championships.