Haskins named Goodwill coach

by Tim Klobuchar

The Gophers might be playing at only a .500 clip this season, but there’s one area where coach Clem Haskins’ record is unblemished.
Haskins has a 12-0 record as a head coach in international play, and that success is one of the reasons he was named coach of the 1998 U.S. men’s Goodwill Games team on Monday.
“A combination of coaching ability and his real desire of being a part of representing the United States are the things that led to his selection,” said USA Basketball Executive Director Warren Brown.
Haskins coached the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival North team to the gold medal, and did the same with the 1994 U.S. Junior World Championship qualifying team. He was also an assistant on the gold medal-winning 1996 U.S. Olympic Dream Team.
“When Warren Brown asked me about (coaching the team) in the summer, I jumped at the opportunity,” Haskins said. “Being with the Olympic team, the Dream Team, was a great honor, so this is another honor to me.”
The Goodwill Games are set for July 19-24 in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Other countries in the field include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Lithuania, defending champion Puerto Rico and Russia. Trials for the team will be held May 29-31 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The United States won the gold medal in the first Goodwill Games in 1986, but has won silver and bronze in the last two, respectively.
“It’s going to be a very difficult task,” Haskins said. “Going in, we will not be favored. But I’ll tell you one thing: I expect to win it.”
Injury update
One player’s injury situation has improved, while another’s remained stagnant.
Forward Quincy Lewis, who sprained his left thumb in Saturday’s loss at Penn State, was able to practice Sunday. Sam Jacobson, however, didn’t practice because of an acute sprain in his back that has sidelined him for over a week.
“Sam cannot play,” Haskins said.
The Gophers, 0-3 in Big Ten play, host Michigan State (2-1) Wednesday night. Haskins was optimistic that Lewis would return for that game, but couldn’t say the same for Jacobson, who was listed as “hopeful” for the game last week.