The Minnesota Daily

All content by Todd Zolecki

You learn a lot …

June 9, 1997

You learn a lot about life when you're covering the Gophers men's basketball team. Somehow, by some random act of God, I've done that for the past two years. I went to the Final Four, saw Indiana coach...

Minnesota hoops on upswing

June 2, 1997

The talent pool of Minnesota basketball players seems to become deeper each year, narrowing the gap among states like Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Minnesota STREETS' performance last Sunday in Chapel...

Recruiting class a mystery to expert

May 29, 1997

Much like a military project kept under wraps, the three recruits signed by the Gophers men's basketball team for the 1997-98 season are known by name, but unknown by their skills and abilities on the...

Jackson: I’m ready for the NBA draft

May 27, 1997

The suit Bobby Jackson wears for the NBA draft on June 25 won't be the standard off-the-rack selection from Sears. Nothing personal against the national chain, but NBA first round picks tend to splurge...

Pitchers end bright U careers

May 12, 1997

Ted Zrust and Mike Diebolt shared a moment in center field Sunday following the final game of their Gophers baseball careers. After five years for Zrust and four years for Diebolt, the two emerged as...

DeVore hits his first homer in Gophers win

May 9, 1997

All season long Mark DeVore and Mike Arlt, two of the Gophers baseball team's smaller players, jawed back and forth about who might hit the first home run in their young collegiate careers. DeVore had...

Haskins: Bluegrass no greener than U

May 8, 1997

Clem Haskins will return to his native state of Kentucky today, but it's not to interview for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Kentucky. There is speculation the Gophers men's basketball...

U hires Jones as assistant to Haskins

May 6, 1997

Losing assistant coaches is never easy, but it's the price Gophers men's basketball coach Clem Haskins must pay for having a consistent winner. Twice in the past year he lost quality assistants, and twice...

Mason is happy with Gophers’ progress

April 28, 1997

Glen Mason measures success in degrees. As the new Gophers football coach, he expects nothing less than a complete 180 degree turnaround. But for now, Mason is just happy to see a small turn in the right...

Illinois pitchers shut down U hitters in sweep

April 28, 1997

A member of Illinois' baseball team scanned the Gophers media guide Sunday in search of one thing following its 9-4 win at Siebert Field, which clinched a four-game sweep for the Illini. After flipping...

Beeler adds injury to insult

April 24, 1997

The Gophers softball team wants Shannon Beeler at the plate when the bases are loaded. She's a player who makes the clutch hit appear routine; in her two-year career with the Gophers they have been. The...

Haskins knew of prior allegations

April 17, 1997

Gregg Aamot Gophers men's basketball coach Clem Haskins said Wednesday that he knew of previous allegations of abuse against Courtney James months before the forward was arrested Saturday for assaulting...

U men’s basketball gets its first recruit

April 14, 1997

Kevin Nathaniel has heard all the comparisons between Gophers men's basketball coach Clem Haskins and the toughest drill sergeant in the Air Force by now. But Nathaniel, stationed at Lackland Air Base...

Seniors shine in farewell tour(ney)

April 1, 1997

INDIANAPOLIS -- A few Gophers men's basketball players took some solace Saturday night knowing there might be other chances at the Final Four. They said a second appearance at the Alamodome in San Antonio,...

Gophers cherish a great season …but won’t hang up Dancing shoes

April 1, 1997

INDIANAPOLIS -- It will take some time before the Gophers men's basketball team realizes what it has accomplished. Players said that this realization will come in a few weeks after all the madness has...

Media exploits Haskins’ tattoo policy

March 31, 1997

INDIANAPOLIS -- The days leading to the Final Four gave the media plenty of time to explore every aspect of the Gophers men's basketball team. Once they discovered Coach Clem Haskins' policy against players'...

James gets bittersweet homecoming

March 31, 1997

INDIANAPOLIS -- The homecoming for Gophers forward Courtney James, which he hoped might end with a national championship tonight, became a bittersweet weekend, not only for himself, but for his family. Besides...

nd of the road:

March 31, 1997

INDIANAPOLIS -- Years from now this Gophers men's basketball team will be remembered. Not because it lost to Kentucky 78-69 in the Final Four, but because it got there in the first place. And that accomplishment...

Attitude propels the Gophers to Sweet Sixteen

March 17, 1997

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Gophers men's basketball team won its first two games of the NCAA tournament and believes it has the right attitude to win the national championship. It talks about maturity, focus...

Gophers advance to Sweet Sixteen

March 17, 1997

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- All those questions about Temple's zone defense can finally be put to rest. The Gophers men's basketball team passed its test Sunday at Kemper Arena by thumping the Owls 76-57 in the...

KANSAS CITY, Mo….

March 17, 1997

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Iker Iturbe can't see his friends in Minnesota, so the Clemson men's basketball player has made it so his friends can see him. Ever since the NCAA tournament brackets were announced...

Thomas handles big time pressure with ease

March 17, 1997

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Charles Thomas insists the NCAA men's basketball tournament is no big deal to him. He has faced this type of pressure before. The huge crowds, the TV audience and the intense situations....

Temple coach takes relationship with team too far

March 17, 1997

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Temple coach John Chaney relates to his players by learning slang and speaking their language. He takes this approach literally. Owls freshman Pepe Sanchez, born and raised in Argentina,...

Gophers refocus efforts for tourney

March 14, 1997

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Clem Haskins saw something in practice Thursday that led him to believe the Gophers men's basketball team is ready to make a serious run at the NCAA championship. He watched Miles...

Madness just starting for U

March 12, 1997

The analysis is inescapable, brackets are continually spewing from copiers, experts are springing up everywhere and prognosticators won't stop prognosticating. And it's just getting started. By the time...

Jackson steals MVP honors

March 11, 1997

Bobby Jackson knows success comes at a price. As a high school student in Salisbury, N.C., he slacked off in class and didn't get the grades needed to receive a scholarship at a Division I school. He...

Gophers find a silver lining in 66-65 loss to Badgers

March 10, 1997

MADISON, Wis. -- Eric Harris put the Gophers men's basketball team's 66-65 loss to Wisconsin into perspective Saturday afternoon. No loss is ever appreciated, but this one, he said, might be a godsend...

Do a little Dance: No. 1-seeded Gophers see sunshine in KC

March 10, 1997

His heart didn't beat quite as fast this time. Unlike a year ago, Gophers men's basketball player Courtney James knew his team had a spot in the NCAA tournament. Only one question needed to be answered:...

Gophers KO Spartans, 81-74

March 7, 1997

All season long the Gophers men's basketball team has said it is a team that relies on no one player. If a shooter has a bad game, a player off the bench picks up the slack. If a big man gets into foul...

U men’s basketball looks toward future

March 5, 1997

Selection Sunday officially kicks off the NCAA men's basketball tournament, otherwise known as March Madness, in four days. The Gophers, however, who hope to get a No. 1 seed and reach the Final Four,...

Jackson named Big Ten player of the week

March 4, 1997

The Big Ten named Bobby Jackson co-conference Player of the Week after his performances against Michigan and Indiana. The Gophers men's basketball player averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds in those two...

Knight says U can beat Kansas

March 3, 1997

Bobby Knight has never had a problem communicating. Whether he's talking to his players, members of the media or referees, the opinions of Indiana's men's basketball coach are usually heard, and most...

Gophers beat Indiana, celebrate with trophy

March 3, 1997

The Gophers men's basketball team wasted no time enjoying its Big Ten championship after a 75-72 victory over Indiana on Saturday afternoon. This house party, unlike the one at Crisler Arena last Wednesday,...

No rest for U; Hoosiers are next for men’s basketball

February 28, 1997

The Gophers men's basketball team might want about a week off to kick back, relax and celebrate its Big Ten championship. After the way it won the title, beating Michigan 55-54 in the game's final seconds...

Gophers keep a poker face and end the Big Ten race

February 27, 1997

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Clem Haskins wore his Big Ten championship T-shirt, tucked into his pants over his dress shirt and tie. The net he and his players had cut down minutes before rested around his neck...

Players, coaches and fans net excitement of a title

February 27, 1997

and Michael Rand ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Gophers basketball players, coaches and fans were all whooping and hollering as they took turns snipping off parts of the Crisler Arena net following a Big Ten title-clinching...

U could win title tonight

February 26, 1997

In a perfect world, the Gophers men's basketball team would win the Big Ten championship outright in front of the home crowd at Williams Arena. The team and its fans would celebrate the program's first...

U clinches a piece of Big Ten pie

February 24, 1997

Forty minutes and 11 years of emotions poured onto the Williams Arena court Saturday following the Gophers men's basketball team's 67-66 victory over No. 23 Illinois. As time expired and Gophers forward...

Garris says U has shot in tourney

February 24, 1997

Kristian Pope Illinois guard Kiwane Garris said he thought teams with a three-guard rotation and quick forwards, like Illinois, might cause the Gophers trouble in the tournament. "I think a team like...

Men’s hoops seeks revenge on Illinois

February 21, 1997

Long before the Gophers men's basketball team became involved in magic numbers and title countdowns, it circled Saturday's game against No. 23 Illinois on its calendar. Not because No. 2 Minnesota is...

One step closer to Big Ten title

February 20, 1997

Courtney James didn't need to know the halftime score Wednesday night to figure out the Gophers men's basketball team trailed Ohio State and looked nothing like the No. 2 team in the country. When he...

Lewis finds comfort zone with 6th-man role

February 19, 1997

It's hard to miss Quincy Lewis on the basketball court. The first two things people see are the long socks pulled up to his knees and the smile on his face. The close-to-shaven head comes next. Away from...

Almost 2 good to be true

February 18, 1997

From merchandising to ticket sales to media requests, the demand for the Gophers men's basketball team has increased tenfold since last November, when it began its sharp rise in the national polls. The...

U continues Big Ten flight

February 17, 1997

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nobody on the Gophers men's basketball team sounded too upset that they blew two large leads Saturday in a 68-66 victory against Iowa. Players weren't exactly giddy, either. But in...

U sits apart from crowd

February 14, 1997

All of a sudden, Saturday's game between the Gophers men's basketball team and Iowa has lost some of its luster. Entering this week, No. 3-ranked Minnesota had road games against its top two competitors...

James improves on free throws

February 14, 1997

In practice it's no problem. Just step up to the free throw line, relax and shoot. The ball always seems to go in. Now if only Gophers forward Courtney James could re-create that scenario in games. When...

Haskins finally wins at Purdue

February 13, 1997

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Clem Haskins finally conquered the unconquerable. He beat Purdue at Mackay Arena. He had never won at Mackay in 11 years at Minnesota. But Wednesday night's 70-67 victory for the...

U doesn’t have history on its side at Purdue

February 12, 1997

Any attempt this week by the Gophers men's basketball team to avoid the past is pointless. But as it turns out, that might not be such a bad thing after all. In back-to-back road games this week at Purdue...

Men’s basketball is No. 3 in AP poll

February 11, 1997

Last week's speculation that the Gophers men's basketball team could move up to No. 1 in the national rankings proved to be untrue Monday when the team earned a No. 3 spot in the Associated Press poll. A...

U gets in position for top three

February 6, 1997

The hype surrounding the No. 4 Gophers men's basketball team got a little bit crazier Wednesday night after it beat Penn State 85-70 at Williams Arena. Not because the Gophers earned its 20th win of the...