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...

U remains focused during hot streak

February 5, 1997

From California to Europe, the word is getting out about the Gophers men's basketball team. And the more people become aware of the No. 4 team in the country, the more Minnesota players want to stay away...

Gophers get 4th spot in AP poll

February 4, 1997

The Gophers men's basketball team has nine games to play and its goal to win the Big Ten title remains. But it now has at least one thing on the last Minnesota team to win the title -- its ranked higher...

Off the court with Clem Haskins

February 3, 1997

Clem Haskins won't apologize for who he is. He never has. The Gophers men's basketball coach has been in the game far too long to start worrying about what people think of him now. Since 1986, Haskins...

Gophers wake up, beat Northwestern

February 3, 1997

EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Great Motivator used a heated halftime locker room speech Saturday to turn a major disaster into a 75-56 victory for the Gophers men's basketball team against Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan...

Jackson performs to Jordan-esque level

January 31, 1997

Bobby Jackson knew who he wanted to be like while growing up in North Carolina. For years the Gophers men's basketball player had watched Michael Jordan dominate the game and become a Tar Heel legend....

Schedule will favor No. 6 Gophers

January 28, 1997

A player or coach probably wouldn't be caught saying it, but the Gophers men's basketball team has a favorable schedule the next two weeks before it plays Purdue and Iowa back-to-back on the road in mid-February. The...

U lets off steam vs. Purdue

January 27, 1997

The success Purdue coach Gene Keady has had over the Gophers men's basketball team doesn't come from a curse or hex he has placed over Minnesota coach Clem Haskins. At least that's what he'd like everyone...

Sam I am! Jacobson rocks the Barn

January 24, 1997

Sam Jacobson didn't just take center stage at the Gophers men's basketball game Thursday night against Iowa. He stole the show. In a game that determined who would own first place in the Big Ten, Jacobson...

Gophers duel with Iowa has history

January 23, 1997

When a Big Ten title is at stake, it seems every game is a big one for the Gophers men's basketball team. Tonight is no different. Of the Gophers' big victories this season against Clemson, Indiana and...

Coaches enthralled by parity in men’s hoops

January 22, 1997

It seems no team is safe in the Big Ten this season. The conference schedule has already produced some early upsets, which leads a few men's basketball coaches to believe the league is balanced this year. Some...

Back on top of the Big Ten

January 21, 1997

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Any sign, any bit of evidence the Gophers men's basketball team beat Ohio State on Saturday, didn't exist in its locker room that afternoon. Nowadays, a win alone isn't enough cause...

Gophers face Fading Five

January 17, 1997

The Fab Five they are not, but the starting quintet for the Ohio State men's basketball team made some noise two weeks ago when it upset Michigan on the road. The problem is, they haven't made more than...

Illinois deals U buzz kill

January 15, 1997

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Minnesota point guard Eric Harris described it as a sting. That's exactly what a 96-90 loss to Illinois on the road feels like -- a sharp pain. It feels worse when the Gophers men's...

No. 7 Gophers are cautiously optimistic

January 14, 1997

Not since 1982 has any Gophers men's basketball team been ranked as high as No. 7 in the Associated Press poll. This year's team reached that point Monday and is now eyeing its first Big Ten championship...

Gophers grab No. 8 rank with win

January 13, 1997

It's tough to say when it started, but ever since the Gophers men's basketball team began its 10-game winning streak more than a month ago, the team has slowly developed a confidence and swagger thathasn't...

Confidence soars as U awaits Michigan

January 10, 1997

It represented only one tick in the win column, but the Gophers' men's basketball team's emotional win Wednesday night at No. 15 Indiana represented something much bigger. Minnesota is one large step...

Gophers steal thriller at Indiana

January 9, 1997

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- This one was special. From the large smile flashed by Gophers men's basketball player Quincy Lewis to the exhausted tone in coach Clem Haskins' voice, it was obvious. This one won't...

Huge week for U men’s hoops starts at Indiana tonight

January 8, 1997

Players on the Gophers men's basketball team might say every Big Ten game is important, but the truth is, the next two games for Minnesota are about as big as they get. The No. 11 Gophers play at No....

James blocks way to Big Ten honor

January 7, 1997

Ever since Gophers sophomore Courtney James sat through a one-game suspension Dec. 15 against St. John's for violating a team rule, the forward has looked like a different player. Especially in Minnesota's...

Fans back U football team

January 6, 1997

Minnesota's hiring of Kansas football coach Glen Mason came at a steep price, more than double the salary of former coach Jim Wacker, but it already appears Mason's presence on campus is paying off. Since...

Gophers reign over Big Ten

January 6, 1997

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The defense is relentless, the press is suffocating, the attitude hasn't lost an edge and the wins keep piling up. So far at least, the Gophers men's basketball team has lived up...

Mason goes to work for U

January 6, 1997

and Michael Rand The past three weeks have been anything but quiet for new Gophers football coach Glen Mason. Since men's athletics director Mark Dienhart announced Mason as Minnesota's new coach Dec....

Tide washes away No. 16 Gophers

December 6, 1996

The Gophers men's basketball team said its recent No. 16 national ranking meant its players would be wearing big targets on their backs. They said teams were now gunning to knock out Minnesota. For most...

Men’s hoops vows history will not repeat as No. 16

December 5, 1996

Don't get the Gophers men's basketball team wrong -- it enjoys its No. 16 national ranking as much as anyone -- it just doesn't want to cross the line between a confident team and one which expects to...

Men’s hoops beats No. 10 Clemson

December 2, 1996

One reason the Gophers men's basketball team didn't make the NCAA tournament last season was because it lacked wins against quality nonconference opponents. It beat teams like Bethune, Cookman and Mercer,...

Men’s hoops beats West Virginia 76-61

November 27, 1996

It's only two games into the season, but it appears all those jump shots Gophers men's basketball player Eric Harris took during the summer have paid off. The junior point guard scored a career-high 17...

Target Center will feel like home for U men’s basketball

November 26, 1996

The move isn't permanent, but the Gophers men's basketball team will trade its raised floor at Williams Arena for the parkay at Target Center tonight for its game against West Virginia. It might not be...

Men’s hoops crushes team in opener

November 25, 1996

Gophers men's basketball coach Clem Haskins admitted his team didn't know much about Stephen F. Austin State University as they were heading into Saturday's regular season opener at Williams Arena. Don't...

Wacker makes quiet exit after Gophers’ loss to Iowa

November 25, 1996

Coach Jim Wacker walked toward the Metrodome tunnel leading back to his team's locker room one last time Saturday after the Gophers football game. His coaching career had ended minutes earlier in a 43-24...

Jacobson to silence his tough critics

November 22, 1996

Only Sam Jacobson really knows what it feels like, but ever since the Gophers men's basketball player set foot on campus three years ago, he's been poked and prodded by just about everyone who has ever...

Big Ten men’s hoops to gain respect

November 21, 1996

Two straight years of NCAA tournament disappointment hasn't helped squash the idea that the Big Ten has taken a big step down from the nation's top men's basketball conferences. Coaches hope this is the...

Four coaches face last game in the Big Ten

November 20, 1996

Four Big Ten football coaches will lead their players onto the field one last time Saturday before leaving their respective schools, after three weeks of dismissals and resignations. Since Indiana fired...

Win takes load off Wacker’s mind

November 18, 1996

For the past week, Gophers football coach Jim Wacker said he felt like a wet washcloth. He didn't get into specifics, but the cloth he referred to probably looked like one found stuck to the bottom of...

All five starters score double figures in win

November 15, 1996

Clem Haskins didn't like it when the Gophers men's basketball team allowed 67 points in an exhibition game last week against Lithuania. The coach constantly preaches defense and when his team allowed...

All-Stars pose challenge for Gophers men’s basketball

November 14, 1996

If fans think tonight's Gophers men's basketball game against the Converse All-Stars at Williams Arena will be a walk- away laugher, they should see what one Converse player did to an opponent last week. All-Stars...

Players feel respect, regret, even guilt

November 13, 1996

Gophers football player Crawford Jordan prepared himself for an emotional day when Coach Jim Wacker called a Tuesday morning team meeting at the Gibson/Nagurski Football Complex. Jordan had a feeling...

Dayne gains 297 yards against U

November 11, 1996

MADISON, Wis. -- Ron Dayne is no ordinary freshman. He's special: very special. In a few short months, the Wisconsin tailback has become the nation's most dominant and punishing rookie rusher. Dayne's...

Gophers dominate 133-67

November 8, 1996

The Gophers men's basketball team will face much better competition than the Lithuanian National team this season, but if Minnesota can have success in as many areas as it did Thursday night at Williams...

Thomas smiles at promising basketball future

November 7, 1996

As the Gophers men's basketball team slowly emerged from its locker room Monday and spilled out onto Williams Arena's court one by one, John Thomas took a seat in the first row of chairs. He spoke with...

Tough schedule to test men’s hoops

November 5, 1996

In the past, Gophers men's basketball coach Clem Haskins didn't appreciate it when people described his team's nonconference schedule as a series of "cream puffs." Unfortunately, many of those games turned...

Pace starves Gophers’ D with pancakes

November 4, 1996

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Forget Paul Bunyan. Forget how he created the Mississippi River and formed the Grand Canyon. A new giant is quickly gaining folklore status in the Midwest, and he's dwarfing the lumberjack...

U men’s basketball favored in Big Ten

November 1, 1996

For his own sake, Clem Haskins hopes his Big Ten men's basketball coaching colleagues are better at evaluating the Gophers' chances to win the conference championship this year than the media. During...

Conference football teams smell Roses

October 30, 1996

Five football teams remain in contention for the Big Ten championship with Northwestern and Ohio State on the inside track. The two teams are undefeated in the conference. Iowa, Michigan State and Michigan...

Seniors shine in hoops scrimmage

October 27, 1996

Only one thing embarrassed Clem Haskins about the Gophers men's basketball scrimmage Saturday -- the spelling on some of his players' new uniforms. Minnesota's duds, designed by Champion, had Miles Tarver's...

Big Ten men’s hoops coaches talk tourney

October 27, 1996

CHICAGO -- Times are changing in the Big Ten, and if the majority of the men's basketball coaches get their way, a post-season conference tournament could be in place by as early as March 1998. The move...

QB defects to Michigan for chance at Rose Bowl

October 25, 1996

Jim Wacker envisioned the future when he saw Eden Prairie quarterback Jason Kapsner. The Minnesota football coach thought Kapsner would be the next Cory Sauter. Kapsner, regarded as one of the nation's...

Gophers men’s hoops holds in-squad game

October 25, 1996

Fans starved for their first dose of Gophers men's basketball can get their fix Saturday when Minnesota holds an intrasquad game at Williams Arena. The Gophers have debuted during Midnight Madness in...

Experience equals demands on Harris

October 24, 1996

Soon after the final horn echoed through Williams Arena in the Gophers' NIT loss to Tulane last spring, Minnesota point guard Eric Harris began looking toward this season. He had a lot to prove to himself,...

Alvarez takes heat for decision to run

October 23, 1996

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez hasn't heard the final bit of criticism surrounding the Badgers' 34-30 loss to Northwestern on Saturday. His call to have his offense run the ball instead of kneel has put...

Irvin paces Spartans’ attack

October 21, 1996

As a prized recruit from Florida, Sedrick Irvin could have played football just about anywhere. Considered the state's top talent, the tailback received scholarship offers from some of the nation's top...