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Michigan State's Izzo Is Writers' Top Coach

March 18, 1998|From Times Wire Services

Tom Izzo, who led Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten Conference regular-season title and, so far, the NCAA tournament regional semifinals, was honored as national coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Assn.

Izzo, in his third season at Michigan State, led the Spartans to a 22-7 record after they were selected in the second division of the Big Ten in almost all of the preseason polls.

The fourth-seeded Spartans beat Eastern Michigan and Princeton in the opening rounds of the East Regional. They will play top-ranked North Carolina on Thursday.

Izzo is the third consecutive coach from the Big Ten to win the award, following Gene Keady of Purdue and Clem Haskins of Minnesota.

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Florida, which advanced to a postseason tournament for the first time since 1995 and enjoyed a banner recruiting year, gave Coach Billy Donovan a one-year contract extension through the 2002-03 season.

Donovan, 32, an assistant under Rick Pitino at Kentucky from 1990-94, has a record of 27-32 in two years at Florida.

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The University of Cincinnati said it has reported a violation of NCAA rules in which an employee of the school's basketball program discussed a potential recruit on a television sports show.

The university considers the mistake by Terry Nelson, video coordinator for the basketball team, to be a minor violation, school spokesman Tom Hathaway said.

On Sunday night, Nelson was on a WCPO-TV sports show when he discussed an oral commitment he said the university's coaching staff recently received from point guard Steve Logan of St. Edwards High in suburban Cleveland.

Coaches cannot comment publicly on such commitments until after a letter of intent is signed. The NCAA does not officially recognize oral commitments.

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Michael Doleac, Utah's leading scorer and rebounder, heads the GTE Academic All-American team.

Doleac, a senior, has a 3.41 grade-point average as a biology major. He played a major role in leading Utah to the NCAA tournament and getting the Utes to the Western Regional semifinals.

Also making the first team were Pat Garrity of Notre Dame, 3.68 GPA; Matt Harpring of Georgia Tech, 3.25 GPA; T.J. Lux of Northern Illinois, 3.50 GPA; and Corey Reed of Radford, 3.89 GPA.

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The court on which the Arizona Wildcats compiled a 197-17 record over the last 14 years is for sale--in bits and pieces.

And a new state-of-the-art fixed-floating wooden floor will be taking its place in McKale Center in Tucson over the next 12 weeks.

Not only will the new floor cost the university nothing, the school might even wind up making money off the conversion.

The contracting company agreed to cover the $350,000 cost if it could market pieces of the old court that was installed in 1984.

The university and the company will split any proceeds after the contractor recoups its investment, a company spokeswoman said.

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Carlos Knox of Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis, who returned from a knee injury to win his second NCAA Division II men's scoring title, was selected Division II player of the year.

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