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UF's Haslem doesn't regret senior season

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 17, 2002

CHICAGO -- His final season didn't play out nearly the way he had hoped. In fact, Udonis Haslem and the Gators didn't accomplish any of the goals they set this season. But in a time when most players at big-time schools don't stick around to see their senior seasons, Haslem said he has no regrets.

"I had a good time," he said after Florida's double-overtime loss in the first round. "We definitely had ups and downs. Just thinking back, I think if anything, this will be a learning process for next year. We lost a lot of games down the stretch and we've lost another one down the stretch and I think next year, those guys will make a point not to let that happen again."

Coach Billy Donovan opened his postgame remarks with fond words for his only senior. "I want to say what a pleasure it has been to coach Udonis for the last four years," Donovan said. "Certainly what he's meant to the program, just his dedication, his hard work and what he's done and meant over the last four years, I'm gratefully indebted. He will go down as one of my all-time favorites as a person and a player."

YOU AGAIN?: Illinois coach Bill Self and Creighton coach Dana Altman are quite familiar with each other.

Altman's first game as a coach at Creighton was a 68-61 win over Self's Oral Roberts team during the 1994-95 season. Creighton also beat Self and Oral Roberts 80-64 the next season. For the record, Self is 1-3 vs. Creighton.

Creighton plays Illinois at 12:20 today in the opening game of the second round at the United Center.

TAYLOR'S TIME: His 3-point shooting did more than end Florida's season Friday. The eight 3-pointers Creighton's Terrell Taylor converted were the most by a player in the first or second round of the NCAA Tournament since Miami's John Helmsley hit nine against Lafayette in 1999. He also tied a Midwest Region record.

"His play, particularly those last five points (in double overtime) were some big-time shots," Altman said.

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