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College basketball briefs

By DEBI JONES

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2000


Donovan child is stillborn

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Billy Donovan was absent from the Southeastern Conference media days in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday because of a family medical emergency.

Donovan's wife, Christine, who was due to deliver their fourth child in a week, was taken to the hospital on Wednesday morning, and the child was stillborn, according to Florida assistant sports information director Kathy Cafazzo.

The Donovans have three children: William, 8; Hasbrouck, 6; Brian, 3.

Florida opens the 2000-01 schedule at Florida State on Nov. 27. It will be Donovan's fifth season with the Gators.

Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, meanwhile, raised some eyebrows in Birmingham Wednesday whenhe said: "You have a murderers' row over there. You've got Superman, Batman and the outlaw Jesse James."

Asked if he was referring to Donovan as the "outlaw," Richardson answered, "You have to figure that out. I can't tell you who the Superman, the Batman and the Outlaw are."

Two years ago South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler chose the media-day forum to accuse Donovan of NCAA recruiting violations. Kansas coach Roy Williams also pointed a finger at Donovan, but Florida was cleared by the NCAA.

In a statement Thursday Richardson said: "Billy Donovan is one of my favorite coaches. My analogy had nothing to do with any arguments between South Carolina and Florida. ... Jesse James was not used, in my opinion, as a negative comment. I'm from El Paso ... and Jesse James was my favorite cowboy growing up. When I went to the movies, I didn't want to see Roy Rogers; I wanted to see Jesse James. ... I regret any confusion my comments may have caused."

Tennessee will win the SEC men's and women's titles, according to a vote of the media. Tennessee got 19 votes. Arkansas received four, followed by Kentucky (3) and Florida (2).

Among the women, Georgia was second, followed by LSU, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Florida.

ARIZONA TOPS POLL: Arizona, which returns all five starters, edged out Duke for the top spot in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches preseason poll.

Arizona received 19 of 31 first-place votes and totaled 756 points, while Duke garnered 12 first-place votes for 753 points.

Stanford, North Carolina and defending national champion Michigan State round out the Top 5, followed by Kansas, Maryland, Tennessee, Illinois and Seton Hall.

Florida, which lost to Michigan State in the title game, is ranked 11th, followed by Kentucky, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Arkansas, Utah, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, UCLA, DePaul, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Southern California and Virginia.

UM WINS EXHIBITION: Junior guard John Salmons scored a team-high 13 points to lead host Miami to a 60-36 win over Club Pinheiros of Brazil.

- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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