Holiday Hoops Tourney Coming Next Week

Clearing off the pile on my desk with a little scattershooting:

• Press box inhabitants at the LSU-Arkansas football game on Friday included Larry Lacewell, Jesse Branch and Tim Horton.

Lacewell, who was doing some scouting for the Dallas Cowboys, is the Fordyce native who as defensive coordinator for Oklahoma in 1978 said to then-Arkansas coach Lou Holtz after the Hogs' 31-6 win over OU in the '78 Orange Bowl: "I knew you were a magician, but I didn't know you were a mind-reader, too."

Branch, 63, a former UA running back and assistant coach, just completed a four-year stint as Henderson State's coach. He and his wife Lee Ann will continue to live in Arkadelphia.

Horton, an over-achieving receiver for Arkansas from 1986-89, is an assistant coach for Air Force, which had a 5-6 record like Arkansas this season. Tim's dad, Harold, and uncle, Don, also played for the Razorbacks...

• Remember to leave room around your Christmas shopping for the Tyson Holiday Hoops Tournament in Bud Walton Arena, Dec. 9-11.

This year's first-day schedule features Arlington Country Day of Jacksonville, Fla., against Camden Fairview at 3:30 p.m.; Memphis Hamilton against AAAAA-West favorite Springdale at 5 p.m.; Tulsa Booker T. Washington vs. Rogers at 6:30 p.m. and Southlake Carroll, Texas against Fayetteville at 8 p.m.

• Of the eight teams remaining in the NCAA Division I-AA football playoffs, the only player from Arkansas still standing is Fayetteville High alumnus Anderson Braswell, a fourth-year junior center for James Madison University.

James Madison (10-2) defeated Lehigh 14-13 at Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday to advance to this week's quarterfinal game against Furman, a 49-7 winner over Jacksonville State.

JMU must travel to Greenville, S.C., to play Furman, whose previous coach, current Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson, took the Paladins to the 2001 Division I-AA championship game.

Braswell called JMU's win Saturday "ugly," and said his team should have won by a much bigger margin. The James Madison offensive line has helped four different running backs gain more than 100 yards in a game this season.

Braswell, who was Matt Jones' center in the 2001 Arkansas High School All-Star Football Game, began his college career at Washington and Lee in Lexington, Va., before transferring to James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va.

He weighs 275 now, about 30 more than he did at FHS, and says, "I'm hoping to get through my career with both knees intact."

If successful on Saturday, JMU would play the winner of the William and Mary-Delaware game in the semifinals. The final game is played in Chattanooga, Tenn., each year.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is a former Division I-AA championship coach...

• Hogs basketball coach Stan Heath was already miffed enough over a couple of players' slightly late arrival at Friday's practice that he began that day's workout with a running session.

Then when Ronnie Brewer showed up even later, he found himself on the bench at the start of Saturday's game against Gardner-Webb.

Heath called Brewer "a great kid" who hadn't given him a moment's trouble in two years.

"He had a legitimate excuse for being late," Heath said. "He had car trouble. But I don't always listen to excuses."...

Eric Ferguson, who scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the second half of a 79-63 win over the Runnin' Bulldogs, had a brief on-court yapping session with Bulldogs guard Tim Jennings (12 points).

After Jennings had guarded him physically, Ferguson made 2 of 2 3-pointers and then said, "Come on!" to Jennings, who complied with two 3s of his own.

Ferguson finished the game by driving for a layup which just missed beating the buzzer and then kept running toward the UA dressing room. But he came back to shake hands with the Bulldogs.

Ferguson's performance, which included 6-of-8 floor shots and four steals, left former Hogs star Tommy Boyer smiling.

"This is four good games in a row for him," Boyer said. "He's playing great."...

• Todd Pinneo, former Fayetteville High and New Mexico State golfer who is now the teaching pro at Lost Springs in Rogers when not playing the Hooters Tour, has reached the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School. He left Sunday for the competition at PGA West in California.



GRANT HALL IS A MORNING NEWS SPORTS WRITER. HIS COLUMN APPEARS EACH MONDAY. E-MAIL: GHALL@NWAONLINE.NET














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