July 20, 1999

Brown transfers to Louisville... LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- After a productive but unhappy freshman year at Morehead State, Erik Brown said Louisville is the right place to continue his college basketball career.

``There's stability there, I get a chance to play for a Hall of Fame coach,'' the 6-foot-5 forward said. ``They've got three wing players graduating this year -- Nate Johnson, Tony Williams and Kevin Smiley -- so I see after this year there'll be a chance for me to step right in and a spot will be wide open for me, and that wasn't an opportunity I could pass up.'' Brown, who led the nation's Division I freshmen in scoring with 19.3 points per game, said Friday that he plans to enroll at Louisville this fall and that he has been promised a scholarship for 2000-01, when he will next be eligible to play.

Brown's May departure from Morehead -- after he signed papers renewing his scholarship, enrolled in summer school and went home to Lexington during a school break -- outraged Eagles coach Kyle Macy. Backed by the school's athletic department, Macy initially refused to release Brown from his scholarship, saying he believed a larger school tampered with the player. Brown hired Lexington lawyer Shirley Allen Cunningham Jr., who threatened legal action. After a review of the case by Morehead president Ronald Eaglin, the school released Brown from his scholarship last month, though Eaglin said he was convinced that someone had tampered with Brown.

Brown said Friday that he was unhappy the whole time he was at Morehead. ``I just felt out of place up there,'' he said. ``I was depressed about hating it up there. At the end of the year, I just wasn't feeling it up there.'' ``It was nothing against coach Macy,'' Brown said of the timing of his decision, though he acknowledged that a brief suspension by Macy this spring, after the basketball season had ended, played a part in his decision to leave. Morehead has asked the NCAA to investigate Brown's departure. ``I know I wasn't contacted by anybody'' about leaving Morehead, Brown said. Louisville basketball spokesman Kenny Klein declined to comment on Brown's announcement, saying the player had not signed a scholarship agreement with the school.

Morehead's decision to release Brown from his scholarship cleared the way for him to talk with other programs and accept a scholarship for the 1999-2000 academic year, though it appears he will not be on scholarship at Louisville, which committed all its scholarships for next year.

Brown said Louisville coach Denny Crum called him June 22, the day after Morehead released him, and that Louisville was his most persistent recruiter. ``They made me feel very wanted,'' he said. ``They told me, `Don't come up here and feel you have a lot of pressure on you.'''

Louisville was the only school Brown visited. He toured the campus Monday with sophomore-to-be Quintin Bailey and met with several assistant coaches. Crum was out of town, he said.

Brown said he also considered Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Marshall and was contacted by Auburn.

June 27, 1999

Sanders denied extra season

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The NCAA on Friday denied Louisville forward Alex Sanders' appeal for an extra year of college athletic eligibility.

Louisville had filed the appeal based on a recent court ruling in which the NCAA allowed students with disabilities an opportunity to regain the year of eligibility they had missed. But the NCAA decided that Sanders did not meet criteria established for extension of the five-year period, in which student-athletes have four seasons to compete over a five-year span once they enter college.

Sanders enrolled at Louisville in the fall of 1994 but did not meet NCAA academic requirements for initial eligibility. After a learning disability was discovered in the fall of 1995, Sanders met academic requirements for the 1996-97 season and played the last three years for the Cardinals.

The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Sanders averaged 11.4 points and 6.3 rebounds last season. A third-team All-Conference USA selection, Sanders ranks eighth in career 3-point field goals (93) at Louisville.

June 12, 1999

Rafferty replaces Jerry Eaves

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Pat Rafferty, head coach at Midland (Texas) College for the past five years, has been named Assistant Basketball Coach on University of Louisville Coach Denny Crum's staff.

Rafferty, 41, compiled a 97-50 record at Midland, leading the Chaparrals to a Western Junior College Athletic Conference Championship in 1998, the school's first in 11 years. Thirteen of his players at Midland signed with NCAA Division I schools, including junior college All-Americans D'Juan Baker of Cincinnati, Harold Arceneaux of Weber State and Kevin Rice of Utah State.

"Pat is the perfect fit for our needs," said Crum. "He's got a lot of energy, is very personable, an excellent recruiter, has a lot of contacts, outstanding basketball knowledge and will spend as many hours as it takes to get the job done. His father was a basketball coach and he's grown up with basketball as a big part of his life. I've had an opportunity to spend a lot of time talking one-on-one with Pat, and have been very impressed with his knowledge of the game and recruiting philosophy.

"I considered a number of quality people, including some of our former players, but I thought it might be in our best interest to not get too many on our staff with the same basic background. I think it can be beneficial to get new ideas and new perspectives. We went that route with Vince (Taylor, who joined the U of L staff as an assistant last year) and it's worked out really well. I wanted someone on our staff that the U of L basketball family and fans could be proud of, and I think Pat is a perfect fit."

A native of Buffalo, Wyoming, Rafferty was an all-state guard for his father Jack, who is a member of the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame. He played one season at Northwest Community College and completed his playing career at Eastern Montana (now Montana State University-Billings), where he earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education.

Rafferty began his coaching career in 1981 as an assistant at his alma mater. He served as interim head coach that year following the mid-season death of the Eastern Montana head coach, guiding the Yellow Jackets to a 20-9 final record, the NCAA Division II Western Regional finals, and a No. 17 national ranking.

After two additional years returning to an assistant's role at Eastern Montana, Rafferty spent two seasons as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Northern Arizona. Following a year as assistant head coach at Idaho, he became head coach at Casper (Wyoming) College, where he compiled a 47-23 mark in two seasons. His 1987-88 team posted a 30-8 record, won the Wyoming Junior College Athletic Conference Championship, sub-regional and regional titles, and finished sixth in the NJCAA National Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas. He earned Region IX Coach of the Year honors that season.

He returned to Northern Arizona as head coach in 1988, ranking him at the time as the nation's youngest NCAA Division I head coach. He served as a scout for the Minnesota Timberwolves (1990-92) before becoming assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Drake for two seasons.

"I've known Pat for a long time and have closely followed his career in a variety of situations," said U of L Director of Athletics Tom Jurich, who was Director of Athletics at Northern Arizona when Rafferty was an assistant and head coach. "He has a tremendous work ethic, has very good recruiting ties and is such a good fit within the chemistry of our men's basketball staff. He's spent a lot of time with Denny and really made a big impression on him. I look forward to great things from Pat and the advancement of our entire men's basketball staff."

"Pat compiled a good record in what we consider to be one the strongest two-year conferences in the country," said Midland College President David Daniels. "He excelled not only in victories on the court, but in understanding what we're all about, as in student-athletes being here to get an education in addition to their other activities. He is interested in the total student-athlete, not just in what he can accomplish on the basketball court. He's a great tactician, a good floor leader with discipline and is a good person."

"Pat is a tireless worker, is very knowledgeable and is a very loyal person," said U of L Head Football Coach John L. Smith, who coached at Idaho when Rafferty was an assistant there. "I may be biased by my friendship with him, but I don't know what more you could want in a person."

"Pat is a hard worker, sincere and brings great energy to the program," said Jerry Eaves, who Rafferty replaces following Eaves departure on May 28 to join the NBA Charlotte Hornets as an assistant coach. "His junior college ties and overall contacts will certainly help in the recruiting process. I've seen his no-nonsense approach with players demand respect and receive it in return. His addition is definitely in the best interest of U of L."

June 3, 1999

Benjamin Eze and Muhamed Lasege round out great recruiting class for Cards!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Benjamin Eze Ndubuisi, a 6-9, 230-pound forward/center from Nigeria, and Muhamed Lasege, a 6-11, 220-pound forward/center from Nigeria, have signed national letters-of-intent to continue their basketball playing careers at the University of Louisville. "Both Ben and Muhammed are good athletes that can score and defend well," said U of L Basketball Coach Denny Crum. "Ben is a versatile, explosive player with great skills, can handle the ball well, is a great shot blocker. Muhamed runs the floor very well, has nice spin moves inside, and is an intelligent player and hard worker. Both certainly help to address the issue of size on our team."

Lasege (pronounced la-SAY-jay) and Eze Ndubuisi (pronounced EE-zee new-BWEE-zee) both played for Nigeria at an international tournament in France in late May. They will compete with the Nigerian team in the World Junior National Championship on July 15-25 in Portugal. The frontcourt pair who played soccer in Nigeria currently reside in Toronto, Canada.

Eze Ndubuisi, who is nicknamed "Helicopter" and is a 100-meter sprinter, had 10 points and eight rebounds for the White team in the GTE Wireless Derby Festival Basketball Classic in Louisville's Freedom Hall on April 24. Lesage has been compared favorably to NBA Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon, also a native of Nigeria.

Eze Ndubuisi had narrowed his choices to Houston, Kentucky, Michigan and Miami (Fla.) before signing with the Cardinals. Lesage chose U of L after also considering Auburn and Houston.

With the addition of Lasege and Eze Ndubuisi, the Cardinals have added five impressive players this year, including previous signees Rashad Brooks, a 6-1, 205-pound guard from Cecil Community College in North East, Md.; Reece Gaines, a 6-6, 185-pound guard from Madison (Wisc.) West High School; and Joe Sykes, a 6-9, 220-pound forward/center from North Hardin High School in Radcliff, Ky.

April 26, 1999

Louisville GAINES help in their backcourt!! 6'5" PG/SG Reece Gaines commits to the Cards!

April 6, 1999

Louisville is in the hunt for top 50 prospect, Combo Guard Reece Gaines (who is down to UL and Maryland) along with other recruits such as 6'10" Robertas Javotkas(UL and Clemson; Crum watched him play in a All-star game recently), 6'5" JUCO Antonio Jackson (UL in top 5, will have a in-home visit), and a trio of 6'9", 6'10" and 6'11" nigerian players stashed in Toronto, Canada. One is Benjamin Eze, who is a 6'9" C/F which UofL is battling Michigan for. UL apparently will receive a commitment this week from 6'7" WF Mikeal Hadiri. Hadiri, who has a 47" vertical jump, is a athletic small forward from Chicago, via France. Hadiri, along with Javotkas, Gaines, Eze, and 6'9" UL signee Joe Sykes will play in the Kentucky Derby Classic in Freedom Hall, April 24th. Louisville already has a verbal commitment from 6'1" point guard Rashad Brooks from Cecil Community College in Maryland.

On other news surrounding the Cardinal Basketball squad, according to sources 6'4" Guard Aaron Knight will not play basketball at the University of Louisville next year. Knight, who transferred from Morehead State was expected to walk-on at UL. Caleb Gervin and Tobiah Hopper will be eligible and available to use by Denny Crum next season. Both have got their grade problems corrected and will tremendously help the Cards out next season. Gervin, who sat out as a prop48 last season, averaged 31 points and 6 assists while at Cathedral High School in California. Hopper averaged 5.1 points and 3 rebounds in a handful of games last season as the Cards backup center/forward. Unfornately, 6'5" Janerio Spurlock will unlikely make the grades, forcing him to go the Junior College or Prep School route.

March 7, 1999

Louisville 59, UNC-Charlotte 68

In the championship game, the Cards fall short! They start off burning from the outside, but struggled with 10 minutes to go in the first half. They ended up shooting 2 for 20 from outside. Although, the Cards did attempt to make a comeback, late in the second half, behind Tony Williams. Williams hit some key three-pointers to cut the deficit to 3, he finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Once again, UofL's big name players fail to show up in a big game. Alex Sanders, Marques Maybin, and Nate Johnson, all starters scored 6 points each. Game Report; Boxscore

March 6, 1999

Louisville 77, UAB 68

After a hard-fought victory against St. Louis yesterday, the Cardinals knocked off the host team, UAB. The Cardinals scored some easy baskets inside, to open up some outside shots for Cameron Murray and Marques Maybin. Nate Johnson led the Cardinals with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Cameron Murray played very well in the second half, and took care of the ball, scoring 14 points and handing out 7 assists. The Cards will now advance to the CUSA finals and play UNCC tomorrow. Game Report; Boxscore

March 5, 1999

Louisville 70, St. Louis 61

Louisville got back into a winning way to start off the Conference USA tournament. Defeating St. Louis in the second round of the tourney. Louisville received a bye, and St. Louis defeated Marquette to earn the right to play the Cards. The Cardinals got good play from shooting guard Marques Maybin and Nate Johnson. Maybin and Johnson combined for 39 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Billikens were lead by Justin Love's 20 points, as this was the last game for St. Louis Head Coach, Charlie Spoonhour. Game Report; Boxscore

March 3, 1999

3 Cards named to CUSA third team from the offical UL Site

In a season where all five of its starters averaged between 12.3 and 12.0 points per game, the Louisville Cardinals placed three players on the all-Conference USA third team in voting by the league's head coaches and media members. Earning honors were junior forward Nate Johnson, senior guard Cameron Murray and senior post player Alex Sanders. Johnson, who earned C-USA Freshman of the Year honors two seasons ago, averaged 12.0 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Cardinals who finished the 1998-99 regular season with a 17-9 overall record.

Murray equalled Johnson's scoring totals and also grabbed three rebounds per game for the Cardinals. The Glendora, Calif. native finished the regular season fifth among C-USA performers averaging 3.6 assists per game.

Sanders finished behind sophomore Marques Maybin for the team-lead in scoring at 12.1 points per game but topped the team in rebounding at 6.4 boards per contest. The Houston native also led the Cardinals in field goal percentage in '98-99 connecting on 50.2 percent of his action shots.

U of L began preparations this afternoon for Thursday's C-USA quarterfinal matchup with the winner of Saint Louis / Marquette contest. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET.

The conference will announce its all-freshman team along with the league's defensive player, sixth man and freshman of the year tommorrow while the coach and player of the year awards will be handed out Wednesday.

March 2, 1999

Louisville 58, Southern Mississippi 59

Neil Reid, a Indiana transfer, defeated the Cardinals of Louisville on a last second shot to seal the win for Southern Miss., 59 to 58. Reid ended the game with 24 points. Senior Center, Alex Sanders was fouled with 8.8 seconds to go in the game, but missed both of his free-throws to keep the UofL lead up to one point, before Reid drained the three pointer. Nate Johnson lead Louisville with 17 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Marques Maybin chipped in with 14 points. Game Report; Boxscore

Louisville 91, UAB 60

On Senior night, the Cards prevail with a solid win over conference foe UAB, winning 91 to 60. But it was the Junior from Louisville Doss High School, who stole the show. Tony Williams the 6'8" forward from Louisville scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down 9 rebounds and handed out 4 assist. Tony was instant offense, when the Cards couldn't get anything going for them when in their half-court offense. For the last time, Seniors Alex Sanders capped his career off with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Eric Johnson ended his career at Freedom Hall with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Cameron Murray played his final game at the Hall and scored 10 points and had 4 assists. Game Report; Boxscore

February 22, 1999

Louisville 78, Cincinnati 91

Cincinnati demolished Louisville earlier in the season, with a 81 to 55 win in Freedom Hall. Sunday, the Cards were looking for payback, but came up a little short because of foul trouble and tired-ness, loosing 91 to 78. Cincinnati BearCat Junior, Pete Mickeal scored a career-high 28 points and grabbing 9 rebounds to help the Bear Cats to victory. An unlikely contributor for the Cincinnati was Ryan Fletcher, as he scored 17 points, and pulled down 5 rebounds. Cameron Murray lead Louisville with 17 points and 3 assists. While Nate Johnson scored 14 points in the loosing cause. Game Report; Boxscore

February 19, 1999

Louisville 80, Tulane 75

The last three games, Sophmore guard Marques Maybin has been averaging just over 17 points a game. Tuesday, #5 was held under that, scoring only 9 points in the win against Houston. But Thursday, Marques stepped up big time, scoring 17 points in the first half, ending the game with 25 points, on 10-10 shooting against Tulane. Tony Williams had another spectacular game, scoring a career-high 23 points and grabbing 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The Cards lead the Green Wave pretty much the whole game and went on to survive a late run by Tulane to win 80 to 75. Game Report; Boxscore

Louisville 106, Houston 78

Comming off a blow-out win over Georgia Tech Saturday, the Louisville Cardinals left off were they were at to blow out Houston 106 to 78. Houston native, Alex Sanders lead all scorers with 26 points and 12 rebounds. All UL starters scored in double-figures with the exception of shooting guard Marques Maybin, who finished with 9 points. The Cardinals were able to get into passing lanes and work their press to perfection, causing Houston to turnover the ball 27 times, accounting for 17 Louisville steals. Louisville had a balanced attack with Cameron Murray scoring 19 points, Nate Johnson comming out of his slump to score 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Tony Williams scoring 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, And backup small forward Eric Johnson scoring 11 total points to blister Clyde Drexler and the Houston Cougars. Conference USA's Leading scorer, Gee Gervin, cousin of future UL guard Caleb, lead the Cougars with 22 points. Game Report; Boxscore

February 15, 1999

After loosing two games to Georgia Tech last season, the Cards were looking for revenge Saturday against the Yellow Jackets. And revenge is what they got! Blowing out Georgia Tech 78 to 58. All of the Cardinals shot over 50% with the exception of Nate Johnson and Dion Edward who both combined for 7 points and 9 rebounds. Marques Maybin lead all UL scorers with 17 points and 7 rebounds, tieing his career-high for rebounds. Maybin also lead the Cards in minutes played with 34. Tony Williams had a very nice game. Dunking on almost anyone he wanted. One of the best dunks of the year that I have seen came on the dive in the lane by Williams, and dunking left handed on the 7-footer Jason Collier. Williams finished the game with 15 points, and holding the leading ACC scorer Collier to 6 total points. Game Report; Boxscore

Louisville defeats UNC-Charlotte to remain tied with Cincinnati in Conference USA, 79 to 68. Alex Sanders went perfect from the field, hitting all eight of his shots, leading the Cards with 18 points. Cameron Murray came out of his slump to score 16 points for the Cardinals. Galen Young led the 49ers with 15 points. Game Report; Boxscore

February 7, 1999

Walk-on Freshmen, Quintin Bailey played 13 minutes in the Marquette game yesterday. He did all a walk-on could possibly do. And that was to win the game for the University of Louisville. Bailey, a 6'3" guard, came off the bench in place of Cameron Murray who had an argument with Coach Crum. With 59 seconds to go, Bailey drilled a three to send the Cards up 79 to 74, eventually knocking off the Golden Eagles. 81 to 77. The Cardinals got off to a good start but Marquette battled back to cut the deficit to two at half-time. Tony Williams had a stellar performance, scoring 18 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and handing out 5 assists. Deon Edward scored a season-high 15 points off the bench. Game Report; Boxscore

February 6, 1999

The NCAA Lifts Louisville's post-season band! The Cardinals will be able to play in the Conference USA tournament and perhaps the NCAA tournament. Press Release news

Louisville snap its four game loosing streak Thursday night, against the arch rival Memphis Tigers. Louisville and Memphis were tied at 43 at half-time, but the Cardinals went on to win 89 to 76. Nate Johnson, who was suffering from a toe infection, started the game, but wasn't effective, scoring only 1 point. Other Cardinals picked up the slack. Marques Maybin lead the Cards with 21 points. Cameron Murray had 20 points. Tony Williams had 18 points. Dion Edward gave UL an inside presence, scoring 12 points, 7 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 steals, and a blocked shot in 23 minutes. ; Game Report; Boxscore

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