This is one victory Steve Alford won't savor. Alford got his first win over his former coach and mentor, Bob Knight, with No. 17 Iowa's 83-53 rout of Texas Tech last night, and...
CHICAGO — This is one victory Steve Alford won’t savor.
Alford got his first win over his former coach and mentor, Bob Knight, with No. 17 Iowa’s 83-53 rout of Texas Tech last night, and it was just as strange as Alford imagined it would be.
“Coaches have many, many players, but players only have one college coach,” Alford said. “So I’m happy for the team, I’m happy for the players. But it’s a little bittersweet for me. I still much more enjoy being on Coach Knight’s side than going against him.”
“The General” has obviously taught his prized pupil well. Iowa (10-1) handed the Raiders (5-3) their worst loss since March 9, 2002, when they lost 90-50 to then-No. 1 Kansas in the Big 12 tournament. The 53 points were their fewest since Jan. 11, 2003, when they lost 68-44 to Kansas State.
Iowa had a double-digit lead less than seven minutes into the game and didn’t let up the rest of the way, harassing the Raiders offensively and defensively. Texas Tech had 21 turnovers, 16 in the first half.
Adam Haluska matched his career high with 21 points, Pierre Pierce added 15 and Erek Hansen had six of Iowa’s 10 blocks, one shy of the school record. It was the seventh straight victory for the Hawkeyes, who won despite an off night from leading scorer Jeff Horner. Horner finished with a season-low seven points, nine below his average, on 3-of-14 shooting.
“Steve’s team, I think they’ve done a really good job with it,” said Knight, who shook hands with his former player after the buzzer sounded.
At least Knight can take comfort knowing he has had a hand in Alford’s success.
The two have been intertwined for more than 20 years, since Alford played for Knight at Indiana from 1983 to 1987. Alford helped Knight win 92 games and the 1987 national championship, and played for him on the U.S. team that won gold at the 1984 Olympics.
Though the two didn’t speak at length for almost four years after Alford became head coach at Iowa in 1999, any rift has long since been repaired. Alford said earlier this week he has the “utmost respect” for Knight, and he often seeks his mentor’s advice, sending him tapes of his team or asking the best way to deal with certain players.
“He’s helped me in a vast number of ways,” Alford said.
At No. 3 Oklahoma State 92, NW Oklahoma 35
John Lucas and Joey Graham each scored 21 points and the Cowboys (9-0) set a school record with 15 three-pointers in a rout of the Rangers (5-4).
At No. 4 North Carolina 93, Vermont 65
Rashad McCants bounced back from a brief benching to score 19 points and Sean May led the way with 20, helping the Tar Heels (9-1) overwhelm the Catamounts (3-3).
Taylor Coppenrath had 13 points for Vermont.
No. 16 North Carolina State 72, at Brigham Young 61
Julius Hodge scored 22 points and Tony Bethel added 15 as the Wolfpack (9-1) bounced back from its first loss of the season with a win over the Cougars (2-8).
North Carolina State lost 68-64 Sunday at Washington, ranked 12th in the latest Associated Press poll.
At No. 18 Louisville 80, IUPUI 60
Freshman Juan Palacios had career highs of 25 points and 10 rebounds and the Cardinals (7-2) defeated the Jaguars (4-5) in the first round of the Billy Minardi Classic. Louisville played without Ellis Myles and Otis George, its two leading rebounders.