Men's Basketball

State notebook: Georgetown ready for tourney

When he got to Georgetown from Lee College in Baytown, Texas, Hollis Giles had one year of eligibility in college basketball.

Rather than play one full season for the Tigers, Giles is competing in the first of two second semesters.

Giles, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, has played in 14 games for seventh-ranked Georgetown. He is averaging 7.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15 minutes a game on a deep Tigers team that often uses 14 players.

"My role is to practice hard and keep myself prepared," said Giles, who is from Houston. "When it's my time to play, I'm ready."

Giles gives the Tigers another wing player who can score. "I can shoot from about anywhere," he said. "With my long wingspan, I can play defense."

In his senior year in high school, Giles' team started 15-0 before it lost. "I've been part of winning teams," he said. "This is the first time I've been part of a tradition like this. All the coaches who came before and Coach Happy (Osborne) will not settle for mediocrity. We always strive to overachieve."

Giles is eager for the post-season, including the conference and NAIA tournaments.

"Our goal is to win the national championship," he said. "Anything less is a failure of the season to me."

Close race

The race is on, and there is a tie for the lead between a Lady Colonel and an Eagle. But there's time for a Racer to catch them in the stretch.

Who will capture the most women's weekly honors in the Ohio Valley Conference this season?

Eastern Kentucky's Kayla Drake, the Lady Colonel, has been named the OVC's top freshman five times. Morehead State's Tiffany Hamilton, the Eagle, has four newcomer awards and one top player honor. Murray State's Ashley Hayes has won four leading-player accolades. She is the reigning OVC Player of the Year.

Awards will be presented three more weeks.

Let the games begin

■ ESPN's BracketBusters games are set for Feb. 21. Teams from the commonwealth and their foes: Ohio at Eastern Kentucky; Louisiana Tech at Murray State; and Morehead State at Kent State.

■ In a matchup of NAIA ranked teams, No. 17 Lindsey Wilson upended No. 2 Mountain State 83-69 earlier this week. The Blue Raiders overcame 18 turnovers and a five-point halftime deficit to outscore the Cougars 51-32 and cut their mistakes to five. Mountain State was averaging 97.8 points before the game.

Championship night

Thomas More's basketball teams clinched Presidents' Athletic Conference titles with victories over Washington & Jefferson on Wednesday night.

The men (16-7, 10-2) won 65-62 to claim the title outright. The 11th-ranked women (20-2, 12-1) defeated Washington & Jeff 56-45 to clinch at least a share of the crown.

Both teams are No. 1 seeds for the upcoming conference tournaments.

Spring fever

■ Western Kentucky has been picked to win the Sun Belt baseball title, and Matt Ridings was selected pre-season Pitcher of the Year.

■ Jacksonville State is favored to win the OVC baseball title. Morehead was picked seventh and Eastern eighth in the nine-team league.

■ Eastern's Svetlana Pimenova was ranked first on the OVC pre-season player list for tennis. The EKU women and the Jacksonville State men were picked to win team titles.

Rick Bailey covers state colleges and Marshall for the Herald-Leader. This article contains his opinions and observations. Reach him at (859) 231-3336, (800) 950-6397, Ext. 3336, or