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Knight's tantrum spurs discussion

Monday, February 2, 2009 | 4:24 p.m. CST; updated 1:07 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Big 12 Conference officially reprimanded Texas Tech coach Pat Knight on Monday for his ejection from Saturday's loss to Nebraska.

The penalty was not worse because Knight showed remorse and has displayed good behavior in the past, Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said in a release.

Knight was ejected after he sprinted onto the court to argue a call in the middle of the second half.

After a foul was called on guard Alan Voskuil, Knight picked up one technical for yelling at an official near the sideline. A second referee slapped Knight with his second technical and the ejection when Knight confronted him at midcourt.

Once Knight was ejected, assistant coaches restrained him and tried to lead him to the locker room, but he sprinted back to midcourt to scream at the officials again.

"My job is to protect my players, and you can only sit there and take so much," Knight told the Associated Press after the game.

Associate head coach Chris Beard, who substituted for Knight in Monday's Big 12 coaches' conference call, said he sees Knight's intensity daily.

"Pat's a fiery guy, a competitive guy," Beard said in the teleconference. "The coaches and players see it every day in practice."

Texas coach Rick Barnes said he can understand Knight's frustration with officials. Barnes said that while players, coaches and officials can all have bad games, only players and coaches are held accountable.

"(Referees) don't have to answer to anybody," Barnes said. "There does become a point that you get frustrated, and you want to lash out."

Baylor coach Scott Drew sees Big 12 officiating differently. He said the conference does a good job of working with the officials to review game film and help them improve.

"They give the officials the opportunity to improve throughout the year," Drew said. "That's why our Big 12 officials are the best in the country."

CLEMENTE GOES CRAZY: After he scored a Big 12 record-tying 44 points in an upset at Texas on Saturday, it was no surprise that the conference named Kansas State guard Denis Clemente the player of the week.

"He was terrific," Barnes said. "He had some very tough shots that he made."

Clemente, a junior, is in his first year at Kansas State after transferring. Colorado coach Jeff Bzdelik coached against Clemente when Bzdelik was at Air Force and Clemente was playing at Miami. Bzdelik said Clemente may be the fastest player in the country with the basketball.

Now that he is adding a more consistent shooting touch to his quickness, Clemente is a challenge for opposing defenses.

"Denny's been playing better and better and better," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said.

COLORADO CLIMBING: Bzdelik's Buffaloes are showing some signs of improvement.

Picked to finish last in the Big 12 preseason poll, Colorado is 1-5 in conference play. Since the Buffaloes opened conference play with a 45-point loss to Missouri, Bzdelik has seen his young team start to develop.

"We're a young team and we want to get better every day," Bzdelik said. "We've been very competitive."

After two close losses to Kansas State in overtime and Texas Tech, the Buffaloes broke through for their first win against Iowa State on Jan. 27. Last Saturday, Colorado came up just short at Kansas, losing 66-61.

Maybe the biggest improvement for Colorado has been taking care of the basketball. The Buffaloes turned the ball over 26 times against Missouri. They reduced that number to seven in the win over Iowa State and eight Saturday against the Jayhawks.

But playing well in a loss isn't good enough for Bzdelik.

"I'm not into moral victories," Bzdelik said.

ANDERSON TO ALABAMA?: Mike Anderson is committed to Missouri basketball.

Responding to questions about rumors that he was in consideration for the coaching vacancy at Alabama, Anderson said he is happy to be with the Tigers, though he didn't explicitly rule out the Alabama job.

"I am the head coach at Missouri, and I'm excited about our program," Anderson said in the teleconference.

TIGER BLOGGER: Missouri senior Leo Lyons recently started his own blog.

Leolyonsplanet.blogspot.com has a smattering of online videos, short text posts and photos of Lyons.

"A lot of people had been asking me about starting one, so I just made it," Lyons said.


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