Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spoonhour Getting Billikens' House Ready for Company

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spoonhour Getting Billikens' House Ready for Company

Article excerpt

Certainly every team would like the chance to be the home team for its conference tournament. So life is wonderful for St. Louis University's Billikens as they get ready for the Conference USA gathering that begins Wednesday at Kiel Center.

It is wonderful, isn't it? How have the Bills prepared?

"I've been baking cookies," SLU coach Charlie Spoonhour said Monday in the C-USA coaches teleconference. Did you hear that rim shot? Uncle Charlie was pulling out some of his "A" material. "I've swept the floor - Kiel looks really nice," Spoonhour said. "The goat-roping won't start until halftime of the first game. This hosting a tournament is a beautiful thing." Spoonhour found a way to fill up some time in his portion of the question-and-answer session because he fielded so few queries about his 10-17 team. He didn't mind. "Why don't you all go talk to (Cincinnati coach Bob) Huggins or someone else with a good record," Spoonhour joshed. "Who's in charge of scheduling or refereeing? That's who I want to talk to." Thanks, everybody. And drive safely. "I'll be opening at the Cracker Barrel on Highway 70 on Tuesday night if any of you want to catch me," he said before hanging up. But Seriously, Folks: In the last five conference tournaments in which the Billikens have participated, the host team has won the title only once. But Southern Mississippi, SLU's opponent, is paying no attention to that history. "I expect this game to be as tough as the Louisville, Cincinnati or Charlotte games were for us," Southern Miss coach James Green said. Super Sixth: Hard to fathom how Louisville, 22-7 overall and nationally ranked much of the season, can go into the C-USA tourney seeded No. 6. The Cardinals are 13th in the Ratings Percentage Index power ratings and have an 8-1 record against teams among the RPI's top 36. The only loss came against Kentucky. Among the bigger victories were those against Purdue, Texas, Illinois and Colorado. "We've had a problem beating teams who aren't ranked that high in the RPI," Cards coach Denny Crum said. "Whether it's a mental thing, I don't know. . . . "I don't think there's any doubt about it that we got overconfident early. …

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