March 31, 2001
By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Purdue players know how to handle the ball ... and the
fork, knife and spoon, too.
Purdue coach Kristy Curry's unusual regimen for her team, which will try to
win its second NCAA championship in three years Sunday night against Notre
Dame, includes etiquette training.
So, what did All-American Katie Douglas learn?
"The salt and pepper shakers are married, and you never pass the salt
without the pepper," Douglas said. "You have to know they're married."
Among other things, players also learned the best way to speak to a waiter,
plus proper business introductions.
"We had a lot of new faces, so we thought it would be a good thing," said
Curry, who has five freshmen on the team.
Players also met with an expert on rhythm.
"Basically, our message was that we may all have a different beat, we all
have different strengths," Curry said, "but if you put all those strengths
together, we can make a beautiful noise."
Said Douglas: "The rhythm man has been instrumental for us."
The Boilermakers travel everywhere with a pair of drums that players beat
They were banging the drums in the team hotel before the semifinals - until
"I think they thought I was crazy again, I think they thought I lost my
mind. Again," Curry said.
"But it's really been neat because the kids have had fun with it. Life's
too short not to have fun."
WHERE'S THE PURPLE?: Notre Dame senior Kelley Siemon never missed a game
in her college career until this season.
There's a toughness to Siemon's game and it's easy to see why: Her father,
Jeff, spent 11 years as a linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, playing in the
Super Bowl and Pro Bowl three times each.
Not that you'd know it walking into their Edina, Minn., home. All those
mementos from Jeff Siemon's career are out of sight.
"There is nothing," Kelley Siemon said. "Everything is down in the
basement in boxes."
Dad's influence runs strong, however. Kelley wears No. 50, the number he
wore with the Vikings.
"I wanted to be like my dad," she said. "I looked up to him so much and
that was something I wanted to wear in honor of him."
TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: The women's Final Four is the latest in a long line of
NCAA events held in St. Louis the last few years.
And it won't be the last.
The city also will be the site of NCAA men's first-round games next year,
the Midwest Regional final in 2004 and the men's Final Four in 2005.
The city also had the Midwest Regional finals in 1998 and '99, as well as
last year's NCAA wrestling tournament.
Now, St. Louis is among nine cities in the running for the women's Final
Four in 2006 or '07.
"We'll pursue any opportunity to host an NCAA basketball tournament in this
city," said Missouri Valley Conference commissioner Doug Elgin, whose
conference administers the tourneys. "We'd like to do this every year if we
Another women's Final Four so soon might be a long shot, unless the NCAA
decides it prefers domed stadiums to arenas. The domed stadium competition is
St. Louis' bid for the women's Final Four would work for either the Savvis
Center, which seats 21,000, or the Trans World Dome, which could accommodate up
"I think 2006 or '07 would be quite soon to have this event back," said
Frank Viverito, president of the St. Louis Sports Commission. "We'd be
delighted to have it back soon, and we wanted the NCAA to know how interested
HAPPY HOMECOMING: Notre Dame point guard Niele Ivey, the only local player
in the Final Four, said coming home hasn't been overwhelming - thanks to a bit
"I have a code name on the phone, so they can't get through," Ivey said.
"It hasn't been too hectic."