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7 > Image 7 of The Cats' Pause, "December 19, 1987"

Part of The Cats' Pause

77i& (do/As' Bcu/a& MARCH SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY 1 DePaul-Dayton, 9:00 USA 2 Seton Hall-Pitt, 7:00 (ESPN) Georgia-Kentucky, 8:00 (SEC) No. Carolina-Ga. Tech, 9:00 (ESPN) 3 Oklahoma-Missouri, 7:00 (ESPN) Maryland-N.C. St., 9:00 (ESPN) Arkansas-Houston, 9:00 (USA) 4 5 Marquette-Notre Dame, 2:00 WGN) Louisville-DePaul, 2:30 (NBC) Tennessee-Georgia. 4:00 ISEC) MVC Tourney 1st Rd. TBA (ESPN) 6 Pitt-Syracuse, noon (CBS) No. Carolina-Duke. 1:00 (NBC) LSU-Florida or Iowa-Illinois. Southern Conl. Final, 7:30 (ESPN) Am. So. Conf. Final, 9:30 (ESPN) 7 Hardin-Simmons-Nolre Dame, Sun Belt Final, 7:30 (ESPN) Metro Atlantic Final, TBA (ESPN) WCAC Final. 11:30 (ESPN) 8 ECC Tourney Final, 7:30 (ESPN) MVC Final, 9:30 (ESPN) 9 Purdue-Ohio St. or Michigan-Illinois 9:00 (ESPN) Miami (Fla.)-Dayton, 9:00 (USA) Atlantic 10 Final, 7:00 (ESPN) 10 SEC Tourney 1st Rd, 8:00 (SEC) ECAC Metro Final, 7:30 (ESPN) Pac-10 1st Rd., midnight (ESPN) 11 SEC Tourney 2nd Rd, 1:00, 3:00, 8:00, 10:00 (SEC) ACC 1st Rd, noon, 7:00,9:00 (ESPN) Pac-10 Quarterfinals, 1:00, 4:00, midnight (ESPN) 12 ECAC No. Final, 11:30 a-m. (ESPN) SEC Semis. 1:30 & 4:00 (SEC) ACC Semis, 1:30 & 3:30 (ESPN) WAC Final, 10:00 (ESPN) 13 ACC Final. 1:00 (NBC) SEC Final, 2:00 (ABC) Metro or SWC Final. 4:00 (ESPN) Pac-10 or Big 8 Final. 4:00 (ABC) NOTE: All times are Eastern and p.m. unless otherwise noted, 'delayed broadcast; TBA-To Be Announced. UK games listed in bold type. Meet The Press Sutton Says Lock Has Improved More Than Any Other Player He's Coached; Likes Davender-Chapman Duo As College Basketball's Best Backcourt By Nick Nicholas By defeating Indiana, coupled with Vandcrbilt's upset of No. I North Carolina, Eddie Sutton's ballclub was left in sole possession of the No. 1 spot, college basketball's version of King Of The Mountain. For at least a week anyway. Prior to the No. 1-ranked Wildcats' showdown with Denny Crum's Louisville Cardinals. Sutton talked about his upcoming opponent, possibly the best backcourt in the nation, an improved center and other topics of interest. As you may be wondering, yes, here are some leftover tidbits from Sutton's Dec. 8 press conference which will fill your hunger for the roundball sport. Vandy's At It Again: C. M Newton's Vanderbilt Commodores may not be giant killers in the SEC, but for the second time since last season the boys down in Nashville have knocked off the nation's No. 1 squad. Just last week. North Carolina put its No. 1 ranking on the line when it met the 'Dores in Nashville's Memorial Gym. Vandy turned in perhaps the biggest upset of this brief campaign with a 78-76 conquest over Dean Smith's team. To refresh your memory, it was last season when the Commodores shocked No. 1 and eventual national champion Indiana in Music City. "As I mentioned at the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Atlanta, I believe it (SEC) from top-to-bottom is the best conference in college basketball," said Sutton. "It is this year. I thought last year, that perhaps it was the best. The only other leagues that can challenge the SEC would be the Big Ten, the Big East and the ACC. "Last year Vanderbilt certainly represented the SEC well and probably had the most prestigious wins in the leagueoutside of conference play." Besides beating Indiana, other noteworthy non-SEC opponents which fell victim to Vandy last season were: Notre Dame, Kansas State, New Mexico and Missouri, along with NIT wins over Florida State and Jacksonville. "Anytime we beat an Indiana or Vanderbilt beats a North Carolina, it does nothing but bring prestige to our league," Sutton went on to add. "That's why I always root for everybody in our league when they're playing anyone other than someone within our conference. "I called CM. to congratulate him. He told me before the season began that he felt like he was going to have a very good ballclub. (Will) Perdue is the best center in the league. They've probably got the best perimeter shooters in the conference. So, we know Vanderbilt is one of the 30 elite teams in college basketball. "I believe there are five or six teams in our league that are in that group of 30." 'Locked' Into The Center Spot: Prior to the season, many people around the Kentucky program felt freshman LeRon Ellis would take over the center spot from senior Rob Lock. After three games, however, Lock has nailed down the starting post position. With his first three performances. Lock, the free-sprited Californian who resembles Opie Taylor from the neck up. has turned nonbelievers into believers. Well-known basketball analyst Dick Vitale said that he didn't even know Lock was out on the floor last season, whereas this year he's become one of the most improved players in the land. In the first three games UK's starting center averaged 16.7 points per game and a team-leading 9.7 rebounds. The biggest eyebrow-raiser so far in Lock's statistics is his improv-ment from the line16 of 17 for 94.1 percent. He was 35 of 71 for a 49.3 percent from the charity stripe as a junior. His praiseworthy performances have been a pleasant surprise to one Eddie Sutton. "I started not to say that Perdue's the best center in the league because I'm not sure that, right now, Rob wouldn't be challenging Perdue. I haven't seen Perdue play but I do believe Rob Lock is playing like an all-conference center. "We all knew from last year that at times he was an excellent defensive center. He's become much more consistent." Having a strong performance against Hawaii or Cincinnati is one thing, but against Pan American performer Dean Garrett and the Indiana Hoosiers is a different story. Said Sutton: "When you look at the game the other day. here's Garrett who will be a first-round draft choice in all likelihood. . .1 felt Rob Lock outplayed him in that ballgame. Garrett took 24 shots and ended with 20 points. Rob took eight shots and got 14. He (Lock) had one less rebound (11 to 10) and battled defensively as well as Garrett did. "So, Rob Lock has improved as much in one year to the next as any player I've ever had. I've made the comment that Ed Davender is the heart of the ballclub, maybe Rob is the guts of the ballclub." A Backcourt Second To None? UK dynamic duo Ed Davender and Rex [Continued On Page 8] Sutton: If Davender (Left) Is The Heart, Maybe [jock's The Guts