Meet The Press
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Chapman already are off to fantastic starts. Offensively. Chapman is the 'Cats'leading scorer (18.3 ppg), including six of 11 from three-point range. Davender's on Rex's heels (16.7 ppg) and has 13 assists to his credit.
Defensively, the Brooklyn senior continues to curtail offensive bombers into innocent pistols. Roger McClendon, the Metro Conference's leading scorer last season, only could muster seven points past Davender's way. And Indiana's Keith Smart fared worse, scoring just five points.
You could say Davender "out-Smarted" last year's NCAA hero.
"Ed Davender is the most underrated guard in college basketball," said Sutton. "If he continues to play like he's playing he certainly would be a strong candidate for (All-America status). I think he's an All-America player. When you stop and realize what Ed Davender does defensively, what he did to Smart the other day, what he's done to other guards, you just can't measure the importance and the value of Ed Davender to our basketball team. Along with that he's a great offensive player."
As for Chapman's defense, the Owensboro sophomore is showing that he can apply the skills needed in Sutton's man-to-man philosophy. Chapman and Winston Bennett are second only to Davender on the team in the theft category, each with nine.
"I wouldn't trade them (Chapman and Davender) for any combination in college basketball," Sutton proudly voiced. "If you're asking me then I would say yes, they are the best backcourt combination that we'll see in the college game."
Later, Sutton would add: "Chapman and Davender create problems for you (opposing coach), once you start assigning people to them. They are very good, as we all know."
Sign Here, Uncle Eddie Wants YOU: Time and time again Sutton thanks former Wildcat coaches Adolph Rupp and Joe B. Hall for the strong tradition of UK basketball. It's that tradition which is the main attraction to blue-chippers, not only in the Bluegrass but from the East Coast to the West Coast as well.
"It's certainly a different situation than I had at Arkansas," he said. "Here you can pick up the telephone and call anyone in the country and at least they'll say hello before they say goodbye. That was not always the case at Arkansas."
Sutton summed it up by saying: "I don't think we're unique. I think there are some other programs that are a close second to us."
One For The Fans: As Louisville and Kentucky were gearing up for their seventh meeting on the hardwood within a five-season span, Sutton concurred that the in-state clash is mostly for the fans.
"It should be a series where you go out and play. . .a one-time shot," said Sutton. "It is an important game because it's important for the fans. Once you got into conference play it would be a neat thing if we rooted for Louisville to win the Metro and they rooted for us. I know that's never going to happen, as far as 100 percent is concerned.
"It's a game that should be played in December. Then after it's over, we go back and try to win the SEC and they try to win their conference."
More On Davender: Coach, why isn't Ed Davender's play, in regard to the media, not appreciated any more than it has?
"I don't know, I do everything possible I can," Sutton answered. "I think Brad (Davis, sports information director) and his staff do. He's lived in the shadow of Kenny Walker, Winston Bennett. Rex came on the scene like a tornado. I think you all (local media) fully appreciate him, but probably on the national scene he isn't recognized. . .but I can't give you an answer (why).
"I truly believe that he is one of the top five or six guards in college basketball."
Hold On! Basketball Season In Full Throttle
Rex Chapman—He's Out Of This World
Obviously, Bobby Knight is the coach at Indiana who gets all the media attention, but there's another great story on the Hoosier bench this year, former Clemson coach Tates Locke. He'd been out of the same for several years after being fired at Jacksonville.
Cats' Pause Columnist
For a time he worked for Mizuno, but then disappeared from the sporting community entirely. But an urge to coach remained. When Knight, who broke in as an assistant to Locke at Army, called and asked his old friend to come for a visit and discuss the job the opportunity opened. Locke agreed to come and talk about the position for a couple of days. He never left Bloomington. And, for one. I'm glad to see him back in the coaching business.
There are only two words I can give you in asking some restraint over the excitement created by all the schoolboy signings this fall—-Scottie Pippin.
My vote for "December's Team" goes to Arizona. The Wildcats seem to have the whole package, quickness, tremendous shooting ability and more physical toughness than their size would be able
Garrett—Now You See Him, Now You Don't
to indicate. But will they be able to sustain the level of their play through the season and into the tournament? Well, coach Lute Olson says the team can get better, but after watching them run through the Great Alaska Shootout with ease, I'm not so sure about that prediction.
The first coaching casualty of the season was Detroit's Don Sicko, who was in his sixth year. A quality coach, Sicko just never could put the package together for a program which has fallen badly since the glory days of Dick Vitale. His departure not only gives UD administrators a chance to search for a new coach, but also an opportunity to think about where they really want this to be in the scheme of college athletics. . .1 look at schools like Detroit, Du-
quesne and even my old school. Bowling Green, and wonder where they fell out of basketball's fast lane. Look back in the late 1940s, | the 1950s and even into the 1960s. These programs were nationally prominent, but now, as college basketball has become such an | attraction, they are nowhere to be seen. Like the dinosaurs I guess these schools just couldn't adjust.
Well, the NCAA is at it again. Recently I noted a story which | indicated the governing body of college athletics was investigating the basketball program at LSU. This story also mentioned the fact that LSU had recently come off probation for past sins. In other words, the convict got sprung and went right back to his life of crime. As it turns out, however, (he investigation centers around the fact that during a visit to LSU two prospective basketball plaj ers were photographed by Tiger Rag, a weekly magazine which covers athletics at the school. Had a basketball coach or any LSU official I arranged the photo session or had Tiger Rag been a university owned publication these would have been violations of NCAA legislation. Perhaps, as publisher Steve Myers pointed out, the NCAA mistakenly thought LSU owned Tiger Rag or, "maybe they were just on a witch hunt." In either case the NCAA should have looked before it acted. And, as a newspaperman, what really bothers me is the role played by the media here. I mean if LSU were being investigated because its coaches were suspected of buying a car or giving a briefcase full of money to some kid. that's one thing. But the fact a prospective player's photo appeared in a newspaper is quite another. The NCAA needs to find a way to make sure the media is aware of the nature of these investigations. There degrees.
You knew it would happen: A book about Dick Vitale is being written this winter by Sports Illustrated's Curry Kirkpatrick. It will be in your neighborhood book stores next spring.
Marquette's blowout loss at Tennessee served as a reminder of j just how far this program has fallen and how desperately the Warriors need to get into a league. I suggest administrators there do a case history study on the schools like Duquesne and Detroit which I mentioned earlier.
Sorry, I still think the real Missouri basketball team is closer to the one which lost to Xavier in the first round of NCAA play than it is to the one which won last year's Big Eight. To wit, the Tigers needed two overtimes to beat Eastern Michigan in the finals of their own invitation. Indiana Pacer coach Jack Ramsay told me a long time ago to remember this about basketall players: "Leopards never lose their spots." He's right.
Moses Scurry, a powerful 6-foot-9 forward playing at San Jacinto | Junior College, has decided to play at Nevada-Las Vegas next year. He reached that decision after watching the Rebels beat the Soviet team in November. Was it the style of play at UNLV which made him choose them? Nope. Moses liked the gaudy light display and fireworks show which went on before the game. Honest.
So Vanderbilt slays another giant, beating North Carolina in| Nashville. For omen lovers this is perfect. Last year the Commodores handed Indiana its first loss of the year. The Hoosiers| survived.
More incidental information: They're going to make a movie about Pete Maravich's life. True, he was a great player, one worthy of the Hall of Fame, but what do they do when they get to the part about having won something?.
Normally I stay out of political discussions, but it is almost| criminal that the NAIA Hall of Fame hasn't inducted Bevo Francis. Here's a man who twice scored more than 100 points in a game and averaged 50 points for a season. Sure, some still doubt the circumstances under which it happened, but as Abe Lemons once said, it can't be that easy to do or more people would have done it.
What does a continuing presence in television's spotlight mean?| Well, Michigan's Gary Grant, Syracuse's Sherm Douglas, Indiana's Keith Smart and Notre Dame's David Rivers are generally regarded as the best backcourt players in the nation. Let me assure you, however, none of this foursome compares with Arizona's Steve Kerr in terms of value to his team. And, even including Kerr, no guard in collge basketball is in the same world as Kentucky's Rex Chapman, a young man who will, though it's hard to believe, get better.
I'm also eager to see San Jose State's Ricky Berry. Something tells me he'll be closer to the Kerr-Chapman level than the overrated status of those other four players.
Up front it looks like Danny Manning and a bunch of other players. Arizona's Sean Elliot has probably moved into the class of Fennis Dembo (Wyoming) and Derrick Chievous (Missouri) at small forward. In the middle, Syracuse's Rony Seikaly looks better, but still is inconsistent. North Carolina's J.R. Reid hasn't faced a big test yet and Indiana's Dean Garrett, though quick, still | disappears for long stretches. No real patterns can yet be seen here.
Looking for a 1989 NBA draft sleeper (isn't everyone)? Torgeir | Bryn, Southwest Texas State. Remember the name.