xt7bzk55fc1n https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7bzk55fc1n/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1987 Volume 11 -- Number 28 athletic publications  English Wildcat News Company Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. The Cats' Pause UKAW University of Kentucky Men's Basketball (1986-1987) coaches Sutton, Eddie players SEC Men's Basketball Tournament (1987) NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (1987) University of Kentucky Football (1987) recruiting Houser, Doug statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  "March 21, 1987" text The Cats' Pause,  "March 21, 1987" 1987 2012 true xt7bzk55fc1n section xt7bzk55fc1n Hopson & Company Eliminate Sutton's Troops
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Cats' Pause
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It's North Versus South
Five Future 'Cats To Participate In Upcoming Derby Classic
By Rick Bolus
[f you are a BIG BLUE fan, you'll want to mark down April 18. 1987 on your calendar. That is when you'll be able to witness five out of six Wildcat basketball recruits at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.. at 8:00 p.m. for the McDonald's Derby Festival Classic. This North-South game format features 20 of America's premier high school cagers. Of the six recruits of coach Eddie Sutton, only Eric Manuel of Macon, Ga., will not play as he has opted for the McDonald's East-West game and the Dapper Dan Classic.
The Kentucky signees include the future twin towers, 6-foot-10 LeRon Ellis (Santa Ana, Calif.) and 7-0 Johnny Pittman (Rosenberg, Texas), 6-2 maestro Sean Sutton (Lexington, Ky.), 6-7 forward Deron Feldhaus (Maysville. Ky.) and 6-8 Jonathan Davis (Pensacola, Fla.). Ellis is without question, the best center in America today and quickly reminds one so much of former UK great Sam Bowie.
Fifteen of the game's players are found in Dave Bones' Cage Scope Top 100 seniors. Al Prewitt, coach of Henry Clay in Lexington, Ky.. will coach the South team while Nate Harris of Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington High will direct the North squad.
The McDonald's Derby Festival Classic is an official Kentucky Derby Festival event and all proceeds will go to the Louisville Ronald McDonald House and Kosair Charities. You can contact the Kentucky Derby Festival's office for ticket information. Their address is 137 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., in Louisville, Ky.
Now, let's look at the rosters.
North Squad
'J Mi
Mason County's Feldhaus To Suit Up For South.
Head coach: Nate Harris, Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington Assistant: Bill Kercher, Louisville Eastern Assistant: Ralph Johnson, Louisville Central
Player	Pos	Ht	Hometown	College
John Pelphrey	F	6-7	Paintsville, Ky.	Undecided
Barry Young	F	6-7	Ellicott City, Md.	Undecided
Richard Dumas	F	6-7	Tulsa, Okla.	Oklahoma St.
Mike Masucci	C	7-0	Granview, Mo.	Kansas
Thomas Jordan	C	6-8	Baltimore, Md.	Oklahoma St.
LaBradford Smith	G	6-5	Bay City, Texas	Louisville
Jerome Harmon	G	6-5	Gary, Ind.	Undecided
Mike Cottrell	G	6-1	Cullowhee, N.C.	Undecided
Kyle McKenzie	G	6-2	Cincinnati, Ohio	LSU
South Squad
Head coach: Al Prewitt, Lexington Henry Clay Assistant: Dale Mabrey, Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park Assistant: Bill Fryman, Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest
Player Pos Ht
Deron Feldhaus F 6-7
Jonathan Davis F 6-8
Livingston Chatman   F 6-7
Rick Fox F 6-7
LeRon Ellis C 6-10
Johnny Pittman C 7-0
LaMonte Ware G 6-2
Desmond Porter G 6-3
Sean Sutton G 6-2
Tim Singleton G 6-1
Maysville, Ky. Pensacola, Fla Lakeland, Fla. Warsaw, Ind. Santa Ana, Calif. Rosenberg, Texas Hopkinsville, Ky. Louisville, "Ky. Lexington, Ky. New Orleans, La.
Kentucky Kentucky Florida North Carolina
Kentucky Kentucky Undecided Cleveland St. Kentucky Notre Dame
.So Will 7-Footer Johnny Pittman
Note: Players were selected by Dave Bones of Cage Scope and Rick Bolus of High Potential Basketball Recruiting Service. One more player will be added to the North Squad. March 2/, fp<9?
'87 Season Over, Now About The '88 Campaign
It's over. 1987 that is.
Back in late November, observers of college basketball predicted anything better than .500 would be a very good season for the Kentucky Wildcats, given the state of affairs at that time.
When practice began back on Oct. 15, coach Eddie Sutton's second Kentucky squad found itself trying to find replacements for All-America forward Kenny Walker and All-SEC guard (and perhaps the most underrated Wildcat in years at UK) Roger Harden who had led the previous season's team to a glittering 32-4 record.
It was enough to figure Kentucky could only shoot for a Top Twenty ranking by the season's end.
But that was before the 'Cats' top front-court player, Winston Bennett, went down with a season-ending injury before practice was a month old. And before the first game was tipped off, junior center/forward Cedric Jenkins went out with a stress fracture, an injury which he still has not fully recovered from although he has been back in action since January.
There was more. Freshman Reggie Hanson didn't pass Proposition 48 so he was sidelined for the season. Another forward, Todd Ziegler, left the team in December before ever suiting up for a game.
The squad was so thin Sutton had to call on two walk-ons just to have full-scale practice sessions.
So when the Wildcats closed the curtain last Friday in Atlanta with a 91-77 loss to Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA, it was a final act befitting a season of peaks and valleys for the Big Blue.
The 18-11 mark was certainly no disgrace for this team. In fact, the final worksheet was remarkable when you consider the squad may have been the poorest defensive team put on the court by a Kentucky squad in many, many years.
Although the 'Cats lacked a quality inside game and never played consistently, it was the inability of its defense to create turnovers and early offense which prevented the boys in Blue from enjoying a better record.
A year ago, Kentucky's offense pushed the ball upcourt more often simply because the defense created the opportunity for an early upbeat tempo with pressure. It just wasn't there this year.
One of the reasons for the absence of quality defensive pressure perhaps can be attributed to so much youth in the Kentucky lineup. For the most part, Kentucky found itself with only two playersEd Davender and James Blackmonwho had substantial experience from previous action.
People like Rob Lock, Cedric Jenkins, Richard Madison, Paul Andrews and Irving Thomas really had seen limited action before this season. Sure, they weren't first-year performers, but they had contributed very little before this year.
Combine that with Sutton having to rely so much on Rex Chapman spelled a lot of problems for Kentucky. When any team must rely on a freshman for its top point production, you're in big trouble. And when the 'Cats fell behind in the latter stages of a game,  Sutton had to go to another
freshmanDerrick Milleras a last resort for the three-point bomb.
While those situations posed problems this past season, the experience the kids gained should be a boost for next season.
It wasn't a great year, at least not by Kentucky standards, but the Wildcats compiled a decent 18-11 record, defeated three of five "Sweet Sixteen" (Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma) teams they faced, and finished in a tie for third place in the SEC.
A rebuilding year, yes. A disgrace, no.
Next season?
Obviously, the Wildcats will be better. Maybe not a Top Ten team, but the 'Cats certainly will be in a position to accomplish greater feats than they did this year.
Just how high the 'Cats can climb next winter will depend a lot on the return of fifth-year senior Winston Bennett who is rehabilitating the knee he injured back last October.
If Bennett can return to 90 percent efficiency, then opposing teams will have to respect UK's inside game, something opposing teams ignored throughout 1986-87. But more importantly, a bigger contribution from Bennett could be his leadership on and off the floor.
Without question, one of the missing ingredients this time was the absence of a Kenny Walker or a Roger Harden. No one took charge in challenging the Wildcats from a leadership role. Bennett is not only the logical candidate, he is the only obvious choice. While he was the cheerleader on the sidelines this season, it wasn't the same as being in uniform.
Besides, Bennett will be one of five graduating seniors on the club. Any coach will tell you a senior-dominated squad will not tolerate underclassmen giving anything less than 100 percent. Seniors realize there is no "next season." It's now or never. Now or never for Bennett, Richard Madison, Rob Lock, Ed Davender, and Cedric Jenkins. Next season1987-88is their swan song.
Other good news will be the year's experience of both Rex Chapman and Derrick Miller, this season's freshmen. Although both got off to great starts early in the year against the likes of Indiana and Louisville, each learned as the winter wore on that life in the SEC is somewhat tougher than the early days of December.
And then the new faces arrive.
First, there will be Reggie Hanson and Mike Scott. Hanson sat out the year and although Scott came on board in December, his physical condition never allowed him to blend in this time. Each will have equal access to the lineup by Oct. 15 if their practice indicates so.
Six true rookies should be on campus by the time school begins in September. You know the names. They are Eric Manuel, LeRon Ellis, John Pittman, Jonathan Davis, Deron Feldhaus and Sean Sutton.
Some could contribute immediately, perhaps even start. But those decisions will be made on the practice floor. There has been speculation that a couple could even be red-
shirted, to help spread out the class roster to prevent such a mass graduation as UK will experience after 1988 when five leave.
And then there is still that persistent campaign to add another point guard to the fold, one who could come right in and contribute immediately next season. It's no secret that Kentucky never felt comfortable with either Davender or Chapman at the point this season. Both are off-guards although either could handle the point in an emergency. The emergency lasted an entire season in 1987.
Some might quickly wonder what would happen if a point guard came in and started. Who would go to the bench? Chapman or Davender?
Probably neither, other than the usual rest time. In this day of fast-paced basketball, it's highly unlikely any guard will get more than 30 to 34 minutes of action per game. That leaves another 20 minutes or so for a third guard.
For that matter, it's not outside the realm of possibility that UK could use Chapman as a third guard in the role of a James Blackmon next season. He certainly could rebound from that position and he's an offensive threat anywhere on the court. Of course, this is just wild speculation.
Still, Kentucky's point-guard situation is very shaky at the moment. Sutton the coach would like to redshirt Sutton the son, but he may not be able to afford the luxury. The younger Sutton has been much maligned by some media types this season, claiming he would not be in a Kentucky uniform if he were not the coach's son.
That may or may not be true. Only father and son know the answer to that question, but those who have blabbered at the mouth so much are the same ones who complained about Roger Harden for three years at UK. At the end of last season, those same writers conveniently forgot their comments from the previous three years.
Don't be surprised when the younger Sutton critics point the accusing finger toward someone else by Sean's junior year.
For the time being, Sutton the father would like to redshirt the son and bring him along slowly so he could develop into an excellent player in a couple years. But for Eddie to follow that prescription, Kentucky must sign a point guard who can not only play a vital role as a freshman next season, but perhaps even start.
When the NCAA selection committee picked six Southeastern Conference teams for the NCAA Tournament earlier this month, the move surprised a few skeptics, but the SEC is turning heads once again, just like last March.
As the big show shifts to the "Sweet Sixteen" this weekend, three SEC teams are still in contention. All threeAlabama, LSU and Floridahave a good shot at making the Final Four.
Alabama is converting doubters every time out and the Crimson Tide looms as the favorite to emerge out of the Southeast Regional in Louisville this weekend.
If the other two SEC schools make the
Final Four, they'll have to pull monumental upsets. Each is capable. LSU first has to get by DePaul and then probably would have to beat Indiana.
For Florida to make the Big Showdown in Louisiana Superdome, the Gators will have to tame Syracuse and then probably have to whip North Carolina.
Alabama has been awesome all season long, save the early season upset loss to Florida State when the Tide was without the services of premier point guard Terry Con-er. And Bama was shocked by Kentucky in Tuscaloosa. Other than those two, the Tide has rolled and rolled.
Don't be surprised if Bama doesn't lose another game this season.
LSU is on a typical Dale Brown run. Remember last March? People like Dick Vitale appeared surprised when I suggested to him last April that he should include the Tigers in his preseason Top Twenty.
Vitale asked who does Dale have back? Dick, like lots of others, snickered when heard names like Jose Vargas, Anthony Wilson and Darryl Joe. Georgia Tech and Temple aren't laughing this week.
LSU plays with great emotion and emotion usually wears out somewhere along the line, but the tank won't run dry before LSU sends DePaul back to Chicago and Brown pulls his upset of upsets by shocking Indiana. That would be one of the few feats that Dale Brown is yet to achieve.
And not for a moment, don't believe that Dale Brown has ever forgotten the humiliating 67-49 defeat Indiana plastered LSU with back in 1981 on the way to IU's national championship.
Florida. Ah, those beloved Gators.
Writers around the league (blush, blush) tended to write off the Gators last week after Florida's shocking loss in the SEC tourney. It marked the Gators' fifth league loss in their last six games. Florida, argued some, was on its way to a tank job.
They headed toward the tank alright. But to drown a couple teams like North Carolina State (Norm Sloan's old club) and Big Ten 'co-champion Purdue.
The 85-66 bombing of Purdue on Sunday adequately served notice to the remaining 15 teams in the NCAA that the Gators are alive and well in their first-ever NCAA tournament.
First on the agenda this week is a date with Syracuse and the Orangemen won't have the homecourt advantage they enjoyed last weekend. If Florida handles Syrcause, it'll be showdown time with North Carolina, a team Sloan knows a little something about.
Somewhere along the line, North Carolina usually finds a way to blow its annual golden opportunity. Florida will be more than willing to accommodate the Tar Heels.
If I seem to be a bit biased, then perhaps I am. For the second year in a row, the Southeastern Conference has proven its worth to college basketball. When the dust settles this Sunday, all three SEC teams may be on the sidelines. Then again, all three could be playing for the national championship in New Orleans.
[Continued On Page 22] (gape, 4
Bat Cats Lose; Streak Ends At Eight With 6-0 Loss To Bradley
Two Bradley pitchers combined to shut down the hot Kentucky Wildcats to only five harmless hits, handing the hosts their first loss of the season 6-0 at Shively Field last Thursday.
Bradley, 7-0, got outstanding performances from hurlers Paul DeJaynes and Curt Hasler. DeJaynes, whose record jumped to 3-0, gave up four hits in 7'/3 innings worked. Bradley's No. 1 stopper has been drafted by the American League's Minnesota Twins.
But it wasn't all DeJaynes who contributed to Kentucky's initial loss of the 1987 campaign. In the first inning the visitors scored twice with the help of three hits and a throwing error by Wildcat center fielder Chris Estep.
The lead was extended to 4-0 in the fifth inning when again UK was credited with another error, this time by catcher David Ray.
UK freshman Danny Benson took the loss.
* * * *
Last Wednesday Kentucky racked up six hits off of Cumberland University (Term.) pitchers which was good enough to earn Keith Madison's squad a 6-4 win on a chilly afternoon in Lexington.
The 8-0 Wildcat start is the best start in the institution's history.
The Bat Cats won the game in the sixth inning when they broke a 4-4 deadlock. Kentucky started its winning rally with singles each from Darin Rieman and Bobby Olinick. With runners at first and second, Mark Blythe put one over the shortstop's head, giving UK the lead for keeps (5-4). After a Terry Shumpert ground out, forcing runners to second and third, Billy White knocked in an insurance run when he grounded out.
Steve Culkar came in out of the bullpen for two innings to earn his first victory without a loss this season. Tom Deller really earned his second save of the season when he got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth.
Twice the NAIA team jumped ahead. But twice the Wildcats battled back.
Cumberland's Dave Stauss drilled a two-out, two-run shot over the left-center field fence to give the visitors a quick 2-0 lead. Cumberland would score once more in the initial frame as Kentucky found itself down by three entering the bottom half of the first inning.
But. . .the Wildcats' bats came out smokin'.
Shumpert and Billy White got on board with a pair of singles. Following a successful double steal, Chris Estep knocked a 3-0 pitch over the center-field fence to tie the score.
After three scoreless innings, Cumberland went ahead by a run. But Mitch Knox quickly pulled the Wildcats even in the bottom half of the fifth with a straight-away shot which cleared the fence.
Little Things Can Get Players Pumped Up
Perry Impressed With UK During Visit j
A couple of issues back, I talked about some things that sometimes frustrate players. This time, I will talk about things that players like to encounter.
There are many plays that fans like, but none are as exciting as the slam dunk. Although yours truly had two dunks in his college career, it was nothing compared to high school. I led the team in dunks with 16 of them. As a matter of fact, when coach Leonard Hamilton came to see me. 1 tried to reverse dunk on two players. I missed the dunk, but it was one of those plays players like to see. An "A" for effort and degree of difficulty, but a spot on the bench
	Dicky Beal Cats' Pause Columnist
for hotdogging. .
You have to take into account that when a player reaches the college level, his role may change drastically. Some players may get the green light, while others turn into role players. I was a role player, but that was OK by me. You learn to sacrifice what you can do for the sake of the team. Still, you get a lot of satisfaction from things that may occur on the court.
Upset Wins Can Set Tone For Entire Season
As a team, you love to win games that people don't expect you to win. A real good example is Kentucky's 70-69 win at Alabama.
Perry Witnessed 2 Exciting Encounters
I felt that there was no way the 'Cats could beat the Tide in Tuscaloosa. A lot of people felt that way. Well, good things happen to good teams when their back is against the wall. A good solid team like Alabama can shake off a loss and continue to have an outstanding season, but victories like this sometimes set the tone for the rest of the year for the underdog.
Most players like the idea of getting in a fastbreak situation. For the most part, in can turn the tempo of the game around very quickly. "Fastbreaking teams are usually hard to defend. When you can make the other team worry about transition, you can usually wear them down physically as well as mentally. Oklahoma, UNLV and North Carolina are a few teams that are tough to defend because of their style of play. Each of these teams tries to run after free
throws, made baskets and turnovers. The excitment is not only generated from the players, but the fans get more involved in the
Walker Was A UK 'In-The-Paint' Luxury
game. It just seems that when a fastbreaking team is on the floor, everyone is on the edge of their seat.
Game-Winning Buckets Are The Ultimate
Hitting the winning basket is a great feeling. It's something that
you always dream of doing if you're a player. You step up to the line and you concentrate on hitting the foul shot. There are five seconds left in the game and you are called upon to win it. How about beating a team on a jump shot with no time left on the clock? You think about what has happened and it doesn't sink in until after the game is over. I guess you can say that you are the hero.
On the defensive end, you like to get steals. If you watch Kentucky's defense you will see James Blackmon, Ed Davender and Rex Chapman gamble in the passing lanes. They don't get the luxury of trying to steal as much this year, because the inside defense isn't quite as good as it was a year ago. If the guards got beat in '86, Kenny Walker or Winston Bennett would be waiting to take a charge or block a shot. That's why people don't think Davender is playing the same type of defense because he doesn't have the luxury of having Walker or Bennett behind him.
Although I didn't get many in my career, I always tried to block shots. It seemed I always got called for a foul, though. Big men love to block shots. If I was coaching, I would tell my inside players to pump fake. I haven't seen a big man yet that didn't take a pump fake. Once you get a big man in the air, you've got him right where you want him. However, if the guy who is in the air is a Kenny Walker, then you may have to wait a few seconds before he comes down. You like to see blocked shots because it encourages your big people. Swatting shots away and getting rebounds keeps the big guys into the game emotionally.
Winning is probably the best way to enjoy what goes on during a game. There are spectacular plays that happen, but if you win, the plays will be talked about even more than the losers' great plays. Dunks, steals exciting assists and fastbreaks are expected when the 'Cats hit the floor. It's all part of the Kentucky Tradition.
Perry Likes Hupp Arena Atmosphere
When Ole Miss and Oklahoma came to town the last week of the regular season, I had the pleasure of talking with Elliot Perry, the 6-0 guard from Memphis (Tenn.) Tread well High School. He averages 35 points a game. Teams that he has high on his list are Oklahoma, Memphis State and UK. I think Kentucky has a real good chance of getting Perry for next season. I believe it will eventually come down to UK and Memphis State. Perry is considered to be one of the top 50 players that have not yet committed to play college basketball.
Perry is a very quiet young man. He doesn't show much emotion, but I noticed that he was pulling for Kentucky during those two recent games. He couldn't have picked a better weekend to come. He mentioned the atmosphere in Rupp Arena was second to none.
That doesn't surprise me one bit. SMU Program Faces Tough Road Ahead
Cinderella Stories Don't Always End Well
Understandably, the top concern for Southern Methodist University faithful has to do with the long term effect of having the football program mothballed for next year. Doubtless, it will be five years, at least, before the Mustangs can hope to be competitive on the gridiron and it may be that long as well before the entire athletic department recovers.
Dave Bliss' basketball team suffered through an unexpectedly abysmal season, and despite the promise offered by arriving Dallas schoolboy standout Larry Johnson, the aftershock of the football scandal may make it very difficult for Bliss' program to be
Larry Donald
Cats' Pause Columnist
It seems hard to believe it was just three years ago when SMU was the newest darling in the basketball world and that Bliss, a former assistant to Bobby Knight, was considered a hot coaching property. Now there's some question whether either can survive. . .
As we open play this week in the NCAA tournament, it is for so many such an exciting time. I'm thinking particularly of the Cinderella stories which get written each year and how much of those participants must enjoy these few weeks of glory.
What's interesting, however, is to study some of the long term effects on the programs of these smaller schools which are rushed into the spotlight. In most cases the shining moment is terribly brief and the darkness that follows is not pleasant.
An example of this is the North Carolina-Charlotte story. Ten years ago the 49ers burst into public conscienceness on the talented play of Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell and the tart tongue of coach Lee Rose. How well I remember his scolding the media in the Lexington regional that year and how there was a certain tone in his voice when he referred to the University of North Carolina as "Chapel Hill," which was meant to underscore the fact that the Tar Heels and his team were all governed by the same state system.
After making it to the Final Four and losing to Marquette, Rose stayed on for one more season before accepting the Purdue job. His assistant, Mike Pratt, got the job and tried mightily to match the success with the new-found expectation. After that, four-year athletic director Clyde Walker broomed him and hired ex-Fordham coach Hal Wissel. Three years later both of them had moved along.
From the heights of the Final Four, UNCC has followed that with an annual renewal as a doormat team in the Sun Belt Conference.
if x
Dave Bliss Could Be In Trouble In Dallas
This year, for the first time since 1977, new coach Jeff Mullins coaxed an 18-win season and seems to have the program, if not on a quick rise, certainly showing some improvement.
The moral of the story is this: In so many casesUNCC, Indiana State, and before them Western Kentuckythere is a failure to take the moment and build from it. Instead of rededicating its efforts to be successful within its world, the particular school seems anxious to bask in the dying moment, or worse, begin to think they'll always be giants.
Hank Raymonds, the retiring athletic director at Marquette,
was asked about the Warriors' championship that year. He shook his head and said, "Probably the worst thing that ever happened because the standard has been set unrealistically high."
Words for the Cinderellas of 1987 to ponder. . .
What's with the all-out media assault on Illinois' coach Lou Henson? Both the print and broadcast media seemed to be double-teaming this guy in the closing weeks of the season, utilizing statistics to portray a coach who simply fell apart at the end of a close game. I would remind my brethren of just a few things here:
*This Illinois program was in sad condition when Henson arrived in 1976 after coaching successfully at Hardin-Simmons and New Mexico State, where he had six NCAA teams and one Final Four entrant. He has coached the Illini to 20-plus win seasons ever year in this decade and five of them have appeared in the NCAA tournament.
Now, does this sound like a man who cannot coach in any situation?
*Statistics can be very dangerous. To suit its purposes television selected game decided by five points or less to underscore its case. Why five? Why not two or one?
Two situations I'd like to use. In the game against Purdue, II-
Give mini's Henson A Break
linois executed perfectly down the stretch, scoring a pair of three-pointers in the closing 30 seconds to deadlock the game and send it to overtime. But if you watched the game you know that those six points should have given Illinois the win because a Purdue player had been given credit for a three-pointer when replays showed clearly that his foot was on the line a few seconds earlier. Now, is it Henson's fault that an official made a poor call? His team won the game by executing, but later left Assembly Hall with a "statistical" loss because of an official's error.
Second came the Illinois game against Indiana. Down two with 34 seconds to go, the Hoosiers called time and gathered around Knight to map out the strategy. Once back in play they moved the ball around and with the clock running out Steve Alford missed a long, forced, desperation shot.
I just wonder how many of the writers and broadcasters had the courage to suggest some better coaching at the end of the game might have given Indiana the win?. . .
It's All-American time, and here's how my ballot reads:
Kenny Smith of North Carolina and Indiana's Alford in the backcourt. At the forwards I'm breaking the pattern a little, but give me Dennis Hopson of Ohio State and Derrick McKey of Alabama. In the middle, David Robinson of Navy is the best by a wide margin. Next issue, we'll talk about individual awards. . .
As I mentioned earlier, this is the opening week of tournament play, but deadlines preclude my having the advantage of even knowing how the NCAA pairings worked out. Nonetheless, I'm still comfortable with my choice for No. 1 now as I was last fallNorth Carolina will win it all in New Orleans creating the remarkably ironic fact that the two most revered coaches in this era, Dean Smith and Knight, will have two championships, both won in the same city and five years apart. . .
Michigan's star guard Gary Grant is considered a big-time baseball prospect and will try out with the Wolverines this spring. Same story at Kentucky where Richard Madison got the green light from Eddie Sutton to play baseball, if he keeps his grades on an acceptable level. Both are serious pro prospects. . .
Let's Play Carolina!
Dear Sir:
This may be my first and only letter to the editor, but I had to get this off my chest.
I was shocked to read that Cliff Hagan, athletics director (at UK), would think twice about playing North Carolina in the Tipoff Classic next November.
It is certainly a breach of the classic Wildcat basketball tradition, not to play in this prestigious game, and an honor to play one of the country's top teams, also with a tremendous tradition.
The late and great Adolph F. Rupp (der Baron) would take on all comers, and the almighty dollar was not given first consideration.
If UK isn't ready to meet North Carolina, then they will certainly benefit from the experience. Denny Crum's teams at Louisville get racked up early in the season, but manage to struggle back by tournament time.
If the UK basketball program wants to be treated like a class act, then it had better start responding to something other than its own selfish interests.
I realize that money might be a predominant factor in the program, but there is something like old-fashioned pride to consider, to continue to live up to the billing of one of the finest basketball programs in the land.
Coach Rupp would have been disappointed for UK not to have played in the Tipoff Classic, and so will many Kentuckia