xt7ht727b077 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7ht727b077/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1986 Volume 10 -- Number 27 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 (1985-1986) coaches Sutton, Eddie assistant coaches Hamilton, Leonard players Harden, Roger UK vs. Ole Miss (March 3, 1986) SEC Men's Basketball Championship (1986) NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (1986) University of Kentucky Football (1986) Claiborne, Jerry Wilburn, Butch statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  "March 15, 1986" text The Cats' Pause,  "March 15, 1986" 1986 2012 true xt7ht727b077 section xt7ht727b077 University ArcHlvei Margaret j. King Library - North UjjJversrtY of Kentucky Lexington, Keniucky 40505
-< m rn n 2 o
O ^ Xj >-4
Ift C" > (/i U ij
a o   -t o-
2 (/) ~> *
roam v > \
H H X] 00
n m
O (ft*
Cate 7/-ave/ To Charlotte For NCAAs
The Cats' Pause
 f77ie Coo/a ' ($cui&&
March /S, {<)8fr
PUBLICATION NO. USPS 707340 Published By WILDCAT NEWS COMPANY P.O.Box 7297 Lexington, Kentucky 40522 Second Class Postage Paid at Lexington. Kentucky 40511 and additional Mailing offices
Editor and Publisher
Staff Writer TODD HALLUM National Recruiting Columnist BOB GIBBONS Columnist LARRY VAUGHT Columnist BOB WATKINS
Columnist STAN TORGERSON Columnist DICKY BEAL Kentucky Basketball Recruiting RICK BOLUS Contributing Columnist
JAMIE VAUGHT Sport Hobby Columnist JACK MAIDEN Business Manager DONNA COMBS Composition Coordinator DON COFFEY Staff Photographer GARY CROMWELL Circulation Coordinator
Published Weekly: Sept. 14-April 12 Monthly: May, June. July, August
Advertising Representative WILDCAT NEWS COMPANY 2625 Regency Road Lexington, Kentucky 40503
Subscription Price $25.00 per year in USA $35.00 per year in Canada Phone:(606)278-3474
Postmaster: Send Address Chajiges to THE CATS' PAUSE.P.O. Box 7297, Lexington. Kentucky 40522
Leonard Hamilton Named Head Coach At Oklahoma Stat
The Cats' Pause learned at presstime that UK assistant coach Leonard Hamilton has been selected as the new head coach at Oklahoma State University.
TCP learned that a press conference would be called for Wednesday to make the official announcement and introduce Hamilton to the news media in Oklahoma.
He will replace Paul Hansen whose contract was not renewed. That announcement came during the past season. Oklahoma State finished the season with a mark of 15-13, but upset arch-rival Oklahoma in the regular season finale at Stillwater.
Hamilton has been an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky since 1974 when he joined Joe B. Hall's staff. Three years ago, he was elevated to the title of associate head coach at Kentucky.
Hamilton came to Kentucky from Austin Peay State College in Tennessee where he was an assistant under head coach Lake Kelly.
He has generally been regarded as one of the nation's top recruiters and frequently listed among the top five assistant coaches in the USA.
A native of Gastonia, North Carolina, Hamilton has been responsible for recruiting several Kentucky stars, including Ail-Americans Sam Bowie, Melvin Turpin and Kenny Walker among others over the past decade.
More details will appear in next week's edition of The Cats' Pause.
Leonard Hamilton
i i
CO H <
00 hJ *H (-1
u in

tO H O 55
w c ^
W pt-i
to o
U l-t
01 CO
>> Pi (0 w fI > P-> M
i I I
FG FGA"		FT	FTA	Reb	Ast	To	Blk	Stl	Dnk	Pts
WALKER, KENNY										
SH 12	21	16	18	14	5	5	4 '	3	1	33
CH 14	25	16	20	19	5	7	4	5	1	36
SH 10	18	14	16	14	4	7	2	4	-	26
CH 10	18	14	16	14	4	7	2	7	-	26
BLACKM0N, JAMES										
SH 11	16	5	8	7	6	4	1	6	1	22
CH 11	16	6	8	7	6	5	1	6	1	22
DAVENDER, ED										
SH 8	14	7	11	7	8	6	2	5	-	22
CH 9	15	9	11	7	8	6	2	5	-	27
HARDEN, ROGER										
SH 8	13	4	4	5	11	6	1	3	-	18
CH 8	13	5	6	5	12	8	1	5	-	18
SH 5	10	3	. 4	7	2	2	1	1	1	13
CH 5	10	3	4	7	2	2	2	1	1	13
SH 5	8	5	7	7	4	4	2	1	-	13
CH 7	12	6	7	8	4	4	2	1	-	16
LOCK, ROBERT										
SH 4	8	4	6	 5	1	4	9	2	-	12
CH 4	8	4	6	6	1	4	2	2	-	12
ZIEGLER, TODD										
SH 4	8	9 	3	3	1	2	1	1		8
CH 4	8	?	3	3	1		X	1		8
THOMAS, IRVING										
SH 2	3	3	6	3	2	3	2	I'	_	
CH 2	3	3	6	3	i	3	2	1	: _	
BYRD, LER0Y										
SH 3	3	2	3		3		-	3		6
CH 3	3		3	2	3	2	-	3	: _	6
ANDREWS, PAUL										
SH 3	. 6	)	0.	4	3	3	-	1	_	r O
CH 4	6 v	^)	2	4	3	3		1		8
 March ^6} (9<9fr
		A		A				
	 \ w ... j*jm		Oscar- Jfi (jam/hs;		V	H		
l/K - A Cat With Nine Lives
Hey, Eddie! Stop this merry-go-round and let me off. Can't stand any more of this excitement.
Enough is enough!
Sure, it's fun, but a man could have the big one if he's not careful. Following this Kentucky team is like hitting the state fair midway every day for ten straight nights.
A man can take only so much tension and excitement. It's one thing to conquer the likes of Louisville and Indiana. Then you gave us those heart-stopping victories over LSU, Alabama and Tennessee on the road.
And then there was a teary-eyed senior farewell at Rupp Arena a couple weeks ago when the LSU Tigers fell victim.
Yeah, I was a little choked up, but I believe I spotted some blurry eyes behind those glasses you wear. Tough stuff, wasn't it? Ole Happy has a way of making you feel that way with his version of My Old Kentucky Home.
Eddie, I didn't have trouble with any the LSU win. We've come to expect a win in that game, Kentucky has won its final regular season home game for the past twenty years. You've kept that tradition perfectly intact.
But Eddie, we had no idea you were going to keep us on the edge of our seats in the SEC Tournament. Quite frankly, no one would have complained if Kentucky had lost to either LSU or Alabama.
Kentucky has enjoyed a very good season. Super, to be more precise. And well, if you don't win a "National Coach of the Year" honor, we'll present our own. You deserve it. No ifs, buts or other excuses. You deserve the honor.
But this winning thing, well it's getting contagious. Why, some folks are beginning to expect a victory every time you step on the floor. And there are a few people who are beginning to believe that cocky little floor general you got.
People no longer are poking fun at Roger (loud and clear) Harden. Oh, everyone just laughed and joked about his prediction of making it to the Final Four. But that was back in October. And November. And December. And January. And February.
But now it's March and somehow you and your Wildcats have fashioned an impossible 29-3 record. You've won every way possible. You've won from start to finish, you've won by coming from behind. You've won at home, on the road and at neutral sites.
It's been done with the brillance of Ail-American Kenny Walker, All-SEC performers Winston Bennett and Roger Harden. And it's been accomplished by the likes of reserves like Robert Lock and Cedric Jenkins.
Why, your record against LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisville and Indiana is an incredible 10-0. Unheard of, man!
Now it's on to the NCAA at Charlotte.
Tempted to say luck will run out in ACC Country, that the end of the line will pop up somewhere between Charlotte and Atlanta.
It could happen, but it probably won't.
The toughest assignment will be keeping the Cats sharp for those early games in which Kentucky will be a sizeable favorite. Davidson is not a bad team or it wouldn't be in the
But this Kentucky team has destiny written all over it.
Eddie, believe it or not, those Final Four predictions don't sound so crazy these days, even if you should have to beat Alabama a fourth time.
Kentucky's first round opponent Friday at Charlotte will be Davidson of the Southern Conference.
Tip-off for the game will be 9:38 p.m. Friday which will be the last of four first-round games at Greensboro Coliseum. The game will be carried by NCAA Productions which includes stations in both Lexington and Louisville (check local television listings for station list).
Other first round games that day at Charlotte will have Western taking on Nebraska, Alabama meeting Xavier of Ohio and Illinois playing Fairfield.
Davidson won its NCAA bid by winning the Southern Conference Tournament a week earlier in Asheville by defeating VMI 71-62, East Tennessee 74-65 and Tennessee-Chattanooga 42-40.
Davidson entered this year as a preseason favorite because it returned all five starters from the previous year.
Greensboro will be a definite homecourt advantage for Davidson since the school lists the Greensboro Coliseum as one of its two home playing facilities.
Davidson compiled a record of 20-10, but lost at Duke (69-52) and lost at home to South Carolina (63-49).
In last Friday's edition of USA Today, six of the national television sports personalties predited how the NCAA field would shape up.
Guess who came closest to be accurate? If you say CBS' Brent Musburger, then you're right on target.
Musburger had 12 of 16 teams in the right regions while Dick Enberg of NBC-TV and Billy Packer of CBS had 11 correct predictions. ESPN's Dick Vitale had nine right while NBC's Bucky Waters had only four right.
Only one broadcaster had a perfect region and that was Packer who predicted correctly that Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Memphis State and Illinois would be the top four seeds, in' that order, in the Southeast Region. Packer came close on the West, naming North Carolina, St. John's, Oklahoma and UNLV. Oklahoma didn't make it to the West and the correct four in order in the West are St. John's, Louisville, North Carolina and UNLV.
Overall, Enberg was most consistently accurate. He correctly picked three of the top four choices in three of the four regions. He had Duke, Syracuse, Memphis State and Indiana in the East; Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Michigan State in the Southeast; Kansas, Michigan, Georgetown and Bradley in the Midwest and North Carolina-, St.* JohTfvUNEV andKcitre Dame"
in the West.
Waters had a perfect regional, but in the wrong region. Bucky predicted that Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Memphis State and Illinois all would be in the same regionthe West. They are, but in the Southeast.
Everyone predicted that Duke, Kansas and North Carolina would be automatic No. 1 seeds. Only Duke and Kansas were. Carolina turned out to be a No. 3 seed after slumping near the season's end.
Kentucky was a No. 1 seed in the minds of everyone except Al McGuire and Waters. McGuire had UK No. 2 behind Georgia Tech in the Southeast while Waters predicted that Kentucky would be No. 2 behind Georgia Tech in the West.
Notre Dame was a Top Four regional seed by Enberg, McGuire, Musberger, Packer, Vitale, and Waters. When the NCAA selection committee concluded its work, the Irish was right on target, No. 3 in the Midwest region.
Louisville was the biggest surprise to the broadcasters. The Cards, on a rage in recent weeks and thumped Memphis State for the second time in a week, soared to the top in the seedings, taking the No. 2 spot in the West regional behind St. John's. Only Vitale and Musburger put Denny Crum's Cards that high prior to the Memphis State blowout Sunday.
Kansas, the class of the Midwest, was the only perfect prediction for all the broadcasters. Larry Brown's Jayhawks were the unanimous choice to be seeded No. 1 in the Midwest. And they were.
The biggest overall surprise, from start to finish this season, had to be Kentucky's No. 1 seed in the Southeast. At least five schoolsGeorgia Tech, Louisville. Memphis State, LSU, and Auburn figured to have a better shot at the top spot in preseason polls.
Kentucky waded through its campaign with a nifty 29-3 mark and left the selection committee with little choice but to seed the Cats No. 1.
RECRUITING UPDATE. . . Superscout Bill Cronauer says his top Kentucky prep sleeper is Louisville Ballard's Lionel Bacon and that his Mr. Unknown is Owensboro's Marcus Robinson, a 6-2 senior. . . Cronauer also predicts big-time status for Louisville Seneca 6-4 sophomore Junior Graves, son of legendary ex-Central High coach Bob Graves. "Has fine lateral quicks, plays very hard, always active . . . his picturesque jump shot is devastating off the wing. . . still needs strength, but this soph is a sizzler," said Cronauer . . . Bill has this to say about 6-2 junior Steve Schureman of Clark County, "reminds us of a young Jeff Lamp, though that's a mouthful. . . went generally unnoticed at King of the Bluegrass, but we're excited (we hear Purdue is, too). . . fulltime pointman who'll grow to 6-4. . . real confidence with ball, has passing knack as very unselfish QB. . . good jumpshot."
Spotted in the crowds at Rupp Arena were several members of the 1975 NCAA runners-up, including former All-American Kevin Grevey, Steve Lochumueller, Jimmy Dan Conner, Jack Givens and James Lee among others . . . Comedian Jerry Clower of country music fame, was there for the entire tournament, along with his long-time minister, Rev. Jim Yates of Yazoo, Mississippi. Both Jerry and his preacher enjoyed a pretty good time. Clower, an ex-Mississippi State football player, enjoyed a pair of State upsets while his preacher, an avid Kentucky fan, witnessed the Cats' second tournament title in the past three years . . . Los Angeles Lakers general manager Jerry West took in part of the tournament. He is a close friend of Sonny Smith and visited with Sonny and his wife during their stay in Lexington. Mrs. Smith, who missed Sonny's unbelievable SEC tourney comeback last season while recuperating from an illness, has made an unbeliveable comeback of her own and appears to be doing extremely well . . . Also making the rounds and renewing old friendships was former Tennessee head coach Ray Mears who managed to recall a few of his old confrontations with the late Adolph Rupp. Said Mears, "there's no question in my mind that Bernard King was the greatest player to every play in the SEC." That's enough to start off World War HI, not to mention what it did to poor ole Ray back in the seventies. Ray has an arguable point, but I wonder if he really believes it was all worth the troubk.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten were the conference winners once again, but I can't understand why the NCAA left three of four SEC teams in the same region when it appeared to divide other conference teams more evenly in different regions.
Kentucky, LSU and Alabama were all left in the Southeast. UK had to be the No. 1 seed either in the Southeast or the West. No problem there. And you could understand the logic of allowing LSU to stay at home in the first round.
But why keep Alabama there? For a possible fourth match with UK, even before the regional finals? Usually, the NCAA doesn't allow a conference champion to face a conference foe before the regional finals. One has to wonder why, especially after playing a cross-state school (Western) a game earlier.
Meanwhile, the committee did a great job of providing the ACC with an opportunity of sending conference teams to the Final Four from all four regions. Two each went West and East with one each to the Midwest and Southeast.
The Big 10 has three in the Midwest, two in the Southeast and one in the East.
Now for the real tearjerkers!
How about Texas, Texas A & M and TCU for starters. Those three tied for the Southwest Conference title. Along comes Texas Tech and wins the conference tourney with a 17-13 record and the automatic bid.
[Continued On Page 38] ^Beat Bama For 3rd Straight Time
97ie< (xi$' &ause
MarcAfS, /J}$f
UK Bench, Harden Help Give 'Cats SEC Title
Kentucky's Eddie Sutton says his bench only plays well when the moon's full. Could it be that the moon, while not only being at a full stage, was also BLUE on the day of the SEC championship? Could it be that it was his bench and not the moon that forced this certain red tide adrift? Sutton's trio of sophomore reserves  Cedric Jenkins, Richard Madison and Robert Lock  teamed up with Wildcat starters to help subdue the Alabama Crimson Tide 83-72 to capture the SEC Tournament Championship. The three players combined for 23 points in 51 minutes of quality time. However, starters Kenny Walker and Roger Harden netted 20 and 18 points, respectively, to power the Wildcats' attack.
Harden, who scored a career-high 18 points and dished out seven assists on this afternoon, was UK's only selection to the five-man all-tournament team. Derrick McKey paced Alabama with 20 points and nine rebounds. Walker's 12 of 12 accuracy from the charity stripe in the second half also dealt a damaging blow to the Tide's cause.
n 3-8-86
[ s-Brf" "Arem--ln"'nrtB: Ky
Attendance, 11 .7P
Farner, J.
II 10 N 2
Johnson, B.
McKey, D.
Conet. T.
5 II 2
Jackson, J.
4|    ' i 1
T"l PF
Dudley, C.
ll   3 ||0
Anslev. M.
31   3 il 5   I  6 11 1
2 !5
il I
TEAM REBOUNDS (Included in Totals)
2	2	0		40
a	4	;		19
i	2	l	3	39
'i	0	0|1		16
to	2	0 II		38
0	1	0	0	25
0	0	0	0	2
0	2	0	0	2 1
! 511 24l34
I li 2 ll 32 I 28 I    72   I     i 1 3-1 3 I 1
Game FG .47 1
PT       7Q6       I_3J Deadball Rebounds
PERCENTAGES:  1st Hall FG .560
2nd Hall FG .385
Ken tuckv
25    Bennett.  W.
'. li 2 | 0 | i .
1 3
It   fl . 16   I 18 !! 5 I  7 '12 [4
B1ackmon .
7!l 0
I 2 I  1 i 3  | 5
Davender,   E
[MP I *
Harden, R.
yrd, L.
13 I 0
0>io I ll I o
Zlenler, T.
Madison. R.
Lock. R.
j\ 2  | J.
I 3
Jenkins,  C.
TEAM REBOUNDS (Included in Totals)
2a! 60 :?7.J_32.
Game FG
n ! 11	0	l	13
1 i 2	0	2	34
1 10	0	1	26
4 I 1	a	1	30
7 ! ll	i	0	39
0 1 0	0	0	1
0 | 0	0	0	u
7 1 2	I	o	.si
0 i 0	o ;o		14
0 1 0	l	ll	.9
1	1		
	I i		
26 I    83   I     LiiLll.  ?i tV^
Oeadball Rebounds
PERCENTAGES:   1st Hall FG .516
. 800
2nd Halt  FG .414
OFFICIALS: "    sheJ-      " t 1 cd 6e_,_i .
Clougliertv ______
Technicjl Fouls'^" ""-kv **ch
. 864
JiX.U-23-40 ; 41
In going down to defeat Alabama was hurt when:
* star performer Buck Johnson was plagued by foul trouble. Bama's 6-8 forward, who was held to 12 points in only 19 minutes of action, picked up his fifth foul with with 5:36 remaining.
* and, with the team's miserable 38.5 percent performance from the field Alabama dug itself a hole it could never climb out of.
Sparked because of a technical foul Kentucky, meanwhile, took the reins and came back from a nine-point deficit in the first half.
UK Trailed at halftime for the second straight game. The Wildcats, though, outscored Wimp Sanderson's ballclub 43-29 in the final 20 minutes to preserve the title.
Kentucky owns a handsome 29-3 record while Alabama drops to 22-8.
"We got some valuable help off the bench," said winning coach Eddie Sutton. "That's one thing that has made this team special. It seems that somebody always steps forward when we need it. Sometimes a starter who doesn't score much will do it, and sometimes it's somebody off the wood."
Kentucky Cave It That Ole College Try
Playing 15 hours after beating a stingy LSU squad, Kentucky somehow took control of the Crimson Tide in the second half.
Early in the second period UK was in foul trouble of its own while staying within one point (42-43). Winston Bennett, who scored a team-high 15 points the night before, picked up his four fouth foul with 17:06 remaining. On came the quiet but cool Jenkins.
Jenkins Nets Career High 13 Points
The Wildcats grabbed the lead for good when Harden pin-pointed a long distance assist to a runaway Walker. He then crammed it home lifting the Cats by one, 44-43. Sutton's crew continued its second half shutout while producing on the offensive end.
Posting up in the paint Jenkins took a pass from Ed Davender and canned a six-foot turnaround giving the Wildcats their biggest lead to date.
"Cedric Jenkins did a whale of a job during that stretch," said Walker of his teammate and friend. "He gave us a big boost with his jump-hook and some putbacks.
"Our big men have given us a little more depth. We have confidence in the job that they can do, and we know they can perform when they come into the game. Jenkins, Madison and Lock will be important factors as we continue play in giving us the depth for the tournament."
Jenkins 13 tallies was a career high for Dawson, Ga., product.
Still failing to score with more than four minutes expired from the second half clock, Alabama was whistled for a walking call at the 15:51 mark. (UA's first point came with 15:05 left when Terry Coner hit a free throw.)
Again, it was Jenkins positioning himself underneath. Guarding the sophomore Johnson picked up his fourth foul with 15:24 left. After taking a seat on the bench, the All-SEC performer didn't return until the 7:25 mark. When he checked back into the lineup UK led 59-53.
urto   11 March 16, (96f
77t& (Data' ^aus&
Bombing Away Was UK's Harden
His stay, though, was short-lived as he fouled out two minutes later.
"When Buck got into foul trouble, we had to make some makeshift substitutions," said Sanderson, "and we didn't have the depth to stay in there." Both Johnson and McKey were named to the all-tournament team selected by the media in attendance.
Midway through the half 18-footers by Harden and James Blackmon and two layups by Jenkins curtailed field goals by Coner, Mark Ansley and a nifty alley-oop dunk by-Derrick McKey. Kentucky was building momentum as it led 55-50 with more than 11 minutes to play.
It was the Master-Blaster's turn to go to war.
With UK ahead by six Madison outhustled McKey for a loose ball as he dove to the floor and flicked it back to one of his teammates. Madison then sank a 10-foot jumper from the baseline pushing the lead to eight with less than seven minutes to play.
On the afternoon Madison contributed eight points.
Like the caliber of player he is Kenny Walker put the game out of the Tide's reach. His 12 free throws in the final three minutes ended any hopes of an Alabama victory.
Sutton's T Helps Stir UK First Half Surge
It took awhile to take effect but Sutton's technical after a non-call and an out-of-bounds ruling may have added some incentive to his players.
With UK trailing 10-9, Walker went to the floor hard after having his shot altered. The result: no call and a Bama fast-break.
Alabama lost control of the ball as it trickled out of bounds. The call: UA's retained position.
By this time Sutton had stripped off his coat and was furiously waving his arms at the officials.
"I didn't say anything personal," Sutton claimed afterwards. "I just said something like, 'Did you guys get up early enough? Are you awake? I deserved the technical. I don't know if it had any effect on the rest of the game or not."
Jenkins was UK's main man in the last three minutes.
Kindly banking home a six-footer, Jenkins' goal brought UK within four, 38-34. Following a James Jackson two-pointer, Jenkins answered with two free throws, keeping the margin at four. Though what turned on the UK partisans was his hustle for a loose ball which he converted into a basket underneath (40-38).
Not since trailing 10-8 had the 'Cats been within a field goal.
For a while it seemed the technical had a reverse effect as Alabama opened a nine-point lead (18-9). After getting burned by McKey inside  resulting in a three-point play  Lock countered with a 12-foot turnaround. At this point Kentucky trailed 21-15.
Though his stats weren't eye-catching  two points and two rebounds  his ten minutes of hustle and defense in the first half were of high value.
Harden almost single-handedly kept his team within striking distance. His six of seven shooting performance was greatly needed.
Behind 31-25 Harden zeroed in from 22, 20 and 18. Still, UK trailed by six.
Late in the half, Bama's Jackson was also unstoppable from the field. His 3-of-3 shooting in the final 6:19 was an added surprise for the Tide. During the season he averaged only 3.9 ppg while hitting on 47.9 percent from the floor.
Against Kentucky the 5-foot-ll junior totaled nine points in a reserve role.
Sky In His Last Game At Rupp
Crimson Tide-Wildcat Tidbits
Kentucky becomes the first SEC team, since the tournys renewal in 1979, to win the championship twice. . .Here's what Eddie Sutton and assistant James Dickey had to say about Kentucky about Cedric Jenkins and the other reserves: "Cedric has played some very fine games for us before but I believe this is the best he's played for us this year," Sutton said. "He's always been a good defender, but he hasn't always scored a lot of points, and he had some big baskets for us. He played 19 minutes and had 13 points and seven rebounds. That's a pretty good effort. Maybe I ought to play him more. I don't know." Said Dickey of Jenkins and the reserves. "I think that's typical of the entire year  someone has always risen to the occasion to help us. whether it be a starter or someone coming of the bench. Paul Andrews helped us win the ballgame in Tuscaloosa. Richard (Madison) came off the bench at Ole Miss to score 13 points. Rob Lock and Leroy have played well off the bench. It's been indicitive of the season we've had. We've got great competitors and someone always has risen to the occasion and have made the big play.". . .While the all-time single season assist leader Roger Harden also showed another side of his game Saturday. Harden's block of Jim Farmer in the first half was the seniors first of his Wildcat career. . .John Williams of LSU was named as the tournament's MVP. Other players selected to the five-man squad were: Roger Harden (Kentucky), Buck Johnson (Alabama). Derrick McKey (Alabama) and Chauncey Robinson (Mississippi State). . .In the tournament Kentucky trailed at halftime to both LSU and Alabama. UK is now 3-2 while behind at halftime. . .Kentucky and Alabama squared off in the 1982 SEC championship game. In that game, played at Rupp Arena, the Crimson Tide came away with a 48-46 victory. UK now owns a 7-2 record in tourney play against Alabama
'Snip, Snip, Snip' 97i& (jat&'
One State Will Recall SEC Tourney's 1st Round
Mississippi Had Reason To Be Proud
First night play in recent SEC tourneys tend to shy away from gaining respectability. The crowds are at their smallest, not to mention the quietest. This is a night where many ticket-holders 'eat' their cardboard admission and sit back at home or in a hotel room with Joe Dean's 'string musics' bellowing out of the television set.
But. after Wednesday night's session in Lexington it was a time for gaining SEC respect for one state. For another, however, the first round was a complete nightmare.
You might say. . .the magnolia flower of Mississippi was in full bloom during the first-round of the SEC Tournament last Wednesday night. And, for the fans from the state of Tennessee the night marked a disaster for two of their respective institutions.
Nick Nicholas
Cats' Pause Columnist
You might say. . .Dixie outlasted Rocky Top.
You might say. . .the 'Bulldog' snatched the bone of victory away from the favored Commodores on this night.
And, you might say. . .Jack Daniels was probably on the minds of many Tennessee travelers after seeing the Commodores and Volunteers go down to sober defeats.
A Night Of Highs And Lows
It was an evening of 'highs' and 'lows.' The highs:
"Well, it was Mississippi (the state) night in Lexington, Kentucky," said Lee Hunt following his team's 73-56 thrashing of Tennessee.
"This group is getting more confident. We have a lot of these folks coming back next year, so we're looking forward to improving Ole Miss basketball and getting better each year."
And Coach Boyd?
"I wish I could be more aware of this last game in the history of your life coaching syndrome," said the retiring and sometimes comical Bob Boyd afterwards when asked if had prepared for supposedly his last coaching assignment. Going into the game as a slight underdog, Mississippi State overcame a six-point halftime deficit on its way to a 62-54 win, sending Vandy back to Music City on a losing note.
"It's great that our team won this game and we get to play some more. I really enjoy coaching and I enjoy, seriously, these people that I deal with."
"In fact we hope to play again the next day."
The lows:
"We haven't played particularly well throughout the SEC (season)," said Don DeVoe, who cited no correlation with his team's poor play of late and the rumours of him taking the coaching vacancy at Ohio State. "We started off by losing at home and we've never really generated any consistency with this team that we wanted to. This team had a lot of promise back in December, but we lost it somewhere along the way."
UT's loss to Mississippi marked its seventh straight defeat. Overall, the Volunteers lost all nine of their road games.
"Certainly a lot of it was taking away with our inability to do two things," DeVoe pointed out of this year's problems. "One, was our inability to GET a lead in a game; and the second thing was to be able to MAINTAIN it."
Yup, that would cause some problems, especially since one requires the other's presence.
"It's very disappointing," said Commodores' skipper CM. Newton. "Anytime you end the season with a loss, which is going to happen here to every team except one, you feel a deep sense of disappointment. It particularly relates to your seniors, because this ends a phase of their athletic career. As a coach you don't like to see it end that way."
SEC Tourney Gives Low Seeds A Chance To Grow
Though the seventh through tenth seeds entered the tournament with a combined 42-66 slate (19-53 in SEC play), there's always that 'Cinderella' possibility. Last season Sonny Smith came out of the No. 7 slot as tourney champs. It's like a team can shrug off an embarrassing campaign and start all over.
"This is a new season," said Ole Miss sophomore guard Roderick Barnes. "Everybody is 0-0 and if you lose you're out."
Mississippi and Mississippi State definitely took the right approach in the first round. . Tennessee and Vanderbilt didn't.
Both the Rebels (4-14 in the SEC) and the Bulldogs (3-15) were seeded lower than their opponents. With a victory apiece both teams then advanced to the quarterfinals. That's where the similarities ended  one team really geared itself for next season while the other seemed to win one for its retiring coach, ala win one for Uncle Bob.
"We're here to play hard." said State's Raymond Brown following MSU's win over Vanderbilt. "We want to give him (Boyd) something before he leaves. Hopefully, an SEC Tournament."
Even though Brown and his teammates didn't claim the championship, they fought till their last chance expired. For that, plus with a win over Vanderbilt and Auburn, they're probably happier than they were after the season-ending loss to Florida.
The win definitely makes their season easier to live with.
In Oxford, Hunt is quietly building respectibility. In '87 don't look past the Rebels.
Seniors Curtis Ritchwood (12.9 points per game) and Derek Home (2.9 ppg) will be gone from a 12-17 squad, but there's signs indicating more wins than losses a t Ole Miss' next year.
Next season Ole Miss returns third team (AP) all-SEC performer Eric Smith (17.8). Teaming up with Smith next season will be flashy point guard Roderick Barnes (9.8 ppg, 5.3 assists per game), forward Joe Ayers (7.9 ppg), guard Joe Coleman and 6-9 center Ronnie Sims (4.4).
Replacing injured Andre Laird. Barnes has been a pleasant surprise. With Laird out for the entire season because of an automobile accident. Hunt didn't know if Barnes could take over the 'point' and handle the leadership role against SEC competition.
Prior to the start of the season Hunt remembered that "after we finished practice I asked Rod, 'Do you think you can play at this level and play in the Southeastern Conference?' He looked at me like Wi\ere have you been? There was no doubt in his mind. He's playing with great