LONG AFTER the buzzer had sounded on Arkansas's 76-72 victory over
Duke, junior guard Clint McDaniel's hands were busy. The same hands
that hours before had helped harass the Blue Devils into 23 turnovers
were now caressing the NCAA championship trophy in a quiet corner of
the Razorbacks' locker room. Looking as content as a child with a
teddy bear, McDaniel said, ''If they'd let me sleep with it, I sure
Why shouldn't they? McDaniel, who thrilled Hog fans all season
with his chaos-creating defensive moves, deserves a thrill in return.
His knack for attack was a key to Arkansas's damaging defense
throughout the season. ''The coaches stress that we should try to
touch the basketball,'' he says. ''You use your feet to get close,
then you touch it. You touch it off the dribble and on passes. That
is disruptive. You might not get the steal, but it might help someone
else get it.''
McDaniel is the first to admit that his hands, as well as his
feet, can be too fast at times. In the Hogs' second-round game
against Georgetown, McDaniel elbowed and kicked the Hoyas' Robert
Churchwell. McDaniel later profusely apologized to Georgetown coach
John Thompson. Some observers thought McDaniel should have been
ejected for fighting, which would have meant an automatic suspension
from the Hogs' next game, against Tulsa. Instead McDaniel, who is
himself from Tulsa, tied his career high with 19 points on 8-for-9
shooting against the Golden Hurricane. ''A lot of people said I
shouldn't be playing,'' he says, ''so I was motivated to help the
team. It was the only way I could show them.''
Now, of course, he also has a nice trophy he can show them. And by
the way, they did let him sleep with it. ''When I woke up and saw
it,'' he says, ''I knew it hadn't been a dream.'' -- K.A.
This is an article from the April 20, 1994 issue