Bob Knight's season of discontent continued as Indiana lost Big Ten games to Illinois (66-50) and Purdue (72-63). The defeats extended Indiana's home-court losing streak to three, the longest skid in Knight's 14 years in Bloomington. But it was a skid of another sort—the path traveled by a red plastic chair Knight heaved from courtside five minutes into the loss to Purdue—that made headlines.
Knight had become incensed when, after a scramble for a loose ball, a foul was assessed against Indiana's Marty Simmons. Knight protested that a jump ball should have been called. Then, as Purdue was inbounding the ball, another foul was called, on the Hoosiers' Daryl Thomas. Knight, now protesting vehemently, was slapped with a technical foul by referee Fred Jaspers. It was then that Knight sent the chair flying across the floor. Knight was then hit with a second technical and was ejected from the game by Jaspers. He was assessed a third as he left the floor.
Knight refused to talk to the press, but he did offer something of an explanation for the chair-throwing to friends later that evening. Knight said he had decided to coach the game without his trademark red plaid sports coat—or any coat at all. When he became angered by the officials, he instinctively wanted to tear his jacket off. "But I wasn't wearing a jacket," he said, "so I grabbed a chair instead." The next day, in a prepared statement, Knight apologized for his outburst. "I do not think my action in the Purdue game was appropriate," he said. "No one realizes that more than I do."
Off the floor, St. John's forward Willie Glass wears his dual nicknames—Hollywood and Mr. Glass—around his neck in the form of two garish gold script pendants. In the Redmen's 88-83 victory at Syracuse, which assured them of a tie for the Big East regular-season title, Glass was as good as gold. He scored a career-high 22 points while holding high-scoring Orange forward Rafael Addison to 14. Georgetown prepared for this week's showdown with St. John's at Madison Square Garden by routing Pitt 70-46 and Connecticut 68-47. Said UConn forward Ray Broxton, "The Hoyas look like the champions they were last year."
After four straight losses, Maryland coach Lefty Driesell finally gained his 500th career coaching victory. The Terps crushed hapless Towson State 91-38 in Cole Field House and then gave Driesell a dousing in champagne that had been on ice for more than two weeks. "I was tired of hearing that '499' chant every time we played on the road," said Driesell.
Georgia needed a couple of scrambling finishes to beat Auburn 86-84 and Kentucky 79-77 on the road and keep its share of first place in the SEC, along with LSU. Donald Hartry gave Georgia its victory over Auburn by sinking a 25-foot jumper with :05 left. "It's a miracle, it's a miracle," yelled Georgia coach Hugh Durham afterward. On Sunday, it was Bulldog forward Horace McMillan's turn to do the miraculous. McMillan scored on a tip-in with 13 seconds to play to give the Dawgs their first win at Kentucky since 1923.
Memphis State beat Virginia Commonwealth 81-73 with help from American Express, a.k.a. point guard Andre Turner. When Turner missed the Tigers' 75-71 loss at Kansas on Feb. 9 for his father's funeral, a friend said of Turner "[He's like] American Express, don't leave home without him." Against VCU, Turner was credited with 19 points—second to teammate Keith Lee's game-high 23—and seven assists.
Saying that he did a "very idiotic and stupid thing" by giving a player an expense check he wasn't entitled to receive, 39-year-old Jim Haller resigned as basketball coach at Baylor before he could be dismissed by university president Dr. Herbert H. Reynolds. Less than 24 hours earlier, WFAA-TV in Dallas had aired a conversation, secretly tape-recorded by former Bear reserve center, John Wheeler, in which Haller discussed a $172 check he'd given Wheeler. The check was to be used to make an auto payment. Haller also talked of Wheeler's use of steroids.
Wheeler, a junior who had transferred from Cleveland State in 1983, had left Baylor's team because he was dissatisfied with his playing time. About his decision to tape-record Haller, Wheeler told The Dallas Morning News, "I just thought it up. I was desperate. He treated me so bad, I said, 'There's got to be a way.' " In announcing Haller's resignation, Reynolds also said that Wheeler had withdrawn from school. Wheeler was given campus police protection after he reported receiving eight death threats.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DWYANE RANDALL: The 6'7" Nevada-Reno junior forward scored 46 points, made 16 of 24 shots from the field and had 25 rebounds as the Wolf Pack defeated Idaho (87-76) and Boise State (76-74).
SI TOP 20
ST. JOHN'S (24-1)
MEMPHIS STATE (22-2)
GEORGIA TECH (19-6)
LA. TECH (24-2)
N. CAROLINA (21-6)
LOYOLA (ILL.) (20-5)
N.C. STATE (18-7)