AND THE EGGNOG ISN'T SOUR
Texas A & M coach Shelby Metcalf has his holiday tournament priorities in order.
The Aggies so far have played in the Kentucky Invitational and the Connecticut Mutual Classic in Hartford and will wind up festivities with the Heritage Drake Classic in Des Moines. Metcalf says he likes the city because a radio station broadcasts the pretournament banquet live and replays the best of a coach's monologue the next morning. "It's not whether you win or lose but whether you're funny or not," he says.
And why Hartford?
"They've got a great spread in the hospitality room," says Metcalf.
Can this man never rest? Just when UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian got his team roosting at No. 1 in the polls, a USA Today story reported that Tark's contract calls for him to receive $39,118 worth of tickets per year, including 234 season tickets. Tark told Joe Hawk of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Those tickets are for assistant coaches, families, recruits. They're allotted to the program, not me. They made it sound like they were all mine." After distributing tickets to families, friends and associates, says Old Sad Eyes, "I only have around 80 left."
That won't cover Wayne Newton's horn section.
DAMNING THE BEAVERS
Last March Oregon State wound up its first losing season in 15 years. Soon after, five Beaver underclassmen and a redshirt departed the team; none shows up on this year's roster. Oregon State leaked an explanation that a couple flunked out, a couple of others became homesick and left school and others "saw the handwriting on the wall."
Last spring outgoing senior Steve Woodside demurred, saying he was "embarrassed by the whole thing. There's no way a team should lose that many guys. A number of those players still want to play and they're being forcibly removed. That's a shame for someone to have selected OSU and be escorted out the door."
None of the former Beavers has spoken on the record, but John Owen of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that in telephone conversations his sources told him at least two were informed they would not be welcome back in Corvallis, and a third read in a newspaper that coach Ralph Miller, who has been at the helm 35 years, said the player had announced that he planned to transfer. "You might deduce that he [Miller] is so used to winning that he doesn't know how to lose gracefully," Owen wrote. "The other conclusion...is that Miller is just the innocent victim of a vicious whispering campaign promoted by disgruntled former players."
With a passel of new and, one hopes, gruntled players—Beaver Brian Brundage, the 6'8" ex-con power forward from Brooklyn attempting a laudable self-rehabilitation, is averaging 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds—Miller and OSU are off to a 7-1 start.
YOU EXPECTED FLOATING?
An American (recruiting) Tale. Southeastern Massachusetts coach Brian Baptiste was wandering through the school's Tripp Gym last April and stopped to watch a pickup game. There he saw a player throw down three powerful dunks, the last one tearing off the rim. Upon investigation, Baptiste quickly signed up 6'7", 215-pound Juvan (Torn) Cartledge, who had gone unnoticed in high school because he was on the swim team.
WAITING FOR TITO (CONT.)
Dartmouth 88, Miami 86 (Dartmouth?)...Tito Horford: 8 of 19 field goals (5 dunks), 1 of 5 free throws, 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Duke 74, Miami 67...Horford: 4 of 10 field goals, 5 of 11 free throws, 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Washington Bullets G.M. Bob Ferry: "I think he's going to be a great player."
Miami coach Bill Foster: "If he could make all those shots, he'd probably be playing somewhere else."
Wait a minute. Didn't Tito try that already?
STRING MUSIC OR BE FLAT
Joe Dean, the ever-popular All-SEC player at LSU (1949-52), alternate Olympian, Converse shoe company vice-president and TV color announcer who has made "string music" a national catch phrase, is up for the athletic directorship at his alma mater. The school should bow down in thanks for such a candidate.
Baton Rouge's biggest problem is not the chaotic mess left by former AD and confessed malefactor Bob Brodhead or the cynical, demanding, party-loving fans or the Kingfisherian university politics or even the enigmatic wild-child basketball coach Dale Brown—"I can manage Dale," says Dean, who actually helped Brown get the job at LSU. The school's lack of morale and organization is due, in part, to chancellor James Wharton, as meddlesome a college administrator as any athletic department is likely to see.
But if anybody can do the job despite the interference of Wharton, it is Dean. No one is more knowledgeable, respected and decent in all of college athletics. Dean already has a majority of the 18 LSU athletic board members solidly behind him. Don't drag your tails, Tigers. Hurry up and make it unanimous.
A HOMER'S ODD-YSSEY
The Very Last Word in Christmas Gifts and Sport Jacket of the Year...belongs to California coach Lou Campanelli, who donned his lucky black velour job (a 1984 Yuletide present from his wife) once again to defeat Oregon State, giving the jacket a 5-0 record, which includes two wins two years ago when Campanelli was at James Madison and two last season at Cal, including the victory that broke UCLA's 52-game winning streak over the Bears. Now let's show some real guts, Campy, and wear that baby on the road.
Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson on Kansas's junior forward, Danny Manning: "You could take Manning and four cheerleaders and have a chance. He's the greatest player in the country. There is no way to stop him."
Is it a mirage or is Big East recruiting nowhere this time around? Brian Shorter, a 6'7" forward from Philly now attending Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, who signed with Pittsburgh, is the only national blue-chip front-courtman to commit to any BEastly school so far.
Hawaii coach Frank Arnold marveled at how 6'11" frosh Peter Martin from New Zealand kept the ball above his head after a rebound rather than succumbing to the natural tendency to bring it down. "I figured he must have had some great fundamental coaching," said Arnold, "until I found out he spent his youth playing water polo."
Clemson coach Cliff Ellis, the lead singer in a band during his high school and college days, has recorded Tiger Tune, a beach-flavored song featuring Ellis on lead vocals, with background by the Clemson cheerleaders along with Shagtime, a popular regional group. Considering Clemson's consecutive routs of Prairie View (103-45) and Armstrong State (112-39), and the rest of the demanding Tiger schedule, perhaps the backup band should be called Garbagetime.
Add All-Name Brothers: Eddie Collins and Edward Collins of Marion Junction, who would have been teammates at Alabama-Birmingham if Bylaw 5-1-(j) hadn't knocked off the latter and sent him packing to Southern JC in Birmingham. Maybe next year, Eds.
And A Happy New Annum to Happy Hairston, NYU '64, Bad News Barnes, Texas Western '64 and Alex H'Annum, USC '48.
TCU guard JAMIE DIXON scored 21 first-half points, 28 all told, as the Frogs horned Oklahoma 95-82
to win the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City. Virus-ridden North Carolina State coach Jim
Valvano stayed home when his team ventured to Division II Tampa. So along came guard JOHN JONES to
score 30 points for the Spartans in their 67-62 upset.
The ratio of defending champion Louisville Cardinals who prefer the rap jams of Run-D.M.C. over
Bruce Springsteen. Of course, if the Cards keep getting blown away nobody will care. Hey, 'Ville, You Be Illin'.
SI TOP 20
Monday's matchups at the Bud Light Holiday Classic in Las Vegas and the Dallas Morning News Classic would have made a grand Final Four: Vegas against the U.S. Robinson Academy, and Purdue vs. Carolina. A man can dream, can't he? Wonder if Kentucky and UCLA met going up and down the ladder? How did Arkansas lose to Southwest Missouri State? Same way the Hogs' William Mills failed another drug test. Stupidity.
2. PURDUE (7-0)
3. N. CAROLINA(8-1)
4. IOWA (11-0)
5. GEORGETOWN (8-0)
6. INDIANA (9-1)
7. TEMPLE (9-1)
8. AUBURN (7-0)
9. NAVY (5-1)
10. KENTUCKY (6-1)
11. ST. JOHN'S (8-0)
12. OKLAHOMA (7-2)
13. SYRACUSE (10-0)
15. KANSAS (6-2)
16. DUKE (6-1)
17. ILLINOIS (8-2)
18. FLA. STATE (5-1)
*May 1987 inspire university president Eamon Kelly to reinstate a game that he Green Waved away in the wake of point-shaving allegations in 1985.