LIFE AFTER BOB
The All-Happiness-Is-Seeing-Bloomington-in-Your-Rearview-Mirror Team, featuring those who left Indiana and the rantings of Bob Knight to find tranquillity and prosperity elsewhere:
•Mike Giomi is a starter at N.C. State, averaging 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
•Marty Simmons leads Evansville in scoring (19.8) and rebounding (6.9).
•Delray Brooks is averaging 17.7 points per game for Providence.
•Tracy Foster is the top scorer at UAB with 18.6 points per game.
•Washington Post reporter John Feinstein, who spent the 1985-86 season writing a book about Knight and the Hoosiers, ranks No. 12 on The New York Times best sellers list. The 275,000th copy of his A Season on the Brink will soon roll off the presses.
AND ONE WHO STAYED
Despite reports during his sophomore season that he, too, had had enough of Knight, Steve Alford has stuck it out. Last Thursday the senior guard passed the 2,000-point milestone for his IU career, and he did it in a most economical fashion. He went 7 for 9 from the floor during Indiana's 103-65 defeat of Wisconsin.
But it wasn't any ordinary 7 for 9. Alford's seven field goals got him every one of his 21 points. That's right: He attempted just one shot of the two-point variety. Of course, you might try such an Alfordian feat, too, if you were shooting .586 from afar and only .432 from within.
The hosannas that followed Kentucky's 85-51 mauling of Louisville earlier this season have now given way to horrors. LSU's 76-41 romp at Rupp Arena on Sunday was the Cats' worst loss since 1950, their worst at home since 1926 and their third at home this season.
Of course there was a silver lining. Coach Eddie Sutton could at least applaud his team's 12-for-14 foul shooting. The Cats had been a pathetic 55% from the line entering the game, thanks to such Groucho Marksmen as Rob Lock (44%), Irving Thomas (42%) and Derrick Miller (46%). Sutton was even thinking about putting a sports psychologist, Dr. Stanley Frager, on the case. Possible problem there though: Frager is a member of the faculty at hated Louisville.
NOISY IN BOISE
Confounding Big Sky soothsayers who pegged them for last in the conference, the Broncos of Boise State are 12-3 and in the league race. Coach Bobby Dye can thank 6'6" Arnell (AJ) Jones, who is contributing 17.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. After starring for two seasons at San Jose City College, Jones took a job last year in a paint store and set about making a life for himself as "either an interior or exterior decorator."
When Boise assistant George Barrios scouted a game at SJCC last winter, who should step from the stands at halftime, grab a mike and belt out an R & B tune but AJ, whom Barrios remembered as a juco flash. Barrios chatted him up and invited him to spend the summer term at Boise. The art department, in which AJ takes his major, is already familiar with his scouting report: He does most of his work in the paint.
Dull, muddled and showing no signs of recovery? Not the Pac-10:
Against Oregon, skin-headed Oregon State point guard Gary Pay ton scored 17 points, dished out nine assists, made three steals and hurled a wad of chewing gum at a male Duck cheerleader who had been taunting him throughout the game. "[When] he called me "hook head,' " Payton said, "that really got me mad."
UCLA's Reggie Miller, modestly assessing his skills: "Other teams fear me so much, just my being out there. I could even be on my deathbed and I'd worry them."
Stanford coach Mike-Montgomery, on Cardinal guard Scott Meinert, who wears a single earring off the court: "That kind of thing has no place in college basketball." When Meinert came back with a statement about his need for "individuality," Montgomery countered with "...immaturity. He got exactly what he wanted, which was some press."
Marcus Cotton, a 6'4", 220-pound star linebacker on Southern Cal's football team, is playing basketball, too. "I like basketball because you can slam-dunk people," he says. And football? "I like football because you can slam-dunk people."
Lest anyone think this magazine has been picking on the University of Miami with various entreaties to that school to improve the conduct of its football players (Miami Vice Twice, SI, Oct. 6, et seq.), we should point out that coach Bill Foster has dealt with miscreant basketball 'Canes firmly, fairly and with dispatch. He has suspended or demoted four players so far this season for everything from breaking unspecified team rules to missing a bus. "We have a little player manual and every guy's got a copy," says Foster. "It's not a million rules and it's not a ton of 'you can't do this' or 'you can't do that.' It just spells out a few things we are going to do and we aren't going to do."
Lafayette coach Butch van Breda Kolff on Navy's David Robinson, who scored 30 points in the Middies' 75-71 defeat of the Leopards, five days after the U.S. Navy announced that Robinson would have to serve only two years' active duty instead of five, thus freeing him for early NBA entry: "He had 30, yes, but we're a small team. In the NBA it's a lot of big guys with muscle, pushing and shoving for 82 games. Robinson is a finesse player. In the NBA he'll be finessed right into the corner." Told that Robinson had said it was hard "getting up for Lafayette," VBK fumed, "What the hell is he going to do in the NBA, get up for the Celtics and not the Clippers?"
TIME FOR EVERY PURPOSE
It has been a tough January for televangelist Oral Roberts. Twice he took to the airwaves to tell his flock he will die in March if they don't send in $4.5 million to support his good works, and he is still some $3 million short. Furthermore, in Roberts's own university's Mabee Center, where lettering on the wall reads EXPECT A MIRACLE, visiting Memphis State got one to beat the Titans last week. Trailing ORU 58-51 with 15 seconds left, the Tigers' John Wilfong made two free throws. After Akin Akin-Otiko of ORU traveled, Vincent Askew sank a three-pointer with :07 left and fouled ORU's Brian Miles two seconds later. After Miles missed the front end of a one-and-one, Wilfong beat the buzzer for the game-winning three. The phone lines are open....
Memphis State had a tougher go of it on a recent visit to Missouri, where despite beating the host Tigers 61-59, the visiting Tigers had to cope with members of Mizzou's notorious Antlers cheering section. The rowdies made incessant reference to the travails that undid former Memphis State coach Dana Kirk, including a grand jury probe into gambling in the Memphis area. With Askew at the free throw line, one Antler screamed, "Vincent, your bookie just called. The spread has been changed. Miss these free throws and you'll be a dead man in two weeks."
Another yelled at 235-pound Marvin Alexander, "Hey, Marvin, you're a whale." (Alexander has been called Shamu, good-naturedly, by his teammates.)
"You be a whale, too!" the exasperated Alexander shouted back.
After the game, Askew ran to a spot in front of the Antlers and saluted. Explained 'Skew: "I saluted because we'd just been through a war."
POWERS THAT WANNA RE
More and more schools are joining the ranks of Division I each year, mainly for a chance to reap some TV green in the NCAA tournament. Among this season's newcomers: Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Tex., Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. and Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C. Future bandwagon hoppers may include Metropolitan State, a commuter school in downtown Denver with a 1,000-seat gym ("We're trying to get the sellout mentality," says coach Bob Hull), and Southern Utah State of Cedar City, whose Thunderbirds upset Weber State 92-90 in overtime on Dec. 4. Taking a cue from the Super Bowl-bound Giants, the T-Birds doused coach Bob Schermerhorn with orange juice on that occasion. "This win puts us on the map," Schermerhorn gushed. "We're the sleeping giant." SUSC awoke in time for its next game, which it lost to Cal State-Fullerton, 100-58.
DIAL M FOR...
Senior writer Curry Kirkpatrick reports on a certain 6'7" senior forward at Cal Poly—Pomona:
He's the very last word in names. Zenon M.
That's right. His last name is M.
Zenon M's dad is the former Frankie Middleton, a radio jock at KDIA in Oakland who changed his name to M.
That's right. Frankie M.
Zenon wears his last name, M, on his warmup jersey. His girlfriend, Terry Robinson, thinks it's neat. Newspapers get confused taking scores from CPP because of M. Actually, M, the team's leading scorer with 12.8 points per game, likes to be called Z. Z signs his name with little quotation marks around the M like this: "M." But Cal Poly folks wish he had a brother so they could say they had M and M at forwards.
M: "My dad got used to his nickname because everyone called him that, so he decided to have it legally changed. I thought it was neat and nice to be a little different."
Hey, M, uh, Z—weren't you different enough with the first name of Zenon?
M: "Yeah, but this was something really special. My dad picked out my first name. He told me what it meant once, but I forgot."
They're telling this one in Texas: How many Aggies does it take to lay out and paint a 19'9" three-point line? Answer: Who knows? Texas A & M hosted four games in its G. Rollie White Coliseum before Southwest Texas State coach Harry Larrabee pointed out that a section of the stripe at each end of the floor was only 19'7" from the basket.
A score just in from the University of Cincinnati intramural league: The In-forcers (sic), composed of the Bearcats' five Bylaw 5-1-(j) casualties, opened their season with a 124-12 squeaker over a team of MBA candidates before 32 fans. Levertis Robinson, Keith Starks, Kevin Williams, Chip Givens and Louis Banks thought about calling their team the Proposition 48, then thought again, fearing there might be a rule against it (there isn't). Did they think about naming their team the Enforcers? Did they think about enrolling in a remedial spelling class?
Darrin Fitzgerald, Butlers 5'9" guard, scored 37 points, including nine three-pointers, in the Bulldogs' 70-64 defeat of Evansville. ANTHONY WILSON of LSU hit only five three-pointers in the Tigers' 76-41 dismantling of Kentucky, and the senior from Plain Dealing, La., dealt out 28 points.
SI TOP 20
1. N. CAROLINA (15-1)
2. IOWA (16-0)
3. UNLV (15-1)
4. INDIANA (14-1)
5. PURDUE (14-1)
7. TEMPLE (16-2)
8. OKLAHOMA (12-3)
9. DUKE (13-2)
10. CLEMSON (16-0)
11. SYRACUSE (15-1)
12. ILLINOIS (13-3)
13. ALABAMA (13-2)
14. TCU (13-3)
15. G'TOWN (12-2)
16. PITT (13-3)
17. ST. JOHN'S (12-2)
18. KANSAS (10-5)
19. FLORIDA (13-4)
19.9. RUTGERS* (2-11)
* The Scarlet Letters lost their 11th straight, 79-51, to the Rhode Island Rams. Mr. Magoo's alma mater (we wouldn't kid you) is now shooting a myopic 41.1% from the field and 61.5% from the line.