Campus Q & A sessions rarely come off as great spectator events—except for those taking place these days in the little-known East Coast Conference. In Bethlehem, Pa., last Saturday night, 4,125 folks turned out to see just such an event: The Q stood for Daren Queenan of Lehigh and the A for Michael Anderson of Drexel. Going into the game, Queenan, a forward, was the nation's second-leading scorer, averaging 29.2 points a game; Anderson, a multitalented point guard, was 15th (24.2). It was the ninth time these two seniors have met; in the previous skirmishes, their teams had each won four times. On Saturday, Anderson broke the deadlock, scoring 43 points at Lehigh's Stabler Center to lead the Dragons to a 91-85 victory. Queenan finished with 27.
Both Q and A are certain to be NBA draft picks, a triumphant achievement for the ECC, which counts nary an NBA player among its alumni. Anderson will probably go in the second round—even though he's only 5'11". He's a lightning-quick, penetrating point guard, a breed now popular in the NBA in what Drexel coach Eddie Burke calls "the post-Spud era." Marty Blake, director of the NBA's scouting service, ranks Anderson as the third-best point guard in the draft, after Michigan's Gary Grant and Kentucky's Ed Davender and ahead of Notre Dame's David Rivers.
Queenan, a 6'4½" leaper, has hauled down 9.1 rebounds a game to go with his gaudy scoring, but unlike Anderson, he'll have to change his position to make it in the NBA. Scouts, who project him as a third-round pick, love the elevation he gets when he unloads his jump shot, but he must prove that he can handle the ball and shoot well enough from the outside to play No. 2 guard in the pros.
But even that's not bad for a guy who had second-class status coming out of Norristown (Pa.) High in 1984. An undersized center, Queenan slipped through the recruiting cracks, which is about the only way that Lehigh, a school that doesn't give athletic scholarships, can turn up a player of his ability. "You wouldn't believe how many coaches told me Daren couldn't play for them," says Lehigh coach Fran McCaffery. "Every coach makes mistakes, but when you say a kid can't play, and he scores 3,000 points, that's a mistake"
Queenan won't get 3,000, but he had 2,344 at the end of last week; he's one of only nine active Division I collegians to have scored 2,000 points, the others being mostly marquee players like Kansas's Danny Manning, Missouri's Derrick Chievous and Florida's Vernon Maxwell. Queenan smiled and shook his head as he studied the list last week and said, "These other guys must look at this list and say, 'Now, I know everybody else here, but who the heck is Daren Queenan?' "
Anderson, too, was widely ignored as a high school senior, even though he was the second-leading scorer in the tough Philadelphia Public League. "The same rap was on me that was on Daren," says Anderson. "For whatever reason, people questioned whether I'd be able to score at the next level."
Given the distance between the ECC and the NBA, people are still questioning. The next Q & A session takes place at Drexel on Feb. 17. The pro scouts will be there, looking for answers.