BRANDED BY DUKE
The Blue Devils left an indelible impression on upstart Maryland
Duke junior forward Chris Carrawell walked out of the visitors'
locker room at Maryland's Cole Field House on Sunday holding an
ice bag to his face. His right eye was purple and puffy thanks
to an inadvertent poke he had received from Terps forward Laron
Profit, but the injury didn't stop Carrawell from saying hello
to NBA agent David Falk, who was standing in the hallway. "Mike
Tyson's waiting for you," Falk said as the two shook hands.
Tyson might be able to give the Blue Devils a fight, but it
doesn't appear that a lot of other folks can. Second-ranked Duke
took No. 4 Maryland's best shot and dispatched the Terrapins
with stunning ease, holding them to 27 second-half points in an
82-64 win that ran the Blue Devils' record to 13-1. The Terps'
faithful, acutely aware that this is Maryland's best team in
years, had expected an exciting game, and rumor had it that
Tiger Woods and Cal Ripken Jr. would be in attendance. Instead
the Terrapins got another humbling from the hated Dookies as
Woods's caddie, Fluff Cowan, and Cal's brother Billy watched.
What a letdown. The Blue Devils have now won 27 of their last 32
meetings with Maryland, including 12 of the last 14 at Cole.
Sunday's game dropped Terps coach Gary Williams's record against
Duke's Mike Krzyzewski to 2-18, a statistic that those close to
Williams say is driving him to distraction. "Earlier this season
there were some good things said about our team," Williams said
after falling to the Blue Devils. "Now there will be some things
said that we don't like. We have to use it to our benefit."
January 11, 1999
There's something to be said for learning from disappointment.
Duke's only defeat this season was a 77-75 loss to then No. 15
Cincinnati at the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 28. The Bearcats
converted 57.1% of their field goal attempts in that game, and
the Blue Devils had only four steals. Before that loss,
Krzyzewski had dedicated much of Duke's practice time to
half-court offense, but he decided afterward to shift his focus
to defense. The Blue Devils have won all eight of their games
since, including a 71-60 decision over then No. 3 Kentucky on
Dec. 22. "We weren't a good half-court offensive team last year,
and I wanted to fix that," says Coach K. "But I found out in
Alaska that we weren't that good a defensive team. Now we are."
That was much in evidence on Sunday. Maryland, which had come
into the game averaging 90.4 points, sixth best in the nation,
made just two field goals in the first 10 minutes of the second
half as the Blue Devils broke a 37-all tie and surged to a 61-44
lead. Senior guard Trajan Langdon guarded Steve Francis, the
Terps' leading scorer, in the early going, but late in the first
half Krzyzewski gave that assignment to Carrawell, who has three
inches and 25 pounds on the 6'3" Francis. The move worked so well
that even Krzyzewski seemed surprised. Asked to comment on the
fact that Francis scored only one of his 11 points in the second
half, Coach K replied, "I don't know how that happened, really."
The Blue Devils also got another outstanding performance from
sophomore center Elton Brand, who lost his starting job for two
games in December because Krzyzewski felt he wasn't being
aggressive enough. Brand followed up a 22-point, eight-rebound
game against Kentucky with a 19-point, 13-rebound, four-block
effort on Sunday.
The only woes Krzyzewski appears to be having these days stem
from a severely arthritic left hip, which forces him to walk with
a pronounced limp. When it became apparent this fall that he
would need the hip replaced, Krzyzewski scheduled surgery for
April 5, five days after the national title game will be played
in St. Petersburg. Seems he figured he'd probably be busy until
THE EAGLES HAVE (SPLAT!) LANDED
What's going on in Ypsilanti? Last March, Eastern Michigan was
on the rise, having won the Mid-American Conference tournament
to earn its second invitation to the NCAA tournament in the last
three seasons. Ten months later the Eagles, 0-11 through Sunday,
were one of only four teams in Division I without a victory. "We
didn't truly appreciate what we had until it was gone," says
coach Milton Barnes. "Now we're starting over. These aren't
growing pains we're experiencing--these are the labor pains of a
team being reborn."
The Eagles lost five senior starters who accounted for 87% of
their scoring and 72% of their rebounding. Among them were
guards Derrick Dial, a second-round draft pick of the San
Antonio Spurs, and 5'5" Earl Boykins, who led the MAC in scoring
and earned the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the nation's
best senior under 6 feet tall. Barnes didn't have the depth last
season to groom anybody for the future, and he has only three
scholarship players back from last year's team. The leading
scorer in that trio is Ajani Williams, who averaged 2.3 points a
To make matters worse, Eastern Michigan lost several key
recruiting battles and signed only one freshman. As a result
Barnes is trying to integrate into his lineup 10 newcomers,
including four junior college transfers, a transfer from Coastal
Carolina and two players who sat out last season because they
didn't qualify academically. Although the Eagles have been
competitive, they have also been unlucky: They lost two of their
first four games on buzzer beaters. "We've found a lot of
different ways to lose," says sophomore guard Avin Howard. "All
that losing messes with your confidence, but Coach reminds us to
keep the faith."
Eastern Michigan may have erred by failing to include any
cupcakes on this year's schedule, which has featured opponents
with winning records in nearly every game. Instead, the Eagles
have become the cupcake. The timing couldn't have been worse:
Eastern Michigan dedicated its new $29.6 million Convocation
Center on Dec. 9 with a 23-point loss to Michigan.
Barnes believes he has a major building block for the program's
recovery in 6-foot, 150-pound point guard Mosi Barnes (no
relation), who is sitting out this season after transferring
from Purdue. In the meantime the Eagles will take their lumps.
"It seems like just yesterday we were on top of the hill," says
Barnes. "Now I look at our schedule and ask myself, Where is a
win going to come from?" --Tim Crothers
Black Coaches Association
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MOVEMENT?
In 1987 about two dozen black assistant coaches got together in
Las Vegas to discuss the lack of head coaching jobs being
offered to minorities. That meeting marked the creation of the
Black Coaches Association (BCA), an organization that over the
next seven years grew considerably in size and visibility under
the stewardship of executive director Rudy Washington, an
assistant at Iowa at the time of the BCA's inception. But some
of the nation's most prominent black coaches have distanced
themselves from the association in recent years, and as the
organization's prestige has declined sharply, its members have
increasingly called for a change in leadership.
It's a sign of the hard times on which the association has
fallen that when that change in command finally took place on
Dec. 9, almost nobody noticed. Washington relinquished his
position in what appeared to be an acrimonious divorce from the
board of directors. "This isn't a good time for me and the BCA,"
says Washington, who's now commissioner of the Southwestern
Athletic Conference. "I'm trying to work out some contractual
things with the board of directors, but in terms of the
association itself, I've walked away. Obviously, it's a
The BCA reached its apogee during the 1993-94 season when the
association called for coaches and players to boycott games in
protest of an NCAA vote against restoring one of the two men's
basketball scholarships eliminated in 1991, a measure that
reduced each school's limit from 15 to 13 free rides. The BCA
also called for the NCAA to add minorities to its staff and to
reconsider the academic restrictions of Propositions 42 and 48,
which the association saw as discriminatory toward black
athletes. The Congressional Black Caucus stepped in to help
mediate, and the boycott was averted. "We got some things that
we had wanted," says Washington. "We were also able to make some
inroads at the NCAA, and we were able to let the country know
that things needed to be addressed."
Five years later scholarship limits are still at 13, academic
requirements have gotten even more rigorous, and the black
coaches' organization is in disarray. The BCA's decline began in
the autumn of 1994 when the four coaches on its legislative
committee who had provided its strongest voices--Temple's John
Chaney, then USC coach George Raveling, Arkansas's Nolan
Richardson and Georgetown's John Thompson--began to sense that
the movement was losing momentum. "I told them to take my name
off the letterhead," says Chaney, and Raveling, Richardson and
Thompson soon followed. "We were advisers. We were never on the
board, so we didn't control the agenda," says Chaney. "We gave
our best effort, but there was no more fight [in the BCA]. It
was time to move on. The organization has really deserted kids
as far as I'm concerned."
Now that Washington has abdicated, members are hopeful that the
association can rejuvenate itself. The task of leading that
effort presumably falls to BCA president Marianna Freeman, coach
of the Syracuse women's team, who declined comment when asked
about the future direction of the organization. "I wish them the
best of luck," says Washington. "I would love to see them
flourish. They can really help some kids."
"Our issues are still out there, and if you check the rank and
file, I'm sure you will hear a lot of people asking why we're
not still in the midst of things," says Clint Bryant, the
athletic director at Augusta (Ga.) State, who served on the
BCA's board of directors from 1988 to '93 and who has yet to
renew his membership for the current year. "The association has
so much potential, but it seems as if we're stagnant right now.
We really need leadership."
For the latest scores, polls and recruiting news, plus Seth
Davis's College Hoops Mailbag, check out www.cnnsi.com.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
It's not often that the coaches' pregame handshake is the most
anticipated aspect of a game, but that will be the case on
Wednesday when Florida plays at South Carolina. At the SEC Media
Day gathering in Birmingham on Nov. 4, Gamecocks coach Eddie
Fogler insinuated that a certain coach in the
conference--obviously the Gators' Billy Donovan, who immediately
ripped Fogler as a no-class coward for failing to name
names--was gaining an unfair recruiting advantage because of his
relationship with a financial adviser who bankrolled a trip to
France for a group of top recruits in August. The SEC issued
letters of reprimand to both coaches, whereupon Fogler said that
he stood by his earlier comments, insisting that he never said
Donovan's actions were illegal but that they might be unethical.
(In response the league issued a second statement saying that an
SEC investigation found no ethical violations in Donovan's
actions.) With that as a backdrop, the action on the sideline
may be more interesting than the action on the court when the
Gamecocks (5-7 at week's end) meet the Gators (9-2).
WEEKLY SEED REPORT
Before getting down to SI's inaugural 1999 seeding poll, in
which our panel of national correspondents pretends that it's
the NCAA selection committee and that the season has ended on
Sunday, let's take a brief look at how we finished last season.
We successfully picked all four No. 1 seeds (though not in their
correct regions) and correctly identified two No. 2s. And while
the real selection committee had Cincinnati and Purdue, losers
in the second and third rounds, respectively, as second seeds,
we had Utah and Stanford, which both reached the Final Four. So
you might say that we did a better job than the committee. But
enough about us.
This week our pollsters voted Connecticut, Duke and Cincinnati
as nearly unanimous No. 1s. The battle for the fourth top seed
was between Maryland and Stanford, and the Cardinal, loser to
the Terps on Dec. 6, squeaked in. The consolation for Maryland
is that the Terps go out West as the second seed in what figures
to be the weakest region. Kentucky was the other No. 2 by
acclamation, but after that the voting became more diffuse. The
biggest surprise was undefeated Auburn, which must win a tough
test against Arkansas this week if it hopes to remain a No. 4
seed. Also raising eyebrows was the strong showing of the Big
Ten, with four bids. The league does rank No. 1 in the latest
conference RPI ratings, but the Big Ten's atrocious showing in
the last few NCAA tournaments--one Elite Eight finish in the
last four years--leaves room for skepticism.
1. Connecticut (11-0)
2. UCLA (9-2)
3. North Carolina (13-3)
4. Iowa (11-1)
1. Duke (13-1)
2. Michigan State (11-3)
3. St. John's (11-2)
4. Kansas (9-3)
1. Cincinnati (12-0)
2. Kentucky (12-3
3. Arizona (8-1)
4. Purdue (12-2)
1. Stanford (11-2)
2. Maryland (13-2)
3. Indiana (14-3)
4. Auburn (13-0)