The General, Bob Knight, will be storming the sidelines again
this season--only in Lubbock, Texas, not Bloomington, Ind. The
Maestro, Rick Pitino, will be firing up the crowds once more in
Kentucky--only in Louisville, not Lexington. Jason Williams said
no to the NBA and is back for another title run at Duke--without
Shane Battier. There's a familiar feeling to the 2001-02 season,
yet it's all very different. Hop aboard our bus, the orientation
tour is about to begin.
DON'T BE A FOOL, STAY IN SCHOOL
THAT'S THE MESSAGE THESE PLAYERS HEEDED WHEN THEY TESTED THE NBA
DRAFT WATERS AND DETERMINED THAT ANOTHER YEAR IN COLLEGE IS WHAT
THEY REALLY NEED
Partly because he wants to get a degree, partly because he needs
to beef up his reed-thin frame and partly because he wants to win
a national title, Prince, last season's SEC player of the year,
didn't even bother to attend predraft camps after announcing that
he would explore his pro options. "I was just trying to get some
feedback on what I needed to improve," says Prince, a 6'9" senior
who hit the weight room hard this summer and has new muscle
definition to prove it.
Clancy led more than 60 hopefuls in scoring and rebounding at
last summer's NBA predraft camp in Chicago--yet returned to USC.
"I left Chicago knowing I would have been drafted," says Clancy,
"but I couldn't take the chance of going in the second round,"
in which contracts are smaller and not guaranteed. He learned
that he needs to work on his shooting range and dribble drive in
his senior year. "Coming back was the best thing I could have
done," he says.
After a so-so showing at the Chicago predraft camp, Bogans
realized he needs another year to improve his shooting and
defense. "Why make a mistake that I'd regret for the rest of my
life," says the 6'5" junior, "when I could come back here, live
the college life one more year and see how things go?" A summer
of military-style conditioning (including running suicides in
combat boots in the sand) has him ready to go.
As the NBA draft unfolded in June, Ely was paralyzed by one
counterintuitive thought: Please don't call my name. Because Ely,
a partial qualifier, earned an extra year of eligibility as a
result of being on pace to graduate, he didn't want an NBA team
to take a flier on him in the second round. Now that Ely is back
at Fresno, he hopes to burnish his shot-blocking skills--he
already holds the school record--and his offense so that he'll be
drafted in the first round.
Forgive Gardner, the Wildcats' 5'10" junior, for having been
glum following his disappointing predraft camp in Chicago. Just
don't feel too bad for him. He takes over an Arizona team that's
undeniably his own, and Gardner says he's ready to flourish,
whether it's through improved midrange shooting or quicker
footwork on defense. "I got so much good advice," he says of his
dalliance with the pros. "You'll notice a change in my game this