Hoop Highway In his trusty 1997 Honda, a website reporter hits the road to cover 2,000 miles and 27 games in 19 days

December 17, 2001

Michael Kruse will refrain from taking hallucinogenic drugs and
ransacking hotel rooms, and he won't have to fend off groupies.
Nonetheless, Kruse, 23, has embarked on a tour--to watch
basketball games--that might impress The Who. He has constructed
a 19-day, 13-city, 27-game, 2,000-mile rock-star-like rampage of
the Eastern Seaboard and is documenting it on
basketballamerica.com. "Know this about me," says Kruse, who
will file a daily story and notes section. "I travel like a
lunatic."

In lieu of a technicolor Magic Bus, Kruse on Dec. 5 began
weaving his 1997 forest-green Honda Accord through 10 states,
hoping to spend no more than $500 on what has been dubbed the
Magical Mystery Kruse. (The itinerary is available on the site.)
His upcoming schedule includes a visit on Friday to Washington,
D.C., for the Gonzaga Prep Classic; a jaunt to Philadelphia on
Monday for the Celtics versus the Sixers; and a Tuesday
doubleheader at the Jimmy V Classic (Alabama versus Temple and
Duke versus Kentucky) in East Rutherford, N.J. Kruse is
particularly pumped for Dec. 20, when Memphis travels to Temple.
That day he'll visit Camden, N. J., to gauge the town's mood now
that high school hero Dajuan Wagner (right) has graduated and
gone on to become a freshman scoring sensation for the Tigers.

For lodging, Kruse, a 2000 graduate of Davidson College, will
lean on college friends and on contacts he met while covering
the recruiting scene for prepstars.com. "I'll sleep on floors,"
says Kruse. "What's going to kill me are the tolls."

--John O'Keefe

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)