Lineup

February 19, 2007

FEATURES

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

28 Phenomenal
Kevin Durant of Texas should be the first freshman to win player of the year
by Grant Wahl

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

36 Gators Get Richer
How Florida coach Urban Meyer put together the nation's best recruiting class
by Stewart Mandel

HOCKEY

44 That's Gotta Hurt
Sacrificing the body to block a shot is now a defenseman's most effective ploy
by Michael Farber

THE MALOOFS

50 What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas? When the NBA All-Star Game comes to Sin City, Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof will be everywhere. And if the party's a hit, the league—and the brothers—may be back to stay
by Ian Thomsen

2007 NASCAR PREVIEW

58 Tomorrow Is Here
In a season of change, no other newcomer is as promising as Juan Pablo Montoya
by Lars Anderson

69 Nascar Evolution
Foldout section: a 60-year timeline

74 Last Details
Crew chief Chad Knaus studies every angle to make Jimmie Johnson a winner
by Lars Anderson

78 Scouting Reports

89 Shootin' the Breeze
Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks about growing up, goofing off and missing his dad

Departments

4 Leading Off

11 Letters

13 Air and Space
What's in a name? If you call yourself The Future or The Franchise, it might be embarrassment
by Steve Rushin

14 Scorecard
A modest proposal for all-star games
Goodbye to a pair of '50s baseball stars

22 Faces in the Crowd

24 Players
First Person: Orlando's Dwight Howard
A guide to winning All-Star events

100 Life of Reilly
For him on Valentine's Day: no chat about the curtains, uninterrupted SportsCenter and a new sleeve of Titleists
by Rick Reilly

Inside...

96 The NBA
The midseason award winners

97 College Basketball
Winning Memphis needs tougher foes

98 The NFL
Why the Cowboys hired Wade Phillips

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAMIAN STROHMEYER
INSET PHOTO: Sam Sharpe

SI Extra
To sign up for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's free subscriber-only e-mail newsletter, go to sicustomerservice.com/siextra.

ON THE WEB
SI.COM
SPORTS IN REAL TIME. ALL THE TIME. ALL FREE. CUSTOMIZED ACCESS TO ANY FOUR OF YOUR FAVORITE TEAMS. HD-QUALITY PHOTOS. STREAMING VIDEO. THE BEST NEWS AND ANALYSIS ON THE WEB.

NASCAR
Find out whom Lance Armstrong and other celebs favor in this year's Daytona 500, at SI.com/nascar.

NBA
LeBron James and his fellow All-Stars do Vegas this week. Get scene pieces and photos at SI.com/nba.

Video
Watch Jenn Sterger's latest road trip, Rick Reilly's Riffs, NBA clips from TNT and other footage, all at SI.com.

Swimsuit
Get 60 free swimsuit videos and 1,000 images, including such rookies as Selita Ebanks, at SI.com.

College basketball
Can Joakim Noah and the Gators repeat? Get scores and the power rankings at SI.com/collegehoops.

Westminster dog show
Check out photos from previous competitions, as well as this year's highlights, at SI.com.

TRAFFIC REPORT

MOST VIEWED
1. Celebrity photos from the Super Bowl gallery
2. Former NBA player John Amaechi says he's gay
3. National signing day news from Rivals.com
4. Top 20 NFL free-agents gallery
5. Peter King's MMQB

EDITORS' PICKS
1. Luke Winn on the art of free throw shooting
2. Aditi Kinkhabwala on Penn State hoops coach Rene Portland
3. Grant Wahl's Mailbag
4. Ian Thomsen's The High Post
5. Lars Anderson's expanded NASCAR Power Rankings

ONLY AT SI.COM
Check out our selections at SI.com/editorspix.

my SI
DOWNLOAD FREE
Pick your favorite NBA team and get news from across the Web and photos on your desktop at SI.com/mySI.

PHOTOPHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SLIM FILMS FROM PHOTO BY INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME (PETTY)69 RETRO ACTION NASCAR has come a long way since 1954, when Lee Petty's Chrysler Club Coupe Windsor won seven races, the first at Daytona. PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (MALOOFS) PHOTOCLIFF WATTS (BEYONCÉ)PERFECT PITCH Get more exclusive pictures and videos of Beyoncé, the cover girl of the music-themed 2007 Swimsuit Issue, at SI.com. PHOTOPHIL MCCRATEN/REUTERS (ARMSTRONG) PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR. (JAMES) PHOTOMEL LEVINE (STERGER) PHOTOMARK SULLIVAN/WIREIMAGE.COM (EBANKS) PHOTOBOB ROSATO (NOAH) PHOTOSTEPHEN CHERNIN/GETTY IMAGES (WESTMINSTER) PHOTOBILL BAPTIST/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (AMAECHI)

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)