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This is an article from the Nov. 17, 2008 issue
SI.com hascomplete coverage of the 2008--09 college basketball season. Check out LukeWinn's Hoops Ideology Report, which examines everything from recruitingdemographics to the offensive and defensive styles of some 300 D-1 basketballprograms. Get news too on such key newbies as UCLA freshman Jrue Holiday. Plus...
• Writer'sRoundtable discussion on the preseason Top 20 ranking
• Mid-major PowerRankings by Bill Trocchi
MORE ANALYSIS BYWRITERS KELLI ANDERSON, SETH DAVIS AND GRANT WAHL AT SI.COM/CBB.
Inside the NBA
Identifying the five most intriguing draft picks of 2009
Inside the NFL
Monday Morning Quarterback and the Tuesday Mailbag
The scoop on the Matt Holliday trade and more hot stove news
The Hits Keep onComing
Is Mixed Martial Arts recession-proof? Sure seems that way: The pay-per-viewshowdown this Saturday between UFC heavyweight champ Randy Couture and formerWWE star Brock Lesnar is expected to draw record audiences, and UFC presidentDana White has expansion plans in the works. This week SI.com has a specialreport on MMA and the economy, including a piece by Josh Gross on the increasedtelevision ratings and Robert Joyner's look at sponsorship growth.
> Check outSI.com's MMA photo galleries at SI.com/photos.
YOUR LINK TO SPORTS HISTORY
NOVEMBER 4, 1968
At 23 Bulletsguard Earl Monroe was the NBA Rookie of the Year and the league'sfourth-highest scorer. SI's Frank Deford profiled Philly's blacktop legendduring his second season as a pro.
OF THE multitudeof players who have come out of Philadelphia—Wilt Chamberlain included—it isdoubtful that any has been held in such esteem at home as Monroe. He issovereign in the all-pro Baker League, the toughest summer wheel in thecountry. The hub of the action is at 12th and Columbia. The gym is fairly new,but it is windowless and dimly lit, and on an oppressive summer night thecement block walls stifle the humanity pressed against them. Everyone is thereto watch Earl Monroe go into his act. Monroe, as has become his custom, arrivesfashionably late. His presence is signaled by a knowing murmur that swells to atremorous rattle. The fans cannot see Monroe, but they can feel him, and as henears the court the buzz increases. "Magic's here, Magic's here," itgoes.
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT BECK
INSET PHOTO: Tom DiPace
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