Doyel's Dribbles is a daily look (more or less) at the 2004-05 college basketball season. It's almost a blog. See? We're hip.
No room for scruffy Karl in college
Jan. 31, 8:22 a.m.
The Denver Nuggets of the NBA hired George Karl, which means he can stop with the embarrassing charade of trying to get into college coaching.
In recent years Karl has tried to get the coaching positions at UNC and UNLV, and was said to be interested in the Southern California opening too. Dude, take a hint.
By landing with Denver, Karl is where he belongs. In the NBA, you can wear Hawaiian shirts and scruffy hair and be considered a genius.
In college, you're considered Tom Penders.
Some false information
Jan. 28, 1:59 p.m.
According to the Maryland student newspaper, a Terps fan in Duke clothing suckered the Cameron Crazies into taunting their own team.
This information comes courtesy of the Diamondback, with a tip o' the cap to college basketball blogger Yoni Cohen, who found the item. Now that credit has been given, here's the deal:
Duke's famed student-fans, the Cameron Crazies, routinely distribute pre-game cheat sheets on the other team -- suggested chants, areas to ridicule, etc. It destroys the idea that thousands of students could spontaneously think up such brilliant cheers, but that's not the point.
The point is, one such cheat sheet was distributed for the Maryland game, and somehow a Maryland fan managed to get a bogus bit of information onto it. According to the Diamondback, the fraudulent factoid centered on Terps star Nik Caner-Medley, whose girlfriend was said to be nicknamed "Piggy."
During the game, the Diamondback reported, the Cameron Crazies oinked at Caner-Medley and serenaded him with chants of "Pig-gy, Pig-gy."
As it turns out, Caner-Medley does not have a girlfriend whose nickname is Piggy.
But Duke does have a connection to tarnished summer coach Myron Piggie, who has admitted giving money to several of his club players, including future (and now former) Blue Devil Corey Maggette.
Fortunately for the Cameron Crazies, they didn't take the bait all the way. That same fraudulent factoid on Caner-Medley identified his girlfriend by her first name: Myra.
Imagine the sound of thousands of Duke fans chanting, "My-ra Pig-gy."
Jan. 27, 10:58 a.m.
Down the road, sure, you had to believe the Hokies and Hurricanes would eventually become basketball factors in a league they joined for football reasons. But not this soon.
Virginia Tech came into this season with two winning seasons in eight years, both times winning exactly one more game than it lost. Miami was coming off consecutive losing seasons and had graduated four-year scoring leader Darius Rice.
But look at the standings. Miami (13-5, 4-3) is fourth in the league, Virginia Tech fifth (10-6, 3-2).
It can't last -- can it? -- but both programs are currently ahead of Georgia Tech (11-5, 2-3) and Maryland (12-5, 3-3), who have played in two of the past three NCAA title games. The Hurricanes and Hokies also are ahead of N.C. State (12-7, 2-4).
Tonight Virginia Tech plays Virginia, one of only two ACC teams with one league victory. The other is Clemson.
Some things don't change.
Can never get enough ... Bobby Knight
Jan. 26, 9:57 a.m.
Magic words: Bob Knight.
Sorry, can't help it. This item is about: Bob Knight.
You know why Bob Knight fascinates me so? Because of the incredible, pathological almost admirably self-protective double standard that exists in his mind.
Afterward Bob Knight used the postgame handshake not to congratulate Texas' Rick Barnes on his team's resolve without starting forwards P.J. Tucker or LaMarcus Aldridge. He didn't use the postgame handshake to offer the usual sincere-or-not congratulations given by most coaches, or even to offer Barnes the limp hand Bob Knight once gave protégé Mike Krzyzewski.
Bob Knight used the opportunity to scold Barnes. Why? Because the Texas fans within earshot of Bob Knight were verbally abusive. And Bob Knight didn't appreciate the verbal abuse.
That's it from me. No more commentary, only the magic words:
You want to take this outside?
Jan. 25, 10:33 a.m.
We've got some grumpy old men in college basketball, but there's something about a grumpy old man that is so ... forgivable.
Bennett apologized, both to the crowd during the game and then later in a statement.
Chaney did not apologize -- not that he should have apologized, necessarily. What Bennett did was wrong. What Chaney did was merely inappropriate.
Chaney was critical of Ohio voters, who helped sway the presidential election toward George W. Bush, in an interview last week with the Cincinnati Enquirer before Temple visited Xavier. Then he did it again Monday night during a Philadelphia Sports Writers Dinner, where he was honored for having 700 career victories. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Chaney took the opportunity to "rail against Bush and the war in Iraq."
At one point, the Daily News reported, with some audience members shouting at him and others simply leaving, Chaney "challeng(ed) one catcaller to meet him outside."
It's always the second guy
Jan. 24, 9:32 a.m.
One of those unofficial rules of college basketball -- and every other sport -- was hammered home this weekend: Game officials often miss the first wallop, but they always catch the guy who retaliates.
Such was the case with Villanova's Kyle Lowry and Rutgers' Marquis Webb, both of whom were ejected for hitting an opposing player. Lowry smacked Kansas' Jeff Hawkins, while Webb elbowed Seton Hall's Andre Sweet.
And such was the case earlier this month for Texas' Jason Klotz, who was busted not by officials but by television cameras when he smacked Memphis' Simplice Njoya. Klotz, who was not ejected, was later suspended for one game by Texas.
In all three instances, according to representatives of the "guilty" players, they were responding to an earlier act of violence directed their way. In Lowry's case, he was responding to a shot that had left a knot on his head, according to eyewitness accounts.
What needs to be done, and yes we know this is a revolutionary concept, is some ex post facto justice.
When a player is ejected for unnecessary roughness, conference officials ought to study game film for the unchecked bit of violence that triggered the retaliation. Assuming there was one, the ejected player -- or in Klotz's case, the suspended player -- could streamline the film study by describing when the first blow was landed.
Find what the game officials missed -- the shot that started the whole thing. And then, if it warrants, suspend the guilty instigator for the next game.
Is it me, or is this idea so simple that it just might work?
Hunt might not be the only one in the hot seat
Jan. 21, 2:44 p.m.
Memphis coach John Calipari has tied his innocence to that of junior guard Jeremy Hunt. Which means that if Hunt succumbs to the domestic assault charges he currently faces, he's not the only one who should go down.
Hunt was charged with domestic assault after a former girlfriend told police he beat her on Jan. 10. He was suspended for two games, then reinstated. Hunt played 23 minutes in Memphis' 73-67 victory at South Florida.
Hunt's next court appearance is set for Jan. 31, and it's possible his case won't be decided before Memphis plays its final game of the season.
Hunt's legal right is the initial presumption of his innocence, but it's not his legal right to continue playing college basketball.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, police are looking at evidence that includes a threatening voice mail allegedly left by Hunt on the victim's phone the night before the assault. The evidence includes the victim's statement to police that Hunt showed up outside her home, was intoxicated inside his car, then hit her five or six times before chasing her inside the home. The evidence includes a statement from the victim's roommate in which the roommate allegedly saw Hunt trap the victim on her bed.
That's a lot of evidence. It's also one-sided. Hunt has a side, and right now the police don't seem to know it. The media definitely doesn't know it.
If time ultimately proves that Hunt was innocent of these accusations, it will have been a pity for him to be suspended at all. His attorney has told the Commercial Appeal that Hunt is, in fact, innocent.
But if time ultimately proves that Hunt was guilty of the accusations, a two-game suspension will not have been enough.
And if that's the case, Calipari will be guilty, too.
Bearcat finding his stroke
Jan. 20, 9:56 a.m.
Bob Huggins has a new toy: It shoots 3-pointers ... and makes them!
The name is Nick Williams. He's a 6-foot-3 guard, and he's starting to give a Cincinnati team that has almost everything else -- defense, agility, rebounding, intimidation -- a perimeter scoring threat.
Williams is a senior whom Huggins had hoped would fill the outside void vacated by Tony Bobbitt and Field Williams, who combined to make 175 of the Bearcats' 237 shots from 3-point range last season.
Through 15 games, though, Williams had made just 12 shots behind the arc. On Saturday morning, working with the UC staff, Williams started to iron out a "kink" in his stroke.
In the two games since? Williams has made 12 more 3-pointers.
The first six-pack came Saturday afternoon against Louisville, the only reason the Bearcats nearly won despite getting next to nothing from Jason Maxiell and Armein Kirkland.
The second six came Wednesday against Charlotte, five in the second half as the Bearcats rallied from a 28-24 halftime deficit to win 80-58.
Nick Williams, ladies and gentlemen. Nick Williams. If the past two games were no fluke -- they didn't look like a fluke -- Cincinnati has just found one of its two missing ingredients.
And maybe this will help Cincinnati find its other missing ingredient. The Bearcats need a point guard, and if Williams can shoulder more of the outside scoring, maybe Jihad Muhammad will stop jacking it up like he's at the YMCA.
Maybe he already has. In the second half against Charlotte, with Williams making like Dell Curry, Muhammad made like John Stockton: six assists, one turnover.
Last word: No, Jihad Muhammad is not John Stockton. Save your e-mails.
Gottfried gets revenge for Sharpe criticism
Jan. 19, 9:10 a.m.
That must have felt good.
Sharpe is a 6-foot-9 freshman at Mississippi State, a deep reserve now but a potential star down the road. He's also a Birmingham, Ala., native who was thought to be leaning toward Alabama ... and leaning ... and leaning ...
Until Mississippi State, preparing for the loss of 6-9 Lawrence Roberts to the NBA, hopped into the picture last spring.
Two days before Sharpe was to choose between Mississippi State and Alabama at a press conference, Alabama coach Mark Gottfried withdrew the Crimson Tide's scholarship offer. That rarely happens.
Then Gottfried went out of his way to make sure the Alabama media knew he had withdrawn the offer.
That never happens.
Mississippi State fans called it sour grapes, and accused Gottfried of saving face before losing an in-state recruiting target to an out-of-state program. Alabama fans threw around different accusations, and said Gottfried backed off Sharpe because he didn't want to be associated with the kid's recruitment any more.
Whatever happened, and why, Gottfried wanted more than ever to beat Mississippi State on Tuesday night, his first crack at the Bulldogs since Sharpe-gate.
Winning by 49? Playing three starters for at least 31 minutes, including 37 minutes for Earnest Shelton? Yeah, that'll do.
MSU coach Rick Stansbury, meanwhile, was a bit quicker to empty his bench. He was so quick, in fact, that Sharpe played 12 minutes -- a season high.
Texas' Aldridge likely lost for season
Jan. 18, 3:58 p.m.
Texas has lost freshman center LaMarcus Aldridge, probably for the rest of the season, because of a hip injury that more than likely will require surgery, SportsLine.com has learned.
Aldridge missed the Longhorns' victory Monday night against Oklahoma State after suffering the injury -- initially announced to his knee -- Saturday against Nebraska.
Aldridge was averaging 10 points and six rebounds, but had increased his production to nearly 13 and nine in Big 12 play. His loss would mean more minutes for freshmen Mike Williams and Dion Dowell, with Dowell being removed from a potential medical redshirt season last week. A third freshman, 6-foot-9 Connor Atchley, conceivably could be pulled from a redshirt season as well.
On the bright side, season-ending hip surgery wouldn't be the best way for the 6-foot-11 Aldridge to enter the 2005 NBA Draft. He had entered his name into the 2004 draft before withdrawing, and now looks like a safe bet to return to Texas for his sophomore season.
Plenty of Wildcats to go around
Jan. 18, 10:02 a.m.
The wire story on Joe Crawford's return to Kentucky went for brevity, but it opened the door for some serious levity.
Until the facts got in the way of the punch line.
The background: Crawford, a 2004 McDonald's All-American who expected more than 13.3 minutes per game as a Kentucky freshman, wanted to transfer last week. When the Wildcats refused to forgive his National Letter-of-Intent, Crawford decided to stay rather than losing two years of eligibility for the chance to start over at, say, Arizona or Kansas State. Those were among the schools to request his transcript from Kentucky.
The most cynical of UK fans wondered if Crawford had returned only for the rest of the semester, with plans to bolt anew this summer. Which leads us to ...
The brevity: According to the wire story in my morning newspaper, which will remain nameless to protect the guilty, Crawford's statement of contrition indicated that he wants "to finish my college career as a Wildcat."
The levity: Isn't that also the mascot at Arizona? And Kansas State?
The facts: Crawford's statement, which was released by UK, actually said he wants "to finish my college career as a Kentucky Wildcat."
One word makes a big difference -- and that's no joke.
Believe It or Not
Jan. 17, 5:18 p.m.
A box score from Sunday won't leave me alone. It's haunting me. Don't read any farther lest it haunt you, too.
New Mexico also outrebounded Air Force 28-9. As in, New Mexico had 28 rebounds and Air Force had nine.
Yet Air Force won 64-62.
Simply the best -- at home
Jan. 16, 9:25 p.m.
When No. 3 Wake Forest held serve Saturday against No. 4 North Carolina, slowing down the rampaging Tar Heels 95-82, it reminded us of what happened last month -- when No. 1 Illinois held serve against Wake Forest, smacking the Deacons 91-73 in Champaign, Ill.
Great teams almost never lose at home, even to other great teams. The above three teams? They all qualify under the label of "great."
So is there one truly dominant team this season? Or a bunch of almost-dominant teams?
The 2005 NCAA Tournament needs to hurry up and get here. We need some neutral courts, and we need them now.
Doherty should keep Tulsa time
Jan. 12, 8 p.m.
Tulsa and Matt Doherty have our blessing.
It feels good to say, considering we've previously: (A) ridiculed USC's pursuit of Rick Majerus last month; (B) cautioned Tulsa not to reciprocate Nolan Richardson's interest last week; and (C) been unimpressed when UNLV zeroed in on Lon Kruger last year.
Is there anybody we'd recommend for any job?
Turns out, yes. Matt Doherty for Tulsa.
Assuming the word on the street is good -- that Tulsa will go outside the program for a full-time coach, and likes Doherty -- the WAC school couldn't do better.
He nearly won the NIT at Notre Dame. He won national coach of the year at North Carolina in 2001 and recruited the foundation -- Raymond Felton, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Jawad Williams, Melvin Scott, Jackie Manuel -- for the current UNC team that would surprise no one by winning the national championship.
Yes, the Tar Heels plummeted to 8-20 in 2002 (before the arrival of Felton, McCants and May) under his watch, and yes, Doherty shares blame. So does the previous coach, Bill Guthridge, who left behind a roster that was more UNC-Wilmington than UNC.
Doherty alienated several players, as UNC noted when it forced him to resign after the 2002-03 season. Duly noted, though I'm guessing going 8-20 alienated them, too.
After two years out of coaching, I'm also guessing Doherty has figured some things out. The guy's too smart not to get it: Players must like their coach, or at least sense their coach likes them, or they're not going to perform. Simple as that.
Loudmouth broadcasters think they're doing Doherty a favor when they beg administrators to give Doherty a "second chance," as if he's a reformed substance abuser or cheater or worse -- a guy who hasn't won.
Doherty is none of those things. So go ahead, Tulsa. Hire Doherty.
A new world in Norman
Jan. 11, 4:33 p.m.
This wasn't my father's Lloyd Noble Arena.
Last time I was at the University of Oklahoma's basketball gym, Dad was a Norman lawyer and John McCullough was the Sooners' best player. Teammates included Al Beale, Raymond Whitley and Aaron Curry. Pretty good foursome.
Basketball didn't matter at Oklahoma back then. Oklahoma football is still huge (duh), but basketball has come around under Kelvin Sampson. The atmosphere at Lloyd Noble on Monday night against Connecticut was exceptional, with no sign of an Orange Bowl hangover.
When I lived in Norman in the late '70s, it was a big deal at a basketball game if a football player showed up. One time back in the day, two short, thick football-looking young men were walking around the half-empty arena. They wore red bandannas on their head just like my favorite players, wishbone quarterback Thomas Lott and halfback Billy Sims, so I asked for their autograph.
They signed. Turned out they were Kenny King and David Overstreet.
It's funny what you remember.
Giddens finding the range?
Jan. 10, 4:51 p.m.
At this point in the season, Kansas looks deserving of its No. 2 ranking (although we'd put North Carolina between No. 1 Illinois and the Jayhawks). Which brings up this question: How good will Kansas be once J.R. Giddens returns from Funk-land?
Giddens is the 6-foot-5 Kansas sophomore whose shooting stroke disappeared at almost the exact time center Wayne Simien suffered his thumb injury. Not sure if this is a coincidence, but in four games without Simien, Giddens is 5-for-25 from 3-point range. That's 20 percent and sinking. He has gone 0-for-6 on 3-pointers in each of the Jayhawks' last two games.
By the second half Sunday at Kentucky, Kansas had figured out Giddens' range -- 2 feet -- and figured a way to get him the ball there. With Giddens unwilling or unable to take the ball to the rim, the Jayhawks threw him lob after lob, from the top of the key and the corner and even an inbounds play under the basket.
Giddens responded with a two field goals and two free throws off the lobs, jump-starting his stalled offensive game. Maybe the second half Sunday will be the spark Giddens needs to get started Wednesday against Iowa State.
The stage is set in West Lafayette
Jan. 7, 4 p.m.
And yet now there is more, thanks to some uncommon knowledge that was reported in today's versions of the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to the newspaper, Illinois' Weber nearly became Purdue's coach-in-waiting instead of Matt Painter. Before the 2002-03 season, when Weber was at Southern Illinois, he and Purdue apparently had extended conversations about his leaving the Salukis to become Keady's top assistant and designated replacement.
Weber, who had been a longtime Keady assistant at Purdue, told the Sun-Times that he ultimately turned down the opportunity to replace Keady because he wasn't given a guarantee that Keady would retire after the 2002-03 season.
"The final sticking point became that there was no certainty about when Gene would depart," Weber said. "(And) I didn't want to wind up giving up the Southern Illinois position for two or three more years of uncertainty on the Purdue bench."
Not so, Keady told the Sun-Times.
"My understanding," Keady said, "was that Bruce didn't go for the arrangement because the university did not want to come up with enough money."
That's a pretty big discrepancy. Was Weber anxious about an uncertain future? Or simply holding out for more dough? At this point it doesn't matter. Weber has a much, much better job with Illinois. Painter, who replaced Weber at Southern Illinois in 2003-04, left the Salukis to spend this season with Keady. And Keady is gone in two months. But the pregame handshake Saturday between Keady and Weber, even if it involves smiles and a hug, might not smack of utter sincerity. Not if both coaches have seen what the other guy told the Sun-Times.
Lodrick should stay in school
Jan. 6, 3:50 p.m.
It's been several weeks, so obviously it's time to write more about Southern California's Stewart twins.
Technically, USC is down to a Stewart twin, singular, what with Rodrick off to Kansas (still can't believe that). But on his own, Lodrick Stewart continues to merit discussion. For one thing, since Rodrick left, Lodrick has become the Trojans' most dominant player. He is averaging 17.9 points and shooting 42 percent on 3-pointers in the last 10 games.
Which brings us to the other reason Lodrick merits our attention today:
He's starting to think about entering the 2005 NBA Draft.
Bad idea. Really, truly, bad. Lodrick Stewart will disappear from the face of basketball civilization if he enters the 2005 draft. At this stage in his career he can make money playing professionally, but he won't make it in the NBA. Try the NBDL. Or Greece.
Lodrick's fascination with the NBA is partly understandable, and partly disgusting. He told various Seattle newspapers he doesn't know if he'll return to USC next season because of the circus the program has become since firing Henry Bibby, hiring and losing Rick Majerus, and now stringing along interim Jim Saia while being strung along by Tim Floyd.
Can't blame Lodrick for wanting to leave, and with his skill level it wouldn't be easy to sit out the 2005-06 season as a transfer to, say, Washington.
The disgusting part? Lodrick says the NBA has become an option only after friends and family members -- I'm guessing family members -- began suggesting he's ready.
No, Lodrick, you're not ready. You're not close. You're not even Harold Miner, a comparable ex-Trojan who lasted just four years in the NBA.
Suck it up and stay at USC, or suck it up and sit out the 2005-06 season as a transfer. Either way, stay in school.
The NBA doesn't need you in its arena.
But I sure would like to keep you in mine.
So many questions about the Big East
Jan. 6, 12:44 p.m.
Forget what you knew, or thought you knew, about the Big East. The Big East was destroyed Wednesday in one glorious night of chaos.
OK, so it wasn't so glorious for West Virginia.
As of today, the 84-46 loss West Virginia suffered Wednesday at Villanova is the most ridiculous number of the 2004-05 college basketball season. It's a score so incredible, so ugly, that it taints more than what the Mountaineers (10-1) had accomplished to that point.
It taints other teams connected to the Mountaineers, too.
At the least it raises questions about No. 24 George Washington and N.C. State, which lost last week to West Virginia. Yes, the Wolfpack were playing without Julius Hodge. But still, they lost by 13 points at home to a West Virginia team soon to be crushed -- 84-46! -- by Villanova.
With those three games Wednesday, the Big East unraveled into the unknown. Maybe Boston College -- still undefeated, you know -- really has become the class of the league. Maybe Pittsburgh has finally fallen to the middle of the pack. Maybe Villanova isn't just an NCAA Tournament hopeful, but a lock.
Georgetown, under first-year coach John Thompson III, must be better than anyone expected. West Virginia must be worse than last week suggested.
So many questions. This is beautiful.
Richardson interested in Tulsa
Jan. 5, 11:01 a.m.
Nolan Richardson has been telling anyone who will listen -- and you'd be surprised by how many people will listen -- that he'd like to return as head coach at Tulsa.
While we're at it, can I return to the days when my scalp had more hair than my chin?
Richardson was within his rights to sue Arkansas for discrimination after the school fired him in March 2002. He felt he'd been unlawfully terminated and wanted the courts to decide if his position had merit. In July 2004 the courts decided not, dismissing his $8.86-million lawsuit.
Richardson has appealed. Fine. That's his inalienable right.
But it's the overwhelming right of Tulsa to politely ignore Richardson's interest.
By suing Arkansas, Richardson essentially has taken the unmarketable position that you ... will ... not ... fire ... me.
At Arkansas, he was let go late in the disappointing 2001-02 season after telling reporters, "If they go ahead and pay me my money, they can take the job tomorrow."
When Arkansas did just that, Richardson sued. That was his constitutional right, if not the best way to position himself for a future job.
Tulsa, if you do hire Richardson, make sure he understands college basketball isn't the Supreme Court. There are no lifetime appointments here.
Give Henson credit, but he should retire
Jan. 4, 9:25 a.m.
This may sound ghoulish -- it feels ghoulish -- but New Mexico State coach Lou Henson needs to retire.
Two days before his 73rd birthday, Henson returns to the bench Saturday after missing the Aggies' first 11 games. He was diagnosed three months ago with viral encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain that has caused paralysis in his right leg.
Henson will coach New Mexico State (4-7) on Saturday against North Texas. He'll be in a wheelchair.
At so many levels, Henson's story is inspirational. Here's a guy in his 70s, in his wheelchair, returning to the sideline. Here's a guy who took on fearsome viral encephalitis and not only survived, but chose to get back to his old job.
But maybe, nearing 73 in a business that gets younger by the year, the choice should no longer be his.
For three months the story has been Lou Henson, as it will be again Saturday, but at some point the focus must find the players. Yes, they came to New Mexico State to play for the legendary Lou Henson -- but also a healthy Lou Henson, the Lou Henson who took two programs to the Final Four, won 400-plus games at Illinois and returned to New Mexico State in 1997 for $1 a month.
The players came to Las Cruces, N.M., for that coach -- not a coach whose body has been breaking down for 18 months, and in unsubtle ways.
In the summer of 2003 he was diagnosed with cancer, and after months of chemotherapy he coached the Aggies to a 13-14 mark last season. In the summer of 2004 it was viral encephalitis, which brought on a coma for several days and took some of his short-term memory, his wife told the Associated Press in November.
To beat cancer one year and viral encephalitis the next, Lou Henson has shown more toughness and courage than most of us will ever have to show. That includes, I hope, me.
But his body is telling him something his heart doesn't want to hear: It's time to move on. His players deserve a coach who can give them his all, and Henson has bigger battles to fight than the Sun Belt Conference.
Beavers gnawing at Pac-10 competition
Jan. 3, 10:34 a.m.
Hey there -- you. Listen up: Oregon State.
Pass it on.
The Beavers are positioned for a third-place finish in the Pac-10 after sweeping UCLA and USC this weekend for a 2-0 start in league play.
Yes, Oregon State.
Everything is coming together at the right time for the Beavers. Star forward David Lucas is back after missing the first month with toe surgery. Iowa transfer Nick DeWitz is emerging as an inside force after becoming eligible on Dec. 11. New Mexico State transfer Jason Fontenet has grown into his role as a tempo-forcing point guard.
And 6-foot-10 freshman Sasa Cuic (14.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg) is absolutely no fluke.
Oregon State has no business finishing ahead of Pac-10 powers Washington or Arizona, but in the race for third place, the Beavers are as legitimate a factor as Oregon, Arizona State and UCLA.
Just thought you should know.