The Paris News from Paris, Texas on March 17, 1985 · Page 14
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March 17, 1985

The Paris News from Paris, Texas · Page 14

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Sunday, March 17, 1985
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2B Th* Paris N«wt. Sun., March 17, 19«3 Referee rousting in SWC fun for everyone except officials By DENNE H. FREEMAN AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — The fine art of official or- chebuUion or referee ragging is something that separates the fair coaches from the ones you'll be seeing the next couple of weeks in the NCAA Playoffs. The fruits of such labor are numerous. Some young officials can be intimdated. Others can catch themselves being influenced into makeup calls. And often a coach's supposed ire at an official can be an intentional catalyst used to awaken a sleepwalking team. The accomplished master of "the referee rage" in the Southwest Conference is Arkansas Coach Eddie Sutton. His tricks include tearing off his coat and flinging it onto a chair and talking to anyone along press row to find sympathy. The petals of the fresh corsage he always wears are usually sent flying in the process. The SWC is blessed with other coaches who can do an artistic job of official baiting. Certainly, Texas Tech Coach Gerald Myers' performance during the SWC Post-Season Classic was one for the archives. His team fell behind 16-7 to Arkansas and Myers could sense a rout coming on for his Red Raiders. Myers stopped referee Jim Harvey at midcourt then delivered some well chosen words almost like it was a speech he had rehearsed. The resulting technical foul inflamed his Raiders into a 27-9 run that turned the game around. "It was deliberate," Myers admitted later. "Our guys started playing with emotion after that. I don't know if they had lost the idea that they could win the game, but it seemed like they started getting it back after the technical." There were other styles evident on the SWC benches this winter. Texas Christian Coach Jim Killingsworth patrols the bench like an angry bear, chewing gum furiously (he gave up smoking) and disputing every foul call against his beloved Horned Frogs. He only got five technical fouls this year. Considering his activity, the referees were very patient. Southern Methodist Coach Dave Bliss voices his distaste of a call by occasionally pounding a chair with his fist. He doesn't bark much and seldom draws a technical. Texas A&M Coach 0r. Shelby Metcalf is the king Hoyas' Thompson more than coach of nation's No. 1 By BRUCE LOWITT and IRA ROSENFELD AP Sports Writers John Thompson talks about the youngster who was doing poorly in school, whose father couldn't read or write, whose mother was concerned about her son's potential. She brought him to a professional educator, a doctor who invited the youngster into his office and asked him to identify objects around the room. "Radio," the boy said. "Telephone." Then he froze and fell silent. "You shouldn't be embarrassed," the educator told the woman, "because it's not your fault. But this boy isn't educable." The boy earned his bachelor's degree in economics and his master's degree in guidance and counseling and ultimately became the basketball coach at Georgetown University. "This little boy," John Tl mp- son said, "is talking to you." John Thompson is far more than simply the coach of the nation's premier basketball team, the defending NCAA champion. He is a complex man, an amalgam of emotions. He is driven to win but even more to excel. He will needle, threaten or bench his star player if he isn't giving every ounce of effort. He will suspend him if he fails to produce grades in excess of Georgetown's and the NCAA's minimum Stan„ dards. Some critics call him more *rthan driven.-They c«iHilman_QgEe- He shelters his players, too, protecting them in abbreviated locker- room interviews — sometimes timed to the second by a stopwatch — and often housing them in isolated places on the road. Some critics say he is more than sheltering. They call him paranoid. He is black, with an exclusively black team at a predominantly white school. Over the years, he lins seen and heard everything from subtle allusions to his color to out-and-out racial epithets. He has heard it all since he was a child. If it still hurls, he doesn't show it. He doesn't lash back. If he has a credo, it is almost certainly embodied in two rhymes. One was sung to him in childhood In his mother: "You can do anything you think you can. It's all in the way you view it. It's all in the st:irt you get, young man. You must feel you are going to do it." The oilier is a verse from Henry Wads worth Longfellow: "The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden night. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night." Thompson does not take potential lightly. He has seen professional educators overlook it in others — in himself — and he is a professional educator. From Patrick Ewing on down, his players aren't attending Georgetown for the sole purpose of winning basketball games. The Rev. Edward Glynn, now president of St. Peter's College, was Georgetown's faculty representative to the NCAA early in Thompson's tenure. "From Day One, he was dedicated to making sure his players would leave school with more man the ability to shoot a basketball," Glynn said. "He'd tell them there are too many people hanging around street corners with nothing but their newspaper clippings, heroes in high school or college and nothing after that." For a few of his players, life after Georgetown will mean professional basketball. For Ewing, it means guaranteed stardom and millions of dollars. For teammates like Reggie Williams and David Wingate, it could mean a lucrative pro career as well. It likely will mean the same for Michael Graham. He, too, has potential. But in Thompson's eyes, it was being wasted at Georgetown. As a freshman last year, Graham was a major factor in the Hoyas' national championship. Nevertheless, Thompson dropped him from the team because, he said, Graham wasn't measuring up to the coach's academic standards, even though he had met Georgetown's and the NCAA's. He said that, in the long run, he would have been hurting Graham by permitting him to play. This year, Graham attends the University of District of Columbia, sitting out a year before becoming eligible to play again. He won't talk publicly about Georgetown or Thompson. When Lefty Driesell, the basketball .coach at Maryland, gave his «KKI, Oh««iOBU6w**»«9r«*^ ship four years ago, Thompson bristled. Young Driesell, who has sat on the bench most of his college career, could have been a starter elsewhere, outside the Atlantic Coast Conference, Thompson said. He called it "a wasted scholarship for everybody. ... If I have a scholarship left over, I want to give it to somebody who needs the education, who couldn't get it some other way," And, in a pointed comparison between his own players and the lack of court time given Driesell's son, Thompson said, "These kids are getting a $60,000 education from a fine institution. They're going to have to work for it. They're going to play." Thompson also has a son, John, playing college basketball. He could have been a scholarship athlete at Georgetown. He isn't. He plays at Princeton. When he recruited Ewing, Thompson knew Patrick's mother was interested in academics first. They spent the better part of an hour in the Ewing household discussing the subject. Then Patrick spoke up. He asked about the social life in Washington, D.C. "With your schoolwork and the athletics, you won't have much time for a social life," Thompson said. Swing's mother made up her mind. Her son would attend Georgetown. see THOMPSON, Pg. 3B COACH AND PLAYER — Georgetown coach John Thompson gives a pat to Patrick Ewing after the Hoyas defeated Houston in the 1984 NCAA tournament. Thompson has made great strides for a man once considered ineducable. (AP Laserphoto) Michigan ready for Villa nova DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Second- ranked Michigan, winner of 17 straight, is looking to get back to playing "real basketball" in Sunday's second-ranked NCAA Southeast Regional game against Villanova. With the absence of the shot clock in the tournament, the Wolverines barely survived their first round contest against Fairleigh Dickinson's slowdown tactics 59-54 Friday night. Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino joked Saturday that the final score against Michigan might be 4-2. "I don't think they'll sit on it," said Michigan Coach Bill Frieder. "The score will be in the 60s or 70s, not 40s or 50s." The Michigan-Villanova game starts at 12:11 p.m. EST, followed by Maryland-Navy (3:11 p.m. EST) at the University of Dayton Arena. "We're stronger up front and Villanova is quicker," said sophomore guard Antoine Joubert, "but I don't think the game will be decided on quickness. We both have good athletes, and our big men will be ready. "It was frustrating playing Fairleigh Dickinson. We had no rhythm at all. They took us out of our game. It'll be good to get back playing real basketball." An interesting matchup pits the centers — Michigan's 6-foot-ll Roy Tarpley against Villanova's Ed Pinckney, G-9l£. Tarpley, 19.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, and Pin- ckney, 16.0, 9.0, lead their teams in those categories. "I'd probably trade my front line for Pinckney," said Freider, whose Big Ten champions have a 17-game winning streak and a 26-3 record. "He just keeps going up and up." Michigan has beefier forwards in 6-6, 230-pound Richard Rellford and 6-8, 230-pound Butch Wade to go against Villanova's leapers — Dwayne McClain, 6-6, 195, and Harold Pressley, 6-7, 215. "We have to outrebound them," said Massimino, whose team has a 20-9 record and finished in a tie with Syracuse for third place in the Big East Conference. "I'd compare their front line with Syracuse or St. John's. But Dayton outrebounded us last night." of the grimacers and will chase a referee to deliver a lecture. The officials are also lenient with him. Houston Coach Guy V. Lewis is a hoot to watch as he buries his face in his checkered towel. Lewis gets a technical on occasion by hurling the towel high into the air. Once, he threw it at an official. Texas Coach Bill Weltlich has a sardonic smile when a call goes against him, but normally doesn't say a lot. Rice Coach Tommy Suitts barks like a fox at pursuing hound dogs but is seldom brought to bay by a technical. Former Baylor Coach Jim Haller was probably the best in the SWC at protecting his players. Anyway, referee rousting is all a part of the SWC basketball scene and makes the game even more fun — to everyone but the officials, of course. UTEP putting West's cage pride on line ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - . To a lot of people in this part of the country, the last vestige of western basketball pride will be on the line Sunday when Texas-El Paso takes on North Carolina State in an NCAA tournament second-round game. But that's not necessarily how UTEP Coach Don Haskins thinks. "I think there are good basketball teams all over the country," Haskins said Saturday. "A lot it is exposure. We see Atlantic Coast Conference basketball all year long and we see Big East and that's what people know about." Still, Haskins' Miners, who beat Tulsa 79-75 in their first game, will be the last hope of the West here when they play the Wolfpack, 65-56 winners over Nevada-Reno in a battle of two former NCAA champions at 6:30 p.m. EST. UTEP won the title in 1966 and N.C. State won two years ago on the same floor at the University of New Mexico's facility that's nicknamed "The Pit." The 4 p.m. EST game will match Virginia Commonwealth, an 81-65 winner over Marshall, and Alabama, which dealt another blow to the West Friday night when it knocked out Arizona 50-41. That made all four Pacific-10 conference teams in the tournament losers in the first round. The winners will go on to Denver for the West Regional next week. „ The East vs. West angle is also very much on the mind of N.C. State's Jim Valvano. But in Valvano's case, the worry is about the large and vocal cntingent of Miner fans who will make their way here from El Paso, 250 miles south. "I really reel like it's" "A Toad game," Valvano'said. "I sat in the middle of their cheering section at their game Friday and they really do have a home crowd advantage. They're playing in their conference in familiar surroundings." But Valvano also said he believes that the balance of power that has swung to the East in the last few years will probably remain there because that's where the people are. "The development of the Big East Conference and their large population centers means it's very difficult for schools in the West to come East and steal a player," he said. "They're going to have to recruit players in their own areas and there aren't as many people." The Virginia Commonwealth- Alabama game will be a battle of contrasts that created worries for both coaches. VCU, second-seeded behind St. John's in the West, features one of the best guard tandems in the country in Rolando Lamb, who had 30 points and six steals against Marshall and Calvin Duncan, who had 19 points and five assists. Alabama, led by 6-foot-9,240-pound Bobby Lee hurt, intimidated Arizona underneath into a 29 percent shooting percentage. "Lamb and Duncan have caused problems for everybody they've played," moaned Alabama Coach Wimp Sanderson. "I don't know how we're going to play them." "We're going to have to find some way to rebound against them," lamented VCU's J.D. Barnett. Ewings, Sampsons, Olajuwons make NBA's future taller By WILLIAM R. BARNARD AP Sports Writer Picture a National Basketball Association lineup in the year 2000. Centers 7-foot-6 or taller are commonplace; some guards are 7-0. It may not be as far-fetched as it seems. Already, 6-9 guards and 7-4 forwards roam the NBA courts. At the All-Star Game, Western Conference Coach Pat Riley toyed with the idea of playing a lineup with three "-footers and no one smaller than 69. With the emergence of young towers such as Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon, and the long- awaited pro debut next season of college star Patrick Ewing, the trend toward big men who can run and pass as well as shoot, rebound and block shots is expected to continue. "There are just much better athletes now than we used to have," New Jersey Nets Coach Stan Albeck says. The average height of an NBA player this season is fi-7'2, and as of Jan. 1, 23 players — almost 10 percent of the league's rosters — measured 7 foot or Itetter. And not only have the sizes changed. In the 1950s and '60s, centers rarely ventured away from the basket, or "paint," as the foul lane is called. Today, they regularly can be found doing things only guards would try not even a decade ago. "Big men today are prettier," Houston Coach Bill Fitch says. "By that I mean, in the old days, they didn't do pretty things. Some guys, like Dave Cowens and Willis Reed, would step outside and shoot. But most of them wouldn't. Now you have 7-footers doing that." One 7-footer, 7-4 to be exact, is Fitch's own Sampson, who moved to forward this season when the Rockets drafted the 7-0 Olajuwon. Sampson shoots from outside and fills a wing on the fast break more often than resorting to a power game inside. "I really would like to play some at guard," Sampson says. "I want no boundaries or restrictions on what I can or can't do. I want to be a versatile, all- around player." "Some day I'll let him play guard, but first I'll make him run a killer guard drill and see if he still wants to," Fitch says. "But people laugh and joke about a 7-footer playing guard. Ten years ago, you would laugh at the idea of a 7-4 man playing forward, and Ralph is doing it, or laugh at a 6-9 guy playing guard, and look at Magic Johnson." Johnson would have been the point guard on Riley's all-tall team, had he decided to use it. The other members would have been Sampson and Ola- juwon at forwards, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7-4) at center and Larry Nance (6-10) at the other guard. Wilt Chamberlain, one of the NBA's first 7-footers who often dominated games in the 1960s, speaks with some disdain of today's breed of big men, saying the centers of his day would never allow all the fancy moves and dunking that fans see now. "These guys aren't centers," Chamberlain says. "Bill Russell, Nate Thurmond, Willis Reed — they were centers. They were tough." Reed, now coach at Creighton University, agrees with Chamberlain — to a point. "I think centers were better defensively in my era; we had the attitude that the paint was our area," says Reed, a 6-10 star for the New York Knicks a decade ago. "Players are getting bigger and stronger at every position. The small centers now are 6-11. The game has changed. So many teams are running the transition game." But, Reed adds, "I think the game is still the same in that if you are starting a team from scratch, you still want the biggest, most physical player you can find." Albeck says a development that led to the changing role of the big man in the NBA was the widening of the three-second lane from six feet to 12, then 16 feet. "In the George Mikan days, there was no way he could be moved away from the basket," Albeck says of the six-foot lane in use when the 6-10 Mikan became the first of the "big men" with Minneapolis in the late 1940s. "Now, big guys can't do that. It has had an even bigger effect defensively because the big men have more area to cover." "Changing the lane helped my career because I could play defense against the Kareems and the other 7-footers," Reed says. Albeck says the NBA "was much rougher in the Chamberlain-Russell days. When Chamberlain says he wouldn't allow all the dunkers today, he's probably right. But officials let centers get away with more in those days. He couldn't go after the guys driving the lane and go through his career without fouling out. Now they call it a lot closer and that has opened up the game." The prototype of the versatile big man in a wide- open system is Sampson. "He's got a great touch from outside," Riley, who coaches Abdul-Jabbar with the Lakers, says. "I think that makes him a more effective player because he can take the ball inside and outside." Johnson, who at 6-9 also breaks the mold of the small, speedy point guard, says Sampson is more effective as a power forward than he was at center. "He's more aggressive at his new position," Johnson says. "There were times a year ago when he'd go into hiding for about 10 minutes. Now he's what I term a 'mid-post player.' He can step out, get the ball and make his move any way he wants." With the addition of Olajuwon this year and Georgetown's Ewing, a trend seems to be starting of seeing big men that can run as well as shoot.

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