Long Shots Usually Pay Dividends

A lot of coaches seem to be unhappy about the new three- point goal in college basketball, but not Lou Carnesecca, the St. John’s coach.

“I think it makes a big man of the little guy,” said Carnesecca, a little guy. “It’s a home run with the bases loaded.”

Carnesecca did have some reservations, however.

“Nineteen feet is a Mickey Mouse shot.” he said. “Maybe 23 or 24 feet would have been better.”


Then, there’s the matter of strategy.

“Three of 10 three-point shots is nine points,” he calculated. “That’s almost as much as five of 10 regular shots. You have to be a math major to figure it out.”

Larry Guest of the Orlando Sentinel, on how Dwight Gooden remains unaffected by his fame: “He still lives with his parents in Tampa, and his only excesses seem to be the outlandish tropical sports ensembles he has worn this spring and frequent six-cheeseburger stops at fast-food stores.

“Met insiders long have been in awe of Gooden’s voracious appetite and paint him as the closet Refrigerator of baseball.”


Trivia Time: Who leads the Angels in career stolen bases? (Answer below.)

Now-it-can-be-told dept.: John Wooden told Dan Barreiro of the Dallas Morning News that after his second year at UCLA he was offered the job at Purdue, his alma mater. He still had a year left on his three-year contract at UCLA.

“They said they would release me but they reminded me that they had wanted to sign me to a two-year contract in the first place and I had insisted on three,” Wooden said. “Well, they were right, and I decided to stay.”

Add Wooden: Of the NBA, he said: “I don’t like it much. I cringe when I hear pro coaches talk about getting an enforcer. The Lakers went out and got Maurice Lucas so he could help Kurt Rambis throw people around. That’s not basketball.”


The U.S. Open returns to the Olympic Club in San Francisco next year, and former winners Jack Fleck and Billy Casper came back to that golf course Wednesday at the invitation of tournament officials.

Fleck upset Ben Hogan in 1955, and Casper came from behind to beat Arnold Palmer in 1966.

The cover of the program for the 1987 Open was unveiled at a ceremony. The artist, Olympic Club member Nick Leaskou, has the swinging figures of Fleck, Hogan, Casper and Palmer superimposed over the tree-lined 18th fairway.

“There’s one mistake in the drawing,” Casper said. “Hogan is in the trees and I’m on the fairway. Never!”


Add Casper: In ’66, he trailed Palmer by seven strokes with nine holes to play, but he shot a 32 to Palmer’s 39, and they finished tied at the end of 72 holes. The next day, Casper won a playoff.

“I don’t know if Arnold was ever the same after that tournament,” Casper said. “I know that a lot of his close friends have said he never was.”

Trivia Answer: Reggie Jackson, with 225 stolen bases. That ranks him eighth among active players in the American League. Rickey Henderson leads with 573. Quotebook

ABC sportscaster Jim McKay, on the gentle treatment he got in Howard Cosell’s latest book: “I don’t know if it’s damning with faint praise or praising with faint damn.”