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College Basketball : Kentucky’s Sutton, at Least, Knows the Score

Coach Eddie Sutton was disconsolate after Kentucky’s loss to Auburn Saturday. It was the Wildcats’ first loss of the season and only their 17th in 178 games over 12 seasons in Rupp Arena.

When Sutton and his staff went to the gym Sunday and found crowds of students in line for tickets, they went around to a back door, Sutton later told the Louisville Courier-Journal, and sneaked into their offices unobtrusively because they were embarrassed.

“It was a nightmare,” Sutton told reporters Sunday. “There was no excuse. We didn’t play hard, and that’s why it hurts so much. I’m just sick about the thing.”

Instead of practicing Sunday, the Kentucky team was treated to a 3 1/2-hour film session. Sutton was reportedly furious.

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“When you’re in there 3 1/2 hours, you better listen,” said Ed Davender, a senior who had been averaging 17.8 points but was held to 5 in the 53-52 loss.

Kentucky led, 52-50, with 28 seconds remaining after Rex Chapman had made two free throws, but Auburn’s John Caylor made it 53-52 on a three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining. Chapman missed a lunging 20-foot shot with four seconds left, and Auburn, which had beaten then-No. 15 Florida earlier in the week, had upset the No. 1 Wildcats.

Sutton’s long film session also included a 10-question pop quiz, designed to see if the players’ minds were on basketball, Kentucky assistant coach Jimmy Dykes told the Courier-Journal.

One question asked the score of the game. Half the team got it wrong.

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Add Kentucky: It may not have been the most opportune of times, but Albert Gore, Democratic presidential candidate, visited Kentucky’s practice Monday, and teamed with Richard Madison for a game of two-on-two against Kentucky’s starting guard duo of Rex Chapman and Ed Davender.

Gore, who was treated gingerly, scored eight points in his team’s 14-10 victory.

Sutton, still miffed about the loss to Auburn, complimented Gore, saying: “We could have used you Saturday night.”

Gore gained at least the attention of one constituent. Before practice, when reporters told Madison, the only player from Gore’s home state of Tennessee, that Gore would visit, Madison said: “Who’s that?”

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Now Madison knows: He’s the guy who helped him win at two-on-two.

Brown University doesn’t have a player taller than 6 feet 9 inches on its roster, but a 6-11 student can be spotted on the bench. He is David Effron, the team manager, a former player who has been diagnosed as having Marfan Syndrome, the congenital heart disease that occurs typically in tall, thin people and that caused the sudden death of Flo Hyman, the U.S. Olympic volleyball player, in 1986.

Effron, a standout player at Pikesville (Md.) High School, was to have played at Brown but was found to have the disease the summer before his freshman year, ending his basketball career. He is majoring in biology and has an interest in a medical career.

“He’s probably the only 6-11 manager in the country,” said John Parry, Brown athletic director.

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Add Brown: When a school’s basketball history includes winless series against the Fall River YMCA, the Newport Naval Station, the New York Athletic Club, and the Massachusetts State Guard, you don’t expect the media guide to include a list of players now in the National Basketball Assn.

Brown has taken a different approach to that staple entry.

A list headlined, “Brown Graduates . . . In the Pro Ranks” includes doctors, attorneys and corporation heads.

The only Brown grad who works for the NBA? Michael A. Cardozo, class of ’63.

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Cardozo, a manager of the Brown team while in college, is now the NBA’s chief outside counsel. A partner in the New York law firm of Proskauer, Rose, Goetz and Mendelsohn, which has long handled cases for the NBA, Cardozo met NBA Commissioner David Stern while they were attending law school at Columbia University.

When Big East Conference teams dawdle in returning to the court after television timeouts this season, they may find themselves paying dearly.

With 70 of 72 conference games scheduled for cable or network telecasts this season, the conference has adopted a timeout format designed to punish teams for delaying after timeouts. Under the format, which was used in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season, if a team’s players are late returning to the court, play may begin before they are set.

After television timeouts--which occur at the first dead ball following the 16-, 12-, 8- and 4-minute marks, a horn sounds, warning that play will resume in 15 seconds. A second horn sounds after the 15 seconds. If the offensive team is not in position, the referee puts the ball on the court and begins a five-second count. If the defensive team is not ready but the offensive team is, the referee hands the ball to the offensive team for inbounding.

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The rule is being used in all conference games and in nonconference games in which both coaches approve it.

Navy had such success with a fellow named David Robinson that Army must have figured what’s good for one military academy is good for another. West Point’s David Robinson, however, is a sophomore reserve point guard from Alexandria, Va., who averages 1 point, 1.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game for Army, which has a 4-8 record.

“We thought we were getting a clone,” joked Les Wothke, Army coach. Robinson is 6-0.

Along the same lines, there is a player at the U.S. Military prep school in Fort Monmouth, N.J., who has agreed to attend Army. His name: David Ewing. No relation.

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That’s what it’s all about: Jim Valvano, North Carolina State coach, spent most of Monday following the several upsets, and Tuesday he had a lot to say--much of it, it seemed, without taking a breath:

“I was wringing wet by end of the day--I watched Northwestern and Indiana and was happy for my ex-boss, Bill Foster. Certainly Northwestern over Indiana is an upset. I’m not so sure Villanova over Syracuse is an upset. There’s really no such thing as a top 20 in college basketball. You have to go to a top 50 or top 75 and you’ll see where everybody can beat everybody else. I think it’s great for college basketball. If you saw the scene at the end of the Villanova game and at the end of the Northwestern game. . . . Not to be trite, and to try not to use a cliche--I say that before I am trite and before I use a cliche--but as everyone says, that’s what it’s all about. You can see it out there. That’s the difference between our game and the professional game, that passion and emotion are on the line every game out there.”


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