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College Basketball

The Week at a Glance

Click here for more on this story

Posted: Monday January 18, 1999 11:42 PM

The Games to Watch | The Story Lines
The Bandwagon | The Avery Watch

The Jewish Jordan

By Dan Shanoff, CNN/SI

AP Top 25
Men's Poll
 1. UConn
 2. Duke
 3. Stanford
 4. Maryland
 5. Cincinnati
 6. Auburn
 7. Kentucky
 8. St. John's
 9. Arizona
10. N.Carolina
11. Mich. St.
12. New Mexico
13. UCLA
14. Iowa
15. Wisconsin
16. Purdue
17. Minnesota
18. Indiana
19. Kansas
20. Syracuse
21. TCU
22. Arkansas
23. Okla. St.
24. Louisville
25. U. of Miami

For those of us going through MJ withdrawal, there is hope. Grant Hill covers the endorsement end, Kobe covers the dunks, Iverson covers the attitude -- among others who form a "piecemeal Jordan."

And then there is "Jewish Jordan" -- "JJ" as he is known to his teammates.

A 6-foot-3 scorer, a slinky passer, a 155-pound dunker. An Orthodox Jew.

He is Tamir Goodman , a junior at Talmudical Academy in Baltimore. He hooped and swooped below the radar of most prep recruiting "experts," but not Maryland assistant coach Billy Hahn .

Hahn saw him play at a summer camp in 1998 and, after consulting with Maryland coach Gary Williams, offered Goodman a scholarship late in December, which Goodman accepted on one condition -- in accordance with his religious beliefs, Goodman won't play from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The Maryland coaching staff was willing to extend the offer, despite non-conference, ACC Tournament and NCAA tournament schedules that regularly have games on Saturdays.

It seems a big concession, giving a full scholarship to a player who may not be able to participate in several key league and postseason games -- the Final Four is on a Saturday, for example. But it's not unprecedented in high-level sports. In 1965, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax sat out a World Series game that fell on the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, but still finished with the MVP trophy after the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Minnesota Twins in seven games.

Unconditionally, the Terps are sold on Goodman, who is averaging 34 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals this season and will enroll at Maryland in the fall of 2000. The coaches are even reported to be scheduling around the Jewish Sabbath -- and lobbying the ACC to do the same.

The Games to Watch
Auburn at Kentucky, Jan. 20
On the Marquee: "The SEC's Big One"
Players to Watch: Kentucky PF Scott Padgett, Auburn PF Chris Porter, Auburn PG Doc Robinson, Kentucky PG Wayne Turner
Connecticut at Miami, Jan. 20
On the Marquee: "Huskies in trouble?"
Players to Watch: UConn PG Khalid El-Amin, UConn SG Richard Hamilton, Miami PF Tim James
Duke at St. John's, Jan. 24
On the Marquee: "Interconference war"
Players to Watch: St. John's SF Ron Artest, St. John's PG Erick Barkley, Duke C Elton Brand, Duke SG Trajan Langdon

The Story Lines
Big Parity
Does anyone want to win the Big Ten? Purdue just lost to Indiana, which lost to Ohio State, which lost to Iowa, which lost to Minnesota, which lost to Michigan State, which lost to Wisconsin, which lost to Michigan, which seemingly lost to everyone before January. Just when a team gets some momentum, it manages to stumble in the nation's most competitive and -- until someone steps up in March -- most overrated league.
UNC-Duke I
The Jan. 27 game in Durham isn't drawing too much attention, a function of the Tar Heels' uninspiring performance this season and Duke's overall dominance. The Blue Devils should be wary of looking past the huge game in New York against St. John's on Sunday; it'll be the tougher matchup. Though Duke will blitz Carolina next week, they will lose to St. John's. Why? The Red Storm combine interior menace with overall physical play, the Blue Devils' Achilles' heel. You heard it here first.

The Bandwagon
Auburn Still sizzlin'...
Stanford Lurking around No. 1 seeds
Khalid El-Amin Local-Y body gives us all hope
Clemson Virginia??

The William Avery Watch

Todd Warshaw/Allsport
If Duke is to capitalize on its talent and return to the Final Four for the first time since 1994, the sophomore point guard -- an erratic reserve last season -- will have to mature into the starting lead guard. Can he abandon his trigger-happy tendencies and be the assist man that the Blue Devils need him to be? CNN/SI charts his progress throughout the season.
Last game: Jan. 16 vs. Florida State
Assists: 6 (Season: 109, 6.1 apg)
Turnovers: 3 (Season: 46)
FGs Made-Attempted: 7-13 (Season: 89-181, 49.2%)
Result: Duke wins, 98-73 (Season record: 17-1)
This Week: Jan. 20 at Clemson, Jan. 24 at St. John's, Jan. 27 vs. North Carolina

CNN/SI Week at a Glance is released every Tuesday throughout the college basketball season.

Related information
Last Week at a Glance: Questions, questions
College Basketball Mailbag: Submit a question
CNN/SI Men's Top 25 Fans Poll
From Midnight to March with Gene Keady: Examining the Purdue-Indiana rivalry
ACC 1998-99 Leaders in Scoring
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