Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us College Basketball Women's

  m. college bb
baseball S
pro football S
col. football S
pro basketball S
w. college bb S
hockey S
golf plus S
tennis S
soccer S
motor sports
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Video Plus
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Cities GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia

Welcome back, Lefty

Driesell leads Georgia State to first NCAA bid since '91

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Saturday March 03, 2001 4:44 PM
Updated: Sunday March 04, 2001 8:32 AM


ATLANTA (AP) -- Lefty Driesell didn't seem fazed by Saturday's accomplishment when he matched Eddie Sutton's feat of taking four different schools to the NCAA tournament.

Driesell, a 69-year-old head coach who ranks fifth in all-time victories, was just pleased with the effort of his team Saturday as Georgia State overpowered Troy State with 16 3-point baskets and a tenacious defense to capture the Trans America Athletic Conference tournament crown with a 79-55 victory.

"The teams I've taken to the NCAAs in the past haven't exactly been powerhouses," Driesell said. "I'm not looking at the rear-view mirror. I'm looking at the front windshield. I think we're going to be tough to play."

The Panthers (28-4) have only one previous NCAA appearance - a 1991 first-round loss to Arkansas.

Four to the Field
Lefty Driesell joins Eddie Sutton as the only coaches ever to take four different schools to the NCAA tournament:
Eddie Sutton  Lefty Driesell 
Creighton (1)   Davidson (3) 
Arkansas (9)   Maryland (8) 
Kentucky (3)   James Madison (1) 
Oklahoma St. (8)   Georgia St. (1) 
Note: Jim Harrick (Pepperdine, UCLA, Rhode Island) would join the list if Georgia makes the NCAAs.

Driesell previously took Davidson, Maryland and James Madison to the sport's biggest showcase. Sutton has been to the tournament with Arkansas, Kentucky, Creighton and Oklahoma State, his current team.

GSU's 19th consecutive home court victory gave Driesell his 761st triumph in 39 seasons on the bench.

"I don't care about that," Driesell said of his standing. "Like I said, I'm looking forward, not backward."

"Coach Driesell is the last of a dying breed that you just don't see in coaching any more," Troy head coach Don Maestri said.

"We are not afraid of anyone and I think we deserve a high seed out of this," Driesell said of his first team ever to win 28 games in a season. "We play defense. The key is our defense. If you don't play good defense, you don't play for me."

"We have a good work ethic and that's what got us here and that is what is going to take us to the NCAA's," said Shernard Long, the MVP of the conference.

Kevin Morris led the latest victory with 18 points, Thomas Terrell added 17 in a balanced attack that saw five Panthers score in double figures. Darryl Cooper and Long added 12 each and reserve Lamont McIntosh 11. Long also had 14 rebounds.

Lamayn Wilson scored 15 points and Derrick Davis 13 for Troy (19-12), which had its eight-game winning streak end. It was the seventh victory in a row for GSU and its 13th in 14 games.

"We wish Georgia State lots of luck," Maestri said. "The better they do in the tournament, the better it makes our league look. It will reflect and make everyone look good."

With Wilson hitting two early 3-pointers, the Trojans took an 11-5 lead in the first five minutes before Georgia State went on a 9-0 run that ended on consecutive driving layups by Morris that put the Panthers in the lead for good.

GSU led 39-25 just before Robert Rushing's 14-footer cut the lead to 39-27 at halftime. The Trojans never got closer than 10 points in the second half.

Related information
Stories Profile: Lefty Driesell's Big Dance Card
Georgia State-Troy State Game Summary
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CNNSI Copyright © 2001
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.