Padilla and Travieso have one factor in their favor: They speak their own language, a combination of Spanish and English, on the court. Says Travieso, "It's an advantage because it keeps our opponents wondering what we're talking about."
Here's the scoop, folks. They're talking about Los Quatro Ultimos. The Final Four.
16. Georgia Tech
Kenny Anderson guided the Jackets to the Final Four as a freshman. Can Stephon Marbury top that?
In his first game for Georgia Tech last week against Manhattan, Marbury proved that the only way to slow him down is to hope that he contracts tonsillitis. Talk about your gimmick defenses. Yes, history will record that Marbury's first college shot was not a dunk, not a three-pointer, but an injection of antibiotics in his behind. Yet even with a sore throat and a high fever, Marbury collected 16 points, five assists and the season's first highlight, a soaring alley-oop jam that trumpeted the passing of a different torch in the Olympic City.
Marbury is a fitting heir to Kenny Anderson, who also grew up in New York City and preceded him at Georgia Tech. "I thought I'd never see another point guard better than Kenny Anderson," Tech coach Bobby Cremins says. "But the first time I saw Stephon, he blew my mind."
Marbury would love to duplicate or even trump Anderson's rookie run to the Final Four, but remember that Anderson had Dennis Scott and Brian Oliver as his supporting cast. Marbury's sidekicks are senior guard Drew Barry, the ACC's top assist man for the past two years, and sophomore forward Matt Harpring, an underappreciated talent who scored 24 points in last week's 87-67 win over the Jaspers. Tech's glaring weakness is, well, weakness. Starting center Eddie Elisma is 6'9" but weighs only 210 pounds.
Marbury must mature in a hurry, which could be easy for a freshman who is already the father of an eight-month-old daughter, Stephanie. "Daddy was sick tonight," Marbury told Stephanie after his first college game. "But we'll show them something great before the season is over." Marbury may not match Anderson's results, but his opponents will soon be finding him very tough to swallow.
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