You remember Cedric Henderson, the high-school phenom (now an Atlanta Hawk) from Marietta, Ga., who in two years committed to six colleges, studied in Jamaica and played pro ball in Italy. As worthy successors to the well-traveled Ced, we present:
•Vincent Askew, Memphis State guard. Two summers ago the redoubtable Skew made noise about transferring to Indiana State and Mississippi State before deciding he was happy in Memphis after all. Last summer Vincent Van Go looked into, among other schools, LSU and Ohio State, and even enrolled at Kansas, only to return to the Tigers, who'll be counting on his stable senior leadership. Soon after arriving back on campus, Askew was linked to the robbery of a pizza deliveryman, but no charges were pressed.
•Tyrone Shaw, West Virginia forward. A feller with a conscience. From San Jacinto J.C. in Pasadena, Texas, he signed with Georgia but backed off when the Dawgs drew an NCAA probation (for illegally recruiting—that's right—Cedric Henderson). Back at San Jacinto for year 2, Shaw gave a verbal to UNLV, which the Rebs then backed out on. So he signed with Memphis State, only to leave in a huff when the Tigers got in hot water with the NCAA. After weighing Georgia again, he finally chose the Mountaineers. Although West Virginia has seen its share of controversy, Ty can let out a sigh because his new team isn't on probation.
Movin' On Up
In an effort to reach the top of the Colonial Athletic Association, the Seahawks of North Carolina Wilmington have gathered up a new coach—Robert McPherson—five juco transfers, a new team bus, new Georgia Tech-style gold lame uniforms and a $2,200 suit for its Seahawk mascot, which looks suspiciously like the Louisville Cardinal. So, if they wanted glamour, glitter and gloss, why didn't they keep last season's coach, a guy named Mel Gibson?
Monologue Of The Year
When Louisiana legislator Mike Thompson objected on political grounds to LSU coach Dale Brown's attempts to recruit 7'2" Arvidas Sabonis of the U.S.S.R., Brown responded thusly:
"My answer to anyone with that mentality is that we all should check our genealogical backgrounds. I was in Moscow on the Fourth of July, but I saw film clips of President Reagan and Kirk Douglas and Angela Lansbury and that magnificent scene in New York Harbor. This is what the Statue of Liberty stands for. That scaffolding wasn't there to tear the statue down. It was to build it back up. You think of Nureyev, Baryshnikov. Maybe you read in Parade magazine about the woman with a 240 I.Q. She's an immigrant. Would we deny her entrance? Sabonis isn't some scumbag like the Marielitos. If somebody is really that self-righteous, I applaud him. I'd suggest lie go back to North Dakota and give the Sioux their land back, because we're just renting it."
The phrase is a little old now, but many people still refer to the three weeks of the NCAA Tournament as March Madness. But there's also that tourney time in November and December, when colleges host "holiday" bashes. This is not a time of madness but of very calculated sobriety, when schools contrive to invite to their backyards three teams they can beat—and call it a Classic. We surveyed the land from Tempe, Ariz. (site of the Kactus Klassic, obviously dedicated to the best traditions of higher education), to the Hartford Civic Center (which will host both the Connecticut Bank and Trust Tournament and the Connecticut Mutual Tournament) to offer this rundown of tourney odds and trends, including the most egregious violations of the holiday spirit:
•Indiana shouldn't necessarily be embarrassed for inviting East Carolina, Southern Illinois and North Carolina-Wilmington to the Indiana Classic on Dec. 12-13 in Bloomington. But why, two weeks later at IU's Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis, must we be subjected to a gathering of Indiana, Princeton, Fresno State and Illinois State—four teams that are certain to set some sort of NCAA record for most passes thrown in four games despite a shot clock?