Rimini, Italy, a resort town on the Adriatic Sea, is also the home of Hambi Basket, the team for which Olden Polynice is now lofting jumpers. Polynice lost his scholarship last summer shortly before pleading no contest to shoplifting charges. Waste no sympathy on him or on coach Terry Holland, who must do without Olden's 16.1 points and 8 rebounds per game. The last time the Cavs lost a renowned big man, Ralph Sampson, in 1983, they made it to the Final Four the following season.
Without Polynice the guard-deep Cavs will shift into a higher gear; swing guards Richard Morgan and Mel Kennedy can score more from afar. Two starters who will not get the green light to gun are playmaker John Johnson and 6'9" Tom Sheehey, last season's top dish-off men. Sheehey also enjoys a reputation as a hatchet man. Holland says that's a bum rap. "Tom is a finesse player. He's had the devil beaten out of him around the basket. But when he tries to retaliate he comes off as the bad guy," says the coach. Alas, if Virginia is to snare any rebounds this season, Sheehey must leave the tranquillity of the wing and wade into the fray once again. Perennial sub John Dyslin, a 6'11" center, will need all the help he can get in the lane. "Someone is going to have to develop into a rebounder and defender for us," says Holland, "or we're in trouble." Careful. It could be a trap.