Wasn't the three-point shot supposed to reduce congestion in the middle? Yes, but at a price, according to Providence coach Rick Barnes. "The three-pointer means teams can't pack it inside anymore," says Barnes. "But now you have to muscle your man out higher so the guard doesn't have as far to go to help."
Stanford coach Mike Montgomery thinks officials are calling games differently today. "Some have lost sight of what the term 'Letting them play' means," says Montgomery. "It's about only stopping the game for contact that gives an advantage or disadvantage. It doesn't mean you call every other foul or every third foul.
"Now it sometimes seems as if the 6'10" guy isn't as free to show his skills as the 6'2" guy," says Montgomery.
Land of 1,000 Recantations
Less than a year ago the Texas A&M program seemed to be on the rise. Plans had been approved for a $35 million, 14,500-seat special events center that would be ready for the 1993-94 season, and 31-year-old Kermit Davis, a highly regarded coach, had been hired to put together a team that would fill all those seats.
But at week's end the Aggies, plagued by injuries and by suspensions for disciplinary and academic reasons, were 5-15 overall and 0-9 in the Southwest Conference. Even worse, Davis was defending himself against charges that he may have tried to upgrade the Texas A&M program too quickly. The school is investigating several reported violations, including one allegation that Davis used the services of a New York City talent scout, Rob Johnson, to help recruit 6'8" forward Tony Scott, a transfer from Syracuse who's sitting out this season at A&M.
At a press conference last Thursday, Davis denied any wrongdoing. "In six years of coaching, not one negative thing was ever said about me," said Davis, who took Idaho to the NCAA tournament the last two seasons. "Now all of a sudden [I'm being] tried in the media."
The allegations against Texas A&M appeared in the Syracuse Post-Standard in December as a by-product of its investigation of the Syracuse basketball program. Scott told a Post-Standard reporter that Davis had paid Johnson's way to College Station while Scott was considering transferring from Syracuse and had also paid part of the airfare for Scott's father to get home to Rochester after dropping off his son at A&M. The NCAA forbids free air travel for friends or relatives of an athlete. The newspaper also revealed that Davis had paid Johnson $2,400 to work at his basketball camp last summer—despite Johnson's limited coaching experience—and that Johnson had been a candidate for a job as a graduate assistant with the Aggies.
Scott has since retracted his statements to Davis, saying that he made them because he wanted to get the Aggies put on probation so that he could transfer once again and play without sitting out another year. Recantations are becoming something of a tradition among the Aggies. In 1988, Texas A&M football player George Smith charged that Jackie Sherrill, the Aggie coach at the time, had paid him to keep quiet about his knowledge of recruiting violations. Smith later said he had lied. Shortly thereafter, he recanted the recantation, saying he had been promised $30,000 to take back his statement about Sherrill's giving him hush money.
Bully for Auburn