1984 All-Christmas, All-Island, All-Nickname Team
(Superb) Herb Crook, Louisville
Gerry (Sir Jamalot) Wright, Iowa
Greg (Cadillac) Anderson, Houston
Darryl (Choo) Kennedy, Oklahoma
Robert (Buzz) Peterson, N.C.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25
Perhaps the hardest thing about losing to Chaminade—as Sampson and then-No. 1 Virginia learned two years ago, and Louisville learned last year and again three nights ago, and SMU learned this afternoon—is realizing that you failed where St. Mary's (of Texas), Walsh College (of Ohio) and Cal State (of L.A.) all succeeded.
The Silverswords, one of five NAIA teams in the islands, knocked off Louisville 67-65 in their Chaminade Classic opener when guard Mark Rodrigues threw in a last-second 15-footer. Today, a 6-foot guard named Keith Whitney sank a last-microsecond 20-footer to defeat previously unbeaten and fifth-ranked SMU. In the Silverswords' case, NAIA stands for Not Awed In Alohaland.
Tournament MVP Jon Koncak had given the Mustangs a 70-69 lead on a layup with 12 seconds to play, and SMU forward Reginald Pink had smothered a Rodrigues shot several seconds later. But the ball bounced loose, was batted wildly about and finally went out of bounds as the last second ticked off. While the Mustangs celebrated, a voice boomed over the PA.: "The buzzer has not sounded. The buzzer has not sounded!"
Though the clock showed 0:00, the buzzer had indeed not sounded. A fraction of a second was still humming un-elapsed inside the circuitry of the Neal Blaisdell Center arena scoreboard. The officials cleared the floor, ruling that Chaminade would inbound from under its basket.
With a policeman standing by the scorer's table and Chaminade coach Merv Lopes watching his three front-court men get bottled up inside, Rodrigues flipped the ball into the right corner to Whitney, who had already made eight long jumpers during the second half. How Whitney could catch the ball, swivel, cock, jump, hang and fire off a 20-foot fallaway in a smidgen more than no time at all, who can figure? But the buzzer sounded well after the ball had left his hands. The final: 71-70 Chaminade.
"People here have been great to us," said stunned but stoic SMU coach Dave Bliss, who obviously would like to be invited back. "You have to be more than one point better on the road to win."
"Teams get Polynesian paralysis when they come here," said Chaminade athletic director Mike Vasconcellos.