"Hell yes, I'm surprised," said Wil Jones, the University of the District of Columbia coach, in response to reports that Michael Graham, the power forward who helped Georgetown win the NCAA title last spring, had left that school to transfer to Jones's school. But Graham's intention to transfer to UDC had been rumored since Graham, a sophomore, was pronounced persona non grata on the Hoya team by coach John Thompson.
Graham's powerful play last season and in the NCAA tournament was crucial to Georgetown's success, but he apparently never fully adjusted to Thompson's rigid code of discipline and clashed with Mary Fenlon, Georgetown's academic coordinator. Graham was led to believe he needed permission to transfer from Georgetown, and, according to Thompson, last week UDC received the go-ahead from Georgetown athletic director Frank Rienzo to speak with Graham. "I want to go on record as saying that kid has never been a bum, a hoodlum or any of that stuff," Thompson told The Washington Post. "Michael's biggest problem is motivating himself to do his schoolwork."
The Graham situation wasn't the only thing on Thompson's mind. For the second time in three games, Georgetown was forced into overtime, and once again, it survived, scratching out a 52-50 win over Villanova.
Meanwhile, in Durham, N.C. more than 8,000 delirious Duke fans were chanting, "We want Georgetown! We want Georgetown!" in the waning moments of the Blue Devils' 71-59 win over Washington, which avenged an 80-78 loss to the Huskies in the second round of last year's NCAA tournament. "That's our fans," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "I don't want anything to do with Georgetown. I'll have enough trouble with Maryland, Wake Forest and North Carolina this week."
Kansas center Greg Dreiling enrolled in a dance class last fall, not to learn to hip-hop but to improve his flexibility and quickness. Actually, says the 7'1", 240-pound Dreiling, he's in it specifically for the stretching exercises prescribed by the instructor. "They will help my reach," he says. "Coach [Larry] Brown says sometimes I play like I'm 5'8"." Dreiling certainly stood tall in the Jayhawks' 90-81 overtime victory over South Alabama. He scored a career-high 30 points, including four crucial free throws in OT, and had four rebounds.
Some of LSU coach Dale Brown's comments following a 63-61 Tiger victory over Alabama last month came back to haunt him. After that win, Brown called his team "the LSU Somnambulists," and said, among other things, "We played a very fine Alabama team and beat them by playing poorly." When Crimson Tide players arrived to suit up for the rematch, they found printed copies of Brown's quotes taped to their lockers. The Tide went out mad and rolled past the Bayou Bengals 79-67. After the defeat—no surprise—Brown was even madder. "If a coach can't criticize his own team, that's a sad commentary," he said. He then turned his tongue on the sportswriters who had printed his December remarks. "What I had to say about Alabama was not meant to be sarcastic," said Brown, "but some of you wrote it that way."
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]