- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Duke spoiled the reopening of the Bernie and Ernie Show in Knoxville, overcoming 40 points from Ernie Grunfeld, and reinstated star Bernard King to beat Tennessee 81-78. Duke's Olympic sharpshooter, Tate Armstrong (29 points), no doubt wishes he could play every game against the Vols' zone.
The top 20 ain't nothin' but ink," advised Rhode Island Guard Stan Wright after the Rams had beaten highly regarded Washington State 72-65 in Kingston. URI's sagging zone defense controlled the Cougars' pair of 6'11" giants, Steve Puidokas and Stuart House. Rhode Island even won the battle of the backboards 52-41.
But the man who really ruined the trip East for Washington State was Rhode Island freshman Sylvester (Sly) Williams. No shrinking violet. Sly called a press conference last spring to announce to the world that he intended to go to Providence after a banner high school career in New Haven, Conn. Sly stood right there and said so, then hopped in a car and enrolled at URI. The 6'7", 205-pound forward scored 20 points against Washington State and has been a big factor in Rhode Island's 5-0 start.
A long jump shot by Hofstra's Ken Rood and a steal by teammate Rich Laurel gave the Flying Dutchmen a 67-66 victory over Southern Illinois in the finals of the Pittsburgh Classic. Until Rood got hot and scored 12 points in the last six minutes, the game had been essentially a contest between Laurel (31 points, tournament MVP) and the Salukis' Mike Glenn (33 points). SIU had advanced to the finals by pasting Pitt 72-67. Glenn scored 32 in that one, and SIU sank 14 of its first 16 from the floor.
Syracuse won for the sixth time in seven games with 6'11" freshman Roosevelt Bouie distinguishing himself. St. John's registered an 86-70 triumph over Rutgers as Guard Glen Williams fired in 33 points.
Kansas ventured into New York's Madison Square Garden, where the Jayhawks (5-1) outfought Fordham 57-48. Keven McDonald, a 6'6" junior, scored 24 points in Penn's 68-64 win over Virginia. Holy Cross won the Colonial Classic in Boston after surviving a 92-85 overtime struggle against Massachusetts and a 67-65 Sunday afternoon dogfight with Providence.
North Carolina had to resort to its four-corners "offense" to keep the ball away from Virginia Tech and hang on to an 81-77 victory in Roanoke. In fact, the alignment worked so well in the last minute that the Gobblers couldn't even get to the man with the ball to commit a foul until four seconds remained.
Maryland downed East Carolina 80-69 but was unbeaten a year ago at this time when it destroyed the Pirates 127-84. But the Terps looked much better beating DePaul 92-74 on Sunday night. Undefeated Wake Forest beat William & Mary 90-84 in overtime behind Rod Griffin's 34 points. George Washington was upended by Connecticut 73-70, pushing the Huskies' record to 3-1.