On Saturday, Kentucky couldn't administer the kind of whipping it had taken from Kansas last season, but the Wildcat players admitted they tried. Point guard Sean Woods, who led Kentucky with 25 points, said the desire for revenge was "a hunger."
Pitino, who has refused to schedule Kansas again, said he wouldn't have tried for a similarly lopsided score even if the Wildcats could have done it. "I'll give [ Williams] a little advice from a good old country boy from Kentucky," said the New York City-born Pitino, tongue in cheek. "The best thing for him to do in this situation is to turn the page. Forget about [last season's] game."
We would all like to, gentlemen, but you won't let us.
THE BEASTS ARE BACK
Big East teams won six of the eight games in the ACC- Big East Challenge last week, a fact you'll probably be hard-pressed to remember a month from now. The series, played among 16 teams at four different sites, didn't really prove anything about the relative strengths of the conferences—eight games in December never will—but there were several developments worth noting. For instance:
? Georgia Tech guard Kenny Anderson showed that even prodigies can have slumps. Anderson made only five of 20 shots in a 73-72 overtime loss to St. John's on Dec. 5, dropping his field goal percentage for the season to 37.8. Although he bounced back to score 32 points in a 92-72 victory over Fordham on Saturday, Anderson is evidently feeling the pressure caused by the departures to the NBA of forward Dennis Scott and guard Brian Oliver. "Kenny's struggling because too much is expected of him," said Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins. "He's trying to do too much."
? Syracuse discovered that it must continue to wait for a new, more mature LeRon Ellis to emerge. After a disappointing '89-90 season in which the center complained frequently about cheap fouls and officiating, among other things, Ellis was said to be a new man this season. That was before he ran into the locker room in the middle of the second half of Syracuse's 86-79 win over North Carolina State on Dec. 4. Evidently, harsh criticism from coach Jim Boeheim about unaggressive play had driven Ellis from the court. An assistant coach quickly brought him back to the bench, but the Boeheim-Ellis situation bears watching.
? Georgetown's Alonzo Mourning gained a measure of revenge against Duke's Christian Laettner, who outplayed Mourning in the East Regional final two years ago, when both were freshmen. In a 79-74 victory over the Blue Devils on Dec. 5, Mourning had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, and he helped harass Laettner into missing 17 of 22 shots. The difference, said Laettner, was that "Alonzo didn't get into foul trouble. My freshman year, it wasn't that he didn't play well. He had to guard Danny Ferry and that allowed me to get free buckets."
?Although North Carolina's five freshmen and Duke's Grant Hill have received more notice, Wake Forest freshman Rodney Rogers might have a bigger impact on his team than any other ACC newcomer. Rogers, a versatile 6'7" forward, scored 19 points in the second half against Villa-nova after having been shut out in the first half. The Deacons lost, but if you're looking for an ACC sleeper, they might not be a bad choice.