It's a fact: Durham's son Doug was an assistant coach at Georgia's "farm club," defending national J.C. champion Connors State in Warner, Okla., where five current and former Dawgs have matriculated.
So's this: Georgia's veterans shaved the heads of all Dawg pups before the team's first practice.
Indiana coach Bob Knight had always looked down upon Big Ten rival Purdue and its emphasis on weight work. Then Knight's callow Hoosiers were pushed around all last season, going 8-10 in the conference and losing in the first round of the NCAAs. Suddenly Knight got lifting religion. Bulkier are forwards 6'9" Eric Anderson and 6'6" Calbert Cheaney, both of whom will start; freshman prodigy Damon Bailey (page 58) debuts in the backcourt.
It's a fact: Knight used 22 different starting fives during last season.
So's this: Knight, who usually gets in the last word, was roasted for his 50th birthday in November by such skewerers as Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus and Vice-President Dan Quayle.
For the past two seasons, protocol kept Billy Owens and his multifarious talents from becoming the focus of the Syracuse attack. Owens deferred to his elders, Sherman Douglas and Derrick Coleman. Now the Orangemen belong to the 6'9" junior, who has Douglas's playmaking skills and Coleman's knack around the basket. Freshman guard Adrian Autry must adapt quickly, and 6'10" frontliners LeRon Ellis and Conrad McRae need to show more than they did last season—particularly Ellis.
It's a fact: Last December, Owens provided a clue to his future plans, saying, "I always think about leaving. I can't hack school no more, getting up and going to classes."
So's this: Autry's favorite pass, a football center's hike between the legs to a trailer on the fast break, should go over well in the Carrier Dome.
No trash-talking. No earring. No skipping class. No letup. That is how one observer at Southern Mississippi describes the businesslike style of Clarence Weatherspoon, last season's Metro Player of the Year over NBA draft choices Felton Spencer and Bimbo Coles. The 6'7", 240-pound junior has added a medium-range jumper and leftward spin move to the assortment of skills that already had people calling him Barkley-in-Waiting. Three other returning starters, plus 6'8" forward Joe Courtney, a transfer from Mississippi State, join Weatherspoon.
It's a fact: The Golden Eagles lost three games last season by two points and two games by just three.