? Virginia Commonwealth has a player who might really flourish under the new rules. "We're going to use a dribble-oriented offense," says coach Sonny Smith, "because I've got Kenny Harris." A 6'1" point guard who transferred to VCU after two seasons at North Carolina, Harris will control the ball and find ways to get it to 6'8" forward Kendrick Warren, who was first-team All-Metro Conference despite missing the last 11 games of the season with a foot injury.
?In picking Texas, we're taking the bull by the horns and saying it's possible for a team from the lowly Southwest Conference to stampede a significant distance through the NCAA tournament in March. Coach Tom Penders goes so far as to say, "We could be a Final Four team." That's a stretch even by Texas standards, because the Longhorns are long on talent but short on chemistry. One of the few sure pluses on the team is junior guard Terrence Rencher, who's on track to become the Longhorns' alltime leading scorer next season. Transfers Tremaine Wingfield, a 6'6" small forward from Louisville, and Rich McIver, a 6'9" banger from Michigan, should both like the weaker competition in the SWC. But there are still lingering questions about point guard B.J. Tyler. This fall Tyler checked himself into the John Lucas Center, a rehab clinic in Houston, and is not expected to be available until Dec. 15.
? Kentucky coach Rick Pitino thinks Georgia could be the surprise team in the SEC this season. The Bulldogs were so disappointing last year—struggling to finish 15-14 and averaging fewer than 6,000 fans at home—that the university sent a message to veteran coach Hugh Durham by declining to roll over his four-year contract. With his job on the line, Durham isn't likely to tolerate underachievement from any of his five returning starters. The biggest letdown last year was 7-foot, 265-pound junior center Charles Claxton, who has a world of potential but averaged only 11.5 points and 6.6 rebounds. Point guard Bernard Davis also needs to do a better job of running a team that last season committed 35 more turnovers than it forced.
?Difficult as it may be to think of Indiana as anything other than a title contender, the loss of consensus national Player of the Year Calbert Cheaney and three other seniors means the Hoosiers have a lot more questions than answers. Can 6'3" senior guard Damon Bailey finally become the kind of scorer he was in high school? Will 6'9" junior forward Alan Henderson's surgically repaired right knee and 6'5" senior swingman Pat Graham's delicate left foot—the one with the bone that has broken each of the last two years—hold up the whole season? Is 7-foot Todd Lindeman, a redshirt last year, just too nice to be a force in the middle? And how many of the team's five freshmen will be able to make a contribution? Knight already seems to see a role for freshman guards Steve Hart and Sherron Wilkerson. "I would like to think that, eventually, Wilkerson and Hart are going to create a lot of problems on defense," says Knight. "As soon as they learn to spell it."
?And then there's Purdue, with Glenn Robinson. Had he opted to go out for last season's NBA draft, after only one year of college ball, Robinson would have been one of the top five picks. Instead he's back for a second season that could be fascinating. The changes in the rules might allow him to play like a 6'8" version of Oscar Robertson. "I can play him wherever I want to play him, right?" says Boilermaker coach Gene Keady. "He'll be like Oscar used to be—a little point, a little center, a little forward. And if they don't double-team him: dribble, dribble, dribble, dunk. I'm not going to screw around with guards. We'll just give it to Glenn."
Call off the search. Who needs Cinderella when we've got Glennderella? The teams in the Top 20 should consider themselves warned.