Thursday, November 15, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 61



Wildcats claw ranked Terps and Gators

NCAA Men's Basketball

Jake McKim

Anyone who still thinks college basketball is predictable hasn't heard the results of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic over the weekend.

Arizona, ravaged by the exodus of several top players to the NBA, wasn't given much of a chance to have a successful season in 2001-02 by college basketball experts. But the unranked Wildcats went out and stunned both Maryland, ranked preseason No. 2, and No. 6-ranked Florida to take home the season-opening tournament title.

The event's championship game, held at Madison Square Garden, was supposed to be a showcase for Maryland and Florida to gauge how good they really are this year. But Arizona spoiled their party because of the strong play of point guard Jason Gardner, who led the Wildcats to a 71-67 victory over Maryland on Thursday. Gardner scored 23 in that contest and then repeated the feat in a 75-71 win over Florida.

The Duke

While Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced Shu-shef-skee, for those who might be wondering) is looking to add another championship trophy to his collection this season, one thing he won't ever have to look for again is a job.

On Wednesday, Coach K, as he is affectionately called, agreed to a contract that will keep him coaching the Blue Devils through 2011. But the most eye-opening part of the deal is that it's open-ended, meaning Krzyzewski can coach at Duke beyond 2011.

Krzyzewski has established his place in the annals of college basketball as one of the greatest coaches of all time, winning three national championships and six Atlantic Coast Conference titles.

His teams have walked off the court victorious 533 times since he began coaching at tradition-rich Duke in 1981. And don't think Duke officials haven't noticed.

"We think he is the best coach in America and are delighted he is committing to remain at Duke until he decides to retire," Duke athletic director Joe Alleva told

Just to sweeten the deal, Krzyzewski was given the title "special assistant to the president" and said he feels "well-compensated" by the money his new contract will pay him, but would not discuss specific details.

Dajuan in a million

Boy wonder Dajuan Wagner's freshman season at Memphis got off to a shaky start on Monday if you consider 18 points and four assists shaky, that is.

Wagner came to the Tigers as one of the most heralded high school players in recent years. The 18-year-old phenom is expected not only to run away with Freshman of the Year honors but possibly contend for the Player of the Year award by season's end.

The No. 12 Tigers took on overmatched Wofford in the inaugural Guardians Classic in Memphis on Monday, winning 88-61. Wagner, who is expected to leave for the NBA after this season, clanged his first five shot attempts before scoring on an easy layup midway through the first half.

For those of you interested in seeing Wagner in person, the Tigers face our Cougars on Jan. 26 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

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