DICK'S TIDBITS | Dec. 31, 2003
SAMPSON COULD GET TO 400 SOONER
With a 72-57 win over Texas-Pan American on Monday night, Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson moved to within one game of his 400th career victory. He has 233 of those Ws at Oklahoma.
Sampson will get his shot at No. 400 on Saturday night when the unbeaten Sooners (9-0, No. 8 ESPN/USA Today) host Princeton. He may be without one of his key big men because senior center Jabahri Brown suffered a jaw injury against Texas-Pan American following a scramble for a rebound. Preliminary X-rays showed no broken bones.
SERBIAN GIFT FOR OLSON
Santa Claus came early for Arizona coach Lute Olson. He has to feel great about the package that arrived via Serbia. The addition of Serbian freshman Ivan Radenovic, all 6-10 of him, has come at the perfect time for the Wildcats (8-1, No. 4 ESPN/USA Today).
Arizona lacked depth, having lost lost junior forward Isaiah Fox to a knee injury in Arizona's second game (a 78-77 loss to Florida). The knee required surgery, and Fox is expected to miss the rest of the season, according to reports.
In his collegiate debut against Liberty, Radenovic had 17 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes. What a surprise for Olson and Co.!
PITTSBURGH TO BE TESTED WITHOUT KRAUSER
First-year Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon has to weather a big storm now that sophomore guard Carl Krauser is expected to miss some time (perhaps two to three weeks) with a groin injury. Krauser is the Panthers' leading scorer (15.6 ppg).
Pittsburgh (13-0, No. 16 ESPN/USA Today) has not faced a tough schedule early. With league play around the corner, how significant will his injury be to the Panthers? He has obviously been a major cog in their offensive scheme, taking over for departed point guard Brandin Knight, who graduated last spring.
Look for senior guard Julius Page to see more time handling the ball, with freshman Antonio Graves getting more time as a starter.
SEMINOLES SEEM TO BE FOR REAL
Lots of people were waiting for Florida State to start to feel the heat once ACC play got under way. There were a lot of cupcakes early for coach Leonard Hamilton's team.
But the Seminoles came through with a solid effort in beating a good, young, talented Maryland team 79-75. Florida State (12-1, No. 25 ESPN/USA Today) had nice balance with four players in double figures, and the defense forced 24 turnovers.
HODGE HAS STRONG ACC DEBUT
NC State junior guard Julius Hodge had a great ACC debut in a 86-69 win over Virginia. Virginia came in with a gaudy 8-0 record (coach Pete Gillen's Cavaliers must show they can win against good competition).
Hodge had 23 points (9-of-12 from the field), six assists and five steals in 35 minutes, looking like an All-Rolls Royce performer. NC State is now 6-2 (1-0 ACC).
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