|More, more, more: Siena's Moore is shooting star|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 21 March 2009 12:43|
Siena's junior point guard played the biggest role in prolonging the Saints' first-round win over Ohio State. He made a 3-pointer from the right wing - his first 3 all game - with 3.5 seconds left in overtime to keep the game going. His 3 from the same spot with 3.9 seconds left in the second overtime brought a 74-72 win Friday night.
It was the longest game of the opening round and made Moore a shooting star.
The junior had the crowd chanting his name after the buzzer sounded for the final time, well past midnight Eastern time. The accolades were just starting.
Now, everybody wants to be his friend.
``I had a lot of text messages,'' he said Saturday. ``On Facebook, a lot of friend requests and stuff like that. I'm happy that a lot of people congratulated me. I don't want people to think it was just me that won the game.''
No, but his two shots had the most to do with how it turned out.
ed him until his high school coach in Pennsylvania urged the Saints to take a look at him.
``I never really had any big-time looks,'' Moore said. ``I was always the little guy, and these Big East schools like bigger guards. So I guess tomorrow night I'll try to prove them wrong.''
The Saints play Louisville, the Big East champs and the tournament's top team, in the second round on Sunday.
GLAD TO SHOW HIS COLORS: Guard Cedric Jackson did online research before deciding to transfer from St. John's to Cleveland State.
He checked out the city, the size of the campus and the uniforms, which were an issue.
``It was a tough adjustment for me because I had been red and white for those two years at St. John's,'' Jackson said Saturday. ``It was kind of hard to get used to a green and white color.''
All's rosy now. Jackson has helped Cleveland State reach the second round of the NCAA tournament, and the Vikings will face Arizona in Miami on Sunday.
The New Jersey native was seeking more playing time when he transferred after Gary Waters became coach at Cleveland State in 2006. Aside from the green uniforms, Waters made sure Jackson was braced for one other change with the move to northern Ohio.
``He told me about the weather,'' Jackson said. ``So I was just getting prepared for that.''
over Wake Forest.
IZZO'S FUTURE: Four Final Four appearances, a national title in 1999 and 12 straight NCAA tournament berths, and it is no secret that Michigan State's Tom Izzo has drawn his fair share of interest from the NBA over the years. He was once again asked about the possibility of making the jump on Saturday on the eve of the Spartans' second-round game against Southern California.
Though he said, ``for the most part, I seem to be a college guy,'' he later added: ``I never say never to anything because who knows what offers come?''
``The minute somebody says that, you replay it five years later and you look like an idiot. I can do that myself,'' he said.
Izzo said he contacted current Trojans coach Tim Floyd shortly after Michigan State won the national title in 1999 after being approached with an NBA opportunity.
Floyd had made the jump from Iowa State to coaching the Chicago Bulls, and Izzo wanted to pick his brain about the differences between the two jobs.
Izzo, of course, decided to stay in East Lansing, and he said there is at least one more ``big-time'' goal - another national title - he wants to reach with the Spartans before he even thinks about leaving.
``If that was accomplished, who knows what I would do?'' he said.
PRAISING PITINO: Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford feels he learned his craft from the best in the business.
ho in his first year in Stillwater has the Cowboys back in the NCAA tournament saddle for the first time since 2005, played his college ball at Kentucky under Rick Pitino, now at Louisville.
Ford marvels at Pitino's ability to get players who were stars in high school to accept lesser roles for the good of the team.
``He's the best at it,'' Ford said. ``He's the best motivator in college basketball and the best X and O's guy in college basketball. He's the master of all.''
Ford played on three NCAA tournament teams under Pitino, who was tough when he needed to be and knew when to back off.
``If you accept your role, then good things will happen to you as an individual,'' Ford said. ``He's the best at getting his players to understand that. He's got the background that proves it. He has sent tons of players to the NBA. He's won national championships, took so many teams to the Final Four. So as players, when he speaks, you listen. Plain and simple.''
LACE 'EM UP: At 64 years old and carrying a handicap of around 5, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is tough for most people to beat on the golf course.
He doesn't care that Arizona State's Herb Sendek - whose Sun Devils will face Boeheim's Orange on Sunday in the South Regional second round in Miami - is 18 years younger. Boeheim insists he'd win a 1-on-1 game in hoops, too.
said, ``even at my age.''
Would he post him up?
``I wouldn't have to,'' said Boeheim, who does stand a bit taller than Sendek.
Boeheim played three seasons at Syracuse, averaging nearly 10 points per game. His senior year, he started in the backcourt with future NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing.
If a challenge was being thrown down, Sendek didn't bite.
He, well, agreed with Boeheim's prediction of a 1-on-1 victory.
``That's really not saying a lot,'' Sendek said. ``I mean, that's not like he went out on a limb and made some outlandish claim. I didn't exactly have a stellar career at Carnegie Mellon.''
FAMILY TRAGEDY: Kansas junior Tyrone Appleton, a little-used guard from Gary, Ind., missed Saturday's practice to attend the funeral for a slain family member.
Coach Bill Self said he expected Appleton back in the evening in plenty of time for Sunday's second-round game against Dayton. A relative of Appleton's was shot and killed in Gary earlier this week, Self said. The victim was also related to Jayhawks recruit Elijah Johnson, who is Appleton's cousin.
Tragically, this isn't the first time Kansas has dealt with such trauma. Last season, a week apart, family members of Jayhawks seniors Rodrick Stewart and Darnell Jackson were killed in different cities.
``And, certainly, you can have the most innocent of bystanders, which was the case in this particular situation. ... Basketball is important and of course it's why we're all here and all that kind of stuff, but it is not certainly life or death.''
BUZZ WORDS: Marquette coach Buzz Williams had to try to slow himself down a little in his first NCAA tournament game.
Nicknamed ``Buzz'' for his unending energy, the last thing Golden Eagles' first-year coach seems to need is extra rest during the longer commercial breaks.
``I never coached in the NCAA tournament, so I'm not going to gripe about the length of the timeout,'' Williams said. ``Being that we were short in size and short as it relates to depth, it's probably a benefit to us more so than anything else.''
Williams had to adjust slightly as the Golden Eagles advanced to the second round with a 58-57 win over Utah State on Friday in the West Regional.
``I always try to get a drink of water now before I go talk to my team because I know that my voice is going to give out during the longest TV timeouts ever,'' he said.
SEEING DOUBLE: Identical twins Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris are two of the top post players for Kansas, which recruited them out of the Philadelphia area.
arcus - it would be difficult for even their teammates to tell them apart.
``They got the same tattoos,'' star guard Sherron Collins said.
Added center Cole Aldrich: ``They both cut their hair the other day, so that's tough. Everybody screws it up once in a while.''