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NCAA FINAL | NOTES

Olson Has a Plan for Off-Season

April 03, 2001|SAM FARMER and MIKE TERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

One of the more popular mementos from the tournament was the "Four Bobbi" button honoring the late wife of Arizona Coach Lute Olson.

Throughout the past three months, players have openly talked about her influence on them and the program.

Olson was asked if he dreads the downtime he now faces, time he would normally be spending with his wife.

"Well, I think I would if I didn't have the family that I have," he said. "So they'll keep me occupied. And I have some new inhabitants at the house--[daughter] Christi and her four kids, who are 11 down to 5. And if that's not keeping you occupied, I don't know what is. . . . They'll make sure the old man isn't by himself too much.

"All of us have things happen to us that we have to be willing to accept that it's happened. I don't know how many people that I've heard from that have lost life partners. Basically, those are the memories that are going to be there all your life. And the pain will start diminishing eventually, not totally, but . . . "

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The way Arizona's Eugene Edgerson sees it, beating Duke means playing a near-perfect game.

"You don't have a chance when everybody's clicking on all cylinders with a team like Duke," he said. "You just don't have a chance. [Monday], they did what they needed to do, from the starters to the seventh, eighth man. They did their job. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the job done."

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Arizona's Loren Woods had a record 24 blocked shots in the tournament. The previous record-holder was Navy's David Robinson, who blocked 23 in 1986. Woods blocked four Monday to set a championship-game record. Nine players had blocked three.

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It was hard for Arizona to see the title game slip away. But it wasn't hard to figure the turning point.

"Probably when [Mike] Dunleavy hit those big threes [triggering a 15-4 Duke run]," guard Jason Gardner said. "That was the last big run of the game. From then on, the rest of the game was just even on out."

Added Luke Walton: "We knew, the way we played, the thing we needed to do better was not let [Duke] penetrate the lane. We weren't going to come off their shooters, but if someone penetrated the lane we had to collapse on them. And Dunleavy was just hitting huge shots tonight."

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Chris Duhon, who had nine points and six assists for Duke, was not surprised by the emotional reaction the team saw from Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"He loves this team," Duhon said. "He's been with us through all the hard times and all the good times. He kept the same attitude and demeanor. I'm glad he finally got a third championship."

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Duke wasn't the only team struggling from long distance. Arizona made only four of 22 three-point shots.

"We had great open looks, it just wasn't falling for us tonight," guard Gilbert Arenas said. "Our big men did great. We had our times on defense where we were looking, but at times we didn't. They exploited us."

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