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UC Irvine (25-4) vs. Tulsa (21-11)

March 14, 2001|PAUL McLEOD

NIT, first round

5 today, at Tulsa



* Nickname: Anteaters

* NIT Record: 2-2

* Last postseason appearance: NIT, 1986

* Coach: Pat Douglass

* Scoring leaders: Jerry Green 19.4; Ben Jones 11.7; Sean Jackson 9.3; Malachi Edmond 8.1; Adam Parada 7.5.

* Rebound leaders: Adam Parada 6.3; Ben Jones 5.5; Jerry Green, 4.7.

* Assist leaders: Jerry Green 2.9, Malachi Edmond 2.3.

* Three-point basket leaders: Sean Jackson 61; Ben Jones 38; Jerry Green 29.

* Last 10 games: 8-2



* Nickname: Golden Hurricane

* NIT record: 5-6

* Last postseason appearance: Last year, NCAA final 8

* Coach: Robert (Buzz) Peterson

* Scoring leaders: Kevin Johnson 13.4; Marcus Hill 12.7; David Shelton 12.4; Dante Swanson 12.2; Greg Harrington 10.6; Antonio Reed 10.1.

* Rebound leaders: Kevin Johnson 7.0; David Shelton 5.2.

* Assist leaders: Greg Harrington 5.7; Marcus Hill 3.0.

* Three-point basket leaders: Marcus Hill 66; Dante Swanson 48.

* Last 10 games: 7-3


* FORWARD: Tulsa's David Shelton, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound force, is much like Irvine senior Ben Jones in that he likes to go outside and shoot three-pointers. Jones, a second-team All-Big West Conference choice, has been cold lately from beyond the three-point line, but he can put it on the floor and drive to the basket. Irvine's 6-9 Stanislav Zuzak earned a starting role midway through the season when Coach Pat Douglass benched guard Malachi Edmond. Zuzak has a high-percentage (41%) three-point shot is able to draw fouls. He's shooting 72% from the line. J.R. Christ is a solid reserve at 240 pounds. Shelton led Tulsa in scoring last season as a reserve. Shelton, the son of former NBA player Lonnie Shelton, has found things more difficult as a starter. He averages 12 points, but his shooting dropped from 48% last season to 40% this season. Marcus Hill, a converted guard, is Tulsa's second-leading scorer, averaging 13 points.

* CENTER: Seven-foot-tall Adam Parada, who was on the Big West's all-freshman team, might be playing professionally soon. He's mobile, agile and he has blocked 41 shots this season. He's developed a sweet fall-away jumper in the seven- to 12-foot range. Back-up David Korfman, a 7-2, 285-pound junior college transfer, started the first five games of the season but has seen limited minutes since he passed out and hit his head while lifting weights on New Year's Day. Korfman underwent brain surgery and has two steel plates in his skull as a result of the accident. Nevertheless, he missed only eight games. Tulsa misses 6-10 Brandon Kurtz, who graduated. A year ago, Kurtz clogged the middle, which allowed the Hurricane guards to gamble more on the perimeter. Neither Shelton nor 6-7 sophomore Kevin Johnson are as imposing inside. Johnson, a tremendous leaper, went from never starting a college game to leading Tulsa in scoring this season, averaging 13 points.

* GUARD: This is a strength for both teams. Irvine's Jerry Green was the Big West's player of the year. He'll probably draw Tulsa sophomore Dante Swanson as a defender. Swanson was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference defensive team and averages scoring in double figures. Despite losing his starting job, Irvine senior Malachi Edmond, bothered by a chronic groin pull when the season began, gives Irvine scoring off the bench. Sean Jackson is the team's best defender and a good spot-up shooter. He could be matched up against Golden Hurricane Greg Harrington, who has made 47.5% of his three-point shots. Harrington, an off-guard last season, was moved to the point, where he has been adequate, averaging six assists.

* COACHING: Irvine's Pat Douglass, 52, has won wherever he has been, and his name continues to pop up when vacancies arise at other West Coast schools. Douglass led Cal State Bakersfield to three Division II titles before coming to Irvine four seasons ago. Robert (Buzz) Peterson, 37, is in his first season at Tulsa, having replaced Bill Self, who is now at Illinois. Peterson was a team captain at North Carolina, where he played on the Tar Heels' 1982 national championship team. He had a 79-39 record at Appalachian State the last three seasons, leading the Mountaineers to their first NCAA tournament appearance last season.

* THE PICK: Tulsa by seven.




No. Player Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Cl. 4 J.R. Christ C 6-9 245 Jr. 5 Jerry Green G 6-3 185 Jr. 11 Malachi Edmond G 6-1 185 Sr. 12 Stanislav Zuzak F 6-9 220 Fr. 21 Albert Miller G 6-3 190 Jr. 22 Aras Baskauskas G 6-3 185 Fr. 24 Sean Jackson F/G 6-5 215 Sr. 45 Ben Jones F/G 6-7 220 Sr. 50 Dave Korfman C 7-2 280 Jr. 55 Adam Parada C 7-0 240 Fr.




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