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There's a Continental Divide

March 17, 2001|SAM FARMER

GREENSBORO, N.C. — UCLA center Dan Gadzuric is from Holland. Utah State center Dimitri Jorssen is from Belgium. They are both tall, they both speak with accents, and neither has the foggiest idea about the other.

Jorssen never played against Gadzuric in Europe, nor had he ever heard of him. Really, that's not surprising.

"I didn't even know what the NCAA was before I got here," he said. "I had no idea about anything. When I came out here, I started seeing it on TV. We don't see it on TV at all. It took a little bit of time for me to get adjusted to a totally different style of basketball."

Jorssen worked a lot with Utah State Coach Stew Morrill, who stands 6-8 and was a two-time all-Big Sky selection at Gonzaga.

"I played in France and I'm familiar with what goes on with club basketball in Europe," Morrill said. "He said, 'Coach, we'd kick around the soccer ball for a while and then we might play a little bit of pickup, and that was practice.' . . . What a tremendous change for him. He's trying to absorb it all."


If they beat Utah State today, the Bruins will be racking up a lot of frequent-flier miles. They will head home on a chartered flight this evening, rest Sunday, take some of their final exams Monday, then fly to Philadelphia that evening for the East Regional.

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