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March 21, 2001|MIKE TERRY

Jeff Trepagnier has caught the nation's attention with his gravity-defying brand of basketball. But Bibby says that Trepagnier's dunkfest in the first and second rounds did more to energize the Trojans than it did to demoralize the opposition.

"We missed him tremendously this season [when Trepagnier was injured and suspended]," Bibby said. "He is one of our most important people. We played well without him but. . . . Now he is feeling what he can do, and his confidence made us a better team.

"If we don't get Jeff back this season, we're not here today."


Clancy had better get his rest, because Kentucky has three big men to throw at him down in the paint: 6-foot-8 freshman Jason Parker, 6-10 sophomore Marvin Stone and 6-9 sophomore Marquis Estill.

Wildcat Coach Tubby Smith and his staff do their best to keep their big men fresh. Parker, the starter, averages 19.2 minutes, Stone has started eight games and averages 18.9 minutes, and Estill, mainly a reserve, averages 13.9 minutes.

"They have better inside presence than Boston College," Clancy said of Kentucky. "Their guys are big physical players, similar to [Stanford's] Collins twins. I'm not sure who they would use to defend me."

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