Advertisement

MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | NOTES

Lavin Proud of This Bunch

March 23, 2001|MIKE TERRY

PHILADELPHIA — Steve Lavin has never had a more trying season as UCLA coach. His team began the year 4-4, Athletic Director Pete Dalis had conversations with an available Rick Pitino (since hired by Louisville), and the Bruins looked very much in ruins after a 29-point loss to California.

But UCLA still reached the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five seasons, and Lavin said this trip was the most gratifying.

"Even though we came up short in our goal for the national championship," Lavin said, "I'm as proud of this team as any I've coached here at UCLA.

"We came so far from the early part of the season. What looked like a long year turned into another Sweet 16 run. Right now we're disappointed. But I think in a couple of weeks the kids will look back and realized what they accomplished."

*

It was hard enough for Earl Watson to see his college career end in a loss. It was also hard for him to give Duke full credit for the victory.

"Duke didn't do anything special," Watson said. "We beat ourselves by not being smart. I think we did OK in the physical aspect of the game, but we made too many mental errors that Duke took advantage of. We didn't make smart decisions, something you have to do when you reach this point."

*

Duke forward Mike Dunleavy, whose right shoulder went numb briefly after running into Dan Gadzuric--"my head went one way, my body another"-- said he would be ready to play Saturday. But Coach Mike Krzyzewski remained cautious.

"In 26 years of coaching, it's my experience that we'll know more tomorrow," Krzyzewski said. "Right now his adrenaline is going, but I'm concerned when a guy gets a stinger like that."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|