YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Practicing What He Preaches

April 01, 2002

ATLANTA — Indiana Coach Mike Davis stayed true to form and kept his promise by not holding an organized practice Sunday. Davis, a religious man, has a policy against practicing on Sundays and wasn't about to change on Easter, despite his Hoosiers being one day away from playing for the national championship in a Davis, er, David and Goliath matchup.

But that didn't mean the Hoosier players weren't shooting around on their own on the Georgia Dome court.

"Coach understands he's got guys willing to work for him," Hoosier senior guard Dane Fife said. "He doesn't need to tell us to come in and shoot.

"If anybody doesn't, we're going to drag their butts out of bed at the hotel and get them in here."

Maryland needed no such dragging

"I just worry about what we do," Terrapin Coach Gary Williams said. "We'll do some things. I was going to go [practice] three hours but our seniors talked me out of it so we'll just walk through some things ... really have a good mental practice.

"But each coach has to do what's best for his team."


Davis has acknowledged that Maryland assistant Dave Dickerson gave him some pointers on how to defeat Duke in the South Regional semifinals.

Was it safe, then, to assume that Davis, with his tongue planted firmly in cheek, had called Dickerson for tips before facing his Terrapins?

"I called him last night and he wouldn't return my call," Davis joked.

The next time Williams defeats Indiana will be the first time. The Maryland coach, who has had previous stops at American, Boston College and Ohio State, is 0-7 lifetime against the Hoosiers.

"It's bogus," Williams said of his winless streak against Indiana. "I went to Ohio State, we were rebuilding and Indiana won the national championship. They didn't just beat us when I was there; they were beating everybody.

"We lost on a last-second shot when we were at B.C. ... I believe four of those games were at Indiana, which is always a nice place to play."

Paul Gutierrez


Williams considers senior starters Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, Steve Blake and Byron Mouton the best in Maryland history.

"When you look at this senior class, they are the best because of what they've accomplished," he said. "They stayed four years to enjoy college and play against good competition."

Players who turn pro early often miss out on playing for a team that wins 31 of 35 games, as Maryland has.

"They want to win and they enjoyed the winning," Williams said. "You go pro early and you never know if you get a chance to win like that."


Even though the teams haven't met this season, Fife has heard plenty about Maryland. The father of his former roommate is a Maryland graduate.

"He's in my face, the dad and the kid," Fife said. "It's all in good fun, we just talk a little trash."

Steve Henson

Los Angeles Times Articles