Saturday, March 18, 2000

West Ender Shelton will lead Tulsa vs. UC

The Cincinnati Enquirer

David Shelton celebrates with a teammate.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Cincinnati kid stepped into the media spotlight Friday when junior sixth man David Shelton engineered Tulsa's 89-62 rout of Nevada-Las Vegas in the first round of the NCAA South Regional.

        Moments after he scored a game-high 21 points in 26 minutes, the 6-foot-6 Shelton was engulfed by reporters wondering how a Cincinnatian felt about playing the University of Cincinnati here in Sunday's second round.

        “Rebounding is going to be a big key,” Shelton said after shooting 7-for-16 from the floor and adding five rebounds. “They're bigger than us and more athletic than us. We've got to get bodies on people and stop their big people from scoring.”

        Shelton, a former Western Hills High star who went to Independence Junior College in Kansas, ought to know. He has played against most of these Bearcats in open gyms at UC during the summer and played on a team with UC center Kenyon Martin in the Purcell Marian summer league.

        “I always thought it would be unbelievable if we played,” Shelton said. Half a dream comes true for Shelton Sunday. He always wanted to play for UC while growing up in the West End.

        Shelton's Bearcat dream proably died when he stopped studying after his senior year at Western Hills and failed to graduate. Shelton later got his degree, and UC coach Bob Huggins made a call to recommend him to Independence, where Shelton made two all-region teams.

        “I wouldn't change how it's worked out for me,” Shelton said. “I think God made me go a different route. I don't think he wanted me to go to UC.”

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