Monday, March 15, 1999

MIAMI NOTEBOOK


Coles: Thanks, Delores

BY JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Charlie Coles was pointing to his wife, Delores, in the stands after Sunday's victory.

        “We've been together 35 years,” he said. “It's been a journey. She's had cancer twice. I had my bypass in '85. Then my little episode last year.”

        Little episode?

        “You know, when I fell out,” he said.

        That's Coles' way of describing the near-death experience: cardiac arrest at a Mid-American Conference tournament game in Kalamazoo, Mich.

        Coles recalled that a year ago Sunday he was a week out of the hospital.

        “I watched this tournament from my bed,” he said. “You appreciate it.”

        Coles said one of the reasons he returned to college coaching was so Delores, a fellow Miami graduate, could return to her hometown of Oxford.

        “She's my best friend,” he said. “We've been through a lot — good and bad.”

Windex man
        Rob Mestas, Miami's 5-foot-11 point guard, had a game-high eight rebounds.

        Mestas was able to slip in among the Utah trees and get the job done.

        “I was out on the perimeter a lot,” said Wally Szczerbiak, Miami's leading rebounder for the season. “But every time I looked down there Rob was getting a defensive rebound.”

        Said Mestas: “I do what I have to to help us win. One game, it might be getting 10 points. One game, it might be getting 10 assists. Today, it was getting eight rebounds.”

        Mestas also did a creditable job on Andre Miller, Utah's first-team All-American.

        Miller finished 20 points, but he was 1-of-5 three-point range, and he had four turnovers and only three assists.

        “It was a tough game physically,” Miller said. “They were aggressive.”

        Miller did score all nine points in a 9-2 run that closed the deficit to three at 58-55 with 1:45 to go.

        “That shows you what kind of player he is,” Mestas said. “He almost pulled it out for them.”

Big three
        Mestas, who has been in a shooting slump, did make a crucial three, one he had no choice but to take.

        Szczerbiak drove to the basket, but lost control and had to tip the ball out to Mestas on the left side.

        Mestas caught the ball with one second on the shot clock. He drained it.

        “Wally's done that before, where he's tipped out to me for a three,” Mestas.

        None was bigger than Sunday's. It gave MU a 56-46 lead with 4:57 to play.

Scoring leaders
        The extra game will give Szczerbiak a chance to move to No. 2 on the Miami all-time scoring list. He currently has 1,824, four behind Devin Davis, who is in second place with 1,824. Ron Harper is first with 2,377.

Tickets
        Miami has 500 tickets for the Midwest Regional semifinal game in St. Louis Friday. They will go on sale today at the Miami ticket office.

       



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