Monday, March 15, 1999

UK NOTEBOOK


Magloire came up very big

BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEW ORLEANS — Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner and Heshimu Evans accounted for 62 of Kentucky's 92 points Sunday, so the senior tri-captains were widely lauded for beating Kansas by themselves.

        Not so fast. UK's sole scholarship junior, 6-foot-10 Jamaal Magloire, played 10 feet tall Sunday.

        Magloire, who averages just 19 minutes per game, played 32 minutes against Kansas, including the entire overtime. He totaled nine points, seven rebounds, three blocks and an assist.

        “The way he has played and stepped up these past few weeks has a lot to do with our success,” UK senior Padgett said. “People are afraid to bring it in there and challenge him.”

        Magloire made three of the game's most critical plays.

        With UK trailing 79-76 in the closing seconds of regulation, Magloire grabbed an offensive rebound and whipped it to Padgett for the tying three-pointer. When Kansas' Kenny Gregory attempted a game-winning shot seconds later, Magloire put his hands up and forced Gregory into an air ball. And with the game tied with 1:58 left in OT, Magloire scored on an stickback to put UK ahead to stay.

        “The three seniors showed such great leadership that it's contagious,” Magloire said. “It was like a chain reaction to the rest of us.”

        Magloire has played more minutes than Michael Bradley, his platoon partner at center, in four of the past five games. Backing up his prediction that UK would reach the Final Four will seemingly be in his hands next weekend.

        “Today showed a lot of heart on our part,” Magloire said. “We're playing great now.”

Remembering Stew
        UK added a black strip of tape to its uniform jerseys Sunday to memorialize John Stewart, the UK recruit who died Friday night of a heart attack suffered in an Indiana high school tournament game.

        UK coach Tubby Smith said he would attend Stewart's funeral, which will be held Wednesday or Thursday, and may take his players with him.

Cat tales
        UK is now 19-1 (.950) in the NCAA Tournament the past four seasons. Combining the Southeastern Conference and NCAA tourneys, it is 53-6 (.898) in postseason play since 1992.

        • Smith is 13-3 in overtime games, including 5-0 at UK.

        • The 23 three-pointers UK and Kansas combined for are a Midwest Region record.

Look ahead
        The Midwest Regional will be held in St. Louis, a city UK fans find fond. In 1978, UK won its fifth national championship in St. Louis' Keil Center, beating Arkansas 64-59 before downing Duke 94-88 in the title game.

        The regional games this weekend will be played at the TWA Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams.

       



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