Saturday, March 18, 2000

Saul draws tough task vs. Hart


The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CLEVELAND — Basketball fans are talking up the on-court collisions today between Kentucky's 6-foot-10, 260-pound Jamaal Magloire and Syracuse's 6-9, 256-pound Etan Thomas. But the critical matchup is elsewhere.

        “It's Saul (Smith) against Jason Hart,” Magloire said.

        For the second consecutive game, Smith draws the toughest assignment. After chasing St.Bonaventure guard Tim Winn on Thursday, Smith now faces one of the nation's best point guards.

        “As a competitor, you want to play against the best players in the country,” Smith said. “And I think the key to a lot of teams in the NCAA Tournament is guard play. If you can contain the opposing guard, you have a pretty good chance of pulling the victory out.”

        Hart, an All-Big East Conference first-team pick, averages 12.2 points, 6.4 assists and 1.8 steals.

        Smith has struggled recently, having totaled 12 turnovers the past two games.

Ivy next AD?
        UK is expected to name Larry Ivy its new athletic director Monday. Ivy, 56, the senior associate AD and top assistant to retiring AD C.M. Newton, has been the only candidate interviewed by the search committee.

        Ivy, 56, has worked at UK since 1969. When Newton announced his retirement, he publicly endorsed Ivy.

building resume
        Louis Orr, a Withrow High School grad who later played at Syracuse and spent eight seasons in the NBA, is in his fourth season as a Syracuse assistant. Orr, 42, began his coaching career with three seasons under Pete Gillen at Xavier.

        “Louis was one of the smartest players I've ever coached,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He has a great feel for the game and for people.”

Heart to Hart
        Hart and teammate Tony Bland traded hugs with UK's Tayshaun Prince in between their respective games Thursday. All are from the Los Angeles area and played each other growing up.

        Prince's Compton Dominguez team frequently played Hart's Inglewood team. When Prince was a sophomore in high school and Hart a senior, Dominguez beat Inglewood four times in a season.

        “Every time we played, he had 30 points on us,” Prince said. “We couldn't stop him, but thankfully we had enough talent to win those games.”

        Said Hart: “He averaged about 23 against us, which was pretty good for a sophomore.”

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