Anderson's life is tougher with Oliver and Scott gone

December 15, 1990|By Dick Weiss | Dick Weiss,Knight-Ridder News Service

LANDOVER -- Kenny Anderson will not read this story.

Georgia Tech's 6-3 point guard has sworn off sports pages for the year.

Maybe it's just as well.

Anderson is a consensus preseason All-America, but he also is discovering that it can be a cruel world out there without Dennis Scott and Brian Oliver.

Anderson, Oliver and Scott were the charter members of "Lethal Weapon 3," the potent offense that helped Georgia Tech win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship last season and make its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Final Four. Anderson averaged 20.6 points, an ACC record for a freshman, and 8.1 assists, the fifth best figure among Division I players. He also shot 51.5 percent from the floor, 73.3 percent from the foul line and averaged 2.2 steals.

Now, however, with Oliver and Scott gone to the pros, opposing defenses are getting tougher on Anderson, who is left to carry the young team by himself. The left-handed-shooting sophomore is averaging 20.5 points, 7.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 3.4 steals for Bobby Cremins' Yellow Jackets (3-2). But he is shooting only 39.8 percent, 32.4 percent from three-point range and 72.2 percent from the line.

"It's something almost every great player has to face at some point or another, especially in college," said Temple coach John Chaney, whose team faces Georgia Tech today in sold-out McGonigle Hall. "Now, Kenny's seeing box-and-one, triangle-and-two, that sort of thing. So he shoots 5-for-20 against St. John's (in the ACC-Big East Challenge). That, by no means, makes him any less of the player.

Said Cremins: "I sometimes worry he may be putting too much pressure on himself."

No matter what happens, Anderson seems destined to be a high NBA draft pick, perhaps the No. 1 selection, if he decides as expected to leave school at the end of the year.

"He'll be a very good pro," projected Oliver, a slashing scorer who was the 76ers' top pick last June. "He handles the ball so well, and in the open court, he's unstoppable. He can get to the hole quicker than anybody I've seen in years, but with that, he passes so well, that will give him another weapon."

For now, Anderson is just trying to hold his own while opposing teams constantly double-team and sometimes triple-team him.

"It's going to be a rough year for me," Anderson conceded. "The first games, they put two, three guys on me. Every time I got the ball, I had to give it up."

His most dramatic moment came against Michigan State in the NCAA Southeast Regional semifinals in New Orleans. He made a dramatic 19-footer at the buzzer to tie the game, and then Scott, the best pure shooter in college basketball last season, made a field goal with five seconds remaining in overtime to give Georgia Tech an 81-80 victory.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.