McCaffrey breaks out of slump in style

April 02, 1991|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS -- There were times during Billy McCaffrey's sophomore year at Duke when many wondered whether he was ever going to be a front-line player.

Some compared the slender guard from Allentown, Pa., to senior Greg Koubek, who after a terrific freshman season slumped until the middle of this season. But nobody is worrying about McCaffrey anymore.

By making his first six shots last night against Kansas in the championship game of the men's National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, McCaffrey shot the Blue Devils into a 14-point lead and eventually to a 72-65 victory.

"You always dream about having a game like this," said McCaffrey, who scored 16 points off the bench. "Everyone dreams about it. I don't know if I was the star, but it was great to have a game like this."

Said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, "You were the star."

It was big-time redemption for McCaffrey, who got off to a good start this season, but slumped and appeared to lose his confidence after spraining his ankle in December. And it couldn't have come at a better time.

"Someone has stepped us for this team at times this year, and tonight it was me," said McCaffrey. "You never know when it's going to happen. But you have to be ready."

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