Jamison knows Kansas had shot, but missed

April 02, 1991|By Lauretta McMillen | Lauretta McMillen,Knight-Ridder Newspapers

INDIANAPOLIS -- Alonzo Jamison sat facing his locker with his head in his hands and his broad shoulders slumped forward in crestfallen misery.

The crush of reporters came through the doors and headed in different directions to surround different disappointed Kansas players.

A fair-size horde headed for Jamison, just as it had for the last five NCAA games.

But in those games Jamison had been a star. Everyone wanted to talk to him about how his game had picked up at tournament time.

Twelve points against New Orleans, 13 against Pittsburgh, 14 against Indiana and a career-high 28 against Arkansas.

Jamison scored only nine points against North Carolina on Saturday but added 11 rebounds and played well. In the five previous tournament games, Jamison had averaged 13.4 points and 8.2 rebounds.

Those games were easy to talk about, and Jamison seemed to enjoy the attention.

Last night, Jamison scored only two points, shooting 1-for-10 from the field. He looked as if he wanted to open a hole in the locker room floor and crawl in.

He didn't hide, though. He answered the questions, some of which seemed pretty harsh for a crushed 21-year-old to have to answer.

"This one hurts. It really, really hurts," Jamison said. "We were missing three-footers. There's only so many chances you're going to get three feet from the basket."

So it wasn't just missing shots that made last night's loss hurt so much. It was the kind of shots Jamison and several other Jayhawks were missing.

Layups. Three-foot jump shots. Two-foot jump shots.

In a flurry at the end when KU tried desperately to put anything in the basket, Jamison missed one even closer than that.

"A one-footer. I couldn't even put a one-footer in," he said. "That's how bad it got. A one-foot shot wouldn't go in."

That particular shot didn't matter much; it was too little, too late. But the other ones did. And Jamison knew it.

"It's depressing. We would have been right in the game if we had hit all our little shots and layups," he said. "To go out like this is heart-breaking."

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