April 03, 1992|By Ian O'Connor | Ian O'Connor,New York Daily News



Duke: Bobby Hurley, Jr., 6-0, 160

Duke is 15-1 in the NCAA tournament with Hurley (12.9 ppg, 7.8 apg) at the point, the only loss coming to UNLV in the 1990 national title game. Hurley struggled in Duke's East Regional victories over Seton Hall and Kentucky as he committed 14 turnovers. "We are turning the ball over too much," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Bobby definitely can do better." Hurley is the best pure point guard in the nation, and a money player going back to his high school days.

Indiana: Chris Reynolds, Jr., 6-1, 186

The presence of senior Jamal Meeks and Greg Graham was supposed to lead Reynolds to redshirt this season. But after the loss to UCLA in the opener, Bob Knight changed his mind. Reynolds is only averaging 4.3 points and 3.8 assists, but Indiana doesn't need his offense. The Hoosiers need Reynolds to prevent Hurley from penetrating and dishing to his wings for open jumpers. Reynolds has the quick feet and defensive ability to give the Duke guard problems.

EDGE: Hurley


Duke: Thomas Hill, Jr., 6-5, 200

Hill (14.6 ppg) is matched against the Hoosier legend, Damon Bailey, and he'll be ready for the challenge. Hill made some big shots in the dramatic victory over Kentucky, but they were forgotten in the wake of Christian Laettner's game-winner. Hill is a leaper who plays tough defense. Where he hurts teams most -- like most of Duke's wings -- is on the offensive boards. Hill can shoot the ball, too. He has scored in double figures in nine straight games and is shooting 54 percent from the field. Hill has shot 50 percent or better in 22 games.

Indiana: Damon Bailey, So., 6-3, 195

"He's a one-of-a-kind basketball player," UCLA coach Jim Harrick said. "His fundamentals are great." Bailey (12.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg) will never be the superstar he was in high school, but he is an excellent college player. He has a 37-inch vertical leap, which he uses in posting up opposing guards. Bailey can be inconsistent, as he showed in going scoreless three times this season and being benched early by Knight. But he is another big-game player used to the pressure.

EDGE: Hill


Duke: Christian Laettner, Sr., 6-11, 250

Having won two East Regional championships with buzzer-beaters in his career, Laettner will go down as one of the game's all-time clutch players. The NABC Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and one of only three ever to play in four Final Fours, Laettner (21.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg) deserves the edge in any matchup. One has to wonder how he will respond to the attention he has received coming off his perfect 10-for-10 feld goal, 10-for-10 free throw game against Kentucky. But this Blue Devil is too talented and too confident to believe a letdown might be in store.

Indiana: Matt Nover, Jr., 6-8, 232

This is really Eric Anderson's position, but Nover gets the official start. Nover is averaging 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds, so he isn't much of a factor. What he can do is set screens and play a role within Knight's rigid system. In Indiana's three national championship teams under Knight, Kent Benson, Ray Tolbert and Dean Garrett were productive centers. Not the case here, but Anderson changes that when he comes off the bench.

EDGE: Laettner


Duke: Antonio Lang, So, 6-8, 205

Lang sprained his ankle against Kentucky, but he is expected to start. When Grant Hill went down with an ankle sprain of his own, Lang moved into the starting lineup and hasn't moved out since. In his 16 games as a starter, Lang is averaging 8.3 points and 4.8 rebounds. With Seton Hall concentrating on Laettner in the regional semis, Lang was a nightmare for the Pirates with 16 points and seven rebounds. He is an explosive leaper who is gaining confidence by the game. Grant Hill is healthy now, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has elected to keep him a supersub.

Indiana: Calbert Cheaney, Jr., 6-6, 206

Cheaney might be the national superstar with the least amount of notoriety. Averaging 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, Cheaney would be a more recognized player in another system, but he has done a terrific job under Knight's restrictions. Cheaney has shot 60 percent from the floor in four tournament games, and his towel-whipping of Knight's backside at the end of the UCLA victory showed that he is loose. Knight recently gave him the ultimate Indiana compliment: "He's worked really hard over the course of the year."

EDGE: Cheaney


Duke: Brian Davis, Sr., 6-7, 200

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