Robinson just making up for lost season

March 24, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

KNOXVILLE, TENN — KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Glenn Robinson remembers being so depressed that he actually considered withdrawing from Purdue. Robinson was a victim of Proposition 48, which required him to sit out his freshman year after he failed to attain the necessary academic standards.

"I've played since I was in elementary school, and all of a sudden I couldn't play because I didn't score high enough on a test," Robinson said. "I tried to act like it was no big deal, but I was frustrated. I called my mother and told her I wanted to go home [to Gary, Ind.]. I remember thinking why didn't I go to a prep school? Why didn't I go to a junior college?"

The Boilermakers, of course, are thrilled that Robinson decided to stay. After a fine sophomore season, Robinson has spent his junior year terrorizing defenses with his versatile, inside-outside game.

He enters the regional semifinals where he has resided all year -- atop the nation's scoring leaders, with a 30.4-point average. He has scored 30 or more points 17 times.

More to Boilermakers

Kansas coach Roy Williams, whose Jayhawks are vying for their third Final Four trip in the past four years, downplayed the notion that Purdue is a one-man team.

"Purdue is averaging 85 points a game, and Robinson is averaging 30," Williams said. "That means somebody else is scoring 55 points. I hope he scores 55, and Kansas ends up with one more point than Purdue."

O'Neill running into rumors

Marquette coach Kevin O'Neill was part of an awkward scene yesterday. After engineering the Warriors' turnaround over the past five years and leading the Warriors to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1979, O'Neill has become a hot topic of discussion regarding coaching changes. He is rumored to be a front-runner for the job at Tennessee.

O'Neill answered questions about his team and Duke, tonight's regional semifinal opponent, while sitting in the Thompson-Boling Arena, where he could be earning his paycheck before long.

"We've had distractions for over a month. I've been flattered by the things that have been said and written about me, but the focus here needs to be on the players," he said.

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