Crystal ball shows Wade at Morgan

January 03, 1995|By BILL TANTON

Predictions for 1995:

Bob Wade will resurface on the college scene as Morgan State's basketball coach and athletic director.

That's the word on the street -- that Wade is coming back to his alma mater. That should be a plus for Morgan. The Bears' athletic program badly needs stability.

Wade, who was Maryland's basketball coach from 1986 to 1989, played football at Morgan before going on to the NFL.

Morgan's presently winless (0-9) basketball team has a coach in Lynn Ramage, but as one local basketball man points out with a knowing smile: "They only gave him a one-year contract."

* The 49ers will beat the Steelers in Super Bowl 29 (enough of those irritating Roman numerals).

* Maryland's basketballers will open their Atlantic Coast Conference season with a win at Cole Field House tomorrow night over Georgia Tech. It should be a great game. Tech still has Travis Best and James Forrest.

Coach Gary Williams' Maryland team, 10-2 now, will have a good year but will not win the ACC's regular-season championship. Duke will.

The ACC is so well balanced that almost everybody but Clemson has a chance. Maryland's problem -- one shared with most conference teams -- is a lack of depth.

The Terps will go as far as the quarterfinals in the NCAA tournament, after which sophomore Joe Smith, Maryland's best player since Len Bias, will inform the pros he's ready to come out. With multi-millions being paid to NBA rookies today, why wouldn't he?

* The 7-19 Washington Bullets, in last place in the NBA's Atlantic Division as they host Seattle tonight, will show late-season improvement after a few players get healthy. They'll not make the playoffs, though.

After yet another disappointing season despite shelling out megabucks for Chris Webber and Juwan Howard, Bullets owner Abe Pollin will check his fast-emptying pockets and begin figuring out how to pay for the new $180 million arena he wants to build in Washington.

When Pollin was asked by the Washington Post's Bill Gildea about financing the place, he answered: "I have no idea where the money's coming from right now, but I'll get it somewhere, somehow."

Here's a prediction for 1997, when Pollin's arena opens -- there will be even fewer Baltimoreans at Bullets and Capitals games. If Baltimore people think it's difficult to reach the USAir Arena on the Capital Beltway, wait until they try to get to 7th and F streets in downtown D.C.

* Tampa people will rally around and buy the Bucs to keep them in Florida, to the delight of the octogenarian Washington Redskins owner and the NFL's Baltimore-hating commissioner. Pete Angelos would only want the Bucs, of course, if he could move them to Baltimore. There was no guarantee the move could be pulled off.

* The baseball strike is settled next month, in time for some spring training. Enough owners and players will have read Dave Barry's comments on the baseball stoppage in his review of '94 that they'll come to their senses. Wrote Barry in his syndicated column, which ran in The Sunday Sun:

". . . the baseball players and owners, all of whom were raking in millions of dollars, after countless hours of racking their brains in an effort to figure out what would be the stupidest possible thing they could do, decided to halt the season."

* Some 2,000 Orioles customers, fed up with baseball, decide not to renew their season tickets, especially at the new, increased prices. Thirty thousand fans apply for their tickets.

* Virginia wins the NCAA Division I lacrosse championship at College Park on Memorial Day. Junior Tim Whitely and soph Michael Watson lead the Cavaliers to the title, just as they led St. Paul's to Maryland Scholastic Association titles in high school.

* Classy Phil Regan impresses everyone in his first year as manager of the Orioles. Owner Angelos decides, privately, to let Regan manage through 1997, then succeed Roland Hemond as general manager -- with one of Angelos' sons as GM-in-training under Regan.

* Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig's consecutive-game streak of 2,130 and does it at Camden Yards, not in Oakland, where the record-tying and -breaking games are currently scheduled. Not even the people running baseball are dumb enough to let Cal do this on the road.

* Navy's new football coach, Charlie Weatherbie, wins his opener. Optimism reigns! Then reality sets in and the Middies, for the 13th straight year, fail to have a winning season. One of these days Navy will realize the problem is not the coach.

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