Duncan's illness, Rutland's knee problem areas for Wake

March 17, 1996|By Kent Baker and Roch Eric Kubatko | Kent Baker and Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Wake Forest All-America center Tim Duncan is still suffering from a stomach virus, has lost weight and strength and did not practice yesterday.

Point guard Tony Rutland practiced, but will wear a brace to protect a sprained knee ligament while trying to handle Texas' frenzied defensive pressure.

So, the Atlantic Coast Conference champions figure to face a handful of trouble today in a Midwest Regional second-round game in Milwaukee.

"I just sent some potato salad to Tim's room," joked Texas coach Tom Penders. "It was sent to me the first day we got here and I left it sitting out on the table."

The Longhorns forced 20 turnovers against a healthy Michigan backcourt in winning, 80-76. Excessive turnovers are a bane to a patterned team like Wake Forest that relies on taking care of the ball, good shots and defense.

Deacon coach Dave Odom said he "can't imagine [Duncan] playing well, but if it's humanly possible he'll get it done."

Wake Forest's Odom, Rutland and Rusty LaRue showed up for yesterday's interview session wearing the Cheesehead hats native to Wisconsin.

"We're a small school with not many fans here, so we're trying to enlarge our following," said Odom. "Somebody sent these to us and all the Wisconsin people promised to pull for us if we wore them.

"Besides, I hear that cheese is supposed to help with the illness that Tim [Duncan] has."

East Regional

North Carolina coach Dean Smith knows if the Tar Heels are going defeat Texas Tech today and reach the Sweet 16 for the 15th time in the past 16 years, they will need freshman forward Antawn Jamison on the floor. But this wasn't what he had in mind Friday night.

Jamison twisted his ankle and went down early in the first half of an 83-62 romp over New Orleans in Richmond, Va. He left the game briefly, came back and took a few more spills.

"He was spending a lot of time on the floor," Smith said. "I was afraid he'd get hurt. I put him back in, but I wish I hadn't."

Jamison (15.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg) is limping slightly, but will play today. "I iced it [Friday] night," he said. "This is the NCAA tournament. I'd be out there with a broken leg."

Georgetown coach John Thompson became irate during yesterday's news conference when a television reporter from Albuquerque, N.M., started to ask Hoyas sophomore guard Allen Iverson about his troubled past and the "second chance" he was given with the Hoyas.

"No, he can't speak about that. He came here to play basketball," Thompson snapped. After mumbling a profanity, he continued: "He's a child; have some sensitivity. Do you want me to ask you about your personal life, your family, your children, your wife?"

Beyond that, Thompson was in pretty good spirits.

On making roommates of Iverson and sophomore forward Boubacar Aw, who is from Dakar, Senegal: "Allen talks a lot, and Boo speaks very little. That's why we put them together, so Boo could learn English."

Pub Date: 3/17/96

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