California dreaming hits close to home for some Maryland's Mardesich part of homecoming

West Regional notebook

March 20, 1998|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The West Regional included several contestants who have felt at home in Southern California.

Utah guard Andre Miller is from Compton, and his mother is delighted that the regional was close to home. Two years ago, she rode a bus from Los Angeles to Dallas to see Utah play a regional game.

Mike Mardesich, the Terps' 7-foot freshman center, was born in Long Beach, and lived there until he was 6. Miles Simon, the Wildcats' first-team All-America guard, grew up in nearby Fullerton. In the early 1960s, Arizona coach Lute Olson coached at high schools in Anaheim and Huntington Beach, before getting his first college job at Long Beach City College, where he won the 1971 California JuCo title.

Arizona was attempting to run its record to 3-0 against the state of Maryland. The Wildcats whipped Morgan State, 115-53, in their opener, and pulled away from Coppin State, 99-82, in December. Antoine Brockington scored 32 that day, and that's as many as any opponent has put in against Arizona this season. Raef LaFrentz had the same Dec. 2, when Kansas dealt the Wildcats their second loss.

Arizona was 1-0 against state schools in the NCAA tournament. Loyola's only appearance was a short-lived one, as it was routed by the Wildcats, 81-55, in the first round in Sacramento, Calif., in 1994, the year Damon Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves lifted Arizona to the Final Four.

Iron man

In the Terps' first 12 games in the New Year, Rodney Elliott logged more than 30 minutes just twice, as foul trouble and coach Gary Williams' effort to keep his players fresh cut into his playing time.

Since a Feb. 14 loss at North Carolina, however, the senior forward from Dunbar High hadn't played less than 31 minutes, and that was in relatively easy wins over Virginia and Georgia Tech.

"I'm not tired," Elliott said before the Terps played Arizona. "I'll go the whole 40 minutes if he [Williams] wants me to."

Last week in Sacramento, Elliott was on the floor for all but seven minutes of the Terps' first- and second-round NCAA victories over Utah State and Illinois.

Elliott entered last night's game with 73 points in six career games in the NCAA tournament. If he hit for his average, 15.0, it would have lifted him into the No. 8 spot all-time at Maryland. Len Bias leads that list, with 168 points in nine NCAA games.

Attention getter

Simon, Arizona's standout guard, calls the attention generated from winning last year's national championship "too much."

"I've had people bring basketballs to classes during finals to get signed. They will stop you. They do not care."

Et cetera

Ted Valentine, famous for his run-in last month with Indiana coach Bobby Knight, was one of the officials for last night's Terps game. Terence Morris, the freshman forward out of Thomas Johnson High in Frederick, had shot 58.2 percent from the field in the Terps' 10 previous games. Note to Olson: the Pac-10 took an 0-6 record against the Atlantic Coast Conference into last night's game. Two of those losses were by the Wildcats, to Duke in the Maui Invitational, and at Florida State.

Pub Date: 3/20/98

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