ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- They grew up one block apart on Hazel Street in Augusta, Ga., a city more famous for its golf tournament than its basketball players.
They played two years together in high school, winning a state championship one season when Ricky Moore was a senior and William Avery was a sophomore.
Tonight, Moore and Avery will put their friendship aside when Connecticut and Duke play in the NCAA tournament final.
"We're going to speak after the game," Moore said yesterday. "We're enemies right now."
The atmosphere here at Tropicana Field will be a little different than it was back home at Big Oak Park. There will certainly be no one like the Reynolds brothers here.
"They'd do anything to win," recalled Moore. "I'd go up for a dunk and I'd find myself in the parking lot."
Moore was two years older than Avery, and became something of a mentor. It began the summer before Avery entered West Side High School.
"I took him under my wing, I would take him with me to the park to play," said Moore. "He was younger than I am, I was the teacher."
Moore was more of an offensive player than he is now, averaging 23 points a game as a senior. Avery was the same kind of explosive player he is at Duke, scoring 21 points.
"We competed every day in practice," said Moore. "I wanted to go after him because I thought it would make us a better team."
The team, which also featured Pittsburgh star Vontego Cummings, went 33-1. Among the victories was a win over a team from St. Louis that starred Duke's Chris Carrawell. Moore guarded Carrawell.
"It doesn't matter who the guy is, if he's 5-5 or 6-9," Avery said of Moore. "Ricky can guard anyone. Right off the bat, Carrawell got two offensive fouls. Ricky can just make you crazy."
"I want to guard Ricky," said Avery, "and he wants to guard me."
The Masters connection
Moore's father, Otis Moore Sr., has been a longtime caddie at Augusta National. Buck Moore, as he is known, has caddied at the Masters for players such as Andy Bean and, more recently, Kelly Gibson. Ricky Moore worked there as a waiter during high school.
Last summer, he tried playing golf.
"I shouldn't have," he said.
Maggette wins acclaim
There was a story recently in the Chicago Tribune quoting NBA scouts and general managers who said they would pick Duke freshman Corey Maggette as the top pick in this year's draft.
Maggette, who is from the Chicago suburbs, said yesterday: "I thought it was pretty funny."
The 6-foot-6 freshman is generally considered the best athlete on the Duke team, and has been compared at a similar stage in his career to former All-American Grant Hill, who was not a full-time starter until his sophomore year.
"Coach K is always telling me about how Grant didn't become a star until his sophomore or junior year," said Maggette, who averages 10.7 points and four rebounds in a shade under 18 minutes a game. "I'm going to wait my turn."
Mike Krzyzewski acknowledged yesterday that Maggette is probably the best athlete of any reserve player in the country, but what impresses him even more is his appetite for wanting to improve.
"He's a great listener," said Krzyzewski. "He really respects what our assistants, like Johnny Dawkins, have to say because he knows what they have done. He's a lot like Grant in the fact that he knows that when it'll be his turn, he'll be ready."
Carrawell's game plan
Carrawell is called the best on-the-ball defender in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Maryland fans won't disagree. It was Carrawell who shut down Steve Francis in the second half of Duke's victory in College Park, and for most of the game in their meeting in Durham.
Francis was brought up yesterday, when the subject of guarding Connecticut's Richard Hamilton was mentioned.
"He's a great player, a great offensive player," Carrawell said of Hamilton, who at 6-6 is three inches taller than Francis. "I'm going to charge him, hopefully he misses a lot of shots. That would really help."
Those who remember the last time Duke and Connecticut met will recall that it came during the 1990 East Regional final in East Rutherford, N.J., won by the Blue Devils on a last-second shot by Christian Laettner.
Those who were there recall how Krzyzewski jumped in the air to celebrate, only to be met as he landed by a disappointed Jim Calhoun, who was there for the obligatory post-game handshake.
"It was kind of a difficult situation," recalled Krzyzewski. "Only a coach can understand what another coach is going through."
Krzyzewski also recalled the first time he coached against Calhoun. It happened during the late 1970s when Krzyzewski was at Army and Calhoun was at Northeastern. The ending was similar, the result reversed.
"Jim had a great player named Perry Moss who beat us with a half-court shot," said Krzyzewski.
Fans erupt in Michigan
Michigan State University and East Lansing, Mich., dealt with the aftermath of a violent disturbance by thousands after the school's basketball game with Duke.
The disturbance left eight cars torched, 24 windows broken in downtown businesses and 24 people arrested.
Of the 24 students arrested as of yesterday, 11 were Michigan State students, East Lansing Police Capt. Louis Muhn said.
The last No. 1 team to win the championship was UCLA in 1995. Krzyzewski could become the first coach to win three titles in a decade since John Wooden won five in the 1960s. Louisville's Denny Crum won two in the 1980s.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Pub Date: 3/29/99