College Basketball Notes: Men’s And Women’s

By Richard Kent
Updated: November 12, 2004

NEW YORK — If you’re a fan of the Big East or the ACC, enjoy the ride this year. The Final Four could well be comprised of four teams from these two prestigious Conferences.

The Big East boasts both UConn, the defending National Champion and Syracuse. Both have more than impressibe frontlines. UConn can send out 6-11 sophomore Charlie Villaneuva, 6-10 Josh Boone, 6-8 Georgia Tech transfer Ed Nelson and super frosh 6-9 Rudy Gay.

The latter would most likely have been a lottery pick in the NBA draft if he had turned pro. Syracuse brings the nation 6-8 senior Hakim Warrick,a player of the year candidate and one of those rare seniors who eschewed the NBA draft for a degree.

Warrick came up huge against a very good Princeton team Friday night,scoring 20 points on 5-9 shooting from the field along with adding 6 rebounds.That is a mouthful considering that the game was played consistent with the Princeton style and won by Syracuse 56-45. The final score was deceptive because it was a 3 point game through most of the second half.

The win sends Syracuse to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night in the semi-finals of the annual Coaches Against Cancer Tournament.While UConn and others are feasting on lesser opponents, Syracuse gets to strut their wares before a national audience in November

In the ACC, UNC has 6-9 senior Sean May,son of former Indiana star Scott May and a cast of talented frosh. Wake Forest returns every scholarship player from a Sweet Sixteen team. Eric Williams, a 6-9 center will have many touches in the paint. His 275 pounds won’t be easy to push around.

6-9 Vytas Danelius can also score. 6-9 Jamaal Levy can play all four positions except the point. And don’t rule out 6-11 center Kyle Visser underneath. The frontcourts rule this year, but none have more talent than the aforementioned four.
Kia Vaughn, the nation’s fourth-rated high school prospect by Blue Star, recently signed a letter of intent to play for head coach C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers. Coach Stringer was thrilled with the signing for a plethora of reasons calling Vaughn “one of the best centers in the country.” The Lady Knights haven’t really signed a true quality post player since current WNBA star Tammy Sutton-Brown many years ago.
The recruitment really heated up a few weeks ago when Apache Paschall, Vaughn’s AAU coach, announced that she had eliminated UConn from further consideration after receiving a very bad voice message from Huskies coach Geno Auriemma. The exact details of the message arent known, but apparently Auriemma was miffed that he was not told in advance that Vaughn had verballed to Rutgers after being in attendance at the UConn-Duke game at the Harford Civic Center last winter.
Vaughn averaged 17ppg, 20 rpg and 4.5 bpg for Saint Michael’s Academy last year. She was named as a Super 25 player by USA Today. Rutgers had a top recruiting class last season led by high school All-American Essence Carson, also coveted by UConn. With Vaughn and some other key frosh coming in next season, they may contend for a National Championship in 2005-6.