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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Men's college basketball: Nothing ordinary here
By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published January 12, 2008
Freshman Eric Gordon is leading the 10th-ranked Hoosiers with 23.5 points a game.
Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson insists guard Eric Gordon isn't so different from his classmates.
"He's just a normal 18-year-old; I'm sorry. I take that back. He turned 19 on Christmas Day," Sampson said. "He's a typical freshman in a lot of ways."
Yes, but Coach, it's hard to see him as typical on the basketball court. Gordon, a dazzling talent, especially off the dribble, averages 23.5 points, tops for the No. 10-ranked Hoosiers 13-1, 2-0 Big Ten, who play Illinois (8-8, 0-3) on Sunday, and is one of several newcomers to take college basketball by storm this season.
Not that he comes off as the next big thing.
"He's just a real mature kid," Sampson said. "He doesn't get caught up in anything outside his life. He's one of 14 kids on this team. ... He's a hard worker and a great, great, great kid. When your best players are your harder workers, and I know that's coach-speak and everybody says it, but it's really true, it just makes everything easier. He's just one of the guys. That's the way he is. He's a giver not a taker."
A midmajor offense
Xavier continues to be referred to as a midmajor program even though the team has perennially reached the NCAA Tournament, made it to the Elite Eight in 2004 and nearly upset No. 1-seeded Ohio State last season.
This year, the Musketeers (13-3, 1-0), who play Atlantic-10 rival Fordham today (6-7, 0-1), have wins against Indiana, Kansas State and Virginia and are ranked No. 24. But when Rivals.com called to say it had tabbed senior point guard Drew Lavender as its "Mid-Major Player of the Week," the school declined to accept the honor. Officials there take a bit of umbrage at that label.
"We operate here at a very high level," athletic director Mike Bobinski told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
By the numbers
2 Winless teams left in Division I; New Jersey Institute of Technology, an independent in its second year at Division I, is 0-17 entering today's game against Columbia. Grambling State is the other winless team at 0-9.
20 Points - fewest since the shot clock was instituted in 1985-86 - scored by Saint Louis in a 49-20 loss Thursday to George Washington.
50.4 Average points allowed by undefeated Washington State, first in the nation, which plays at UCLA today.
80 Percent Florida State is shooting from the free-throw line, best in the nation.
97.4 Scoring average by Virginia Military Institute, tops in the nation. But the Keydets are just 8-6.
899 Career wins by Texas Tech coach Bob Knight, above, who goes for 900 today at Oklahoma State.