By NANCY MORGAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 4, 2001
Colin Shaw (Seminole) is a reserve for the University of North Carolina-Asheville's basketball team.
The sophomore has played forward, shooting guard and even center on occasion, showing promise at each position. "Colin has had a great year and is an all-purpose player," said fifth-year Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach.
"He's not real mature yet physically, but he is mentally tough and a street smart player," Biedenbach said. "Most of all, he enjoys playing."
Biedenbach, a former North Carolina State star under renowned coaches Everett Case and Press Maravich and an ex-NBA player, sees Shaw as a key to UNC-
Shaw thinks the opportunities he's had to play different positions for Seminole High School and UNC-Asheville have helped him become a better player
"Playing both the 2-guard and forward has given me a chance to learn skills in ball handling, shooting and guarding," Shaw said.
"Some of our opponents haven't had the same opportunities. When I play forward, my skills from being a guard give me an edge my opponents often don't have."
Shaw earned the Big South Rookie of the Week honor last year for efforts coming off the bench. This season, he has started every game. He's shooting 46 percent from the floor, 37 percent on three-pointers.
"We've had a pretty good season, but could have done better," Shaw said. "We're a young team, but I think we have a pretty good shot at winning the conference (tournament)."
UNC-Asheville, which finished third in the Big South with a 9-5 record, started competition in the league tourney Thursday in Roanoke, Va.
"Our anticipation is high," Biedenbach said before the championships. "We were picked third and do have a young team. We've won a lot of games this season when we haven't played all that well.
"Last season, we had to play well all the time to win," he said. "I think our consistency and maturity is contributing to our success."
Shaw's experience last season was a key to his and the Bulldogs' development.
"There were four of us freshman that got a lot of playing time," Shaw said. "We all learned so much, and that's helped us this year."
UNC-Asheville battled Liberty University (Va.) in the first round of the tournament.
"We play a mixture of half-court offense and defense and like to control the tempo of the game," Shaw said before the game.
"We've beaten Liberty twice this season, but it's always tough to beat a team three times in a row."
Indeed. Liberty surprised the Bulldogs with a 60-48 victory.
Shaw led UNC-Asheville to a 12-10 lead early in the first half, but sixth-seeded Liberty outhustled the third-seeded 'Dogs.
Shaw finished the game with four points.
BURTON HONORED: Lee Burton (Clearwater) was named this year's Mid-Florida Conference Player of the Year in a poll among league's basketball coaches.
The Santa Fe Community College sophomore guard is averaging 17.7 points per game. He scored 23 in the conference championship showdown.
Burton earned honorable mention for player of the week three times this season and was named All-State.
This week, Burton and the Saints begin competition in the Florida Community College Activities State Tournament.
Jessica Webb (East Lake) started 23 of the University of South Alabama's 24 games and averaged 11.2 points. The junior is among the top 20 in rebounding in the Sun Belt Conference and is third on her team in free-throw shooting.
SOFTBALL: Stephanie Shrum (Palm Harbor) ripped a triple for Gardner-Webb University in a 7-2 win over Lenoir-Rhyne College.
The lead-off hitter and right fielder collected two hits in a 4-2 loss to USC-Spartanburg.
Against St. Andrews, Shrum had a hit in a 4-1 victory in the opening game of a doubleheader. She was 2-for-3 in Game 2. Shrum and her teammates travel to Florida this week during spring break to play Florida Tech, Eckerd College and Saint Leo.
BASEBALL: Jeremy Kurella (Dunedin/Northwestern) connected for a solo home run in 17th-ranked University of Central Florida's 4-3 upset of No. 11 Alabama.
The senior shortstop is batting .322 and leads the Golden Knights in runs scored with 13.
Pitcher Justin Cerrato (Clearwater) and outfielder Chris Brown (Lakewood) are freshmen seeing limited action for UCF. Dustin Sode (East Lake) has returned to the mound for UNC-Ashville after off-season elbow surgery.
Against Middle Tennessee State, the junior left-hander pitched a no-hitter through six innings before a 1-0 loss.
TRACK & FIELD: Junior Char Foster (CCC/Ridgewood), who was redshirted last year because of an injury, finished 14th in the 60-meter preliminary hurdles for the University of South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference Championships. The Gamecocks placed third overall.
USC is No. 1 in the Trackwire national poll.
SWIMMING: Kristen Nardozzi (St. Petersburg) captured second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:53.48 in the East Coast Athletic Conference Championships.
In relay events, Nardozzi contributed to second-, fourth- and two sixth-place finishes, helping the University of New Hampshire take seventh. In the America East Conference Championships, the freshman won the 400-yard individual medley and set a UNH and an AEC record in the 100-yard backstroke.
TENNIS: Marci Malanik (St. Petersburg/HCC) is competing in the No. 4 singles position and in No. 2 doubles for Lees-McRae College, N.C.
The Bobcats are ranked 22nd among NCAA Division II teams. It is the first time in the national poll for the defending Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference champions.
Malanik and her teammates are on spring break and in Georgia competing in several tournaments.
FOOTBALL: Jonathan Davis (Palm Harbor) completed his sophomore year as a back-up center for Davidson College.
In the Wildcats' final game, against Georgetown, Davis contributed in a 41-17 victory. Davidson (10-0) enjoyed its first perfect season in 103 years.
Brian Bokor (Shorecrest) played in all 10 games for Davidson as a =linebacker and a member of the special teams unit.
Bokor is among 22 seniors in the program.