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UCONN STARTERS

UConn

By SHARON GINN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 1999


Tonight: 9:18,
CBS-TV and Radio

The Game
Tonight's championship pairs the only two schools to hold the top ranking in the 1998-99 college basketball season. Story

Gary Shelton
On the brink of greatness

Hubert Mizell
Calhoun a winner with, without title

Championship
Q&A with Dick Vitale

Basking in the Glow

Five keys to victory for Duke

Huskies' keys to the game

More coverage

The Scene

Day Off, Party On
Fans soak up the sun, sights, tunes and yes, hoops, on Sunday.

No. 42 Khalid El-Amin HEIGHT: 5-10. WEIGHT: 203.

CLASS: Sophomore. POSITION: Point guard.

HOMETOWN: Minneapolis. MAJOR: Business.

BEST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: He had 21 points on 6-for-10 shooting in the West Region semifinal against Iowa. He also had five assists and one turnover and made 8 of 10 free throws.

WORST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: Two nights later against Gonzaga, El-Amin went 0-for-12 from the field with four assists. He did make 5 of 6 free throws.

AT CRUNCH TIME: It's when El-Amin is at his best. Though he shot horribly against Gonzaga, he made free throws down the stretch, including two that helped seal the victory.

DID YOU KNOW?: El-Amin, probably the most emotional player on the team, sometimes cries before big games, teammate Kevin Freeman said. It gets the Huskies fired up. The last time he got teary in the locker room was before the New Mexico game in the second round. UConn responded with a 78-56 victory.

No. 15 Kevin Freeman

HEIGHT: 6-7. WEIGHT: 235. CLASS: Junior. POSITION: Forward.

HOMETOWN: Springfield, Mass. MAJOR: Political science.

BEST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: It's a tossup. Freeman shot 7-for-9 in the first round against Texas-San Antonio and had 16 points and eight rebounds. In the region final against Gonzaga he shot 4-for-14 but had 15 rebounds and was 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.

WORST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: He has been steady throughout, but he was fairly quiet against Ohio State. He was 2-for-4 for five points and seven rebounds.

AT CRUNCH TIME: Freeman was named outstanding player of the Big East tournament, scoring 52 points in three games. His best game was UConn's closest: a team-high 22 points in a 57-56 quarterfinal victory over Seton Hall.

DID YOU KNOW?: Freeman said he would rather read the front section than the sports pages. Political science is his passion, not just a path to graduation, and he follows politics avidly on television and in the papers.

No. 32 Richard Hamilton

HEIGHT: 6-6. WEIGHT: 185.

CLASS: Junior. POSITION: Guard/forward.

HOMETOWN: Coatesville, Pa. MAJOR: Communication sciences.

BEST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: "Rip" has scored 20 or more in all five games, but his multidimensional ability was most evident during the second-round game against New Mexico, when he scored 21 and drew praise from coach Jim Calhoun for his defense against the Lobos' top perimeter shooter, Kevin Henry.

WORST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: None. Hamilton has come through time and again. His worst shooting night was against New Mexico (7-for-18), but -- see above -- he still had a great game.

AT CRUNCH TIME: This team is full of players who perform well down the stretch. Hamilton might be the best. Against Gonzaga, he scored four straight second-half baskets to keep the Bulldogs from taking control.

DID YOU KNOW?: Hamilton was a force even as a freshman. In the 1997 NIT, he averaged 25 points over five games and was named to the all-tournament team.

No. 21 Ricky Moore

HEIGHT: 6-2. WEIGHT: 195. CLASS: Senior. POSITION: Guard.

HOMETOWN: Augusta, Ga.

MAJOR: Political and social issues in sports.BEST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: Moore was lauded for shutting down Ohio State's Scoonie Penn on Saturday, but his best all-around game may have been against Gonzaga. He contained the Bulldogs' best player (Matt Santangelo, who shot 1-for-9) and added 12 points, making 6 of 6 free throws.

WORST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: Moore had a sore Achilles' tendon against Texas-San Antonio. He still had five points and six assists in 29 minutes.

AT CRUNCH TIME: Moore only gets more intense. In a victory over then-No. 4 Stanford, he scored 12, made 10 of 10 free throws and had six rebounds.

DID YOU KNOW?: Before his recruiting visit, Moore didn't really know where Connecticut was on the map, and when he found out he wasn't keen on the idea of such cold winters. He might have signed with Georgia Tech if the Yellow Jackets hadn't landed Stephon Marbury.

No. 43 Jake Voskuhl

HEIGHT: 6-11. WEIGHT: 245. CLASS: Junior. POSITION: Center.

HOMETOWN: Katy, Texas. MAJOR: Business management.

BEST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: Against New Mexico in the second round, Voskuhl was only 1-of-4 from the field. But he had a team-high nine rebounds and held Lobos senior center Kenny Thomas -- a projected first-round draft pick -- to 0-for-6 shooting. It was the first time Thomas had gone without a field goal in his career.

WORST GAME IN THE TOURNAMENT: Voskuhl played only 19 minutes against Ohio State because of foul trouble. He was 1-for-2 from the field with five rebounds.

AT CRUNCH TIME: Voskuhl has been criticized for getting into foul trouble, but he shined against then-No. 9 Michigan State on Dec. 5. He tied his career high of 17 points in an 82-68 victory.

DID YOU KNOW?: In high school, his Strake Jesuit College Prep team won four consecutive 4A state titles and was 105-15 over those four seasons.

 

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