1992-93

 

1993 NBA Draft, First Round
 
First Round Player College
1. Orlando (1) Chris Webber Michigan
2. Philadelphia Shawn Bradley Brigham Young
3. Golden State (1) Anfernee Hardaway Memphis State
4. Dallas Jamal Mashburn Kentucky
5. Minnesota Isaiah Rider Nevada-Las Vegas
6. Washington Calbert Cheaney Indiana
7. Sacramento Bobby Hurley Duke
8. Milwaukee Vin Baker Hartford
9. Denver Rodney Rogers Wake Forest
10. Detroit (from Miami) Lindsey Hunter Jackson State
11. Detroit Allan Houston Tennessee
12. LA Lakers George Lynch North Carolina
13. LA Clippers Terry Dehere Seton Hall
14. Indiana Scott Haskin Oregon State
15. Atlanta Doug Edwards Florida State
16. New Jersey Rex Walters Kansas
17. Charlotte Greg Graham Indiana
18. Utah Luther Wright Seton Hall
19. Boston Acie Earl Iowa
20. Charlotte (from San Antonio) Scott Burrell Connecticut
21. Portland James Robinson Alabama
22. Cleveland Chris Mills Arizona
23. Seattle Ervin Johnson New Orleans
24. Houston Sam Cassell Florida State
25. Chicago Corie Blount Cincinnati
26. Orlando (from New York) Geert Hammink Louisiana State
27. Phoenix Malcolm Mackey Georgia Tech

 

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

1993
Walter Bellamy, Player
Julius W. Erving, Player
Daniel P. Issel, Player
Ann E. Meyers, Player
Richard S. McGuire, Player
Calvin J. Murphy, Player
Uljana Semjonova, Player
William T. Walton, Player

North Carolina has a 'T' party

 


By PAUL ATTNER   The Sporting News

 

In the privacy of the locker room, North Carolina players say Dean Smith grew emotional about his second national championship. But the public side of Smith, even amid the joy of victory, remains the same.

 

Chris Webber
Testy, defensive, almost angry when he should have been delighted.

It's the burden of being so successful for so long. One title means you must win another. Bring in a wonderful recruiting class, as Smith did three years ago, and you better win a second. Now that he has done that, with a starting lineup which included just one senior, he already knows what lies ahead. The probable favorite's role for a third. No time to celebrate, not when next year already looms ahead.

"I expect them to be back (in the Final Four)," says forward George Lynch, that lone senior star. "The feeling these guys have from winning it this time, they will want it back next year. I think that will be incentive enough for them to return."

The hub of that team, center Eric Montross, says he "guarantees" he will be back despite rumors he might pass up his junior year and move on to the NBA. To help replace Lynch, Smith has signed an elite recruit, 6-foot-6 Jerry Stackhouse.

At Carolina, it just keeps going on and on.

Amid all the hoopla over Michigan's Fab Five, it's easy to forget that three years ago, when the Fab Five still were in high school, Smith answered criticism about his recruiting lapses by signing what then was considered one of the finest freshmen classes in recent recruiting history. This class surely would win a national championship or two.

But then one of the stars of that group, Clifford Rozier, transferred to Louisville after his freshman season.

"When we came in, everyone was talking about how we would be the dominating class, the same way they talked about the Fab Five," Carolina guard Derrick Phelps says. "But when Rozier left, people stopped talking about us and all the attention switched to Michigan.

"Did we mind that? Not at all. Let them have all that kind of talk. It hasn't been easy for them, I'm sure."

Carolina won this championship, 77-71, in New Orleans with a starting lineup that included three members of that recruiting class: Montross, Phelps and forward Brian Reese. Another, forward Pat Sullivan, was an important reserve.

But unlike Michigan, which relied almost entirely on its sophomore phenoms, the Carolina juniors had help from their friends, especially elder statesman Lynch. He scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds, while sophomore Donald Williams had 25 points and was chosen the most outstanding player.

This should have been a joyous moment for Smith. He had taken this gifted group, blended the blue-chippers into his team concept and emerged with another championship. It also was a victory that should stand for everything Smith preaches, particularly concerning game preparation and the intelligence of his players.

Near the end, when Michigan's Chris Webber called a timeout with 11 seconds to go, even though Michigan had none remaining, the Carolina players were stunned.

"It is something that I don't think would happen with us," Lynch says. "It is a triumph of our coaching staff. Coach Smith had us better prepared.

"Our staff came out on top. It wasn't Chris Webber's fault. Their coaching staff should have prepared them better for that situation. They should have had a game plan. They should have known what to do."

That's been Smith's point all along. It's not enough to bring in great players. They need to be taught how to think, how to react under pressure, how to give up their personal statistics for the good of the team.

Carolina players learn quickly that they do it Smith's way or they don't play. They learn about foul situations, about roles of players, about all the little nuances that separate good teams from the best teams.

All those lessons served Carolina so very well in the Superdome.

Montross was asked if he could ever envision a North Carolina team making the same mistake committed by Webber.

"No," Montross said. "We talk about that situation too much. We know exactly what coach wants us to do."

Then you remember what Michigan coach Steve Fisher said about Webber's mistake: "I guess we didn't get the situation explained clearly enough."

But the irony seems to be, the more Smith wins, the less he enjoys it. Oh, he says he is happy, but he'll usually say it is for his players and his staff.

He'll just as quickly point out how other possible North Carolina championship teams were undercut by late-season injuries. No need to prompt him; he just jumps into his defensive mode, almost as if he were saying, "It's not my fault I haven't won more titles. The gods of basketball have worked against me."

Just consider his two titles. In 1982, after hearing for years he wasn't capable of winning a national championship despite his constant flow of All-Americans, he finally beat Georgetown. But what is remembered from that game? The errant pass at the end that Hoyas guard Fred Brown made to Carolina's James Worthy, when Georgetown needed a basket to pull out the victory.

And what will they remember this time? The incredible mistake by championship, when Michigan had the ball, trailing, 73-71.

"If I knew we didn't have any timeouts left, then I wouldn't have called one," Webber says.

Smith wants no part of these bizarre plays.

"Even if the timeout hadn't occurred, I think we would have won," Smith said. And about the Georgetown mistake? "Maybe it would be better if the pass had gone to Sleepy Floyd in the corner and he had shot and missed at the end of the game.

"It's all part of the game. Luck, yes. Fortunate, yes. But it still says NCAA championship. It doesn't bother me. I'm happy. It's exciting, it's over.

"We won it."

You want to say, Dean, lighten up. Show your happiness. But it seems impossible for him to loosen up anymore.

The pressures have taken away the pleasure. His players are aware of the labels Smith constantly fights.

"It was important to us to win a second one for him because he had to get that monkey off his back," Phelps says. "It wasn't fair for him to carry it around."

Lynch got his teammates together before the Final Four, and they talked about Smith and what this would mean to him.

"We wanted to make an effort for the coach," Lynch says. "We wanted to do it for ourselves too. But more important, he is a great coach, and he has done so much for us. We wanted to reward him.

"It gave us a lot of incentive."

Smith already had planted the championship seed. Before the season began, he had given the players pictures of the Superdome from the 1982 title game.

But instead of 1982, the pictures proclaimed North Carolina the 1993 national champions.

"I've never been very goal-oriented with my team," Smith said, "but a good friend of mine at the university sold me on the idea by giving me the pictures."

Montross kept one in his locker and another over his bed.

"It reminded me every day of what we wanted to do," Montross says. "By the time we got here, we felt it was almost predetermined. We wanted it very badly."

Still, Smith looks at his career and shrugs off the bumps along the way.

"To me, the big one was winning the (1976) Olympic gold medal," Smith says. "Not the national championship. Talk about big, when you are representing your whole country.

"I understand why people would say that (about not winning more titles) but we have won so many big games over the years. Like when the ACC Tournament determined if you got into the NCAA Tournament. Talk about pressure. And a lot of our first-round NCAA wins were big ones."

But others see another record. He might have the most victories of any coach in NCAA Tournament history (55) and has taken more teams than anyone else to the tournament (23) but until this season, he had come away from eight Final Four appearances with that lone title.

In contrast, Fisher was seeking his second championship in only his third Final four. So many tries, so many frustrations.

There have been crucial injuries, certainly, but how could anyone win just one crown despite having Michael Jordan for three seasons? That too is what makes this victory particularly satisfying for Smith. This team had no Jordan or James Worthy.

Montross eventually might be a decent pro, and maybe two or three others will play in the NBA. But without a superstar to carry them, the Tar Heels needed to be particularly efficient and unselfish.

Just as Smith likes it best. He could play a lot of folks, ask everyone to assume a role and watch the club develop throughout the season, particularly on offense.

Against Michigan, which is more agile and gifted physically, Carolina's offensive ball movement was especially effective. Williams broke open for a bunch of open perimeter shots, coming off well-placed screens.

The Wolverines knew he was the Tar Heels' only legitimate outside shooter, yet Michigan was unable to solve Carolina's intricate patterns. Williams wound up making 5-of-7 3-point attempts, the only successful ones by the Tar Heels.

In the semifinal game against Kansas, he also was 5-for-7, and again, he was the lone Carolina player to make a 3-pointer.

Michigan led, 67-63, but couldn't keep its poise against the calmer Tar Heels, who ran off nine consecutive points around three missed shots and one turnover by the Wolverines. Williams started the comeback with a 3-pointer, then Phelps made a difficult layup to give his team the lead for good.

After Michigan's Jimmy King shot an air ball on a 3-point attempt - "I think his legs were tired," Fisher says - Lynch answered with a turn-around 6-foot drive in the lane.

"I was looking to pass," Lynch says, "but when I got in the lane, they tried to double me and I went up for the shot and got it over the outstretched hands."

A turnover by guard Jalen Rose, his sixth of the game, led to a offensive series that ended when Montross dunked a Lynch pass.

"We told them to look inside, but we were interested in working time off the clock," Smith says. "It just happened that Eric came open. That might have been the biggest play of the game."

A basket by Webber off a rebound cut Carolina's lead to 72-71. Then Sullivan made the first of two free throws, only to miss the second. Webber, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds, grabbed the ball and looked to his bench, asking whether to call a time out.

Not sure, he walked, but it wasn't called. Then he dribbled down the sideline and stopped in front of his bench and signaled for a timeout. Lynch says he definitely heard voices from Michigan's bench telling Webber to stop the clock. But Fisher says the team was aware it had no time outs left.

A technical was called on Michigan. Williams made two free throws, then later added two more.

The game was Carolina's.

"Don't blame Chris Webber," Montross says. "Blame the coaches. They all should have known better."

No matter. Smith had his second title. Later, he ate pizza with friends in his hotel room. Bourbon Street was nearby, a great place to celebrate. But not for Smith.

Not this time, not ever. There are still more titles to win, more players to sign. The pressure never ends.

 


Copyright 1997 The Sporting News. All rights reserved.