Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bills Show They're Still Learning Spoolhour's Do's and Don'ts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bills Show They're Still Learning Spoolhour's Do's and Don'ts

Article excerpt

Maybe someday these young Billikens will be a well-oiled basketball machine.

Maybe someday their offense will hum, their defense humble.

Maybe someday Billikens coach Charlie Spoonhour will be silenced on the sideline. Maybe someday he will wear a Cheshire cat-like smile of satisfaction atop his trademark turtleneck. Maybe that day will come by the time of the Conference USA Tournament in March. Maybe St. Louis University will boogie to the Big Dance. Maybe . . . But not just yet. Right now, the Billikids are the kind of team that will cause Spoonhour to loose his hair. They can make the already white-haired Spoon as hoarse as George C. Scott, even against an overmatched Arkansas-Little Rock team in their season opener on Wednesday night. Why? Because on a two-on-one break, they settled for a 3-point attempt. And that went wide of the mark. Because of the time someone forgot to take a pass out of bounds. Because of the times they took ill-advised jump shots. Because of the times they looked lost as they dithered away a double-digit lead before winning 63-57. Because one of them collects fouls as fast as he does assists. Because they foul and stop the clock. Spoonhour wants it to run and run and run . . . Against Arkansas-Little Rock, SLU started three sophomores - Jamall Walker, Virgel Cobbin and Ryan Luechtefeld; a junior, Corey Frazier; and senior Jeff Harris. It's early yet. The mental mistakes will melt away and so will Spoon's exasperated expression. "I was that way when we had Waldman, Claggett and Highmark," he says. "I want perfection." Smile. The Billikens aren't there yet. But there are enough nuts and bolts here to build a fine, feisty team, if . . . Rasheed Malik will sink more sweet, swishing shots. The fleet-footed Jeramy Biles will lead more frequent, fearless fastbreaks that end under the basket in a Walker layup. Walker will whip more passes to Luechtefeld. Harris and Luechtefeld will outrebound bigger and bulkier foes. …

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