Duke Turns Timid at Worst Possible Time

By Frenette, Gene | The Florida Times Union, March 23, 2002 | Go to article overview

Duke Turns Timid at Worst Possible Time


Frenette, Gene, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

All the analysts blaming missed free throws as the reason for Duke's stunning 74-73 loss to Indiana overlook the bigger culprit -- timidness. In 72 previous NCAA Tournament games under coach Mike Krzyzewski, never have the Blue Devils played more like they were afraid of losing than in the homestretch against the Hoosiers.

Why center Carlos Boozer elected to come back down with the ball instead of laying in the offensive rebound off Jason Williams' missed free throw in the final seconds is a mystery. Boozer had nobody to contest the shot when he leaped up to grab the ball right in front of the cylinder.

Yes, Indiana might have gotten a break with the no-call on Boozer's follow attempt, but that didn't lose the game for Duke. Misplacing its courage did. . . .

Sports information director John Humenik being forced out after 20 years at Florida has to rank as one of the strangest divorces ever in UF's athletic department. Humenik is a national icon within his industry and a consummate professional. The feeling among UF insiders was when Steve Spurrier, who was lukewarm toward Humenik, left for the NFL, any philosophical differences with athletic director Jeremy Foley might diminish. That wasn't the case. The long-standing nickname among media for UF's athletic department is "The Firm," partly due to its restrictive access policies. Firing Humenik, who favored better access, only enhances that reputation. . . .

Jeff Gordon's wife, Brooke, has filed for divorce on the grounds of "marital misconduct." People in the Winston Cup garages have gone into customary tight-lip mode on this matter, but it appears Gordon may have taken one of the costliest wrong turns in NASCAR history. . . . Is Tom Coughlin rebuilding the Jaguars or organizing a Boston College reunion tour? …

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