Gandy Earning Praise for His Improved Play

By Bill Coats Post-Dispatch Assistant | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

Gandy Earning Praise for His Improved Play


Bill Coats Post-Dispatch Assistant, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Precious seconds melt away as Illinois struggles to protect a one-point lead at Michigan State.

As the Spartans turn up the defensive heat, Illini point guard Kiwane Garris drives into the lane, encounters resistance and dishes the ball back outside.

On the receiving end is Chris Gandy. He doesn't hesitate: With :03 on the shot clock and 32 seconds left in the game, Gandy's 17-foot jumper slams through the bottom of the net with an audible snap! Illinois wins 66-63. "It's like apples and oranges. He's a different player. He shoots the ball better; he's gotten tougher. He deserves a lot of credit." Almost a week later, Gandy is apprised of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo's comparison of two Chris Gandys: last season's and this season's. He grimaces. "Well," Gandy says, "I don't think it's apples and oranges at all. I've been given an opportunity, and I'm just trying to take advantage of the situation." Iowa coach Tom Davis, who will get a firsthand look tonight when the Illini (14-5 overall, 4-3 Big Ten) meet the Hawkeyes (14-5, 5-2) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, calls Gandy "an emerging star. . . . He's so quick, and he can get up and down the court for a guy his size. He's showing terrific shooting; he's knocking down 3's as well as going to the hoop. "He has a lot of game." Despite Gandy's protestations, few observers would have proffered such high praise a year ago. He started 20 of 31 games and averaged 6. …

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