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Blue Devils Bring Back Boozer For Bruins
By: UCLA Athletics

March 21, 2001

PHILADELPHIA - This has been a good month for Duke. The Blue Devils haven't lost in six games in March, including two against archrival North Carolina and two in the NCAA tournament.

After the second victory over the Tar Heels that gave Duke its third straight Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship, the Blue Devils moved into the No. 1 spot in the national rankings.

It's hard to believe things could get better this month for the top-seeded Blue Devils (31-4) as they prepare for Thursday night's East Regional semifinal against fourth-seeded UCLA (23-8).

How about getting back Carlos Boozer, their starting center who broke a bone in his foot against Maryland Feb. 27, the last game the Blue Devils lost?

The 6-foot-9 sophomore is averaging 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds and leads the team with a .602 field goal percentage. His nine 20-point games trail only All-Americans Shane Battier and Jason Williams this season.

"It's good to have Carlos back," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We've had three good practices with him. I think he's running well. His conditioning is not at the level of the other guys but it's been good. It's been a real up for our team."

Boozer ran well during the Blue Devils' open workout Wednesday, and his teammates were excited about having him back after opening the tournament with wins over Monmouth and Missouri.

"He's going to be a presence and that's all we're asking him to be," Battier said.

Without Boozer, the Blue Devils went to a smaller lineup, using both Williams and freshman Chris Duhon in the backcourt, while asking reserves Casey Sanders, Matt Christensen and Reggie Love to help out up front.

"I think you have to look at what your team's strengths are," Krzyzewski said when asked about the adjustments he had to make without Boozer. "In a moment of weakness, or adversity, you tend to think of your weaknesses more than your strengths. I thought we could be quicker and the insertion of Chris with Jason for that group was a good one and it played to the strengths of Casey, Reggie and Matt and they've responded.

"That's worked well for us and we'll still play that style and Carlos is going to try to adjust to how we're playing with those kids."

UCLA lost two of its last three regular-season games before beating Hofstra and Utah State by an average of 19 points in the NCAA tournament.

The Bruins have been an up-and-down team over the past few seasons, but coach Steve Lavin feels his team having nine seniors and juniors will be an advantage against a team like Duke.

"It's their stability and leadership that have made this team enjoyable to watch and be around," he said.

Lavin also knows that Duke presents a problem coaches rarely have to face, whether it's getting ready for the Blue Devils with or without Boozer.

"Boozer will give them a big body inside who can finish in the paint, but ultimately it's Duke's style of play that is a bigger concern than any individual," he said. "It's having poise against their pressure defense, being able to execute against their pressure defense and not turn the ball over and finish with a high percentage look at the basket.

"Teams that turn it over or teams that shoot quick allow them to race the other way, 3-on-2, 2-on-1 breaks, and that's where they're deadly."

Duke is second in the nation at 91.6 points per game, 11.6 better than the Bruins, and its 3-point shooting has been at 39.5 percent, an even more impressive number because the Blue Devils take an average of 27 per game.

The winner gets the winner of the game between second-seeded Kentucky and sixth-seeded Southern California. It's no secret a lot of people are hoping for a regional final rematch between Duke and Kentucky. Those teams played one of the NCAA tournament's greatest games in that round in 1992 in this city.

"I think the East Coast media wants to see Duke and Kentucky," UCLA guard Earl Watson said. "I think the West Coast wants to see the USC and UCLA rivalry. It'll be fun to see how it plays out."

By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 77
Sunday, Dec 06
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 76
Saturday, Dec 12
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
W, 71 - 66
Tuesday, Dec 15
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
W, 89 - 80
Saturday, Dec 19
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
L, 76 - 89
Tuesday, Dec 22
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 67 - 53
Friday, Jan 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 93 - 96 (2OT)
Sunday, Jan 03
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
L, 78 - 85
Thursday, Jan 07
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 84
Saturday, Jan 09
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 74
Wednesday, Jan 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 75 - 89
Wednesday, Jan 20
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
W, 82 - 73
Saturday, Jan 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
L, 72 - 86
Thursday, Jan 28
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
L, 84 - 86
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 50
Thursday, Feb 04
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 61 - 80
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Wednesday, Mar 02 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Mar 05 - 3:30 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Mar 09 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, Mar 10 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 8:30 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Mar 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, Mar 15 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Four
Dayton, OH
Thursday, Mar 17 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Round
TBA
Saturday, Mar 19 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
TBA
Thursday, Mar 24 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Mar 26 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Apr 02 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
Monday, Apr 04 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS