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UCLA-Maryland Notes
By: UCLA Athletics

March 17, 2000

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Everybody at the Midwest Regional wants to know what's going on outside Jason Kapono's head.

UCLA's freshman scoring leader caused a minor sensation prior to the Bruins' first-round game against Ball State on Thursday when he took the court wearing a yellow headband with a Bruins logo.

It wasn't the headband that caused a stir - Kapono has been wearing one ever since his fifth game at the school - but rather the color. See, Kapono had only worn white headbands, most with an adidas logo.

The change, Kapono said, was "a disaster." He missed all three shots he took in the first half, and what's more, the headband got loose and began to slip down over his eyes.

"I started out with a headband and ended up with an ear-warmer," he laughed.

So Kapono ditched the yellow headband - which had been spray-painted by his college roommate's mother - and went back to old reliable white shortly before the end of the first half.

The switch worked. Kapono hit consecutive 3-pointers during a 15-0 UCLA run and added two more on his way to 17 points. The Bruins beat Ball State 65-57 and advanced to the second round to face Maryland.

Kapono's teammates aren't sure whether their 19-year-old shooting star is a good-natured, immature kid or a genuine goofball. The headband - which Kapono began wearing at about the same time they became popular in the NBA - is only the most visible manifestation of what Kapono calls "just being my goofy self."

When point guard Earl Watson first met him, Kapono had one of the blond dye jobs to which he periodically subjected his black hair. He starting wearing the headbands to spark his lethargic team after a loss to Gonzaga, but he also considered trying John Stocktonesque short-shorts or striped knee-high socks.

On Thursday night, when UCLA's win was firmly in hand, he grinned and stared at a heckler in the crowd while hitting four free throws in the final minute.

"He's just weird, but he's a kid," Watson said. "You never know what he'll do next, but he can be all business when it's time to go to work."

Kapono was given an earful from most of the student sections in the Pac-10 over his choice of headwear, and several hostile crowds wore identical headbands when their teams played the Bruins.

The Bruins play Maryland on Saturday, and Kapono said he might have another fashion choice in mind for the game. Among the possibilities are a pink headband.

"You have to wait until tipoff time," he said.

KEEP A LID ON IT: Headgear seemed to be a recurring theme as Maryland, UCLA, Iowa State and Auburn prepared for Saturday's games in Minneapolis. Maryland coach Gary Williams arrived for his news conference wearing a Minnesota Vikings cap.

"We're going for the home crowd," he said with a grin.

But Williams made sure to remove the hat later, when a Washington television station asked for a one-on-one interview.

"Think we want the Redskins fans to see this? I don't think so," he said.

MILLER WAITS: Maryland forward Danny Miller still doesn't know whether he'll be able to play in the Terrapins' game against UCLA.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore's sprained left ankle caused him to miss the first game of his career Thursday after 67 straight appearances. Though Maryland easily beat Iona, the Terps will need all the depth they can get against UCLA.

Miller participated in the team's walk-through on Friday, but Williams said a decision wouldn't be made until shortly before game time.

"It's feeling better," Miller said. "I had treatments on it last night. We'll see how it is tomorrow night and go from there."

A win would put Maryland in the regional semifinals for the third consecutive season and the fifth time in the last seven years. Miller is averaging 8.6 points this season and has been a capable defender against the ACC's tallest teams.

"It was a different feeling for our team without him out there," Williams said. "We're used to having his steady presence."

Freshman Tahj Holden started in Miller's spot and managed just four points and four rebounds in 30 minutes of play. Holden is taller than Miller but lacks the savvy of a player with more experience.

"We're a better team with everybody out there, but I'll continue to play regardless of what happens to Danny," Holden said.

By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Oct 30
vs. Cal State Los ...
Los Angeles, CA
W, 95 - 57
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 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
Wednesday, Nov 25 - TBA PST
vs. Vanderbilt or Wake ...
Lahaina, HI
Sunday, Nov 29 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Dec 03 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 12 - 7:00 PM PST
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
Tuesday, Dec 15 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 19 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, Dec 22 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 01 - 8:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 03 - 6:30 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Thursday, Jan 07 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 09 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 13 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 20 - 8:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Saturday, Jan 23 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Thursday, Jan 28 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 30 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 04 - 7:30 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
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