March 15, 2001
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Duke is often call the "New Jersey of the South" because of a large student population from that state.
Monmouth coach Dave Calloway said he sees people wearing Duke T-shirts and other items around the school's West Long Branch, N.J., campus.
In fact, some of his players have gear from the nation's No. 1 team. The 16th-seeded Hawks play the Blue Devils Thursday night in the East Regional at the Greensboro Coliseum.
"Jason Krayl (a freshman guard) has a shrine of Duke memorabilia in his room since he's been growing up, and most of our players probably have some sort of Duke gear," Calloway said.
"I don't know how many Duke players have Monmouth gear, but we can make that switch if they elect to do so," the coach added. "Duke is nationally known and nationally known in New Jersey."
HEALTHY JASON: The sprained left ankle of Duke point guard Jason Williams passed a double practice session Wednesday and he declared himself ready to go in the NCAA first round.
The 6-foot-2 Williams said his ankle was a little sore at the team's second practice of the day. The Blue Devils went through a morning workout on campus before driving an hour to the Greensboro Coliseum for some shooting work.
Williams injured the ankle in the ACC title game Sunday and missed the final 13 minutes.
He did wince a few times after taking some shots Wednesday night.
"I kind of came down on it a little wrong one time," Williams said. "But once the game starts the adrenaline will be rushing and I will probably forget about it. After the game is what I'm worried about."
TWIN COACHES: UCLA's Steve Lavin and Hofstra's Jay Wright separated at birth?
The two coaching counterparts are often mistaken for one another during coaching conventions or at Final Fours.
No longer, as Wright has left the hair gel behind.
Lavin, who goes heavy on the mousse, couldn't resist a jab at his friend before the two play today.
"I should have listened to him," Lavin said. "When you're young and an assistant he had his hair slicked back, but once you become a head coach you start to lose your hair and it starts to recede. So he is now combing it forward, George Clooney-style.
"After the last couple of years I think I'm going to take his advice and follow in his footsteps. I am going to start combing my hair forward next year."
WATCHING ALMA MATER: Utah State coach Stew Morrill no longer whispers when people ask where he graduated from.
Morrill said he'll be watching his alma mater Gonzaga closely in this year's NCAA tourney.
"Years ago when I said I graduated from there people really didn't know how to pronounce it or what it was. They thought it was some kind of disease," Morrill said.
"Now, all of the sudden everyone has heard of good old Gonzaga. We know their staff very well. We are always pulling for their staff and they're pulling for our staff and our school."
Morrill recently received a gift from the coaching staff.
"They sent me some shirts that say, `Gonzaga, Old Dogs' so I guess I'm an old dog in more ways than one."
BOMBS AWAY: Duke has taken 882 3-pointers this season, or close to 200 more attempts from beyond the arc then the next closest team - Missouri - in the East Regional in Greensboro.
That should be no surprise, because Missouri coach Quin Snyder played for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and was an assistant coach under him in Durham before leaving for a head job with the Tigers.
Krzyzewski said his team won't change its shooting philosophy now that the NCAA tournament is here.
"We have more good 3-point shooters than we've ever had and I'm allowing them to shoot more," Krzyzewski said. "I'm sure some of my other teams would say they would have been just as good if I had let them shoot as much."
The Blue Devils are No. 1 in the nation in 3-point shooting, averaging 10.5 a game, and their 882 attempts shattered the previous Atlantic Coast Conference record of 803 in a season set by the 1996 N.C. State team.
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer