By Kieran Darcy
Page 2

Who's the leading scorer in America? Take a guess. Adam Morrison? Wrong. J.J. Redick? Uh-uh.

And no, he's not some guy from an obscure mid or low-major team either. He's a North Carolina Tar Heel. His name is Rickmon Logan.

And he's averaging 652 points per game.

Logan has only played in one game this season -- obviously he played pretty well. He was the leading scorer in the first Carolina-Duke showdown of the season last weekend. Only this one wasn't played in the Dean Dome, or Cameron Indoor. It took place in Fetzer Gymnasium, on campus in Chapel Hill.

Final score? Duke 3,688 -- UNC 3,444.

The game tipped off a little after 8 a.m last Saturday, and didn't end until Monday evening around 6 p.m. The two teams played continuously for 57 hours, 17 minutes and 41 seconds -- shattering the previous world record by over 20 hours.

Basketball Marathon
AP
A couple of the players who put it on the line in the basketball marathon.

Besides setting the record, the players also raised nearly $60,000 for the Hoop Dreams Basketball Academy, a non-profit organization that helps children with life-threatening illnesses. They're still accepting donations -- if you're interested, click here.

But records and fundraising aside, to participate in this event you clearly had to really love the game. And Rickmon Logan does. He played hoops all through high school, and one year of junior college ball at Surry Community College in Dobson, N.C. But after that, he realized he wasn't going to get a shot at playing Division I -- so he decided to transfer to UNC and concentrate on his studies, settling for being a Tar Heel fan.

Little did he know he'd be Carolina's leading scorer this season. But when a friend who was helping organize the basketball marathon asked him to participate, Logan thought it sounded like fun.

Each team consisted of 12 students. When the game began, they rotated in and out on one-hour shifts. But as the game progressed, they switched to three hours on, three hours off -- with a little longer individual break for sleep overnight. The players weren't permitted to leave the gym for longer than five minutes -- but they were provided with air mattresses, plenty of food, and medical attention, if necessary. "When I was off, I mostly stuffed my face," says Logan. "Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, donuts ... I ate it all."

The game started off at a pretty quick pace, but then slowed down considerably until the pace picked back up in the final few hours. Logan says his toughest shift was Sunday morning from 2-5 a.m. "Walking back up the court, my body just hurt all over," he says. "I'm used to being asleep during those hours."

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Logan got some shut-eye after that shift. But when he awoke, he found that Duke had broken open a pretty close game, to take about a 300-point lead. "At that point I realized the win was probably out of reach," Logan says. "So I just went back out there and tried to enjoy the experience."

And enjoy it he did, scoring from all over the floor -- mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers, with even a few dunks mixed in (Logan is 6-foot-5). But his 652 wasn't quite enough, as the Tar Heels fell by a paltry 244 points.

Logan hasn't heard from Roy Williams or any member of his staff since the game. But that's OK. He's actually going to be laid up for a little bit -- he had to have his surgically-repaired right knee drained a couple days after the game, because it had swelled up so much. And anyway, Logan graduated in December with a degree in biology. He plans to become a physician's assistant.

Despite the knee problem, Logan's glad he played. "I really enjoyed myself," Logan says. "I'd do it again if I had the chance."

Go for it, Logan. But that career-high will be tough to top.

PHYS. ED.

Can't blame Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce III for missing high school. After all, back then they played more games on TV than they do now!

That's what happens when your high school teammate is LeBron James.

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But in a couple months, Travis and Joyce just might be back in the national spotlight, doing something LeBron never got to do: Playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Sparked by this junior duo from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, the University of Akron is off to a 12-3 start this season, 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference. And although there are two other undefeated teams in the MAC, Kent State and Miami (Ohio), the Zips look likely to at least receive their first postseason invitation since the 1989 NIT under Bob Huggins.

Travis is a 6-foot-7 forward who's leading the team with averages of 14.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Joyce averages 9.7 points and 5.2 assists per game at the point guard position. And both played pivotal roles in Akron's three wins this past week, over Northern Illinois, Cleveland State and Central Michigan. The Zips have won seven in a row overall.

Dru Joyce III
AP
Dru Joyce III chases down a ball against Louisville earlier this season.

Akron coach Keith Dambrot knows these two especially well -- he coached both of them, as well as LeBron, in high school before taking an assistant coaching job at Akron after their sophomore year. Neither Travis nor Joyce were heavily recruited -- Joyce didn't receive any other Division I offers -- but Dambrot was able to bring both on board at Akron. And they made him look smart, particularly when he took over as head coach last season and they helped him to a 19-10 record in his first year. "Everyone thought LeBron was the whole team," says Dambrot. "Those kids are pretty good, too."

Both also remain good friends with LeBron. They watch every Cavs game they can, and LeBron comes to their games whenever he can. Plenty of commentary and criticism is dished out, from both sides, when they get together. But they also relax and have fun. "We'll just go over to his house and play some video games," says Travis. "Sometimes we'll watch our old high school tapes, and go back and laugh at how we all look."

Both players admit missing playing with their NBA buddy. But both are also all business about getting Akron where they haven't been since 1986, the Big Dance. And both have even bigger dreams. "I hope the chips fall my way, and I'll get to play in the NBA," says Joyce. "I just want to continue my career as far as I can." "I'll always miss playing with LeBron," says Travis. "It was a great chapter in my life. But who knows? Maybe one day I'll get to play with him again."

Can't blame 'em for dreaming big, can you?

SCIENCE

Kentucky had lost three games in a row -- at Kansas (by 27), followed by back-to-back home losses to Vanderbilt and Alabama. A loss at Georgia on Tuesday would have given the Wildcats their first four-game losing streak since 1989.

So what did Tubby Smith do? He brought in a sports psychologist.

Andrew Weiner, a professor at Kentucky who specializes in emotional intelligence, went on the road with the Wildcats. And he seemed to help. Kentucky did fall behind early against Georgia, 18-8 -- which could easily have spelled doom for a very down team. But the 'Cats bounced back quickly, and eventually won the game 69-55, shooting 56 percent from the field. Let's see if they can keep it up against South Carolina at home Saturday.

MATH

A tale of two teams:

Last Saturday, Clemson played top-ranked Duke quite tough before finally succumbing to the Blue Devils 87-77. But do you know what the Tigers shot from the foul line? Six-for-21. Six-for-21! Absolutely awful. Clemson could have won this game.

The same day, West Virginia unleashed a hail storm of 3-pointers on Marquette, beating the Golden Eagles 104-85. Do you know what the Moutaineers shot from behind the 3-point line? Twenty for 38. Twenty for 38! That's simply demoralizing to an opponent.

So, to sum up: West Virginia took 38 shots from at least 19 feet, 9 inches away, while being guarded, and made 20 (52.6 percent). Clemson took 21 shots from 15 feet away, unguarded, and made six (28.6 percent).

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

LANGUAGE

Marco Killingsworth
AP
Marco mixes it up with the students in celebration.

After Indiana defeated Illinois 62-60 Tuesday, after which hundreds of Hoosiers fans rushed the court, Indiana forward Marco Killingsworth said (according to The Associated Press):

"I jumped right in there because I ain't used to seeing that. So I jumped in there with them."

First of all, anyone else bothered at all by the Indiana fans rushing the court? I know Illinois had beaten Indiana five straight times. But still -- this was the No. 11-ranked team in the country, at home, beating the No. 5-ranked team in the country. If I was a Hoosiers fan, I'd have played it a little more cool. (What do you think? Vote in the poll at the top-right of this page).

Regardless, I like Killingsworth's enthusiasm, jumping in and joining the celebration with the fans. But you gotta be careful big guy! Killingsworth had suffered from back spasms that night. He had to come out of the game very early in the first half because of the pain. Granted, he was obviously feeling a lot better in the second half, when he scored 20 of his 23 points. But still ... people can get hurt in those postgame celebrations. Seems to happen every year. Indiana's already lost D.J. White (again). They simply cannot afford to lose Killingsworth.

RECESS
Thoughts from games I watched this past week:

• Was definitely impressed by Texas' victory over Villanova. But was just as impressed, if not more so, by the Wildcats. They shot 27.4 percent from the field, including 7 for 30 from 3-point range (23.3. percent), and they still hung in there and lost by only three on the road against one of the top 10 teams in the country.

• It's a damn shame we won't be seeing a Duke-NC State rematch in Raleigh this season.

• Nice to see Stanford playing better -- but they desperately needed to pull out that game at Arizona Thursday night.

HISTORY

On Thursday against George Mason, Northeastern point guard Jose Juan Barea became the third player in school history to score 2,000 career points. So who is Northeastern's all-time leading scorer, with 2,709 points?

Reggie Lewis.

I remember watching Lewis as a Boston Celtic, but I never knew how outstanding a college career he had. Lewis led the Huskies to a 102-26 record and four consecutive NCAA Tournaments from 1984-87. He averaged 23.3 points per game over those four seasons, and his 2,709 career points were the most in New England collegiate history and ninth in Division I history when he left Northeastern.

From there Lewis moved on to the Boston Celtics, eventually becoming an NBA All-Star in 1992 and being named the Celtics' sixth captain, replacing Larry Bird. In his first season as captain, he led the Celtics to the '93 NBA playoffs -- but in their first postseason game, he collapsed, due to the heart problem that eventually caused his death. Lewis passed away, much too soon, on July 27, 1993.

ART

Justin Williams
AP
Justin Williams doing what he does best.

I watched some of the BYU-Wyoming game Wednesday night, and got to see the nation's leader in shot blocking, Justin Williams of Wyoming. Williams is currently averaging 5.9 blocks per game. He put up a mighty impressive 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks before turning his ankle and having to leave the game with just under four minutes left to play. BYU won the game 80-67.

Much more goes into the art of shot blocking than simply swatting away the ball. And it's obvious why Williams is so good at it. His arms are very active, he doesn't go for too many pump-fakes, and he's a very quick leaper. Watch the Cowboys if you get a chance sometime this season. Williams is worth watching just for his shot-blocking ability.

ENGLISH

While watching a Texas Tech game recently at a local watering hole, I couldn't help but overhear a father and his young son at a nearby table, who were also watching the game. At one point, when Bob Knight appeared on the screen, the father said (paraphrasing here), "Oh god ... what's that guy's name? ... I'm blanking on it ... I know him ... there's been a lot of controversy about him ... I think he threw a chair once ... geez, what's his name?!"

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And I really felt like giving the guy a copy of "A Season on the Brink" by John Feinstein. Now, I know this is the second Feinstein book I've plugged in this space. But it's still one of my favorite hoops books, an inside look at Indiana's tumultuous 1985-86 season under Knight.

Speaking of seasons on the brink, Knight's current Texas Tech team might be on the brink of falling out of NCAA Tournament contention after getting manhandled 80-46 by Texas earlier this week.

CLASS PARTICIPATION

A majority of you (54.5 percent, to be exact) liked Adam Morrison's comments from last week -- that surprised me a little. I do love watching Morrison play -- I just felt he went a little too far. Anyway, I've already given you this week's poll question (see the "Language" section above), so let's keep moving.

But remember, please send me questions for next week's column, or nominations for the different subject categories. You can e-mail me here. Now, here are a couple of the questions I received in the past week:

Can Florida sustain this all season without any clear star power, or will they need a consistent leader to rise in order to run the table? Is teamwork enough?
-- David, Chapel Hill, N.C.

David, first of all, you're from Chapel Hill -- why aren't you asking about the Tar Heels? Just kidding. Your question is a good one. Florida's already kept this undefeated run going far longer than I ever thought they would. Their teamwork is outstanding -- all five starters are averaging between 11.5 and 13.7 points per game.

Let's be honest -- the Gators are not going undefeated. I do think they are legit Final Four contenders. But I still really believe they'll need a go-to guy to emerge -- a guy who everyone will look to to take the big shot with the game on the line. Corey Brewer and Taurean Green are the most likely candidates. Can either fill that role? We'll see, when the Gators start playing close games again.

LaMarcus Aldridge
AP
LaMarcus Aldridge and Texas will be in the Big Dance, and could go a long way.

Is there any hope that the Big 12 can rebound? I'm thinking they'd be lucky to get four teams in the tourney right now.
-- J. Madden, Denver

The Big 12 does look kind of weak right now. Texas is the only lock I see for the tournament after looking at the standings. Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology shows three Big 12 teams in the Tournament: Texas, Iowa State and Nebraska. The good news is practically every Big 12 team is still in at-large contention, so the conference could rebound. The bad news is, the Big 12 could easily get fewer than four teams in the Big Dance.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
West Virginia at UCLA (Saturday, 3:45 p.m. ET, CBS): Wish the Bruins had their full squad to face the Mountaineers. But this should still be a beaut.

Syracuse at Pittsburgh (Monday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Can Pitt keep their great start going? Can the 'Cuse snag a big win away from the Carrier Dome?

Indiana at Iowa (Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN): Another stern defensive test for the high-octane Hoosiers.

Boston College at North Carolina (Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN Full Court): BC's ACC debut at the Dean Dome. And they could really use a signature ACC win.

Kieran Darcy is an editor at ESPN.com and a contributor to ESPN The Magazine. You can e-mail him at kieran.d.darcy@espn3.com.




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