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Thursday, January 17, 2002
Jason Williams

Special to Page 2

Jason Williams
Jason Williams
With Shane Battier gone, Duke's Jason Williams has grabbed the mantle as everyone's "Mr. College Basketball."

A preseason All-American and last year's NABC National Player of the Year, Williams has led the defending national champs back to the top of the heap with a 14-1 record and a No. 1 ranking, entering Thursday night's showdown with No. 3 Maryland.

But before the Devils and Terps tip it off in an encore performance to four classic games last season, Williams had to beat a full-court press from Page 2's Ray Holloman.

Chris Duhon
Chris Duhon
1. Page 2: You played both soccer and volleyball in high school, which leads us to the question: Did you cramp your style by wearing the short shorts?

Jason Williams: We never sported the short shorts. Even in soccer and volleyball it was always the long shorts.

I'm not a short shorts guy: I wouldn't have played if I had been forced to wear them.

2. Who spends more time on press row, "appearing on another network" -- color man Billy Packer or your backcourt mate, Chris Duhon?

Dick Vitale
Dick Vitale
Williams: Duhon, by far.

Does Coach K draw up particular plays where he goes, "OK, Jason, you fumble the ball off your leg. Dunleavy, you stand here, Chris, you dive into the stands, but be careful -- there's a fat guy with a hotdog?"

Williams: No, it just happens that way, but it's always Chris that's there. It definitely gets us motivated when he does that, we all see how much he cares.

Did the team get the P.A. announcer Duhon bloodied while diving in the stands during Saturday's Georgia Tech game a "We're sorry that Chris Tyson'ed your ear" card?

Shane Battier
Shane Battier says he has no plans to get a tattoo. "I'm not cool enough to pull it off ... I'll just be the boring guy in the background."
Williams: Yeah, we did. The whole team signed it. It was nice.

3. Stranger baldness: Dick Vitale's remaining ring of "hair" or your former teammate Shane Battier's creased baldness?

Williams: Ouch, that's harsh. I can't say on that one, not gonna touch it.

4. You and Dahntay Jones are friends from your New Jersey childhood days. Which means there's little doubt that you're the one who taught Dahntay all the nasty dunks. How much time do you spend working with him?

Julius Page
Julius Page
Williams: At least 10 to 15 hours minimum, a day. It was tough.

Seriously, have you ever played with anyone who's a more spectacular dunker than Dahntay?

Williams: (Former Michigan State star and current Golden State Warrior) Jason Richardson, he was great.

Whose the best college dunker -- Dahntay, Maryland's Chris Wilcox or someone else?

Williams: I dunno. That's tough. (Asks Chris Duhon.) We're going with Julius Page from Pittsburgh.
Anna Kournikova
Anna Kournikova

5. Who do you think plays tougher defense, Duke or Anna Kournikova on a first date?

Williams: Probably Anna. No, probably us. Don't want Coach to hear me say Anna.

6. Better backcourt mate, Jimmy Chitwood ("Hoosiers"), Butch McRae ("Blue Chips") or Jesus Shuttlesworth ("He Got Game")?

Williams: Gotta go with Jesus. Butch sucked. He's too much of a shooter.
Chris Tucker
Chris Tucker

7. If you could pick one character from film to be your backcourt mate, who would it be and why?

Williams: Chris Tucker (from "Friday" and "Rush Hour"). He'd be a great backcourt mate, he'd kill me, crack me up, be like (switches into Chris Tucker voice) "Yo, damn....!"

8. How long did it take you to learn how to properly spell Krzyzewski?

Williams: About four months, but now I've got it. K-R-Z-Y-Z-E-W-S-K-I. It's easy.

Mike Krzyzewski
Mike Krzyzewski
Did you ever get the feeling that he moves the Z's around every few weeks?

Williams: For sure. For sure.

9. Nigel Dixon, Florida State's 6-foot-10, 350-pound center has his own size shorts, known simply as "Nigel" size. Any chance Duke guard Andre Buckner, who's generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, has "Andre" size?

Williams: No, he has regular shorts, but there are never any mistakes with any of us picking up his shorts.
Nigel Dixon
Nigel Dixon

How many Andre Buckners would fit in a Dixon?

Williams: Probably about 10.

10. Finally, more disturbing dance: The overplayed dancing baby of "Ally McBeal" fame or Coach K on the team bus after the regional finals last season?

Williams: Gotta go with the Dancing Baby.