Originally created 03/30/02

NCAA notebook

ATLANTA - Indiana's A.J. Moye has been swarmed since he's gotten to Atlanta.

The graduate of Atlanta's Westlake High School has even taken to hanging out in other people's hotel rooms, because the phone is his room rings too much.

"I have to stay focused since we are this close to a national championship," Moye said. "I can't go out and be in parades and go to parties at this point. All of that can happen once this is over."

Moye isn't the only Hoosier by way of Atlanta. Junior forward Jeff Newton went to Atlanta's Mays High School.

Newton was one of the reasons Moye chose Indiana.

Moye's numbers aren't great - he's averaging just 5.9 points per game and 9.3 points per game in the tournament - but he is one of the team's most popular players. He hit four free throws in the final 23 seconds of the win over Kent State and two with 11 seconds left in Hoosiers' win over Duke.

Moye's name was chanted during the win over Kent State and again Friday at the Hoosiers' practice. He said some of his family, as well as high school coaches and friends attended the practice session at the Georgia Dome.

"It's like a dream," Moye said. "It's like you're sleepwalking, but I know it's real because I'm tired after practice. It's a heck of a ride we're on right now."

Newton is averaging 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

"I'm glad to be home," Newton said. "It's a dream come true being able to come back and play in a game like this. I just want to make the best of it and go out there and get a win."

WHITE TO PLAY: Oklahoma guard Quannas White turned his left ankle during Thursday's practice, but said Friday that he will play tonight against Indiana.

"This time of year you want to play in this game," White said. "This is what little children dream of - getting to the Final Four and winning a national championship, so I am gonna play."

Indiana coach Mike Davis said that his injured guard, Tom Coverdale, will play tonight.

"I think he'll definitely play," Davis said. "How much, it depends on him. He's a tough guy. He played in the Wilmington game when he was injured. To keep him out, I think it has to be broken."

Coverdale said he's not exactly sure how his ankle is feeling.

"It's really hard to tell because they haven't allowed me to do much on it," Coverdale said. "They just want me to rest and ice the whole time. You know, (today) at our morning practice will really tell a lot because they'll allow me to do some stuff on it."

CARD SHARK: Oklahoma redshirt freshman Blake Johnston got a lot of attention Friday for a guy who averages 1.7 points per game.

The media didn't swarm around Johnston because he's shooting 45.5 percent for 3-point range or because he was Academic All-Big 12.

Instead, several TV cameras swarmed him as he showed off several card tricks.

"He's got a million of them," said senior Richard Ainooson. "He does it all the time, I want to know how to do it."

Johnston - who joked "this is how I got my scholarship" - said he's taught some of his tricks to his teammates, but has kept the best ones for himself.

"I try to keep everyone loose," Johnston said.

PSYCHO COACH: Maryland players were asked Friday about coach Gary Williams' "psycho act" on the sidelines.

"That's not an act," said Lonny Baxter. "That's how he coaches."

When Byron Mouton transferred from Tulane, he had to sit out a year. During one game while he had to sit out, he was on the bench and Williams started yelling at him.

"I can't do nothing, I'm in my street clothes, why are you yelling at me," Mouton said he told his coach.

"I was mad at first," Mouton said. "I went in the locker room and talked to the assistant coaches. They told me not to worry about it, that he needed to relieve some of the pressure. He's a great coach, a great person. Y'all don't see it. Y'all see him yelling, his shirt coming out of his pants, tie all crooked.

"He's a great person, man. He's great to have as a friend. I'm glad I got a chance to play for him."


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