Last year, Utah State started one of those shooting promotions where a lucky fan gets to shoot a series of shots to win various prizes. By making all four shots in 35 seconds, a layup, free throw, three-point shot and half-court shot, someone could win $10,000.
In the third home game of the year, a USU student accomplished the feat and an insurance company from Georgia was out 10 grand. The next game, the contest was re-instituted under a different company, but it was next to impossible, with an extra shot from out of bounds, no less.This year, USU came back with the original four-shot contest, only this time the shooter had just 25 seconds to make all four and only one chance at the half court shot. Looked like a pretty safe bet for the insurance company covering the contest.
Well last Saturday night, USU student Paul Richins accomplished the almost-impossible, making all four shots in 25 seconds.
Utah State Promotion Director Dave Champlin said when he called up America Hole-In-One, the company that covers the contest, to tell them the news, he was greeted with a few four-letter words at first.
Actually the company wasn't that upset. "That's why we're here," said Trent Gates of America Hole-In-One. "At least we're paying off nice people."
American Hole-In-One which mostly insures holes-in-one at pro-am golf tournaments insures about 200 different college, high school and pro teams, according to Gates. It costs around $2,000 for USU, which more than gets its money back by sponsors of the contest. Utah State was the first payoff this year, but the next night a Clemson fan won $10,000, under a slightly different format.
So this Richins fellow, he must have been quite the shooter right? Actually he got off to a rather shaky start.
"He missed the first shot so bad, I thought he wouldn't make one shot," said Champlin. ULTIMATE TEAM: Can you imagine a highly-ranked team with just one player scoring in double figures?
Well, perhaps if that player is averaging 30 points a game. But what if that player is averaging just 17.5 points a game?
That's the situation with the University of Utah, which seems to be the ultimate when it comes to team basketball.
Josh Grant is the only Ute averaging in double figures. After Grant, the Utes fall almost into line with Walter Watts at 9.2, Byron Wilson at 8.3, Phil Dixon at 7.7, Paul Afeaki at 6.8, Craig Rydalch at 6.7, Jimmy Soto at 5.5, Tyrone Tate and McKay McGrath both at 5.0.
The Utes may be the only top team with one player averaging in double figures. But they could also be the only team in America with nine players averaging at least five points a gameIRONMEN: On the other hand, there's North Carolina State and its six-man crew.
Wednesday night, the Wolfpack played two players the whole game, two players for all but two minutes and the other starter for 33 minutes in a 97-91 win over rival North Carolina. The N.C. State bench consisted of one guy, Migjen Bakalli, who played 12 minutes.
The Tar Heels used 14 players for at least three minutes but couldn't outlast the Wolfpack in the highest scoring game between the two rivals in 175 meetings.
"We just kept scratching at them and scratching at them," N.C.'s Rick Fox said. "They know how to pace themselves."
"They have to be tired," said N.C. point guard King Rice.
They were. The next night when the two two squads met again in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels cruised to a 92-70 win. SCHOOL SPIRIT: You'd heard of brawls between two different colleges, but how about athletes from the same school?
Last weekend about 30 athletes were involved in a brawl between members of the Idaho State University basketball and track and field teams. It resulted in the the indefinite suspension of two basketball players.
Athletic Director Randy Hoffman announced on Wednesday the suspensions of freshman Kareem Carpenter, a starting forward averaging nearly 13 points a game, and senior Marcus Malone, the Bengals' top-scoring reserve. Hoffman said their reinstatement "is contingent on things they have to do and their compliance with certain restrictions."
First-year head coach Herb Williams, whose Bengals' are 8-13 this season, said he fully supported the disciplinary action.FUNNY FANS: UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian always gets a razzing when he comes to Logan. One year thousands of Tark masks were passed out for fans to hold in front of their faces. Last year, of course, Tark was drenched with the infamous water bomb rigged under the bench. But the Shark isn't holding any grudges.
After his team's visit to Logan last week when he and his players were the usual object of the fans' derision, he said, "Your fans are great. They're noisy and they're a little obnoxious, but they're not like Santa Barbara. They're funny, more humorous than offensive. Now New Mexico State and Santa Barbara - they get offensive."