Another college basketball season is coming to an end. Hmmm, must be time for, you guessed it, the annual best and worst (and other dubious honors) of the 1990-91 Utah hoops season.
Worst violation of the Sixth Commandment: Five minutes before midnight on a Saturday night, Utah and BYU finish regulation play in a tie, and, egads, overtime forces the Cougars to play on Sunday.
Best quote I: With the clock about to strike midnight in the above mentioned game, Utah's Larry Cain turned to a reporter on press row and said, "If we can just get them to midnight, we'll be all right." The Utes won in overtime.
Best revenge (maybe): To whomever stole Rick Majerus' shoes at the Marriott Center. "I'll have the last laugh, though," said the coach. "I have a bad case of athlete's foot."
Surprise Player of the Year: Gary Trost. He kept heralded Shawn Bradley on the bench several times this year with his superb play. Just one question: Who is this guy?
Best players you never saw: College of Eastern Utah's Antoine Davison (the premier dunker in the state) and Utah State's Kendall Youngblood.
Best Majerus Quote I: "I've been throwing up phlegm all week." - Majerus' opening line on the UNM-Utah post-game radio show.
The Curt Gowdy Trophy: To CBS's Pat O'Brien, who pronounced Paul Afeaki's name as "Ah-FEE-kee, and said he comes from Africa.The Frank Arnold Despicable Trophy: University of Wyoming fans, come on down! You're our grand prize winners of this coveted award, which was named after the former BYU coach and the adjective he once used to describe your game-time behavior. Congratulations, it wasn't even close. Booing the BYU cheerleaders was just overkill. Your hurling of objects and obscenities onto the floor was unmatched by anyone this side of a pro wrestling crowd.
The Adding Insult to Injury Trophy: Not only did the Utes beat San Diego State in the conference post-season tournament for the third time this year, but they also ate the Aztecs' post-game meal (Blimpie sandwiches), as well. When someone pointed this out to Majerus, he replied, "Hey, don't ever put food in front of us if you want to see it again."
Worst Whiners: Wyoming wins again. The Cowboys were the whiniest team around, whether it was Coach Benny Dees having an attack on the bench or Reggie Page screaming obscenities.
GQ's Man of the Year: Rick Majerus, whose court-side attire consists of two sweaters. "I am to fashion what Ezra Taft Benson is to vice," he said.
Best Quote II: "There isn't much competition around here." - Ute assistant coach Joe Cravens, after someone called him the best-dressed man on the hill.
Dunk of the Year: Ike Williams, New Mexico's 6-foot-5 guard, wheels through the lane to dunk over BYU's 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley and 7-foot-2 teammate Luc Longley in the Marriott Center. Runnerup: Josh Grant airmails a coming-down-the-mountain, in-yo-face, one-handed hammer jam over poor Shawn Bradley.
Best Majerus Quote II: "You're talking about a guy who couldn't get a date if he showed up at a women's penal institution with a fistfull of pardons." - Majerus, on his social life.
Strangest Injury of the Year: During practice, BYU guard Scott Moon somehow stuck his fingers in teammate Shawn Bradley's mouth and nostrils, giving new meaning to the term in your face. Bradley's face was fine, but Moon broke a bone in his hand.
Best first impression: Utah State's Jay Goodman scored 33 points and made a record nine treys in 15 attempts in the first game of the season. He shot 36 percent the rest of the season.
Best Majerus Quote III: "I went on a blind date once and wore a yellow sweater that had horizontal stripes on it, and the girl thought I was Saturn."
Worst timing: When Colorado State cut BYU's lead to four points late in their first-round game in the WAC tournament, CSU's Aaron Atkinson told BYU's Steve Schreiner, "It looks like you guys are going to the NIT." BYU won the game - and went on to win the tournament and an NCAA bid.
Best use of momentum: Immediately following a big win over New Mexico, BYU's Gary Trost proposed to his girlfriend right there in the Marriott Center. He had only 9 points in the game, but the girl said yes.
Best indication of who's really in charge: After referring to the University of Utah's president as CHASE (Peterson) during a speech to Ute fans, Josh Grant had second thoughts. "I guess I can call him that (by his first name)," said Grant doubtfully. Then, from the back of the room, Peterson said, "You certainly can, Mister Grant."
Best Majerus Quote IV: During a pre-game show on Feb. 14, Bill Marcroft, the voice of the Runnin' Utes, wished Majerus a happy Valentine's Day, which prompted Majerus to say, "Huh, that's about the extent of it. A warm greeting from another guy."
Best comeback (coach's division): After undergoing major surgery last year, Rick Majerus and Roger Reid led their teams to a 1-2 conference finish and into the NCAAs.
Jenny Craig Man of the Year: Walter Watts, who survived a year of salads to make a mere 260 pounds.
Best Majerus Quote V: Following a sloppy Utah win over San Diego State, a passing fan told Majerus "Good game, coach." Majerus thanked him, then, in an aside to reporters said, "He must have been drunk."
Best Quote III: When Utah's return flight from Michigan lost an engine, a stewardess asked the Utes' Phil Dixon if he would help her open the emergency exit after the crash landing. "If I'm alive I will," said Dixon.
Crimson Club Missionary of the Year: Shawn Bradley. The Utes wish him a successful and long - very long - mission.