Monday, February 16, 2004

No answer for Wake's Paul leaves Bearcats dismantled

UC notebook

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest freshman point guard Chris Paul was as good, if not better, than advertised, in the Demon Deacons' 91-85 win over the University of Cincinnati Sunday.

Paul, who averages 12.5 points per game, scored a career-high 30 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

He was 10-of-14 from the field, 3-of-3 from 3-point range and pretty much did whatever he wanted to do against UC's defense.

"He took the ball at the goal anytime he wanted to," UC coach Bob Huggins said. "He destroyed us."

Wake coach Skip Prosser said Paul is remarkably mature for a freshman.

"The best thing about him is that despite the fact that he's a very deferential young man and a good student, between the lines he's a stone-cold killer," Prosser said.

FEELING BETTER: Huggins, who missed practice Friday and Saturday due to illness, did not arrive in Winston-Salem until about 11 Sunday morning, two-and-half hours before tipoff.

"I'm OK," Huggins said.

He declined to say what exactly was wrong.

WHALEY BENCHED: UC center Robert Whaley did not play.

"I told you we were going to go to practice and the guys who practiced were going to play and the guys who don't practice aren't going to play," Huggins said.

ZONED OUT: UC went to a zone defense late in the first half that seemed to confuse Wake during the Bearcats' run to a 12-point lead.

Eventually, the Deacons solved it and UC had to come out of it.

"We were able to get inside the zone," Prosser said. "For too long a stretch there, we were on the periphery of the zone and not attacking the heart of the zone."

TECHNICAL FOUL: Huggins was called for a technical foul in the second half by official Bob Donato.

His crime? He yelled, "That's not a hold?" after Donato failed to call a foul against a Wake Forest player.

FOUL TROUBLE: UC had four players with four fouls and two others with three apiece.

PROSSER UP ONE: Prosser, who wore a blue suit as a reminder of his days as the head coach at Xavier University, is now 5-4 against Huggins.

This was Wake Forest's first win over UC in six tries.

"If this was a personal thing, Bobby's going to beat me nine out of eight times," Prosser said. "Fortunately, our kids play the game.

"This game is not about Skip and Bobby. It's about the fact that Wake is stepping out of conference to play a national level team. It just happened to be Cincinnati."

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