Monday, March 15, 2004

Junior Hayes makes a complete recovery

UK notebook

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ATLANTA - How Chuck Hayes followed up his two-point effort Saturday is what will give opposing coaches nightmares.

Kentuckyıs Erik Daniels dunks against Florida during the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game.
(AP photo)
The Kentucky junior forward on Sunday nearly recorded just the second triple-double in school history, totaling career highs of 23 points and eight assists and adding eight rebounds in the victory over Florida.

He and senior center Erik Daniels have had a friendly wager about which would record one first. "I'm going to get one," Hayes said. Replied Daniels: "I've still got six more games to get it."

It's probably not beyond either's reach. Both were within four assists of a triple-double a week prior, also against Florida.

"It's a difficult thing to get," UK assistant coach David Hobbs said. "To get this close, it shows you're being unselfish, you're being tough, and you're using your skills."

Said coach Tubby Smith of Hayes: "You don't find a guy as versatile as he is."

Chris Mills recorded UK's only triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Austin Peay on Dec. 27, 1988.

Hayes, who left the game for good with 4:49 remaining, said he wasn't aware he was close to making history.

ALL-TOURNEY TEAM: UK had three-fifths of the all-tourney team, with MVP Gerald Fitch joined by Hayes and Kelenna Azubuike. The other selections were Florida's Anthony Roberson and South Carolina's Mike Boynton.

TOUGH THOMAS: One of the key developments recently is Sheray Thomas' emergence as the top post reserve. He averaged 14 minutes in three games this weekend, after having averaged 5.5 minutes and playing in just 18 of 27 games during the regular season.

"Sheray has been a big factor for us," Hobbs said. "He's an interior guy who can still get out on the perimeter and guard you."

SEC IN NCAAS: The SEC got six NCAA Tournament bids, matching its record high. Joining UK are Mississippi State, Florida, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Alabama. The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East and Conference USA also got six bids each.

CAT TALES: Kentucky's 49 first-half points were the most this season against an SEC opponent. ... UK is 16-2 all time in the Georgia Dome.



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Which Xavier win was bigger: UC when the Bearcats were ranked No. 1 or No. 1 St. Joseph's?