Saturday, March 20, 2004

Hayes just misses triple-double


UK notebook: Junior trying to become only second player in Kentucky history to get one

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - Chuck Hayes is getting closer. The University of Kentucky junior forward, determined to become only the second player in the school's history to record a triple-double, missed it by just two assists Friday night in the Wildcats' 96-76 first-round NCAA Tournament victory over Florida A&M.

PHOTO GALLERY
photo gallery
Photo gallery: UK win
He scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, pulled down 11 rebounds and recorded eight assists. He also committed four turnovers.

In the Southeastern Conference Tournament final against Florida last week, he 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

"I probably would have had it if I had taken care of the ball," Hayes said. "I'm messing with it. I'm flirting with it a little bit too much."

He also may have had the triple-double if he hadn't spent the last 4:36 on the bench, but with UK comfortably ahead at the time, there was little chance that he was going to be permitted to go for it.

Hayes said he didn't know he was that close to matching Chris Mills, the only UK player to record a triple-double. Mills did it in 1988 against Austin Peay with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

"It would mean a lot to me," Hayes said. "A triple-double doesn't come every day. If I do come across it and become the second player in Kentucky history to get it, that's pretty remarkable because there have been a lot of great players that have come through this program."

When he saw the stat sheet and realized how close he had come for the second straight game, he said, "I'm going to get it. I'm going to get it sooner or later. I have one more season."

Hayes better hurry up if he intends to beat 6-8 forward Erik Daniels, with whom he has an informal bet over who will achieve the feat first.

Daniels came close when he had 12 points, 12 rebounds and six assists against Florida on March 7.

But Daniels thought he might be on the losing end of the bet when he saw how Hayes was playing Friday.

"He played well tonight," Daniels said. "He almost got it. We have a little bet, but I think I'm going to get it."

Not if Hayes keeps playing the way he has been lately.

"I just go out there and play," Hayes said. "Right now I'm playing with a lot of confidence. I try to do my best to make things happen."

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E-mail: bkoch@enquirer.com




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