Alford repeater as all-American

Alford repeater as all-American

By Bob Hammel, H-T Sports Editor

March 10, 1987

From the March 10, 1987 Bloomington Herald-Telephone

Indiana guard Steve Alford repeated as a member of the Associated Press all-America team and on AP’s all-Big Ten team Monday.

Neat, said Alford, using one of his favorite words.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame also announced Monday that New Castle, Alford’s home town, has won out in the competition to be the site of the Hall’s new building.

“Did they get that?” Alford said. “That’s great.”

The announcements were 2, 3 and 4, in some order, in Alford’s priorities Monday.

No. 1 was Fairfield, the team the Hoosiers will meet Thursday night at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis – opening date in the 49th annual NCAA basketball tournament.

Fairfield – from Fairfield, Conn., champion of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament – was introduced to the Hoosiers Monday when they resumed work-outs after a one-day break.

“The thing that stands out in our minds is that they’ve won four games in a row – and they won a championship,” Alford said.

“They won a championship that they weren’t supposed to win, the last game in overtime. You can see on film that they’re the kind of team that can dig down and win games.

“And they’ve got four senior starters. They’re a very experienced team.”

Experience is something Alford is counting on as an asset when Indiana starts its tournament bid. A year ago, that’s as far as the Hoosiers got. Cleveland State nailed Indiana in the opening round, 83-79, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

“I hope that was a learning experience for all of us,” Alford said. “I can’t really tell that yet but I think it was a big learning experience.”

“We’re not thinking about the Cleveland State game itself. At least I know I’m not. I’m trying to put that out of my mind. If we dwell on it, we’ll start playing kind of funny like we did in those three games we almost lost (in succession against Northwestern, Wisconsin and Minnesota).

“We just have to go out and play as well as we can and let things take care of themselves.”

Alford is looking forward to competing in the Hoosier Dome. “Oh, yeah,” he said. “That’s going to be exciting. That’s a neat setup.”

He’s the only player left in the college game who ever has played a basketball game there. He played as a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team in the game, the doubleheader show that showcased both the men’s and women’s Olympic teams and drew the largest crowd ever to see a basketball game in the U.S. – 67,596, on the night of July 9.

Then, the basketball court was plunked down in the middle of the football area, and every seat in the house was sold – plus some extras that brought the sidelines in. It remains the record for a Hoosier Dome event, and it will remain so at least until the 1991 NCAA Final Four there.

This week, the configuration will be different, one end closed off and the floor turned around – a la the 1985 National Basketball Assn. All-Star game that drew 43,146.

Alford was the only returnee from the consensus all-America team last year, and his spot on AP’s first team was one of the keys to that selection. He also was the only returnee from AP’s group, which was picked by a 10-man committee.

AP ALL-AMERICAFIRST TEAM Steve Alford, Indiana 6-2 Sr. Danny Manning, Kansas 6-11 Jr. David Robinson, Navy 7-1 Sr. Kenny Smith, North Carolina 6-3 Sr. Reggie Williams, Georgetown 6-7 Sr. SECOND TEAM - Horace Grant, 6-10, senior, Clemson; Armen Gillam, 6-9,senior, Nevada-Las Vegas; Dennis Hopson, 6-8, senior, Ohio State; MarkJackson, 6-2, senior, St. John's; Ken Norman, 6-8, senior, Illinois. THIRD TEAM - Derrick Chievous, 6-7, junior, Missouri; Dallas Comegys, 6-6,senior, DePaul; Jerome Lane, 6-8, sophomore, Pittsburgh; Derrick McKey, 6-9,junior, Alabama; Tony White, 6-2, senior, Tennessee.

AP ALL-BIG TENFIRST TEAM Dennis Hopson, Ohio Sate (Toledo, Ohio) 6-6 Sr. Steve Alford, Indiana (New Castle) 6-2 Sr. Ken Norman, Illinois (Chicago) 6-2 Sr. Gary Grant, Michigan (Canton, Ohio) 6-3 Jr. Troy Lewis, Purdue (Anderson) 6-4 Jr. SECOND TEAM Darryl Johnson, Mich. St. (Flint, Mich.)6-2 Sr. Todd Mitchell, Purdue (Toledo, Ohio) 6-7 Jr. Roy Marble, Iowa (Flint, Mich.) 6-5 So. Daryl Thomas, Indiana (Chicago) 6-7 Sr. Glen Rice, Michigan (Flint, Mich.) 6-7 So. HONORABLE MENTION INDIANA - Rich Calloway, Dean Garrett. ILLINOIS - Doug Altenberger, Lowell Hamilton, Tony Wysinger. IOWA - B.J. Armstrong, Kevin Gamble, Ed Horton, Brad Lehaus, Jeff Moe. MICHIGAN - Antonio Joubert, Garde Thompson MICHIGAN STATE - Vernon Carr. MINNESOTA - Richard Calley, Kelvin Smith, Terence Woods. NORTHWESTERN - Elliot Fulton, Shon Morris, Shawn Watts. OHIO STATE - Jay Burson, Jerry Francis, Curlie Wilson. PURDUE - Doug Lee, Mel McCants, Everette Stephens. WISCONSIN - Mike Helneman, Trent Jackson, J.J. Weber.