Cooling Barnes feud, for now, Smith picks one with Coach K Carolina coach says Duke fans 'ridiculous'


GREENSBORO, N.C. -- North Carolina's Dean Smith, the feudingest coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference, picked another fight yesterday.

This time, he went after the Duke fans who have become immortalized as the "Cameron Crazies" for their antics at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

Smith objected to the treatment his point guard, Jeff McInnis, received from the Duke crowd last Sunday. Fans not only called McInnis crude names, but also brought up his love life.

"The Duke faculty, the esteemed Duke faculty, had to be embarrassed," Smith told media here for the ACC tournament. "[Students] can get a technical, too. . . . It's ridiculous. Schools have to do something. The ACC office has to do something."

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wondered aloud at the timing of Smith's statements, and some thought Smith was attempting to take the focus off his struggling Tar Heels.

"I was disappointed with what he said," Krzyzewski said. "I take offense to it. If there's a problem, I like to hear it first."

Smith, who also happens to be the winningest active coach in college basketball, has had a running two-year spat with Clemson coach Rick Barnes over the way Barnes' Tigers play defense.

That controversy boiled over in last year's ACC tournament, when the two coaches had a heated exchange that led to a near-brawl at the end of the game.

The issue reared its head again this season when Clemson's Bill Harder claimed that Smith called him "a dirty player" in a game.

Smith met with ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan and Barnes, and said through a league statement that he would not talk directly to an opposing player again.

As fate would have it, Carolina and Clemson play in the 9: 30 quarterfinal tonight. And both coaches will be in place.

Keeping tabs on Marbury

Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins is trying to quash rumors his freshman point guard Stephon Marbury will leave next year for the NBA. And there are a lot of them.

The latest came from Cremins' pal at TNT, Craig Sager, who said he delivered a speech for Cremins, who had rushed to New Jersey to recruit another point guard (Shaheen Holloway of Elizabeth, N.J.) after being informed that Marbury was leaving.

"I had no speech on my calendar, and I planned on going to New Jersey a month ago," Cremins said in denying the story. "Craig is a good friend of mine; I think he was having a good time with the audience."

Marbury has said all season he would leave for the NBA if he knew he'd be in the top five picks. "I can say with a 100 percent degree of certainty that I will be back in school next year," Marbury said.

Short straws

Terps coach Gary Williams said he was disappointed that Johnny Rhodes, the ACC's new all-time steals leader, wasn't voted onto the all-league first team this week (he was on the second team). Williams' wasn't the only disappointment.

Wake Forest coach Dave Odom said he was disappointed that Rusty LaRue and Tony Rutland didn't get any mention on any of the three all-ACC teams.

"I take responsibility for that," said Odom, whose center Tim Duncan was a unanimous choice. "I was surprised our guys didn't get more credit along the way."

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