The big man from the Caribbean has his team headed back to the NCAA tournament. Before he joins the NBA, he'll put in an old-fashioned four seasons and become the career leader in blocked shots in college basketball.
If you guessed Tim Duncan, come on down, but please don't forget about Adonal Foyle.
When Foyle chose Colgate to further his education and learn a little basketball, there were gasps from the basketball establishment, but more initial media exposure than if he had joined the Atlantic Coast Conference or Big East.
Every periodical except Good Housekeeping came to Hamilton, N.Y., in the fall of 1994 to do a story on the 6-foot-10 young man from the Grenadines who could have gone to Duke, Kansas or Syracuse, but instead chose Colgate, where his legal guardians are professors.
"Let's say there's been a drop-off in interview requests," said Jack Bruen, the Colgate coach. "When he was a freshman, there was a frenzy around him because of his background. Now, he isn't getting the attention he deserves."
Foyle, a junior, is quite a big deal in the Patriot League, which Colgate has represented in the NCAA tournament the past two years. An unsettled situation at the point and several other new starters contributed to an 0-9 start for the Red Raiders, but they've since won nine of 10, and they'll have at least a share of the league lead when they play at Navy on Wednesday.
Foyle is third in the nation in scoring, second in rebounding and first in blocked shots. With 448 career blocks, Duncan is closing in on Alonzo Mourning's Division I record (453), but Foyle, with 436, is quickly catching up.
There will be a next year at Colgate for the accommodating junior. He's an Academic All-American, passionate about his history major and not swayed one bit by the people who would tell him to take the money from the NBA.
"My parents made it quite clear to anyone who inquires about my future that they are not going to be allowed to make our lives dysfunctional," Foyle said. "That's exactly what we did when I was choosing a college. I don't want the extraordinary aggravation that comes from dealing with agents."
Life's a lei-in
When Maryland defeated Hawaii by 17 points in the Rainbow Classic on Dec. 29, there were inklings that the Terps were headed to something big, but who could have predicted that the nation's most-secluded team also would be positioning itself for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament as February beckons?
After last night's 87-74 victory over San Jose State, the Rainbows are 14-3 and atop the Pacific Division of the Western Athletic Conference. Seven of Hawaii's top nine players are junior college transfers, but coach Riley Wallace is used to quick turnover on his roster.
"We like to recruit a lot of JuCo players, because they've already broken the bond with home," Wallace said. "They're used to living on the road."
Michael Robinson, one of the Rainbows' top rebounders, is from Philadelphia, but no one has gone farther than Anthony Carter, a 6-2 guard who leads Hawaii in assists, scoring and dunks. Robinson spent two years at Saddleback (Calif.) Community College, but not before dropping out of school in Atlanta as a ninth-grader.
"I lost interest in school, I just made a mistake," said Carter, who got his GED before working his way west. "If I'm going to do what I have to do, turn my life around and get a degree, I need to be as far away from home as I can."
Tennessee coach Kevin O'Neill has an interesting take on the recent NCAA rules change, which will allow players to work part time.
"There isn't any way they can work in-season," O'Neill said. "For the most part, most of them don't want to work anyway. We're opening up a can of worms. You're looking at $5,000 Domino's pizza tips. It's going to cause some problems."
Pub Date: 1/31/97