Archive for Saturday, November 28, 1992

AT LEAST TWO ROLLERS DREADED GAME

November 28, 1992

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Pick a place. Any place. Mike Mitchell would rather have been there than Allen Fieldhouse on Friday night.

A 6-8 forward for the Gold Coast Rollers, who lost to Kansas, 113-48, Mitchell knew what to expect. He played on the Marathon Oil team that KU defeated, 121-54, on Nov. 19.

``I did not want to come back,'' Mitchell said.

Neither did Andre LaFleur, a 6-3 guard who also played for the Australian team Friday night and for Marathon Oil last week.

``I wasn't very excited about it,'' LaFleur admitted. ``They have a very tough team.''

The Rollers are 0-6 on their U.S. tour. Mitchell and LaFleur, who regularly play for the Australian team, have played in two of those games. They competed when Gold Coast lost to Oklahoma, 110-73.

THE JAYHAWKS and Sooners may both be in the Big Eight, but they're in a different league, Mitchell and LaFleur said.

``You can't compare them,'' Mitchell said. ``It's like day and night.''

And it's not because he thought OU was bad. The Jayhawks, he said, are THAT good.

``Oklahoma has some talented players,'' Mitchell said, ``but they're not quite there.''

LaFleur said the Jayhawks deserved their reputation.

``They're the best team we've played,'' LaFleur said. ``By far. Oklahoma has real good athletes, and later in the season they might might be able to challenge them.

``I've watched Indiana on TV. It looks like they're equally prepared. But (the Jayhawks) are prepared right now. They're very tough. They're very aggressive.''

MITCHELL AND LaFleur are both Americans. Mitchell played for Colorado State, LaFleur for Northeastern.`

They each scored five points for Marathon Oil last week, but Mitchell was the Rollers' leading scorer with 16 points on 5-of-19 shooting. LaFleur added five points for the Rollers.

The Australians didn't fare much better than Marathon Oil. They lost by 65 points, and Marathon fell by 67.

Mitchell said his Australian teammates needed no warning about Kansas.

``They saw the score when we played them last week,'' Mitchell said. ``They knew it was going to be tough coming in here.''

While the Rollers knew they weren't going to beat Kansas, they wanted to make a game of it, at least for a while.

``What you try to do is stay close,'' Mitchell said. ``Let's keep it close for 30 minutes, at least.''

Of course, this one was never close.

``WE KNEW they were going to be very tough from the time we stepped on the floor,'' Gold Coast coach David Claxton said.

Claxton agreed with his players' comparisons of Kansas and Oklahoma. The Rollers also lost to Oklahoma State, 93-73.

Kansas was ``by far better'' than the Rollers' other Big Eight opponents, Claxton said. ``Much better. We figured that.''

While the Rollers may not have expected to give Kansas a close game, Claxton said they did have a goal.

``In all the games we've played,'' the coach said, ``we've tried to make the other team play hard, and in most of our games I think we've done that.''

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