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InsideHoops [NCAA HOME] Dec. 17, 2003

College Basketball Players of Week





For week that ended on December 15, 2003


Francisco Garcia, Louisville - Forward

Matched a career scoring high with 24 points in an 80-71 victory over Seton Hall… totaled 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a career-high four steals in the Cardinals' 73-65 win over top-ranked Florida in the Billy Minardi Classic… honored as the Most Outstanding Player of the Billy Minardi Classic and named Conference USA Player of the Week.

Gerald Fitch, Kentucky - Guard

Scored 25 points in the Wildcats’ 79-74 win over Michigan State in front of a world-record basketball crowd of 78,129… made 7-of-11 from the field while connecting on 4-of-6 three-pointers… scored the final three points of the game from the foul line… named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.

Ryan Gomes, Providence – Forward/Center

Scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Friars' 70-51 upset win over Illinois at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden…recorded his second double-double of the season and the 22nd of his career…led the Friars to their first win over a ranked team since February 2001…named BIG EAST Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week.

Salim Stoudamire, Arizona - Guard

Contributed to wins over two nationally ranked teams in Texas and Marquette by averaging 22 points, three rebounds and 1.5 assists… scored 27 points, including a career-high seven 3-pointers, to lead Arizona’s 85-75 comeback victory against the Golden Eagles…added 17 points and four boards in the 91-83 win over the Longhorns.

Lawrence Roberts, Mississippi State - Forward

Scored 21 points, pulled down 11 boards and dished four assists in Mississippi State’s 82-70 win over Xavier leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 7-0 record…shot 8 for 12 from the field… the SEC Newcomer of the Year candidate recorded his fifth double-double of the season and eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone for his career.


Though it is not uncommon to see tears flowing on the court after upsetting the best team in the nation, the players for the Louisville Cardinals had another reason to be emotional. Leading scorer Francisco Garcia led the Cardinals to victory over No. 1 Florida last Saturday, playing only four days after his brother’s tragic death. The Wooden Award candidate received news last Tuesday that his brother, Hector Lopez, had been shot and killed in Bronx, NY but decided to play the next day against Seton Hall and matched a career scoring high of 24 points. Garcia returned home for the memorial service and to visit his family in New York after the game and then returned to play top-ranked Florida on Saturday in the Billy Minardi Classic in which he was named Most Outstanding Player. The sophomore forward was Conference USA’s Preseason Player of the Year and is the main reason for Louisville’s success this year.

WOODEN GAME OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga vs. Stanford

Riding high from their dramatic 87-80 upset of highly ranked Missouri last week, Gonzaga travels to Oakland, California to face Stanford in the first-round of the 2003 Pete Newell Challenge. The seventh-annual doubleheader features four teams that qualified for last year’s NCAA Tournament and promises to be a hard battle for supremacy of the Bay Area. Leading perennial Cinderella team Gonzaga are Wooden Award candidates Blake Stepp and Cory Violette. Stanford will try and stop the duo without fellow Wooden Award candidate, Josh Childress, who has not played yet this season due to a stress reaction in his left foot. Gonzaga boasts a 7-1 record while Stanford is still unbeaten at 5-0 as both teams fight to move into the top ten of the national college polls. The Cardinal beat the Zags last year to win the Newell Challenge showdown, 84-71. Childress led all scorers in that game with 18 points while Violette had 14 and Stepp added 10.

WOODEN WATCH ASKS THE PLAYERS: Which celebrity would you most like to date?

Bracey Wright, Indiana: Paris Hilton

Amit Tamir, California: Anna Kournikova

Marucs Moore, Washington St.: Vida Guerra

Josh Childress, Stanford; Torin Francis, Notre Dame; and Channing Frye, Arizona: Halle Barry

Chris Thomas, Notre Dame and Romain Sato, Xavier: Jennifer Lopez

Kevin Bookout, Oklahoma: Christina Aguilera

Gerry McNamara, Syracuse: Jessica Alba or Tyra Banks

J.J. Redick, Duke: Kiera Knightley

Ray Felton & Rashad McCants, North Carolina: Mya

Ryan Gomes, Providence; Dee Brown, Illinois; Darius Rice, Miami; Hakim Warrick, Syracuse; and Keith Langford, Kansas: Ashanti

Lawrence Roberts, Miss. St.; Andre Barrett, Seton Hall; and Wayne Simien, Kansas: Beyonce Knowles

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