You know you're good when your school informs you it's going to retire your jersey.
But you're the man when your school informs you it's going to retire your jersey and you haven't even finished your eligibility.
On Feb. 28, UNC Greensboro will hang Kyle Hines' No. 42 from the rafters at Fleming Gym. Then Hines and the Spartans (9-4, 3-1) will hope to go out and beat Southern Conference North rival Chattanooga. It will be a tall order, as the Moccasins (10-5, 5-0) are off to the best start in the league.
Only two other men's basketball players at UNCG have had their numbers retired, and neither was active.
"I am not sure what to say – I am speechless," Hines said. "All along, this has been about team achievement. I have always said that I would trade all of the individual honors and records for a conference title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, and that could never be truer. We have a lot of season left and that is clearly our focus and, specifically, will remain my own.
"The recognition is truly special and, like many of the achievements I have had to date, will be one of those things that down the road will have a tremendous amount of meaning to me."
Hines, a 6-foot-6 power forward, has scored in double figures in 63 consecutive games. This season he's averaging 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds. He had 25 points and nine rebounds in a season-opening win at Georgia Tech.
Should he maintain his current averages, Hines will top 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocks for his career. Only five players in NCAA history have accomplished the feat, and it's heady company. The others are David Robinson (Navy), Pervis Ellison (Louisville), Derrick Coleman (Syracuse), Alonzo Mourning (Georgetown) and Tim Duncan (Wake Forest). Four in that quintet were No. 1 overall picks in the NBA. Mourning was taken No. 2 overall in the 1992 draft, behind Shaquille O'Neal.
"Kyle has represented this university in a tremendous way as a student-athlete and ambassador, not just as a basketball player," Spartans athletic director Nelson E. Bobb said. "We felt we had to do whatever we could to show our gratitude to this young man. Along with that, he is on his way to basketball history, not just in the history of this university but on a national level as well."
McCLELLAN'S PICK SIX
Each week basketball editor Bob McClellan will pick six things to watch for over the weekend:
1. Washington State at UCLA. The fourth-ranked Cougars (13-0) lock down teams. They are No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense, yielding fewer than 50 points per game; no other team is within 3.5 points. To give you some idea, the teams ranked 2-11 are within 3.5 points of each other. Of course, one of those teams is the Bruins (14-1). They've also been known to play a little bit of defense, giving up 54.9 points per game. Whatever happens at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday probably isn't going to pretty. But it's going to be intense and physical, and there's no way I'll miss it.
2. Michael Beasley vs. Blake Griffin. Kansas State's Beasley (24.3 ppg, 13.3 rpg) is the leader in the clubhouse for national freshman of the year honors. But Oklahoma's Griffin (14.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg), another five-star prospect, is a tough customer who ranks fifth nationally in rebounding among freshmen and has five double-doubles (to Beasley's 13). Oklahoma (12-3) has been better than Kansas State (10-4) and has built an impressive résumé so far with wins over Arkansas, Gonzaga and West Virginia. With the game in Norman, this is one the Sooners have to have.
3. The Rupp Arena welcome mat. Vanderbilt (15-0) rolls into Lexington, where Kentucky has been an all-too-kind host this season. The Wildcats (6-7) already have lost five home games this season; they'd never lost more than three at home before the SEC season started. Also, the Commodores have a two-game winning streak at Rupp after losing every game they had played in the building, which opened in 1976. Will Billy Gillispie and Co. have something up their sleeve with all week to prepare?
4. Notre Dame at Marquette. The Irish (12-2, 2-0) are off to a hot start despite being mostly overlooked in the non-conference portion of their schedule. The No. 15 Golden Eagles (12-2, 2-1) have been ranked all season. The winner is a strong candidate to emerge as the top challenger to Georgetown in the Big East. Notre Dame is stronger up front with Luke Harangody (18.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and Rob Kurz (13.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg), while Marquette counters with the three-guard trio of Dominic James (14.8 ppg), Jerel McNeal (13.2 ppg) and Wesley Matthews (10.1 ppg).
5. The Big Ten of tomorrow. Saturday's Ohio State-Purdue game in West Lafayette, Ind., features no less than seven freshmen who are averaging at least 7.0 points per game. The Buckeyes' leading scorer is five-star freshman forward Kosta Koufos (15.1 ppg). The Boilermakers' leading scorer is four-star freshman forward Scott Martin (10.5 ppg). Purdue nearly pulled off a huge upset Tuesday night at Michigan State. The future looks bright for both schools.
6. UNC-Asheville center Kenny George vs. Liberty. OK, I'll admit it: I'm fascinated by George, whom the Bulldogs list at 7-7 and 360 pounds. He had seven blocks in just 14 minutes last season against Liberty. This season he has improved his stamina - he's averaging 22.2 minutes per game. His career high in blocks is 10, which he has done twice this season. The Flames have one starter within a foot of George, 6-8 senior Alex McLean. A new career high could be on its way.kaynak : NBA