NICK COLLISON, FORWARD, KANSAS
What is old school? "It's playing the game the way it ought to be
played: hard, unselfishly and, above all, to win," says the 6'9"
Jayhawk, whose meat-and-taters style reflects repeated viewings
of ESPN SportsCentury: Larry Bird and The Graduate--which this
senior will be next spring. Mortarboards are old school too.
T.J. FORD, GUARD, TEXAS
A pass-first point man is treated like a Model T these
days--unless you're a vintage Ford, the first player to lead the
nation in assists (8.3 average) as a freshman. "I try to be
creative, but the base of the game stays the same," says the
5'10" Longhorns sophomore, shown here wearing the 1978 NIT
title-winning uniform of Johnny Moore, Texas's alltime assists
CHRIS MARCUS CENTER, WESTERN KENTUCKY
"To me, old school is the 1980s," says the Hilltoppers' 7'1"
senior, dubbed by NBA director of scouting Marty Blake "the only
true center" in college today. Marcus ain't lyin': For years he
knew the Mikan Drill--but nothing about the Hall of Famer for
whom the alternating-hands layup exercise is named. "I always
wondered where the name came from," he says. "Finally one of my
coaches told me all about him."
DAVID WEST FORWARD, XAVIER
This Ben-Hur buff won't shrink from any battle. "I don't have any
new-age athleticism, so I just use my head," says the Musketeers
6'9" senior, whose ultraefficient game harks back to the moves of
one of his idols, Willis Reed. It's no shock to learn that when
he was a child, West repeatedly watched the 1979 NCAA title game
between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
BRANDIN KNIGHT, GUARD, PITTSBURGH
"Coach [Ben] Howland says I remind him of John Stockton," says
the 6-foot Panthers senior, who's so old school he wears a
'70s-era Buffalo Braves jersey around town and studies tape of
Pistol Pete Maravich, Earl (the Pearl) Monroe and Oscar
Robertson. "Someday soon," Knight vows, "I'm gonna show off my
Kareem hook shot in a game."
FIVE COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER GREGOIRE