- The Washington Times - Friday, December 6, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
ODOM'S SHADOW: South Carolina assistant coach Ernie Nestor appears attached to Gamecocks coach Dave Odom's hip. Nestor, who was George Mason's head coach for five years (1989-93), spent eight seasons as Odom's top assistant at Wake Forest and followed him to South Carolina this season.
In his second season at Mason (1989), Nestor led the Patriots to their first NCAA tournament berth before a 99-85 first-round loss to Bob Knight's Indiana squad. It went downhill for Nestor from there. For the next three seasons in Fairfax, Nestor, now 54, posted losing seasons, including 7-21 marks in 1991 and 1992.
Following the 1992 season, the Patriots fired Nestor, who went 68-81 (.456) during his tenure. One disaster led to another when Mason hired Paul Westhead to replace Nestor. Westhead, whose teams played no defense, compiled a 38-70 (.352) record from 1993 to 1997.
SOUTHPAW CITY: Five of South Carolina's 15 players are left-handed. In fact, all three of the Gamecocks' primary ballhandlers point guard Michael Boynton, backup freshman point guard Jarod Gerald, and leading scorer and 6-foot-7 swingman Chuck Eidson are lefties. Injured senior center Tony Kitchings and 6-7 forward Carlos Powell, who is the leading rebounder at 7.8, round out South Carolina's other-hand brigade.
IN NBA's SIGHTS: Scouts representing 13 NBA teams were on hand presumably to see Mike Sweetney, Georgetown's consensus first-team all-American candidate, play against real competition. The 6-8, 260-pound Sweetney, who is Georgetown's leading scorer (19.5 points), rebounder (9.8) and shot blocker (2.8), is one of five Big East players on the preseason Naismith Award list and one of seven players on the preseason Wooden Award list. The Naismith and Wooden Awards recognize college basketball's Player of the Year.
BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME: Like Maryland, the Gamecocks are playing in a new on-campus facility Carolina Center (capacity: 18,000). Gamecocks fans are certainly excited about the 10th-largest on-campus basketball facility, because 12,200 season tickets were sold most in the program's history.
"WEST WING" MEETS LANGLEY: Actor Ron Silver, who plays the director of the CIA on the Emmy Award-winning television drama "The West Wing," sat courtside next to George Tenet, who plays the role in real life.
Ken Wright


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