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Memphis guard Rose fears the needle

HOUSTON — Memphis freshman point guard Derrick Rose's right eyebrow was still reddish and glossy, telltale signs of the cut that trainers mended with "glue" rather than stitches.

"I had a headache (Saturday morning) but it went away quickly," he said of the hit that he suffered early in the second half of Friday's South Region semifinal win against Michigan State.

You see, Rose hates the needle. Actually, he's terrified of the needle.

"Always. Always," he said, adding that he needed stitches in his head after a bicycle accident when he was 7 and he had to be strapped down. "My mother had to help them strap me down and I was mad at her for that. … I remember that. I remember it well."

Strangely enough, he doesn't fear the needle when it comes to tattoos. He has five of those.

UNUSUAL SETUP: Folks at Reliant Stadium have put the court on a raised platform in the middle of the football field, creating a good vantage point for fans but a rather odd one for the players on the bench. They're actually sitting below the floor.

Texas coach Rick Barnes found that he had trouble communicating with his assistants during Friday's game as he stood in his box.

"We couldn't hear," he said. "As the crowd got going, I felt like I'm screaming; 'I can't hear you, I can't hear you.' … I have a great staff and I really count on those guys."

STOPPING STEPH: Russell Robinson and his Kansas teammates are duly impressed with Davidson shooting star Stephen Curry.

Then again, Russell believes he sees the nation's best guards every time his Jayhawks practice.

"Honestly, I think we have the best backcourt in the country. We can get after it at both ends of the court," he said the day before the Midwest Region final in Detroit. "They're playing really well right now. But I still think we're the best."

Much has been made of the skills Curry inherited from his dad, former NBA marksman Dell Curry. The younger Curry has scored 40 against Gonzaga, 35 against Georgetown and 33 against Wisconsin. But on Saturday at Ford Field, the Davidson star thanked his mom for making him a more complete player.

"There have been plenty of jokes about (Dell) taking plays off," Curry said. "So my defensive aggression comes from her. I can hit all the shots I want, but if I let my man score, I'll hear about it. She'll say, 'You had a horrible game.'"

DIVISION II: Jonte Flowers scored 25 of his 30 in the second half and Winona State erased a 16-point deficit to win its second championship in three years with an 87-76 win over Augusta State in Springfield, Mass.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Memphis guard Rose fears the needle 03/29/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 29, 2008 9:35pm]

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