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Wagner vs. Fresno State Charles Schleininger corsair schleini@lemoorenet.com Shot that wasn't follows Wagner coach - W. Warszawski; Fresno Bee 21 Dec 99.

Dereck Whittenberg made countless clutch shots during his senior year @ North Carolina State.

... he's best remembered for one he missed.

...With time ticking away in the 1983 NCAA championship game, Whittenberg shoote an airball that teammate Lorenzo Charles catches ... & stuffs through the net to cap one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.

..."It's really a blessing," said Whittenberg, now the 1st. year coach @ Wagner.

...Fresno State coach Jerry Tarkanian, whose Bulldogs face Whittenberg's Seahawks tonight in the opening round of the Trend Homes Classic ... remembers another Whittenberg miss.

In the 2nd. round of the same tournament, Whittenberg's last-second 3-pointer bounced off the rim & was tipped in by Thurl Bailey to give the Wolfpack a 71 - 70 victory over Tarkanian's UNLV ...

... As a player Whittenberg's teams usually beat the odds. He'll need a similar m.o. to experience that kind of success as a head coach.

The Seahawks (3 - 1) have posted 5 consecutive losing seasons & are still looking for their 1st. league title since joining the Northeast Conference 15 seasons ago.

... Wagner hasn't qualified for postseason play since ...an NIT berth in 1971 under then coach P.J. Carlisemo.

...Why pick ... Wagner for his first head coaching job? ...

"We're in one of the Meccas of basketball, we have a new facility, we've got a beautiful campus & we offer a solid private education ... Staten Island is one of the 5 boroughs, & nobody knows that. It's the peace & quiet of New York City, but we only have a 15-minute ferry ride & we're right in the middle of Manhattan." ...

Whittenberg's challenges @ Wagner began almost immediately. He was hired late & found himself with just one returning starter ...


...Jermaine Hall, has been the Seahawks' best player in the early season. The 6ft. 5-inch freshman ... leads the team in both scoring (21.0) & rebounding (9.5).

Dispite the early success, Wagner has plenty to learn. It's 8 man rotation is comprised of 4 freshman & 4 sophomores ...

"We need this thpe of game," Whittenberg said. " We need to go out & face a superior team on its home court against a hostile crowd. It'll be an uphill battle, but we'll give it a shot."



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