Hayes needs an assist (or two) in achieving triple-double

March 20, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Chuck Hayes flirted with a rare triple-double for the third time this season before finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in Friday's 96-76 win over Florida A&M here in the NCAA Tournament.

"I probably would have had it if I had taken care of the ball," Hayes, who had four turnovers, said. "I'm just out there playing the game. I pass the ball, rebound it. If I have to score, I'll do that. But I really want that triple-double. I should have got it tonight."

He's never reached double figures in points, rebounds and assists in the same game at any level of play. He also knows Chris Mills is the only player at Kentucky ever to have a triple-double.

Hayes looked like a lock at halftime to reach the mark when he already had seven points, seven assists and six rebounds. However, the pace of the game slowed in the second half and he also sat out six minutes, including the final four.


"I can't believe that," Hayes said when told about his halftime numbers. "Why can't I get it? I had no idea I was that close already at halftime. If I had, maybe I would have spent more time passing. I knew I was close, but not that close."

He says his favorite player is New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd, who regularly has triple-doubles.

"I've wanted to have one since I started playing basketball," Hayes said. "It would be a huge accomplishment.

"With all the All-American players and Hall of Fame players that have played at Kentucky, it's remarkable that only one player has ever done it. I just have to keep trying. Maybe I need to get the 10 assists first in the game because that is what keeps stopping me. Then when I get the assists, I can go after the points."

Thirteen games with double figures in rebounding and scoring

Hayes has had 13 games where he reached double figures in both rebounding and scoring.

Could he get that triple-double against Alabama-Birmingham, a team that beat Washington 102-100 Friday?

"They definitely like to get out and run with the ball. Obviously, the more scoring, the more chances you would have for a triple-double," Hayes said. "But that's not my call. Defense is our calling card and I would rather win than have a triple-double."

UAB came close to blowing a 10-point lead in the final seven minutes against Washington before holding on thanks to 26 points from Demario Eddins and 20 from Mo Finley.

The Blazers have three fifth-year seniors who are making their first NCAA appearances.

"We figured we would get here a lot, but it didn't happen," Finley said. "Now we just want to make a name for ourselves. We know how good Kentucky is, but we think we can play with them."

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