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Young Jordan debuts with 3 minutes for Illinois

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Young Jordan debuts with 3 minutes for Illinois

by Newsday

Like the man who gave him the best basketball DNA on the planet, Jeff Jordan plays guard with his tongue out.

The oldest son of Michael Jordan made his college debut for Illinois yesterday and got off the bench late in the second half in a 63-55 season-opening win over Northeastern in Champaign, Ill.

In his three minutes on the court, the 6-1 shooting guard wearing No. 13 took one shot - a miss - and handled the ball a few times. With his mother, Juanita, in the stands - Michael Jordan didn't make the game - Jeff Jordan looked like the walk-on freshman he is.

"It was good getting out there, breaking the ice," Jordan said after hugging his mom in the tunnel outside the Illinois locker room. "I come in with no expectations."

Juanita Jordan declined to answer questions after the game, and Jeff Jordan isn't sure when his dad will see him play. Maybe at the Maui Invitational next week in Hawaii, he said.

Jordan came to Illinois from Loyola Academy, a prep school in Wilmette, a tony northern suburb of Chicago.

He turned down a scholarship offer at Valparaiso to walk on at Illinois.

Michael Jordan told "Today" host Matt Lauer a few weeks ago that he liked his son's decision to be a small fish in a relatively big pond, rather than the scholarship and starring role he could have had at a smaller school.

"The thing we have tried to tell Jeff is that you pick your own expectations," Michael Jordan said, "and if you're happy, that's all that matters."

Gonzaga 77, Montana 54: Freshman Austin Daye, a 6-10 forward who is the son of former UCLA and NBA player Darren Daye, had 20 points and 10 rebounds for No. 14 Gonzaga (1-0) in Spokane, Wash.

Seton Hall 89, Monmouth 81: Sophomore guard Eugene Harvey matched his career high with 27 points and Seton Hall opened overtime with an 11-2 run in its new home arena, the Prudential Center in Newark.

Brian Laing had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Seton Hall (1-0). Jhamar Youngblood had 27 points for the Hawks (0-2), who fell to 0-9 against Seton Hall and 0-31 against Big East opponents.

Monmouth, which trailed by 20 points late in the first half, took the last of its six leads at 72-70 on a rebound basket by George Barbour with 11 seconds left in regulation. Harvey was fouled with 5.5 seconds to play and made both free throws to tie it, and Whitney Coleman's 25-footer from the right side hit the rim at the regulation buzzer.

Rutgers 79, North Dakota State 67: J.R. Inman had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Anthony Farmer added 17 points and host Rutgers (2-0) produced an 18-6 run in the final four minutes in the Blue Ribbon Challenge.

Pittsburgh 69, Saint Louis 58: Levance Fields and freshman DuJuan Blair each scored 16 points and Blair had eight rebounds as No. 22 Pittsburgh (3-0) completed a sweep of three games at the Hispanic College Fund Basketball Challenge in Pittsburgh. Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus returned to the bench for the first time since 2003-04, when health problems forced him to temporarily retire. The Billikens are 2-1. Both teams beat Houston Baptist and North Carolina A&T in the round-robin event.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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