Sport: The Showman

Everything about the tiny (500 students) Roman Catholic college of Belmont Abbey, nestling in the farmlands of southern North Carolina, suggests rural serenity. Everything, that is, save Basketball Coach Al McGuire, 32. Brash as Broadway, New York-born Al McGuire still has a subway tang to his speech as he blows his horn with the stridency of a barker at Coney. "I fill the people's gymnasiums, give 'em a good show and a good ball game," he says. "I may make silly statements, but I'm no jerk."

No one in U.S. basketball, least of...

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