When told that the Mountaineers had just beaten a team with eight McDonald’s all-Americans, Alexander seemed startled. He arched his eyebrows and asked in a serious tone, “Who?”
“We don’t care that they’re Duke,” Alexander said. “That doesn’t mean anything to us. People look at West Virginia like we’re this midmajor school playing all these big schools and upsetting them. That’s not the case at all.”
“We don’t have any McDonald’s all-Americans and we don’t have any guys who were the No. 1 player in their state,” West Virginia center Jamie Smalligan said. “But I think that Coach K would love to have Joe Alexander on his team right now,” he added, referring to Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Alexander said, “We knew that coming in that they were just going to stand around and not rebound, so we were ready to exploit that.”
In the first half, Alexander, who is 6 feet 8 inches, blocked a shot by Duke guard DeMarcus Nelson in the post, then let out a scream.
“I told him that he shouldn’t shoot anymore,” Alexander said. “He was actually very nice to me for the rest of the game.”
As a reporter was leaving, the reserve Cam Thoroughman asked if Duke point guard Greg Paulus was one of the eight McDonald’s all-Americans. When told yes, Thoroughman said: “Oh my God. Are you kidding?”