BY MICHAEL PERRY and JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Gardens is a place known for its noise. But it can become very quiet too.
Miam's Jason Grunkemeyer flips over Gary Lumpkin.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
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It was silent for a few minutes Wednesday during the Xavier-Miami game. Miami guard Jason Grunkemeyer fell hard -- backwards and head first -- after Xavier's Gary Lumpkin accidentally undercut him. Lumpkin faked Grunkemyer off his feet with a move.
Grunkemeyer lay motionless for a few minutes. When he was finally taken off, he left behind a small puddle of blood.
He was able to walk off the floor.
Grunkemeyer received 10 stiches and has a slight concussion.
"I know he has a headache. He's a little woozy, but I hope he can play Saturday," Miami coach Charlie Coles said. "He hit some big threes for us tonight."
Xavier freshman Kevin Frey found out Monday that he would be starting at center Wednesday night against Miami.
As soon as he got home, he called his mother.
"She got real happy," he said. "My sister called me today and wished me good luck. I was walking around with a smile on my face." In his first start, Frey had eight points and a career-high 14 rebounds. He said he didn't want to let down
his teammates or coach Skip Prosser.
"Coach emphasized a lot about rebounding and playing tough and physical down low," Frey said. "I wanted to show I could play down there. I'm not soft."
Rob Mestas, Miami's injured point guard, could return a lot sooner than was originally expected.
"I'm hoping this weekend," Mestas said. "But that's me talking. The doctors haven't said that."
Miami plays at Wisconsin-Green Bay Saturday.
When Mestas injured his knee Nov. 19 against Tennessee, he was expected to miss four to six weeks. He had arthroscopic surgery Nov. 21.
Returning for Wisconsin-Green Bay would mean Mestas had missed only 16 days.
"He's ahead of schedule," MU trainer Tom Reed said.
A more realistic date is the Marshall game Tuesday.
Mestas, a 5-foot-10 junior, had three surgeries on his right knee before last season and ended up playing in only four games before red-shirting.
Miami's three inside players -- Mike Ensminger, John Estick and Refiloe Lethunya -- combined for two points in the first half.
For all the hype he's gotten this season, it's been overlooked that Wally Szczerbiak is not shooting the ball well. He came into the Xavier game shooting 30.4 percent from three-point range, far below his career mark of 47.6.
He was 2-for-6 from three-point land Wednesday.
Szczerbiak was shooting 57.7 overall from the field entering the game.
Xavier still has not lost two straight since late in the 1995-96 season . . . Prosser is 3-2 vs. Miami . . . Coles is 1-2 vs. XU . . . The Musketeers are 4-7 in the regular season against top-25 teams under Prosser . . . There were 11 NBA scouts at the game.