Sunday, October 12, 2003

Former locals ready to start NBA careers


West, Hunter impressive in workouts

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College basketball practice still is a week away, but a couple of former area college players are already on the court in their first season in the NBA.

New Orleans Hornets rookie David West, last year's collegiate national player of the year at Xavier, scored nine points in the Hornets' exhibition opener against the Magic, a 105-98 Hornets win. Not surprisingly, West made an immediate impact on the boards and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. West was always a rebounder at Xavier who went out of his way to grab the ball rather than standing and waiting for it to come to him. That mentality should serve him well in the NBA where a good rebounder can always find a job (see Dennis Rodman).

Brandon Hunter, formerly of Ohio University and Withrow High School, played two games with the Celtics and scored four points in seven minutes. Hunter was drafted by the Celtics with the third-to-last pick in the June draft but played well enough this summer to earn a two-year, $1 million contract with the club. Hunter's aggressive play reportedly has Celtics team officials convinced they got a steal in the draft by selecting Hunter so late.

Steve Logan, an All-American guard at the University of Cincinnati in 2002, continues to find the going tough in the NBA. After playing with the Golden State Warriors' summer-league team, Logan was not invited to training camp. Logan had been in negotiations with a Bay-area agent, Aaron Goodwin, but those fell through over the summer as well.

SHARP PLAY: Former University of Cincinnati women's point guard K.B. Sharp impressed enough coaches around the WNBA in her rookie season that she was chosen to be a member of the WNBA Select team, comprising 10 of the league's young stars.

Sharp averaged 3.1 points and 1.2 assists last season, her first with the New York Liberty. As a member of WNBA Select, she will compete in the FIBA Women's World Cup 2003 Tuesday through Sunday in Russia.

ADDRESSING PROBLEMS: It hasn't been an easy six months for the college sports community, particularly college basketball, where scandals at Baylor, Fresno State, St. Bonaventure and Georgia have exposed the uglier side of the sport consumed with winning at all costs with no regard for academic or ethical integrity.

These scandals prompted the National Association of Basketball Coaches to call a mandatory summit meeting of all 327 Division I head coaches Wednesday in Chicago.

MOVING BACK: The NCAA management council is expected to approve a measure that would move back the 3-point line 9 inches for the 2004-05 season. The council will meet Oct. 20-21 in Indianapolis to vote on the measure that is all but assured of passing.

At 20 feet, 6 inches, the new 3-point line would be a welcome improvement to the game, increasing the reward for being able to make a 3-pointer and restoring some importance to the mid-range jumper.

Madness at a glance

Team Event Date Details
UC Midnight Madness Friday Shoemaker Center opens at 10, practice at midnight.
XU Musketeer Madness Oct. 25 6 p.m. at Cintas Center.
UK Big Blue Madness Friday Memorial Coliseum opens at 10:30 p.m. (tickets only). Practice begins at midnight.
Miami Ringside with the RedHawks Oct. 24 6-8 p.m. at Millett Hall.

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E-mail ddow@enquirer.com




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Miami 59, Buffalo 3
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No. 1 Oklahoma 65, No. 11 Texas 13
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Notre Dame 20, No. 15 Pittsburgh 14
Northwestern 37, Indiana 31 (OT)
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Scores, how Top 25 fared
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Saturday's results

BASKETBALL
Former locals ready to start NBA careers
New looks await as practices open

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