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OPENING TIPS Ratings and datings, weights and slates, knees and media freeze WEIGHT 'TIL NEXT YEAR


THE SCALES REVEALED THEIR ANnual surprises as practices began.
Pitt's 6 ft. 5 in. forward Rod Brookin reported at upwards of 260,
some 30 pounds heavier than the weight prescribed by coach Paul
Evans, but at Georgia, 6 ft. 11 in. Elmore Spencer was down to a
svelte 260 after weighing close to 300 last season. A delighted Hugh
Durham may start Spencer at center.
But the strangest case of an unexpected weight change was that of
poor Jay Boster, a guard for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
In the aftermath of surgery in August for ulcerated colitis, the 6
ft. 5 in. Boster's kidneys shut down, causing him to gain 50 pounds,
from 190 to 240, in only 48 hours. Dialysis quickly got his kidneys
working to reduce the enormous amount of water his system was
retaining. But, according to doctors, Boster might not have survived
had he not been an athlete in good condition.
''Thank heaven for basketball,'' said a relieved Boster, who is
scheduled to begin playing again in March.