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Original Issue

The Buzzer

What has happened to Massachusetts? The Minutemen were 21-11
last season and have most of the same crew back, but after last
Saturday's 53-50 loss at St. Bonaventure, they were 5-8. A clue
to their troubles can be found in a three-hour meeting the UMass
coaches and players held on Jan. 6, a day after a 19-point home
court loss to Iona. The subject: 6'10", 285-pound senior center
Lari Ketner, who through Sunday was averaging 10.4 points this
season. "Lari can't carry this team, and we talked about sharing
the load if we are going to turn this thing around," says coach
Bruiser Flint....

Last year Arizona State was dogged off the court by revelations
about a 1993-94 point-shaving scandal and on the court by a
squad of undisciplined players who racked up 18 technical fouls
for trash-talking and/or mouthing off to officials. This season,
under no-nonsense first-year coach Rob Evans, the Sun Devils
have only one T, which is part of the reason they had improved
to 10-6....

In Washington State's media guide, sophomore Cedric Clark claims
he was a walk-on member of the scout team at Arizona in 1996-97
and traveled to Indianapolis when the Wildcats won the national
title. Nice try, Cedric. In fact, he was a practice player for
the Arizona women's team....

The early favorite for coach of the year is Ohio State's Jim
O'Brien, whose Buckeyes were 8-22 last year but through Sunday
were 13-3 and ranked 21st.

--B.J. Schecter