Were it not for a new NCAA rule passed at last January's convention, the Bearcats would not have faced 6-foot-7 UMass power forward Tyrone Weeks on Saturday.
He did not qualify for freshman eligibility upon entering school and sat out the 1993-94 season. However, the NCAA decided this year that all Prop 48 athletes who earn degrees in four years may return for a fourth year of eligibility. Weeks (13 rebounds, 8 points Saturday) is one of the first to take advantage.
Weeks has an education degree and would like to teach and coach when he is finished with basketball. But that will be one year later than originally scheduled. While he plays this year, he is pursuing a second degree in African American Studies.
''We bring in a lot of guys like that, guys we take a chance on, and he's a great example of what you can do,'' said UMass coach Bruiser Flint.
UC's Aaron McGee, a 6-7 power forward who is sitting out his freshman season, said he chose not to go to junior college because of the new rule.
Although Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina may be the teams that first come to mind as college basketball's dominant teams, UMass and Cincinnati both rank among the nation's best for the 90s. UMass entered the season ranked fifth in victories (202) among Division I teams this decade and the seventh-best winning percentage (.751).
UC began the year ranked ninth in wins (198) and 12th in winning percentage (198-73, .730).
Baker, Martin sit
This was the second of three games UC will play without suspended shooting guard D'Juan Baker and center Kenyon Martin, both starters. UC gets through the final stage of their punishment Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. at Shoemaker Center against Winthrop.
There are five games still to go on forward Ruben Patterson's suspension.
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Unlucky Bland leaving UC
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