Sunday, May 11, 2003

Black Coaches Assn. Classic heading to Cintas

College basketball insider

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A deal is near completion that will allow Xavier to host its first college basketball tournament since Cintas Center opened in 2001.

The Black Coaches Association Classic will be held Nov. 15-17 and will feature eight teams, including the host. An official from the Gazelle Group, which represents the BCA, said a deal should happen soon.

The holdup centers on a scheduling conflict with a Xavier volleyball match, which officials are trying to move so Cintas Center isn't overloaded that weekend. Once that happens, the BCAC contract will be signed.

Potential participants include Ohio University, UC Irvine, Illinois-Chicago, Mercer, Oakland, San Diego and Coppin State.

Xavier would be considered a favorite to win the tournament with this field, especially at home. But the other teams are all in the top 100 of the Ratings Percentage Index, which is what XU will be considering when it builds the field.

Xavier is still a couple games from completing its out-of-conference schedule for next season. It should be finalized before the coaching staff resumes the recruiting evaluation period in July.

Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski said XU would like to schedule one more home game and one either away or at a neutral site.

GONE AND (MAYBE) FORGOTTEN: Apparently any player who gets on a hot streak is considered NBA material before his college eligibility is up. Temple's Brian Polk is turning pro after his junior season on the basis of averaging 18.2 points in Temple's final 13 games, of which he started 12. Only three of those games came against teams that made the NCAA Tournament, two against Xavier and one against Dayton.

Further inflating Polk's opinion of his chances at the next level is that he shot 56 percent and averaged 22.3 points during the three-game Atlantic 10 Tournament. Polk averaged 12.9 points for the season. Some advice: Don't hire an agent.

TOUGH JOB: New St. Bonaventure coach Anthony Solomon has some recruiting to do before the Bonnies even think about wins and losses. Two recruits have asked to be released from their scholarships, and SBU's second-leading scorer from last season, sophomore Mike Gansey, reportedly is not coming back. Gansey could end up in the Mid-American Conference.

The nine-member St. Bonaventure search committee offered the job to Solomon, a former Notre Dame assistant, based on recommendations from Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.

What Solomon should not have to worry about is whether recruits meet academic standards. That's the administration's job, and this time they better be able to tell the difference between a welding certificate and an associate's degree.

THREE OF A KIND: Xavier has plenty of interest in this year's Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series. Three XU recruits will play in the games that match Indiana's All-Stars against Kentucky's on June 14 in Owensboro, Ky., and June 21 in Indianapolis.

Ryle High School's Justin Doellman will suit up for Kentucky, and Indianapolis Pike's Justin Cage and Indianapolis Ben Davis senior Stanley Burrell team up for Indiana.

BOBBLEHEADS: Thad Matta bobblehead dolls are available to campers at the coach's basketball camp held at Xavier in four separate sessions in June and July. Call 745-3417 for more details.



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