Tuesday, February 09, 1999


Pitt hasn't contacted Prosser

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        While ESPN2 reported Sunday night that Xavier coach Skip Prosser was a leading candidate for the University of Pittsburgh job, XU Athletic Director Mike Bobinski said Monday that Pitt has not asked him for permission to speak to Prosser.

        Prosser's name was a natural to come up since he is a native of the area.

        The XU coach said Monday that “without question” another job is the last thing on his mind.

        THE ODOM? Temple coach John Chaney was screaming at guard Rasheed Brokenborough on Saturday. He wanted him to stay in front of Rhode Island's Lamar Odom.

        For the first time that Chaney could recall, a player said, “Coach, I can't stop him.”

        After this season, the Atlantic 10 may rename its Rookie of the Week award in honor of Odom.

        The Rams' first-year phenom was named Rookie of the Week for the eighth time — one shy of the record — and fourth straight week. He had 27 points and nine rebounds in a loss to Temple.

        “The rookie of the week? He's the pro of the league,” Chaney said Monday.

        The Owls veteran coach said he has never seen a college player as good as Odom and invoked the names of the some of the NBA's all-time greats.

        “At this level, you can remember Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, they're not as good as this kid,” Chaney said. “First of all, Magic could not shoot the ball that well when he was in college inside or out. This kid is truly a great, great player.”

        SAD NEWS: These are tough times at Rhode Island, where some of the players have had a hard time concentrating on basketball.

        John Bennett, a former player who graduated last May, was in a serious car accident Jan. 28 and is near death, according to coach Jim Harrick.

        “Everything, his liver and kidneys have failed on him,” Harrick said. “... a lung collapsed and everything started working off that and started going downhill. He's on a ventilator now.”

        Rhode Island senior Antonio Reynolds-Dean, Bennett's best friend, has been wearing Bennett's No.44 on his shoes. Rams guard Preston Murphy lived with Bennett for two years at school. The players have visited Bennett in the hospital every day possible.

        THE BEST: The top can didate for league MVP might be George Washington's Shawnta Rogers. The 5-foot-4 point guard leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring (21.7 per game), assists (7.0) and steals (3.8).

        Last week, he averaged 25 points in three games. He scored 31 at Virginia Tech and hit the game-winning shot with 1.5 seconds at LaSalle.

        GETTING BETTER: With its victory Saturday over Xavier, LaSalle improved to 5-6 in the Atlantic 10, matching its most wins in league play since joining the conference in 1995-96. Junior guard Donnie Carr was named A-10 Player of the Week after averaging 23 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 assists against XU and George Washington.

        Fordham (3-7 in the A-10) has its most league victories in its four years in the conference.

        AROUND THE LEAGUE: Xavier' 11-game home winning streak is tied for 22nd in the country.

        • In head-to-head competition, the A-10 East Division leads the West 13-10.

        • Virginia Tech's three-game winning streak is its longest since the start of the 1996-97 season.


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