Disciplined guard Yarbray won't be assisting Coppin for a while

December 02, 1991|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Evening Sun Staff

Without the services of Larry Stewart and Reggie Isaac for the first time in three years, Coppin State basketball coach Fang Mitchell labeled this a season to "reload or rebuild." He had no idea he would have to attempt to reload without point guard Larry Yarbray, the school's all-time assist leader.

Yarbray has been suspended from the team indefinitely by Mitchell after not reporting to his team's past three practices. The 6-foot senior from Chester, Pa., has not been seen since Tuesday's 76-68 opening win over Winthrop College, when he was pulled out of the game after the first minute of the second half.

"As far as I'm concerned, I really can't see any reason for this, so I'm left with no choice but to suspend him indefinitely," said Mitchell, who put his team through a four-hour practice yesterday. "I told him we had to have him playing better, the way he was two years ago, when I felt he was one of the best point guards in the country. If we can't get him back that way, then we have a problem."

In his best season two years ago, Yarbray made the all-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference second team, as he averaged 8.9 points and 7.3 assists. But his statistics tailed off last season (5.4 points, 5.4 assists), and Mitchell challenged him to do more this season with just two starters returning.

But Yarbray didn't score in Coppin's opener, missing his first four shots with three early turnovers against Winthrop, and now he's gone, leaving Mitchell to go with sophomore James Mazyck at the point this week, which includes a Saturday game at Oklahoma.

"The future's now for a lot of these kids," Mitchell said. "They're hungry, and they want to play. I have a lot of confidence in these individuals."

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