Former Dunbar star Donta Bright of the University of Massachusetts has been playing with a partially torn ligament in his right (shooting) thumb, an injury he suffered in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
"The team doctor came in and told me, 'I can't believe he can play with an injury like that,' " said UMass coach John Calipari, whose Minutemen play Southwest Texas State in a Midwest Regional first-round game today. "It just shows you what kind of heart Donta has."
"It only hurts when somebody hits it," said Bright, who has started the past nine games (24 of 33 overall) and is averaging 10.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. "You've just got to get used to the tape on."
Bright said he plans on having corrective surgery after the season.
* SAINT LOUIS: Bright and former Dunbar teammate Keith Booth -- they're first cousins, too -- will have to put off their second on-court reunion of the season until at least tomorrow, but Maryland's Johnny Rhodes and Saint Louis guard Carl Turner will have one of sorts today.
They played against each other when Rhodes was at Washington's Dunbar High and Turner played for DuVal in Prince George's County. Their mothers work together at Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Washington, and, according to Rhodes, "are best friends."
"I know a lot of those guys," said Turner, who went to San Jacinto (Texas) College for two years, teaming with another former Baltimore Dunbar star, Michael Lloyd, in the backcourt. "I can tell my teammates what to expect, but they'll see it on film anyway."
* TENN.-CHATTANOOGA: The Moccasins won't start leading scorers Chad Copeland and Brandon Born and leading rebounder Roger Smith because of disciplinary reasons today against fourth-seeded Kansas in a Southeast Regional first-round game.
"They'll be held out until they need to go in," coach Mack McCarthy said. "It won't be like they'll sitting at the scorer's table at the jump ball, but it won't be much longer."