Awkward landing may sideline Mott Best post player sprains ankle in final practice

Coppin State notebook

March 14, 1997|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

PITTSBURGH -- It was a practice session that was running smoothly for Coppin State, until midway through when it came to a halt. As Terquin Mott, the Eagles' main low-post threat, fell to the court writhing in pain, a hush came over the crowd at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.

The early diagnosis: Mott sprained his left ankle after landing awkwardly on the foot of a teammate. A 6-foot-8 senior, he had to be helped off the court and could not resume practice. His status for this afternoon's game against second-seeded South Carolina is unknown.

"At this point, we don't know if he'll be able to play," Coppin coach Fang Mitchell said. "With Mott out, it will take a lot out of the ball game. But adversity has been a big part of this team. I know these guys will play with just as much intensity."

Mott, a member of the All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference first team for the second straight year, is the team's second-leading scorer (15.0 points per game) and top rebounder (9.0 rebounds per game). If he is unable to play, he likely will be replaced by junior center/forward Kareem Lewis, who earlier started at center.

S.C. guards pose trouble

If Coppin wants to advance to Sunday, they will have to defeat a South Carolina team that placed its trio of guards -- Larry Davis, Melvin Watson and BJ McKie -- on the All-SEC first team.

"Most times you play against teams with one or two good guards, they have three great guards," Mitchell said. "I think they can cause us tremendous problems. But if it wasn't for the fact I had good guards myself, I would really be upset."

'Misfits' of Coppin State

In the Coppin State postseason media guide, guard Antoine Brockington lists his favorite movie as "The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh." Since the sub-regional is being held in Pittsburgh, Brockington was asked during yesterday's media session about his choice, a movie which starred Julius "Dr. J" Erving.

"This team reminds me of their team," Brockington said. "A bunch of misfits who have come together to play as a team. This is what we've done this year, and that's what we want to do tomorrow."

When Brockington said "misfits," the other three Coppin panelists -- Mitchell, Reggie Welch and Danny Singletary -- cringed. Asked by another reporter whether he thought the players were misfits, Brockington said:

"No, not really. But we have a lot of personalities on this team. It's like a bunch of superstars used to being the main man, and they can't do all the things they used to do."

Pub Date: 3/14/97

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