Coppin StateCoach: Fang Mitchell, 14th season at Coppin...

November 16, 1999

Coppin State

Coach: Fang Mitchell, 14th season at Coppin State (241-142), 22nd overall (468-187).

Affiliation: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

1998-99 record: 15-14 (14-4 MEAC).

Radio: None.

Arena: Coppin Center (3,000).

Tickets: $8 general admission, $5 students, $4 special groups. Call 410-383-5607.

Starters lost: Two.

Outlook: Jorge Cajigas, Kofi Pointer and Rasheem Sims are the only returning players who averaged more than 20 minutes last season. And whereas the Eagles formerly stayed atop the MEAC with undersized but stocky postmen, this year's most intimidating interior presence is rail-thin Tyran Watkins. Still, Joe Brown, a Providence transfer, was a nice pickup, and Coppin teams have traditionally overcome their deficits with hard-nosed play that should salvage 14 or 15 victories.

Christian Ewell

Home-grown Eagle

Kofi Pointer

Year: Senior

Pos.: Forward- center

Ht.: 6-8

Wt.: 215

Tipping off: John Murdock's 10-12 team at Lafayette Recreation Center

High school: Dunbar

Selecting a college: After leaving Providence, "I wanted to come some place nearby."

Biggest influence: Father, Alfred Pointer. "When I was young, he would show me little things about the game."

Home court: Chick Webb Recreation Center

Running mate: Johnny Helmsley, Marlin Wise, Tommy Polley.

Talking trash: Still has vivid memories of a brawl-marred victory over Forest Park during his senior year. "I remember being mad because we were up by 20 points with two minutes left, then they stopped the game because of a fight."

Hoop idol: Chris Webber

Mount St. Mary's

Coach: Jim Phelan, 46th year at Mount St. Mary's (800-443).

Affiliation: Northeast Conference.

1998-99 record: 15-15 (10-10 NEC).

Radio: WXTR (820 AM).

Arena: Knott Arena (3,196).

Tickets: $11 armchair, $8 reserved, $5 general admission. Call 301-447-5700 or 800-628-2722.

Starters lost: One.

Outlook: After a disappointing regular season, the Mount won the NEC tournament -- giving Phelan his 800th career victory in the process -- for its second trip to the NCAAs. Only one starter and three key players overall are missing from that unit. Phelan will coach "perhaps the biggest team I've ever had," but has lost a key player with 6-10 Melvin Whitaker (fractured ankle) possibly out for the season. Point guard and leading scorer Greg Harris is now a senior and 6-8 Terrence Wilson could blossom as a sophomore.

Kent Baker

Home-grown Mountaineer

Aaron Herbert

Year: Junior

Pos.: Guard

Ht.: 5-10

Wt.: 156

Tipping off: Deer Park Rec League

High school: Milford Mill/Calvert Hall

Selecting a college: "With everybody else, I was a second or third option when I was recruited. Not at the Mount."

Biggest influence: Erica Herbert, his late sister, and his family in general. "Her playing basketball at the Mount was the biggest factor."

Home court: Deer Park Rec Center in Randallstown

Running mate: No one in particular. "I played with Juan Dixon and against Mark Karchner and with Ron Artest and Lamar Odom."

Talking trash: "I come up with a blank. I'm really not into that."

Hoop idol: Magic Johnson

Loyola

Coach: Dino Gaudio, third season at Loyola (25-31), seventh overall (61-103).

Affiliation: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

1998-99 record: 13-15 (6-12 MAAC).

Radio: Selected games on WNST (1570 AM).

Arena: Reitz Arena (3,000).

Tickets: $5 general admission, $8 reserved. Call 410-830-2244.

Starters lost: One.

Outlook: Point guard Jason Rowe (ankle surgery) is expected to be 100 percent for the opener, so Gaudio can concentrate on fine-tuning an experienced squad. Rowe and Damien Jenifer figure to start in the backcourt, with Blanchard Hurd, Brian Carroll and Clifford Strong most likely starting up front. The team needs to improve its foul shooting to win close games.

Bill Free

Home-grown Greyhound

Blanchard Hurd

Year: Senior

Pos.: Forward

Ht.: 6-7

Wt.: 235

Tipping off: Knicks in Pikesville Recreation League

High school: Milford Mill

Selecting a college: Chose Loyola to try and help recapture the success Mike Powell and Anthony Smith had.

Biggest influence: Mother, Judith Von Hurd. "She stuck with me through two knee injuries and a lot of hard times. She's been a father and mother to me."

Home court: Bedford Elementary School in Pikesville

Running mate: Kobe Bryant of Los Angeles Lakers. "It seemed as if Kobe didn't miss a shot when I played for Cecil Kirk against him in the Sonny Hill tournament in 1994. But we still won the game."

Talking trash: "The most fun I have talking is to my teammates, Brian Carroll and Jason Rowe, in practice."

Hoop idol: Larry Johnson

UMES

Coach: Lonnie Williams, fourth season at UMES (30-52), 13th overall (181-175).

Affiliation: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

1998-99 record: 10-17 (7-11 MEAC).

Radio: None.

Arena: Hytche Athletic Center (5,500).

Tickets: $6 adults, $3 children or students with ID. Call 410-651-6496.

Starters lost: One.

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