Coverage from:
The Boston Globe
The Boston Herald
The New York Times
The New York Post
The Associated Press
The Springfield Union-News - notebook
The Daily Hampshire Gazette
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - notebook


UMass foiled by Jarvis
By Joe Burris, The Boston Globe Staff, 11/19/1998

JAMAICA, N.Y. - It seemed like old times. There was John Calipari, the former University of Massachusetts coach and current New Jersey Nets mentor, who guided the Minutemen from perennial doormat to national prominence. There were former UMass players Dana Dingle and Carmelo Travieso, members of the 1996 Final Four team.

The three were here last night to watch the 23d-ranked Minutemen battle St. John's in the second round of the Preseason National Invitation Tournament. Yet surely, neither felt comfortable gazing over at the St. John's bench.

There was St. John's coach Mike Jarvis, former mentor at Boston University and George Washington, the coach whose GWU team handed UMass its only regular-season defeat in 1995-96, beat UMass twice in 1995 with President Clinton on hand, and knocked the Minutemen out of the Atlantic 10 tournament each of the last three seasons.

Jarvis brought the same formula that earned him a 12-10 record against UMass to New York and implemented it last night. Then it really seemed like old times: St. John's outhustled, outrebounded, and outplayed the Minutemen en route to a 73-69 upset.

The smaller Red Storm took advantage of their quickness in a dribble-penetration attack that frustrated the Minutemen all evening. Despite shooting just 38 percent from the floor, St. John's was in command throughout, collecting 20 offensive boards while compiling a 49-37 rebounding edge over one of the tallest teams in college basketball.

UMass, on the other hand, continued a trend that haunted it last season - poor shooting. Its front line of Lari Ketner and Ajmal Basit combined for 6-for-19 shooting, at times missing wide-open layups. The Minutemen were once again forced to rely on their defense to keep the score close, but over the latter stages of the second half, St. John's pulled away.

Audio clip: Listen to some of Bruiser's post-game comments.
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Courtesey: WHMP
''We got frustrated because we missed some shots early and we lost it down at the other end. We had good looks. We just couldn't put the ball in the hoop,'' said UMass coach Bruiser Flint, whose Minutemen (1-1) don't play again until traveling to the College of Charleston Dec. 1.

Asked what he expected from Jarvis's team, Flint said, ''We knew they were going to dribble-drive against us all night, and that's what they did.''

Even when they didn't score from the floor, the Red Storm did at the line, taking 46 free throw attempts and making 28. UMass had just 13 free throw attempts, making 8. Mike Babul had a career-high 15 points, and Monty Mack also had 15 for the Minutemen. Tyrone Grant had 20 points and 17 rebounds to lead St. John's (2-0).

The Minutemen, who trailed by 8 at halftime, cut the margin to 37-33 with 17:31 left in the second half but botched their next three possessions.

Photo
Chris Kirkland and Lari Ketner try to contain Ron Artest.
''There are nights when it seems like it's a lid on the basket,'' said Jarvis. ''When you're at home, you feel more comfortable because you have the crowd. If this game was at UMass, the result could have been different.''

Jarvis's unit regrouped and took a 50-39 advantage on a layup by Ron Artest with 8:42 left.

Things were bleakest for the Minutemen with 7:56 left. Grant scored after being fouled by Basit, who picked up his fifth personal. Flint was hit with a technical foul, and Grant sank three free throws to give St. John's a 55-41 advantage.

The Red Storm gained their biggest lead, 59-43, on a bucket by Artest with 5:46 left.

UMass saved its best shooting for the last 1:45, sinking five 3-point attempts, but it wasn't enough as the final seconds ticked off the clock and St. John's fans began bellowing, ''Overrated.'' The chant was the same one uttered by GWU fans when UMass entered that game with a national ranking and left with a defeat. Just like old times.


Deja Vu for UMass: Jarvis solves Minutemen
By Mark Murphy, The Boston Herald, 11/19/1998

JAMAICA, N.Y. -- The gym was loud, and just like old times, John Calipari was shouting instructions to Charlton Clarke, albeit from the press table.

Coach Mike Jarvis was on the other side of the floor, his expression furrowed, as usual. The fans were opinionated, slightly unruly and no, this wasn't George Washington University's Smith Center.

But when Jarvis is on the floor, location doesn't seem to matter against the Minutemen. The Cambridge native, in his first year at St. John's, pushed his career record against UMass to 13-10 with last night's 73-69 victory in the second round of the Preseason NIT.

The Red Storm opened in a sprint, left the Minutemen somewhere in the starting blocks, and finished with as balanced a performance as UMass will see this year. The Minutemen also, most likely, kissed their No. 23 ranking goodbye with last night's uninspired effort.

The surprise was that St. John's, a much smaller team, absolutely battered the big guys under the basket, with Tyrone Grant dishing out more than the foul-cuffed duo of Lari Ketner and Ajmal Basit could handle.

Grant, a strong 6-foot-7 player, finished with 17 points, collected almost exclusively in the paint and from the free throw line.

Video clip: Lari Ketner nails the jump hook over his defenders.
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Courtesey: ESPN
The Minutemen were outrebounded by an alarming 49-37 margin, including an even more unfathomable 20-12 disadvantage on the offensive glass against a much smaller team. Nowhere was that more evident than under the UMass basket, where Basit languished in foul trouble with three points on 1-of-5 shooting, and Ketner struggled with 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting, including misses on his first five shots.

All rolled away from close range.

"He was two feet from the hoop," said UMass coach Bruiser Flint. "You're playing against yourself when you're that close. I mean, what can you do? It was frustrating for him. He was right there. We got good looks."

Photo
Ketner records his 1 block for the game.
Ketner was hardly alone in his misery for UMass. Overall, the Minutemen shot 42 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 18 times.

And Flint didn't help matters by picking up his first technical foul of the season at the worst possible moment -- with 7:56 left, and UMass trailing 50-41.

Basit fouled Grant as the St. John's forward spun to the hoop. Flint protested, was called for the technical by referee Steve Gordon, and the result was a rare five-point plays for Gordon -- two points for the hoop, one for the foul, and two for the technical.

"I just asked the ref how he picked up the foul," said Flint. "He said I put my hands in his face when I asked him. I don't know if I did or not. But that's apparently enough to get me a technical."

The result was a five-point swing, a 55-41 St. John's lead, and a hastened plunge for the Minutemen.

"We got frustrated, and we missed some easy ones," said Flint. "Tyrone Grant must have got 10 of his rebounds on second and third tips, because he went after the ball. We didn't."

Said Mike Babul: "We got a lot of easy looks early, but we just couldn't knock them down. The guys got very frustrated because of that. There were an awful lot of loose balls that we just didn't get to. St. John's did and that's why they won."


Red Storm Advances in Preseason N.I.T.
By Steve Popper, The New York Times, 11/19/1998

By the time the lights went out for the player introductions Wednesday night at Alumni Hall, Erick Barkley had already been through this routine in two exhibition games and the regular-season opener. But as he stood on the floor, greeting his teammates, he never stopped moving, jumping and nervously fidgeting like a student before an exam.

And it was a test, the first true one for St. John's as the Red Storm played Massachusetts in the second round of the Chase Preseason National Invitation Tournament. But if the matchup gave Barkley, the Red Storm's freshmen point guard, the jitters, it did not shake Tyrone Grant. And in this test, Grant, a senior forward, carried the Red Storm.

Grant scored 13 points in the second half, finishing with 20 points and 17 rebounds, both career highs, as he outdueled the heralded frontcourt of the Minutemen to lead St. John's to a 73-69 victory. But beyond the points and rebounds, it was the steady hand and head of Grant that the Red Storm needed on this night.

The victory over the Minutemen, ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press preseason poll, allowed the Red Storm to advance to the N.I.T. semifinals in a bracket that includes Stanford and Missouri. Their next game will be next Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

Photo
Reggie Jessie goes in strong over Charlton Clarke.
The undersized Red Storm, missing center Albert Richardson for most of the night because of foul trouble, had to rely on the 6-foot-7-inch Grant to contend with a front line that loomed far larger and more established than that of St. John's.

UMass center Lari Kentner, a preseason all-American, was frustrated inside by a pesky defense. While Richardson got in quick foul trouble, the Red Storm were able to contain Kentner with Grant and Ron Artest taking turns and receiving help from greedy hands darting in every time Kentner received a pass. It was not until 5:04 remained in the first half that Kentner scored, converting a short, turnaround jumper, after three misses.

Kentner finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. He got little help from Ajmal Basit, his frontcourt mate, who fouled out with 7:56 to play with 5 points and 7 rebounds. And with the Minutemen struggling to find a scorer, the St. John's defense collapsed inside on Kentner.

After trailing by 12 points in the first half, the Minutemen closed to 41-37 with 13:38 to play when Kentner scored over three defenders in the lane. When Barkley missed a pair of free throws, it seemed to open the door for Massachusetts. But Bootsy Thornton picked off an errant pass to start a three-on-one fast break that ended with Grant tipping in a missed layup. The tip-in triggered a 9-1 burst which gave St. John's a 50-39 advantage.

With the lead at 50-41, Grant then converted a spinning layup, drawing the fifth foul on Basit on the play, which he converted for a 3-point play. Massachusetts Coach Bruiser Flint was whistled for a technical while defending Basit and Grant converted those two free throws, too.

Another Grant tip-in followed by a pretty drive and pass from Barkley to Artest gave the Red Storm a 59-43 lead with 5:46 to play. But the Minutemen battled back behind the 3-point shooting of sophomore Rafael Cruz, drawing within 10 in the final minutes before the Red Storm converted 8 of their last 9 free throws to hold off the charge.

From the start, the Red Storm showed that the defensive prowess displayed in the season-opener against North Carolina-Asheville on Monday was no fluke. St. John's pressured the Minutemen from end to end, using a hustling, helping defense to counter the highly touted inside game of Massachusetts.

The Minutemen missed 11 of their first 12 field-goal attempts as St. John's raced to a 12-2 lead. But the Red Storm's offense was not much better, converting just 2 of 11 before Lavor Postell came off the bench to hit his first 4 attempts.

With 9 points each from Postell and Thornton in the first half, the Red Storm stayed in front as Barkley struggled to a 1-of-5 shooting half without an assist.

REBOUNDS

The Red Storm received an official letter of intent yesterday from JACK WOLFINGER, a 6-10 forward from Connecticut. He gave a verbal commitment Monday.


Grant's Mass-terpiece sends Storm to semis
By Lenn Robbins, The New York Post Staff, 11/19/1998

Tyrone Grant knows only one way to play the city game. It's a style he learned on the schoolyards of Brooklyn and perfected by playing against players older and stronger.

Grant even has a list of Tyrone's Tricks: grab-bing an opposing player's 4jersey; stepping on his foot; leaning on his waist, elbowing him in the side. No blood, no foul.

Hey, when you're a 6-foot-7 power forward, you take whatever edge you can get. Last night the senior captain pulled out all the stops in leading the Red Storm to a 73-69 upset of Massachusetts in a second-round game of the Preseason NIT at Alumni Hall.

"It was a challenge," Grant said. "I had to play hard and come through for the team for us to win. Because that great front line UMass has, I felt like I had to give it all."

Grant did just that, setting career highs with 20 points and 17 rebounds in leading a determined, if not pretty, St. John's effort. The Red Storm (2-0) will play in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT next Wednesday night at the Garden.

UMass has one of the best front lines in the East, led by 6-10 center Lari Ketner and 6-9 forward Ajmal Basit of Brooklyn. But led by Grant, and sophomore forward Ron Artest, who added eight rebounds and some great defense on Ketner, St. John's outrebounded UMass 49-37.

By being the more aggressive team, St. John's also won the battle at the foul line, outscoring the Minutemen 28-8 from the stripe. The combination of the lopsided officiating (St. John's attempted 46 foul shots to UMass's 13) and the Red Storm's superior hustle drove UMass coach Bruiser Flint to a state of frustration.

He picked up a costly technical foul with 7:56 left when Grant made a strong move to his left, powered in a layup and drew a fifth personal foul on Basit. Grant converted the foul shot and then hit the two technical free throws to give St. John's a 55-41 lead.

"Forty-six foul shots," Flint said. "With eight minutes to go, they were shooting [one-and-one]. But that's the way it goes. Give St. John's credit. They scraped and scrapped."

St. John's also used its superior speed and quickness to cause matchup nightmares for the Minutemen. St. John's jumped out to a 12-2 lead that was capped by a Lavor Postell 3-pointer from the wing.

Through two games, Postell has been the best player St. John's has had and he's done so adjusting to his new role as the sixth man. Postell scored 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting in 24 minutes. In the team's 105-50 win over UNC-Asheville in the season opener, Postell had 15 points in 23 minutes.

The unsung hero was Artest. With 1:17 left in the first half and St. John's leading 35-25, Ketner drew a third foul on St. John's center Albert Richardson. That left coach Mike Jarvis with Grant as his only legitimate big man.

Jarvis opted to play the 6-6 Artest on the 6-10 Ketner in most of the second half. Ketner finished with 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting as St. John's opened a 59-43 lead with 5:49 left. Grant had a tip-in to make it 57-43. He then rebounded a missed Monty Mack jumper and fired an outlet pass to Erick Barkley, who fed Artest for a layup.

"It won't show up in the stats, but Artest did an unbelievable job did on Mr. Ketner," Jarvis said. "He went on Ketner in the second half because we couldn't afford to lose Tyrone, and he did as good a job covering him as anybody that I've ever had cover him. And I've had a lot of people cover Ketner."

Jarvis, of course, knows Ketner and the Minutemen quite well from his days as the head coach at George Washington. Jarvis said he expected a war and he had the perfect soldier in Grant with which to go to battle.

"I felt my teammates felt I was due to come on and have a good game because the last three games we played, including the exhibitions, I was missing a lot of loose balls, missing a lot of easy shots," Grant said. "I just had a good game. My teammates kept looking for me."

*St. John's received Jack Wolfinger's letter of intent yesterday, sources said. The 6-10 small forward from Redding, Conn., chose St. John's over Rutgers and Providence.


Jarvis continues to have UMass' number
By Jim O'Connell, The Associated Press Staff, 11/19/1998

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Jarvis was going to be late getting home after his second game as St. John's coach.

"I like this building. I love this building," Jarvis said of Alumni Hall, where the Red Storm beat No. 23 Massachusetts 73-69 Wednesday night in the second round of the Preseason NIT. "I might take a ride tonight, come back, go by the building and just give it a wave. This is the only place I haven't lost."

The win over the Minutemen, who were supposed to provide inside problems, moved St. John's into the semifinals against the winner of Friday night's game between No. 3 Stanford and Southwest Missouri State. The semifinals will be next Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, the Red Storm's home court for half their games.

"I am very excited about playing in Madison Square Garden," Jarvis said.

The one shortcoming St. John's (2-0) was expected to have this season was the lack of an inside game, with no one on the roster over 6-foot-9. That certainly wasn't a problem against Massachusetts (1-1), a team whose strength comes from the power duo of 6-10, 280-pound Lari Ketner and 6-9, 260-pound Ajmal Basit.

Photo - Click for larger image
St. John's didn't have a size advantage, but still got looks close to the rack.
The Red Storm, led by Tyrone Grant's career highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds, went to the free-throw line 33 more times than the Minutemen, outrebounded them 49-37 and held Ketner and Basit to 16 points on 6-for-19 shooting.

"We came out to win this game," said Grant, a 6-7 senior forward. "The only difference between us and them was that they had No. 23 in front of UMass and we didn't have a number."

They did have Ketner's.

"The first thing I want to talk about is the job Ron Artest did on Ketner in the second half," Jarvis said, referring to his sophomore forward who gave away three inches and 50 pounds in the matchup. "We couldn't afford to lose Tyrone the way he was playing and I knew Ron was smart enough and strong enough to play him."

Massachusetts coach Bruiser Flint placed some of the blame for the off-night on Ketner, who averaged 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds last season, but had 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

"Ketner was just missing, then he got timid," Flint said. "His first six shots were from two, three feet from the basket. You can't put it in for him. They're a tough team to match up with and they scrap and scrape and that shows in the 46 foul shots."

Massachusetts, which trailed 35-27 at halftime, was within 41-37 with 13:38 left on Ketner's move down low.

Grant, whose previous best was 17 points as a sophomore and 15 rebounds twice, and sixth man Lavor Postell scored all the points in a 5-0 run that made it 46-37 with 10:40 left. Grant's free throw to cap the run came when he was fouled by Ketner, who then picked up his fourth foul 16 seconds later.

St. John's took control when Basit was called for his fifth foul after hitting Grant, who made a nice move with his left hand and made the shot. Flint argued the call and was given a technical. Grant made the free throw to complete the three-point play and the two for the technical and St. John's had a 55-41 lead with 7:56 to play.

Massachusetts made the game close by ending the game with a 14-7 run that included three 3-pointers by Rafael Cruz over the final 1:13, but the Red Storm went 7-for-8 from the foul line in that span.

"We had opportunities and couldn't throw it in the ocean and they took advantage," Flint said. "We got frustrated early. Tyrone Grant had 10 rebounds on second and third shots. We didn't go get it."

Postell and Bootsy Thornton each had 13 points for St. John's, which beat North Carolina-Asheville 105-50 in the opening round, while freshman point guard Erick Barkley had 12 despite going 1-for-10 from the field.

Mike Babul and Monty Mack each had 15 points for the Minutemen, who beat Niagara 87-74 in the opening round.

St. John's improved to 7-0 all-time against Massachusetts, but the previous six games were played from 1963 to 1968.


UMass basketball notebook
Calipari comes calling on Bruiser, Minutemen
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News Staff Writer, 11/19/1998

NEW YORK - With no team to coach and no league to coach in, John Calipari talks with Bruiser Flint all the time.

But the only suggestion the former University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach said he's given the current coach is to gear the team toward scoring more points.

"I told him to gear everything this season for the NCAA tournament, and that means scoring more points because in the tournament, somebody on the other team might get hot," said Calipari, the New Jersey Nets coach who attended last night's UMass-St. John's game at Alumni Hall. "But that's all I told him."

Calipari is antsy about getting the NBA season started, but as the lockout drags on, he's filling his time attending college games and practices, mostly for scouting purposes.

"In all my years of coaching, I've never had a chance to watch other teams' practices, and that's been fun," he said. "And I saw Kansas play at the (Philadelphia) Palestra (against Penn), I've seen Purdue and I've been to Providence. I'm going to Temple-Michigan State Friday."

And the lockout? "We're all going nuts," he said. "Am I surprised it's lasted this long? Yes. But I don't have any control over what's going on, and I can't really comment on it."

With a more up-tempo offense, UMass scored 87 points in its opener against Niagara, and Calipari saw that as a good sign.

"With Lari (Ketner), they've got a guy like we had with Lou Roe or Marcus Camby," said Calipari, the UMass coach from 1988-96.

Now with the Nets, he's also spoken with new St. John's coach Mike Jarvis, an indication that their bitter rivalry during their Atlantic 10 days has abated.

"I've spoken to him four or five times by phone," Calipari said of his former rival at George Washington. "I haven't had a chance to talk to him in person, not yet anyhow."

One of Calipari's stars on the Nets, Jayson Williams, was also at last night's game. Player and coach, who maintain a professional but not close relationship, did not sit together.

FORMER STARS: Past UMass standouts Dana Dingle and Carmelo Travieso were also at the game. Both work as clerks on the commodities exchange on Wall Street, but both want to play some more hoops.

"Got it get it out of my system," said Travieso, who will play in a Puerto Rican pro league that begins next month.

Dingle has played pro ball in Iceland, Taiwan, Brazil, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico since his UMass career ended in 1996. In Mexico, he dislocated his right thumb and is still recovering.

"I'd like to start playing again," he said. "But I want to stay in the States. I've done enough traveling."

THEY'RE NO. 9: UMass is ranked ninth in this week's Sports Illustrated rankings. The only higher ranking from a major publication came from Athlon magazine, which predicted the Minutemen would reach the Elite Eight.

MACK STATUS: Last night's game was the last for UMass junior guard Monty Mack before tomorrow's show-cause hearing in Northampton District Court. The hearing will determine if charges will be filed against Mack, who was named in a campus fight involving a woman. UMass has taken no action to date, as no charges have been filed.

ET CETERA: UMass will play in a Christmas tournament in Puerto Rico next season, athletic director Bob Marcum said ... UMass has a St. John's influence in sophomore guard Shannon Crooks, who is sitting out this season after transferring from the Red Storm. Crooks averaged 1.9 points per game for St. John's last season.


St. John's storms over UMass
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, 11/19/1998

JAMAICA, N.Y. - For the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team, the Preseason NIT followed the same script as its last two Atlantic 10 Tournaments - beat a sub-par team early before losing to Mike Jarvis in the second round.

UMass preseason expectations were dealt a harsh dose of reality Wednesday night as the Minutemen lost 73-69 to St. John's at Alumni Hall in the quarterfinals of the Preseason NIT. The game was not as close as the score indicated.

Jarvis moved to St. John's this year, after coaching george Washington which knocked UMass from the A-10 tourneys the last two years.

The loss eliminates the No. 23 Minutemen (1-1) from the NIT, while St. John's advances to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden next week. The Minutemen next play Dec. 1 at the College of Charleston.

"You have to give St. John's credit," UMass Cocah Bruiser Flint said. "They played hard. We had opportunities, but we couldn't throw it in the ocean and they took advantage of that.

"I thought some guys played a little afraid," Flint continued. "We played with much more intensity in the second half."

Despite holding a significant size advantage, the Minutemen were out-rebounded, 49-37, on the strength of a 17-rebound effort by senior Tyrone Grant, who also had a game-high 20 points.

The Minutemen lost despite an outstanding performance from junior forward Mike Babul. While taking on the defensive responsibility of guarding Ron Artest, whom he held to just nine points, Babul delivered a career-high 15 points, including his first ever three-pointer.

"This was the best performance he's had in a UMass uniform," Flint said of Babul. "He did a great job on Artest. He was one of the ones that took it to people. He played great defense, he rebounded, and gave us a chance to get back in."

Monty Mack also had 15 for the Minutemen, while Lari Ketner added 13 points and seven rebounds.

The Minutemen couldn't overcome an abysmal start that saw them score just two points in the game's first 7 1/2 minutes.

"We got a little frustrated because we missed some early and from that point on we rushed," Flint said. "We had looks. We just couldn't get it to fall."

Babul agreed.

"We got a lot of easy looks inside and we just couldn't knock down shots," Babul said.

St. John's kept the lead at around a dozen, led by Lavor Postell and Bootsy Thornton, who each had nine in the first half, but Ketner scored the last four points of the half to pull UMass within eight at 35-27.

That momentum carried into the second half, as the Minutemen opened with a 10-6 run and were down by just four, 41-37, with 13:39 left.

But St. John's answered with a 9-2 run that gave it some breathing room. Ajmal Basit and Ketner were both in foul trouble in the second half, forcing UMass to switch to a smaller lineup. Basit fouled out on a play that led to Flint's first technical of the year. St. John's lead reached 15 (60-45) with 3:23 left before the Minutemen made their last desperate run.

Fouling to stop the clock, UMass outscored St. John's 24-13 down the stretch, but the Red Storm made enough free throws to fend off the final attack. Seeing his first extended minutes of the season in that stretch, Rafael Cruz scored nine points on three three-pointers.

"The one thing I liked was that he was ready," Flint said of Cruz. "A lot of people sit on the bench for a long time and they're not ready. But Rafael did a good job. He showed me that he belonged out there and that he'll be ready when I call him to go into the game."

While Flint was disappointed in the result, he speculated that the NIT committee didn't share his displeasure.

"We're the only ranked team to play away from home in this whole tournament. They knew this would be a tough go for us."


Three from past see UMass
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, 11/19/1998

JAMAICA, N.Y. - While the current edition of the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team struggled Wednesday night, three members of successful teams in the recent past looked on.

Former Minuteman coach John Calipari sat at the press table with UMass Athletic director Bob Marcum on one side and Atlantic 10 Commissioner Linda Bruno on the other. Across the arena in the stands behind the Minuteman bench were Carmelo Travieso and Dana Dingle.

Travieso, who still plays some basketball in Puerto Rico is working in New York on the commodities exchange, while Dingle, who played professionally in Iceland last year, is nursing an injury and working on Wall Street contemplating his next career move.

Both enjoyed seeing their alma mater at work.

"I miss playing at home," Travieso said. "But I don't miss the practices and stuff. I try to watch most of the UMass games and call up to see how things are going."

Dingle added, "You flash back thinking what you'd be doing if you were out there. It brings back memories."

Calipari has extensive time on his hands with the NBA lockout not showing any signs of ending soon.

"I'm watching college practices and college games," he said. "I was down at the Palestra yesterday watching Kansas play Penn. I was at Purdue Monday watching Purdue play UIC. I was at Providence watching Providence-Rhody and I'm going to be at Temple Friday watching Temple-Michigan State."

Calipari did not offer any insights about what is going on between players and owners.

"I don't have any control over the negotiations and what's going on," he said. "I know a little bit about it, but I'm not thoroughly educated on it. I'm just dealing with my own time."

This is his third year away from UMass.

"It's hard to sit and watch it, but I'm happy they've got it going, they have a good team and good players," said Calipari, before correctly predicting last night's troubles. "This will be a hard game for them. St. John's doesn't lose very many in this building."

* * *

Marcum confirmed that the Minutemen will play for the first time in 1999 in a late December tournament in Puerto Rico.

* * *

Sports Illustrated's college basketball preview magazine is out with high regard for the Minutemen. In its top 25 teams, SI ranks UMass No. 9, the highest the Minutemen have appeared in any major publication.


Massachusetts Minutemen (#23) 69
St. John's Red Storm 73
Pre-Season NIT Quarter-Finals
at St. John's

MASSACHUSETTS (69)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Babul           38   6-8   2-3   3-6  2  2   15
Basit           15   1-5   1-2   3-7  0  5    3
Ketner          34  5-14   3-4   2-7  1  4   13
Clarke          37  5-11   0-2   0-1  8  4   12
M Mack          34  5-12   2-2   0-5  0  2   15
Oates            2   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Depina          12   0-3   0-0   0-1  1  2    0
Cruz             5   3-4   0-0   0-0  2  4    9
Smith            8   0-2   0-0   0-2  0  2    0
Kirkland        11   1-4   0-0   0-1  0  1    2
Blizzard         3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Rhymer           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 26-63  8-13  8-31 14 28   69
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.413, FT-.615. 3-Point Goals:
9-17, .529 (Babul 1-1, Clarke 2-3, M Mack 3-7,
Depina 0-2, Cruz 3-3, Smith 0-1). Team rebounds:
6. Blocked shots: 5 (Babul 3, Ketner, Depina).
Turnovers: 18 (Basit 4, Ketner 4, M Mack 3, Babul
2, Clarke 2, Depina, Kirkland, Smith). Steals: 5
(Babul, Basit, Cruz, M Mack, Smith).

ST JOHNS (73)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Artest          39   4-7   1-4   3-8  4  3    9
T Grant         31   5-8 10-15  8-17  1  3   20
Richardson      16   1-2   0-2   0-1  0  4    2
Thornton        28  3-10   7-8   3-4  1  1   13
Barkley         33  1-10 10-14   1-5  1  1   12
Charles          9   0-3   0-0   0-0  1  0    0
Postell         24  6-11   0-0   2-3  0  2   13
Emanuel          4   1-3   0-3   1-5  0  1    2
Jessie          16   1-4   0-3   1-5  3  3    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 22-58 28-49 19-48 11 18   73
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.379, FT-.571. 3-Point Goals:
1-7, .143 (Artest 0-1, Thornton 0-1, Barkley 0-3,
Postell 1-2). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 3
(Artest 2, Postell). Turnovers: 16 (Artest 4,
Barkley 3, Charles 2, Jessie 2, Postell 2, T
Grant 2, Thornton). Steals: 12 (Barkley 4,
Thornton 3, Artest 2, Charles, Jessie,
Richardson).
__________________________________
Massachusetts      27   42  -   69
St Johns           35   38  -   73
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Massachusetts 1 (Head Coach
Flint).  A: 6,008.  Officials: Steve Gordon,
Raymond Styons, Terry Nobles.

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