ver his junior and senior seasons, University of Massachusetts forward Tyrone Weeks averaged 14.3 points and 8.8 rebounds against Atlantic-10 rival St. Bonaventure. Now the Bonnies are hoping Weeks can teach their big men to do the same thing.
Weeks has been hired as an assistant coach at St. Bonaventure according to sources in Amherst and in Olean, N.Y. His hiring will be announced next week when Weeks arrives in upstate New York. Weeks will be the third (non-recruiting) assistant on head coach Jim Baron's staff.
When John Rhodes left St. Bonaventure to take the top assistant job at Ohio University, Baron asked UMass coach Bruiser Flint if he had any candidates. Flint suggested his former player.
"I'm real happy for him," Flint said. "Ty really wanted to get into coaching. He has great loyalty. He works hard and he's a guy that can really go in and talk to the players."
As a UMass student, Weeks became one of the first players to take advantage of the NCAA rule that allows partial qualifiers who sat out their freshman seasons to regain that year of eligibility if they completed their degree requirements in four years. Weeks' academic success earned him national praise.
On the court Weeks helped lead UMass to four NCAA Tournaments and the 1995-96 Final Four. He finished his career as the Minutemen's 31st leading scorer with 1,013 points and 858 rebounds.
After his college career ended, Weeks played briefly for the Springfield Slamm in the Eastern Basketball Alliance and then played professionally in Argentina.
Weeks is currently working at Portland Trailblazer Rasheed Wallace's camp in his hometown of Philadelphia before heading to Olean next week.
yrone Weeks knows he's on the other side now.
"I think about it every day, about coming to the Mullins Center - but with the other team," Weeks said yesterday.
Weeks, a former University of Massachusetts basketball forward, has accepted an assistant coach's position at St. Bonaventure, and expects to report to Olean, N.Y., Monday.
The St. Bonaventure sports information office said the school, an Atlantic 10 Conference rival of UMass, expects to make an official announcement later this week.
Weeks has been working at Camp Atwater in North Brookfield, an overnight camp sponsored by the Urban League of Springfield. Weeks said the Bonnies, whose returning nucleus includes center Caswell Cyrus and guard Tim Winn, have the makings of a solid team.
"I think we can make some noise this year," Weeks said. "I know their league, and I still know some of the (Bonnies') players."
Weeks was told of the St. Bonaventure opening by UMass coach Bruiser Flint, then interviewed with Bonnies coach Jim Baron.
At UMass, Weeks sat out his freshman year under NCAA academic rules in 1993-94, but regained it in 1997-98 after graduating on time in 1997. He is opposed to eliminating freshman eligibility altogether, as the NCAA had been considering until a special committee announced yesterday it was not endorsing it.
"Some guys aren't as mentally tough as I was fortunate enough to be," said Weeks, who scored 1,013 points with 858 rebounds at UMass. "They may have a harder time sticking it out. If they're good enough, they should be able to play."
Weeks is the third former UMass player to land a new assistant's job this year. Derek Kellogg moved from George Mason (Va.) to Youngstown (Ohio) State, where former UMass associate coach John Robic is the new coach, and Tony Barbee returned to UMass from Wyoming.