s Bruiser Flint begins his fifth year as head coach of the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, he can look around the country and see no fewer than 11 players and coaches at eight universities set to begin play. All of them have ties to UMass.
Following is a look at each person with UMass roots who will be part of the 2000-01 college basketball season.
Connection: Coached the Minutemen from 1988 to ' 96.
Currently: Beginning his first season as head coach at Memphis.
The man who put UMass basketball back on the map in the early- and mid-1990s already is being heralded as the messiah in hoops-mad Memphis.
Connection: Played at UMass from 1981-'82 and served as Calipari's associate coach from 1988-'95.
Currently: The head coach of UNLV has led the Runnin' Rebels to two straight NCAA Tournaments.
Connections: Was an assistant under Calipari from 1988-'96.
Currently: Beginning his fifth year as UMass' head coach.
Connections: Coached under Calipari and Flint at UMass from 1988-'98.
Currently: Beginning his second year as head coach at Youngstown State, where he finished 12-16 last year.
Connection: Coach under Calipari at UMass from 1995-'96.
Currently: Beginning his third year as head coach of Wright State. He had former Minuteman Inus Norville for one season.
Connection: Played under Calipari from 1989-'93 and is UMass' fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,643 career points. Was an assistant under Flint for three years.
Currently: Beginning his first season as Calipari's top assistant in Memphis.
Connection: Played under Calipari from 1991-'95.
Currently: After coaching one season each at George Mason and Youngstown State, he is beginning his first season as a Memphis assistant coach.
Connection: Was a walk-on guard under Calipari and Flint from 1995-'99.
Currently: Graduate assistant at Wagner.
Connection: Played at UMass from 1994-'98 under Calipari and Flint.
Currently: In his second year as an assistant at St. Bonaventure. Has made it to the NCAA Tournament all four years as a player and once as a coach.
Connection: Played for Flint from 1996-'99.
Currently: Transferred to Delaware after a personality conflict with Flint led to his dismissal from the Minutemen.
Connection: Played for Flint from 1997-'99.
Currently: After struggling to play for Flint, Cruz is expected to play a key role for Robic at Youngstown State.
Connection: Played at UMass for one semester.
Currently: Transferred from UMass to NAIA Lee University in Tennessee.