MHERST - The question with Anthony Anderson was never whether he could play, but whether he would be allowed to.
Many recruiting publications questioned the University of Massachusetts-bound point guard's ability to achieve the necessary combination of standardized test scores and high school grade-point average to reach the NCAA's minimum qualifying standards.
But as a senior, the 5-foot-10 Lynn English guard vowed to buckle down academically, and his efforts apparently have paid off.
UMass coach Bruiser Flint this week said he is still awaiting the official status of Anderson and Boston English forward Raheim Lamb, but Marvin Avery, Anderson's cousin and mentor, said Anderson will be eligible.
"He knew what he could do athletically, but he had to turn the corner with the books," Avery said. "He really set his priorities and got the help he needed with tutors and really dedicated himself to it."
Anderson gives UMass four players capable of playing point guard. Shannon Crooks, Jonathan DePina and West Virginia transfer Jarrett Kearse all have started games at the position in college. The potential logjam is lessened by the Minutemen's potential to play a three-guard set, and by the ability of Kearse and Crooks to play multiple positions.
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It appears that Flint no longer is on the short list of coaches being considered for the vacant Miami head coaching position. The post opened when Leonard Hamilton became head coach of the Washington Wizards.
Flint indicated that a Miami representative had spoken with him early on but that there had been no further contact between the two.
ESPN's Andy Katz once listed Flint as a candidate, but reported Saturday that the school's top choices are Perry Clark (Tulane), Dana Altman (Creighton) and Gary Waters (Kent).
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Flint will be a featured guest on New England Cable News Wednesday night at 8:30, but the primary reason for his visit will not be basketball.
Flint is this week's celebrity guest on the network's popular restaurant review show The Phantom Gourmet.
Like their other celebrity guests, Flint will be asked to pick his favorite restaurants, which likely will include Carmelina's in Hadley and Pinnochio's in Amherst as well as some Boston and Philadelphia establishments.
"We're going to talk about hoop and we're going to talk about eating," Flint said with a laugh.
As a frequent traveler, Flint said his favorite type of restaurants serve soul food.
"If I'm ever somewhere for more than a day or two, I try to find a soul-food place," Flint said. "I grew up with that. My mom cooked it. My mom's smothered pork chops were unbeatable. She made them for me last time I was home."
Flint said his players' palates are not so discerning, however.
"Wendy's is like the high cuisine of fast food," Flint said. "When we stop at Wendy's, it's like the upper crust of fast-food chains for these guys."
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Former Minuteman Chris Kirkland appears to be headed to Spain to play basketball, while Anthony Oates is heading to an overseas tryout camp to explore the possibility of playing as well.
Flint wasn't sure what Mike Babul was planning to do.
"The last time I talked to him, he was retiring (from basketball)," Flint said. "But I don't know if he got the playing bug again or not."
Flint added that former Minuteman JoVann Johnson, who transferred from UMass at midseason last year, likely will end up at an NAIA school next year.
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The entire UMass team will spend the summer on campus working at Flint's basketball camp and playing in the Springfield Pro-Am League.
For the fourth straight summer, Flint's camp will feature a week of "NBA Camp" in which NBA players speak and work with the campers. This year's group features former Springfield Central star and current Indiana Pacer Travis Best, Philadelphia's Theo Ratliff and Houston Rocket guard Cuttino Mobley, who played at Rhode Island.
NBA Camp will be held from July 31-Aug. 3. For more information, call 545-2610.