Rhymer has ankle surgery
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 6/23/2001

University of Massachusetts center Kitwana Rhymer had successful surgery to remove bone chips from his right ankle this week. The UMass coaching staff is confident that he'll be healthy in time for the regular season, and hopeful he'll be ready to make the team's August trip to Greece.

Rhymer, who had been playing through the injury last season, hoped that some time off his ankle would help it heal without surgery. But when it continued to affect him during spring workouts, the 6-foot-10 senior opted for surgery.

"It was outpatient surgery," said UMass assistant Andrew Theokas. "We hope he'll be rehabbed enough in time for Greece."

Rhymer, who sat out his freshman year due to NCAA eligibility standards, is on track to graduate this summer, which would earn him another year of eligibility.

Shannon Crooks' rehab has been progressing as well. The senior guard, who had surgery on his left big toe in the spring, has resumed running, and should also be healthy in time for the European tour which begins Aug. 12.

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Theokas said that point guard Anthony Anderson, who sat out this year due to NCAA freshman eligibility rules, is having a strong summer academically.

"He's been doing well," Theokas said. "I think he can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel."

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Steve Lappas completed his coaching staff for next season, hiring former Portland (Ore.) State assistant Brian Loyd.

"Brian brings tremendous experience to our program," Lappas said in a UMass release. "He has been a full-time assistant coach in a number of quality programs and his experience will be an asset to our staff. But more importantly, he relates very well to young people, which is very important in this position."

Loyd had previously worked at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He played collegiately at Tulsa from 1986-1990.

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UMass and Boston University were unable to find a date that fit into both schools' schedules this year, leaving the Minutemen one game short of a full non-conference slate.

See the Schedule page for more.
"We have some dialogue going with a few schools," said assistant coach John Leonard, who confirmed that UMass was trying to add a home game.

The Terriers will likely come to Amherst in a future season.

The rest of UMass' pre-conference schedule includes road foes North Carolina State, Marshall, and Boston College. Connecticut, Ohio State, Holy Cross, Marist and Maine will come to the Mullins Center, and the Minutemen will play Oregon at the Springfield Civic Center.

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