roubled former University of Connecticut combination guard Marcus Cox may try to resurrect his career in Amherst. He is expected to meet with new University of Massachusetts coach Steve Lappas this week to discuss the possibility of becoming a Minuteman.
Lappas is not allowed to comment on potential players until they commit.
Cox, a 6-foot-4 guard from Bridgeport, Conn., had a turbulent 2000-01 season in Storrs. He was suspended by coach Jim Calhoun in February for three games and then missed the final four games of the season following an arrest for marijuana possession. According to the Hartford Courant, Cox pleaded to a lesser charge and was sentenced to community service.
Cox averaged 1.8 points and 7.9 minutes in his two years at UConn.
Cox and Calhoun mutually agreed to move in different directions after the season. Rhode Island and Iona also are rumored to be interested in Cox.
Cox, who will have to sit out the 2001-02 season before completing his two remaining years of eligibility, was recruited by UMass out of high school, where he was the Connecticut Player of the Year at Bridgeport's Kolbe Cathedral High School.
He reportedly broached the subject of transferring with former UMass coach Bruiser Flint, but the Minuteman coach had filled all of his available scholarships.
After Flint was forced to resign last month, the three high school seniors he signed opted to go elsewhere, leaving Lappas with three scholarships.
BANQUET BANTER: The Minutemen held their annual end-of-season banquet Sunday at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, which served as a formal going-away party for Flint. He begins his new coaching job at Drexel Monday.
Flint was the keynote speaker at the event, a position he used to thank many fans in the audience. He broke down and cried twice, once when thanking his players and again while thanking his former manager and current academic service coordinator, Matt Komer, who Flint was close to at UMass.
The end-of-season awards were given out at the event as well. Senior guard Monty Mack earned the Most Valuable Player award, which he gave to Flint.
"I want to give this to him because he's responsible for me getting it," Mack said.