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Phil Taylor
December 17, 1990
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December 17, 1990

College Basketball

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"Little Earl is a good fan," Stinnett said. "He hasn't missed a home game."


When James (Jay) Bias died last week, in the same Maryland hospital in which his brother Len had been declared dead four years ago, it was almost too cruel a twist of fate to be believed. Both had so many things in common—youth, strength, athletic talent. Len, a star forward at the University of Maryland, had overdosed on cocaine and died on June 19, 1986, the day after he was taken in the first round of the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. Now Jay was dead at age 20, shot and killed in the parking lot of a Hyattsville, Md., shopping mall after apparently trying his best to avoid a dispute with the alleged gunman, Jerry Tyler, in a jewelry store.

Jay was a talented basketball player whose passion for the game seemed to wither after his brother's death. In 1987-88, Jay, a 6'7" forward, averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds as a senior at Northwestern High in Hyattsville, but academic problems kept him from accepting a scholarship to a four-year school. Instead, he enrolled at Allegany (Md.) Community College, where he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds in his only season.

"He was one of the top five or 10 freshman players in junior college," said Rick Ball, who publishes a junior college recruiting newsletter. "He wasn't as polished as Lenny, but he had big-time college talent."

Providence and James Madison were among the schools that were interested in Bias, but he left Allegany in 1989, and he never played organized basketball again after that.

"He didn't seem like the same Jay as far as basketball was concerned," said Clinton Venable, who played with Bias at Northwestern and Allegany and now plays for Bowling Green. "I used to think it would be a shame if he didn't use his talent, but now that seems like such a small thing. First Len and now Jay. It's just not fair."


Guard Greg Sutton of Oral Roberts averaged 46 points in four games last week, including a school-record 68 in a 116-114 overtime loss to Oklahoma City University and a tournament-record 48 against Texas Southern in Arkansas State's Citizens Bank Classic in Jonesboro. The previous tournament record was held by a young gunner from Rutgers who scored 38 points for the Scarlet Knights in a game in 1965. His name: Jim Valvano....

It was a strange week for the NAIA's Texas College, which lost by 94 points in one game and two points in another. The 159-65 blowout was administered by Southern University; Prairie View A&M claimed a 2-0 forfeit victory when Texas College didn't show up for a game, saying the contract for the game arrived too late. "They sent us a contract 10 days [before the game], which we didn't respond to," said Texas College athletic director Richard Watkins. "It would be pretty tough to say we forfeited."...

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