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So's this: Freshman guard Bernard Haslett, Mississippi's high school Player of the Year, fractured his arm in a preseason pickup game when Spoon blocked a dunk attempt.
Every year Oklahoma disappoints opponents eager to see the Sooners' theatrically obnoxious coach, Billy Tubbs, finally get his comeuppance. In 1989, Oklahoma lost Stacey King and Mookie Blaylock, but the team went 27-5 last season. Now, despite losing Skeeter Henry, William Davis, Jackie Jones and Smokey McCovery, Tubbs seems once again to have replacement parts. Brent Price, kid brother of Mark Price of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is eligible as a transfer from South Carolina. "We didn't have a guy last year who could guard him [in practice]," says Tubbs. Two holdover guards, Terry Evans and Terrence Mullins, join Tubbs's brace of juco transfers. If 6'7" Damon Patterson overcomes academic problems in time for the second semester, Oklahoma will again be atop a suddenly weaker Big Eight.
It's a fact: In the 10 years of the Tubbs era, Oklahoma has gone 94-0 when scoring 100 points or more.
So's this: The Sooners, who over the past few years have supplied us with such sprightly names as Smokey, Choo, Mookie and Skeeter, welcome freshman Kiki Hicks.
Despite the departures of Jackson to the NBA and 7-foot Stanley Roberts to Italy, Louisiana State should be a DuPont kind of team—better living through chemistry. Throughout last season, Jackson's frenetic outside game was at odds with the post work of Roberts and 7'1" Shaquille O'Neal, who seemed to get in each other's way. Now O'Neal is on his own, and coach Dale Brown is so high on Jackson's replacement, Tennessee-Martin transfer Mike Hansen, that he has already named him cocaptain. If the Tigers seem to have lost an awful lot, remember that Brown is better at jawboning undermanned teams into overachieving than at getting superstars to play in harmony.
It's a fact: O'Neal, despite playing 18 games in a conference with a six-fouls-and-out rule, still fouled out nine times last season.
So's this: Brown vows to take the Tigers on an international tour this coming summer to promote world peace, but it should be noted that the eight-year Iran-Iraq war broke out a decade ago, the same year Brown helped coach the Iraqi national team.
Last season it seemed as if New Mexico State loosed on the Big West about 77 juco transfers from Chicago. The Aggies relied on the all-around play of 6'3" Randy Brown, now a senior, along with forwards Reggie Jordan and Michael New. Yet as good as Jordan and New proved to be last season, juco transfers Terry Butler, David Lofton and Tracey Ware will vie for their starting positions.
It's a fact: Ware, a swimmer at Houston's Yates High, and Jordan, a gym rat at Proviso East (Ill.) High, never played high school basketball.
So's this: Reserve center Jason Trask has vanity plates that read HOOPIST.