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AROUND THE STATE / MEN

Miami

COACH: Perry Clark (16-13, second season; 201-158).

2000-01 RECORD: 16-13, 8-8 in Big East Conference (tied for third in Eastern Division).

LAST SEASON: Clark's rebuilding project led to the first round of the NIT, where the Hurricanes lost to Auburn 60-58 in the first round.

RETURNING STARTERS: James Jones, F, 6-8 Jr. (11.9 ppg., 5.9 rpg.); Darius Rice, F, 6-10 So. (14.1 ppg., 4.9 rpg); John Salmons, G/F, 6-7 Jr. (13.3 ppg., 6.0 rpg.).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Rafael Berumen, F/C, 6-9 Jr. (Los Angeles City College); Marcus Barnes, G, 6-2 So. (7.2 ppg., 1.2 rpg.); Paulo Coelho, G, 6-2 Jr. (redshirt in 2000-01); Rodrigue Djahue, F, 6-7 So. (4.1 ppg., 2.7 rpg.); William Frisby, F, 6-8 So. (Fresno City College); Elton Tyler, F, 6-9 Sr. (redshirt in 2000-01); Kahleaf Watson, G, 6-2 Fr. (Blue Ridge, Va., High School).

OUTLOOK: Clark had to make do without four starters last season but still managed to get the team into the NIT. With nine lettermen and four starters returning, Miami is hoping for a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Rice, Salmons and Jones were last season's top scorers and rebounders. Salmons, an All-America candidate, is a versatile star returning at point guard. Jones and Rice power what should be one of the Big East's best frontcourts.

INFORMATION: Call (800) 462-2637.

Central Florida

COACH: Kirk Speraw (108-125, eighth season; 190-146).

2000-01 RECORD: 8-23, 3-15 in Atlantic Sun Conference.

LAST SEASON: The mixture of youth and inexperience proved damaging as UCF lost 13 games by nine points or fewer and six by five or fewer to finish in the A-Sun basement.

RETURNING STARTERS: Joey Graham, G, 6-6 So. (8.5 ppg., 3.8 rpg.); Paul Reed, F, 6-8 Sr. (14.0 ppg., 7.4 rpg.); Al Miller, G, 6-0 Jr. (4.6 ppg., 4.8 apg.).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Ray Abellard, G, 5-10 Jr. (Pensacola JC); Josh Bodden, C, 6-9 So. (3.9 ppg., 2.9 rpg.); Marius Boyd, G, 6-4 Jr. (2.4 ppg., 1.4 rpg.); Ed Dotson, F, 6-7 Jr. (Detroit, Mich.); Brian Graham, F, 6-4 Jr. (Florida College); Stephen Graham, G, 6-5 So. (3.6 ppg., 1.3 rpg.); Jamon Harmon, F, 6-5 Fr. (Choctawhatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach); Tim Kiscaden, G, 6-0 Fr. (Oviedo High School); Evandro Moretti, C, 6-10 Jr. (2.4 ppg., 1.6 rpg.); Beronti Simms, F, 6-7 Sr. (5.5 ppg., 4.1 rpg.); Jason Thornton, G, 6-5 Sr. (6-3 ppg., 1.3 rpg.).

OUTLOOK: The Golden Knights are ready to rebound from last season's woes. The first step will be improving a defense that allowed opponents to shoot more than 45 percent from the floor. Three-point shooting also must improve; UCF shot 31.9 percent. But with three starters and five lettermen returning, experience should no longer be a problem.

INFORMATION: Call (407) 823-4653.

Florida A&M

COACH: Mike Gillespie (first season).

2000-01 RECORD: 6-22, 4-14 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (10th place).

LAST SEASON: The school is trying to rebuild its program and let Mickey Clayton go in March after a 48-104 record in five seasons. It probably didn't help that one of those losses was 125-50 to then-No. 8 Florida, a game played for a guaranteed payout to FAMU.

RETURNING STARTERS: Demarcus Wilkins, G, 6-0 So. (13.6 ppg., 2.4 rpg., 2.8 apg.); Jason Miles, G, 6-3 Jr. (12.4 ppg., 3.1 rpg.); Nicholaus Ross, G, 6-2 Jr. (9.4 ppg., 2.2 rpg.).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Michael Griffith, G, 6-2 Jr. (Lincoln Trail JC); Dominique Jackson, G, 6-2 Fr. (Glen Mills, Pa., Prep); Brian Zamore, F, 6-8 Fr. (Berkshire Prep).

OUTLOOK: He was one of the most successful junior college coaches in the nation, going 258-56 at Tallahassee Community, and now Gillespie will try to bring respect to a FAMU program that has enjoyed little since the 1998-99 NCAA Tournament team. Wilkins was on the MEAC All-Rookie team last season, and Miles set a school record with 76 3-pointers.

INFORMATION: Call (850) 599-3230.

Bethune-Cookman

COACH: Horace Broadnax (36-75, fifth season).

2000-01: 10-19, 5-13 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (ninth place).

LAST SEASON: It was rough going. B-CC was led by Tyree Harris' 14.6 points per game and Derricus Lockwood's 13.8, and those players are gone.

RETURNING STARTERS: Brian Cox, G, 6-1 Sr. (8.1 ppg., 5.3 rpg.); Jerome Nicholson, C, 6-8 So. (2.6 ppg., 1.1 rpg).

TOP RETURNEES/NEWCOMERS: Moses Cage, G, 5-10 Sr. (5.3 ppg., 3.1 rpg.); Jerry Daniels, C, 6-9 Jr. (1.5 ppg., 1.7 rpg.); David Hawkins, G, 6-0 Jr. (Hartford Community College); Brent King, F, 6-5 Jr. (3.9 ppg., 4.3 rpg.); Diondre Larmond, F, 6-5 So. (5.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg.); Dwight Lauder, G, 6-0 So. (2.6 ppg., 1.1 rpg.); Maurice Riddick, G, 6-2 Jr. (Allegany Community College, Md.); Richard Toussaint, G, 6-3 Jr. (Hillsborough Community College); Michael Williams, G, 6-3 Jr. (Eastern Oklahoma JC).

OUTLOOK: B-CC will rebuild with a foundation of junior college transfers: Toussaint, Riddick, Williams and Hawkins. B-CC has been picked to finish 10th in the MEAC, so the Wildcats will have to find that right mix of chemistry to complement strong perimeter shooting to try to beat those expectations. A Nov. 20 trip to Georgetown (Broadnax's alma mater) and a Dec. 17 trip to Oklahoma won't help.

INFORMATION: Call (386) 255-1401, Ext. 225.

_ Compiled by Jamal Thalji.

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