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NBA's Houston Club Picks Up Minniefield
Last week former Kentucky Wildcat hoopster Dirk Minniefield was traded to the 1986 NBA finalist Houston Rockets. The 6-foot-3 guard was averaging 2.5 points per game in 11 outings for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Minniefield will take Robert Reid's place on the Rockets' roster. Reid was placed on injured reserve last Monday (Dec. 7) following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
In exchange for Minniefield, Cleveland will get Houston's third-round pick in the 1989 draft.
Drafted by Dallas in the second round in 1983, Minniefield spent two seasons playing for the Louisville Catbirds of the Continental Basketball Association. Last season for Cleveland he connected for 5.5 ppg while dishing out 3.5 assists per contest.
He pumped in 8.7 ppg during his four-year stay at Kentucky. A member of the famous 1,000 point club (1,069), Minniefield still
Dirk Moves To Rockets
holds the all-time career assist mark at UK with 646 in 123 ballgames.
Minniefield joins former Louisville standout Rodney McCray in Houston. Those two are best remembered for playing against one another in the 1983 Mideast Regional finals, known throughout the Bluegrass as Dream Game I. Louisville eventually beat the Wildcats in Knoxville, 80-68 (OT) and won a ticket to the Final Four.
On that memorable day McCray scored 18 points while Minniefield netted 12. Now the two will be joining forces in hopes of helping Houston make the NBA finals for a second straight season.
Ironically, Minniefield played with the other McCray brother. Scooter, when he was with the Cavs.
Scouts' Dreams Are Sleepers' Destinies
State's Rip Van Winkles Can Add Spark
College coaches often tell me that they are looking for some Indians to play with their chiefs. In other words, these scouts aren't looking for All-Americans but for solid players who'll compliment the superstars.
Our state has its share of "Rip Van Winkles" as sleepers are often labeled. Below are who I consider the Bluegrass state's top 15 senior sleepers, and in many cases, some are playing in the shadows of a teammate who generally receives most of the ink for the team. Note that all players are listed alphabetically.
Btu^Jtett, 6-6, G-F, Wayne County—A nice swingman
Cats' Pause Columnist
who has the potential to develop into a lower Division I big guard. Hit for 18 points per game and 10 rebounds per game as a junior but lacks the quickness to compete higher than lower-Division I. TENNESSEE-MARTIN AND TRANSYLVANIA ARE IN HOT PURSUIT OF HIM.
Willie Combs, 6-0, G, Hazard —Teams with supermate, Terry North, to form the best backcourt pair in the state. Although North gets most of the recognition, it is Combs who is the glue that holds the team together. Hit for 11 ppg and 6 rpg a year ago for a team that got to the semifinals of the state tournament. MORE DIVISION II THAN DIVISION I, TENNESSEE-MARTIN AND MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE LIKE THIS GUARD.
Tony Commodore, 6-0, G, Newport —Has impressive stats as a junior with 17 ppg, seven rpg, and six apg. Is an athlete from the word "go" and could be tabbed the best player in the Ninth Region before the end of the season. Just needs to drop a few pounds to aid his speed and quickness. NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY HAS EYEBALLED THIS LOWER-DIVISION I GUARD.
Nelson Cundiff, 6-3, G, Russellville-This Rip Van
Winkle" for the Fourth Region averaged 17 ppg, seven rpg, and three apg as a junior with points coming primarily from the "J". NEEDS MORE STRENGTH AND TO DEVELOP PHYSICALLY, BUT A REAL STEAL FOR THE DIVISION II COLLEGES.
Kenny Davis, 5-10, PG, Louisville Valley — Played at Louisville Male as a sophomore and transferred to Louisville PRP as a junior where he was ineligible. Being at his third school in three years makes him an unknown but he can P-L-A-Y the game from the floor general slot. POSSESSES ULTRA-SPEED AND QUICKNESS BUT NEEDS MORE GROWTH AND RANGE TO VIE HIGHER THAN DIVISION II.
John Eubanks, 6-4, Swingman, Louisville Seneca —
Although teammates Junior Graves and Robert Peyton receive most of the ink for the Redskins, Eubanks is, in reality, really the second best college prospect on the team behind Graves. This late developer has all of the physical tools but just needs overall refinement of game. A LOWER DIVISION I PROSPECT, HE MAY HAVE TO GO JUCO INITIALLY DUE TO SUSPECT GRADES.
Mike Minix, 6-2, G, Paintsville—When you think of Paint-sville, John Pelphrey automatically comes to mind. Minix, however, is a player who can play in the right Division I program. This handling guard can light up the scoreboard with his jumper and recently had 25 points in the finals of the Begley's Hillbrook Classic which his team won. MOREHEAD STATE HAS SHOWN SOME INTEREST.
Matt Pollitt, 6-8, C, Fleming County — Here's a late bloomer whose best days lie ahead of him. Possesses a nice touch for a big man but needs more of an inside power game in order to play at the Division I level. THIS THREE-YEAR STARTER IS BEING RECRUITED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS.
Michael Peachers, 6-3, F, Hopkinsville — Forget LaMonte Ware and Jeff Quarles for this team as Peachers could potentially develop into a better college prospect if his backcourt game ever comes around. This small forward hit for 15 ppg and 4 rpg as a junior on team that had a 30-5 slate and played a vital role as a sophomore when his team won it all. NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY LIKES THIS LOWER-DIVISION I TO TOP DIVISION II PLAYER.
Chris Russell, 6-6, F, Louisville Trinity — Recently signed with Northern Kentucky University and the Norsemen's coach. Mike Beitzel, inked him not because he is a scorer but because he can play defense and rebound. His high school coach. Joe Thompson, told Tlie Cats' Pause that Russell is the best defender he has coached in 13 years. HAD STATS OF 10 PPG AND 10 RPG A YEAR AGO.
Steve Spurlock, 6-8, C, Louisville Seneca — Here's a developing insider who won't get his mitts on the ball much this season with mates like Junior Graves and Robert Peyton around, but he'll do the other things needed for his team to win, such as rebound and play defense. SIZE, AND POTENTIAL TO DEVELOP DOWN THE ROAD WILL CATCH THE EYES OF LOWER-DIVISION I FOLKS AND TOP DIVISION II PROGRAMS.
Len Suber, 6-1, G, Hopkinsville University Heights —
Several college coaches went to observe his teammate, Enrique Tuluna (bound for Western Kentucky), and came away likeing Suber instead! This pure shooting off-guard can play at the lower Divi-
Paintsville's Sleeper—Mike Minix
sion I echelon but needs more growth and improved handling for point guard to play beyond that level. KENTUCKY WESLEYAN, TENNESSEE-MARTIN, SOUTHERN INDIANA, EAST TENNESSEE STATE, MERCER AND SOUTHEAST MISSOURI ARE SHOWING INTEREST.
Kevin Sullivan, 6-2, G, Louisville Southern —Is in the
shadow of teammate Bill Farley, but it is Sullivan who holds the key to his team's future this season. Has an excellent jump shot with range and possesses all of the physical attributes in terms of speed, quickness, and leaping ability. LACK OF SIZE FOR OFF-GUARD AND NOT BEING A TRUE POINT GUARD WILL KEEP HIM INTACT FOR A QUALITY DIVISION II SCHOOL.
Leonard Taylor, 6-6, F, Louisville Ballard —Has really improved leaps and bounds since last year. This forward runs the floor like a deer but needs better one-on-one skills with the ball in order to improve his game. VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH, WESTERN ILLINOIS, EVANSVILLE AND BRIGHAM YOUNG HAVE INQUIRED ABOUT HIM. WILL PROBABLY BE OUR STATE'S TOP SLEEPER FOR THE DIVISION I COMMUNITY.
Jerry Tevis, 6-4, F, Lexington Henry Clay — Ineligible as a junior after transferring in from Lexington Bryan Station where he played as a sophomore. He's the key to the Blue Devil's chances of winning it all this year. This small forward can stroke the jumper and hits the offensive boards. HOWEVER, HIS BACKCOURT GAME IS SUSPECT AT PRESENT. LOWER-DIVISION I PRO GRAMS WILL TAKE NOTE OF HIM.