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They Probably Were Printed by Princeton Press

MORNING BRIEFING

May 08, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Even though UCLA won the Pacific 10 Conference championship, it was a bad year for Bruin basketball, at least as far as the NCAA tournament goes, and not such a great year for three UCLA basketball books, either.

There were Jim Harrick's "Embracing the Legend"; Keith Erickson's "Champions Again," which had the misfortune to be released a week after UCLA was eliminated, plus Times Staff Writer Mark Heisler's "They Shoot Coaches Don't They," which also had a slight problem.

When UCLA officials saw the book cover, director of compliance Rich Herczog had to write a cease-and-desist letter to the publisher. That's because Charles O'Bannon and Cameron Dollar were pictured, and as underclassmen, that could be an NCAA rules violation.

Trivia time: Roger Maris, with 61, and Mickey Mantle, 54, were among six players to hit 20 or more home runs for the New York Yankees in 1961. Who were the others?

Hold that line: Detroit Tiger Manager Buddy Bell after a 24-11 loss to the Minnesota Twins:

"We got down by a touchdown, then a touchdown and a field goal. Then it was two touchdowns. Thank God, they put that two-point conversion in. We still had a chance."

Add scoring: After Montreal scored 21 runs against the Colorado Rockies last week, Expo catcher Darrin Fletcher was asked if he was ever on a team that scored 21 in a game.

"Yes," he said. "It was at Oakwood High School in Illinois. We ran the option."

Reservations: Jud Buechler of the Chicago Bulls in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Dennis Rodman's book, "Bad as I Wanna Be": "It should be fun reading as long as my name isn't mentioned."

Hard times: Bill Reynolds of the Providence Journal-Bulletin on the demise of the Boston Celtics:

"We used to get a season that went into June. We used to get championships. Now we get a season that ends in April and [Coach] M.L. [Carr] for another year."

Rivalry: Houston Rocket guard Kenny Smith, a North Carolina alumnus, needling a teammate, Chucky Brown, who attended North Carolina State: "At North Carolina, we have culture. At State, they have agriculture."

Brown replying to Smith: "People who go to Carolina are sweet . . . like Kenny. They're the wine-and-cheese crowd. No, they're really the whine-and-cheese crowd. They cry about everything."

Low blow: Ronnie Gallagher in the Salisbury (N.C.) Post: "I heard the Clippers had a triple-double in their last home game. That means there were three couples in the stands."

Trivia answer: Bill Skowron, 28; Yogi Berra, 22; Elston Howard and John Blanchard, 21 each.

And finally: Rodman reportedly signed 1,400 books in more than three hours Saturday at a book store in Chicago. That fell short of the bookstore record of 2,700 in three hours by a slightly less flamboyant figure--Colin Powell.

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