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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

After CBA, Coaching USC Will Be a Snap, Bibby Says

June 19, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

The fact that Phil Jackson and George Karl are former Continental Basketball Assn. coaches was not lost on Henry Bibby as he watched the NBA finals. . . .

Bibby coached for eight seasons in the CBA, the minor league of professional basketball. . . .

That is part of the reason he is unfazed by the job of trying to rebuild the USC program. . . .

"This job is easy compared to the CBA," said Bibby, whose Trojans lost their last nine games last season after he replaced Charlie Parker.

"I didn't have an assistant coach in the CBA," added Bibby, who coached the Oklahoma City Cavalry, Tulsa Fast Breakers, Savannah Spirits and Baltimore Lightning. "I mopped the floors. I drove the van. During a 10-day stretch one year, I lost six players, two to the NBA and four to teams overseas." . . .

Eight of the 12 players on Bibby's roster next season will be playing for USC for the first time. . . .

Among them is forward Rodrick Rhodes, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound transfer from Kentucky who practiced with the team last season and could be an impact player. . . .

Four of the seven other newcomers are junior college transfers. . . .

"We'll be solid at a lot of positions," Bibby said. "Last season, we were down to four scholarship players. We were in most of the games, but got worn down in the last few minutes. It'll be nice to be able to go to the bench with some confidence." . . .

A positive thinker, Bibby, 47, envisions the day in the near future when USC will line up what he calls "the Miracle Five." . . .

"The Miracle Five will be five talented kids from high schools in Southern California," he said. "There's no reason why we shouldn't be able to recruit well in this area. First and foremost, a kid can get a quality education at USC. He also has the opportunity to play in front of his family and friends at an arena that also is the home of an NBA team." . . .

Next season, Bibby will be coaching against his alma mater, UCLA, and his son, Mike. . . .

Henry was the starting point guard on three NCAA champions and a consensus All-American in 1972 when he was team captain. Mike Bibby will begin his freshman year at Arizona after being rated as one of the best high school guards in the nation. . . .

"I'll have no problems coaching against UCLA or Mike," Bibby said. "Basketball is a business and a game. It's nothing personal." . . .

*

How many more games does Jim Abbott (1-10) have to lose before the Angels send him to the bullpen? . . .

Actually, it is easy to see why Manager Marcel Lachemann is being so patient. . . .

When he was the club's pitching coach, Lachemann showed similar confidence in Abbott, who responded by becoming one of the best pitchers in the American League in 1991, only his third year in professional baseball. . . .

A board of trustees' meeting tonight will determine the fate of baseball at Pasadena City College, where Jackie Robinson played. . . .

Kevin Maas, the first baseman-designated hitter from the University of California, once was billed as the New York Yankees' next great slugger. At 31, he has signed to play for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. . . .

If NFL off-season workouts are voluntary, why do coaches get so mad when certain players don't show up? . . .

Trainer Richard Mandella unveils his newest South American star in today's feature at Hollywood Park. The winner of the Argentine Derby appears classy enough. His name is Gentleman. . . .

Look-alikes: Troy Aikman and the young Mickey Mantle. . . .

The UCLA men's water polo scholarship golf tournament will be held Monday at Braemar Country Club in Tarzana. . . .

I'm not impressed that Roberto Duran, who was one of the greatest 135-pound champions ever, has slimmed down to 160 for his bout against Hector Camacho on Saturday at Atlantic City. . . .

Bound to happen: George Foreman has a cookbook out. . . .

Another heavy heavyweight, Butterbean, filmed a cameo role in the movie, "Chairman of the Board," on Monday. But he isn't giving up his night job. The king of the four-rounders will fight on a card at the Beverly Hilton on July 10. . . .

I didn't like Mary Decker Slaney when she put all the blame on Zola Budd for their tangle in the 1984 Olympic Games, but I love her for making the U.S. Olympic team in the 5,000 meters at 37 and after 18 or more leg operations.

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