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Friday, August 31, 2007

Background Stories on Tyrone Weeks, New Tiger Assistant Coach (3 of 3 in Series)

Assistant Coach, St. Bonaventure, 1999-01
Assistant Coach, Rhode Island, 2001-present

Ty Weeks, who helped take Massachusetts (35-2) to a No. 1 ranking and its only Final Four as a player in 1996, begins his second season on the Rhode Island staff and his fourth overall under Jim Baron, including two highly successful years at St. Bonaventure (1999-01).

The 28-year-old Philadelphia native, who accompanied Baron to Rhode Island in March 2001, works with the Rams' big men, oversees the strength and conditioning program and is involved in recruiting.

In 1999-2000, Weeks' rookie season as a coach at any level, St. Bonaventure went 21-10, reached the title game of the Atlantic 10 tournament and earned its first NCAA tournament berth since 1978. In the opening round, the Bonnies scared the bluegrass off heavily favored Kentucky before bowing 95-90 in double overtime. It was déjà vu all over again for Weeks, whose top-ranked Massachusetts team fell to No. 2 Kentucky 81-74 in the NCAA semifinals in '96 in what was widely considered the unofficial championship game.

Weeks, a standout high school player at Philadelphia's Franklin Learning Center, played in four NCAA tournaments at Massachusetts (1994-98), the first three under coach John Calipari, the last under Bruiser Flint. A 6-7 power forward, he started and served as team captain in his final two years while earning a bachelor's degree in education a year early, in 1997. Weeks scored 12.6 points a game as a junior and 10.1 as a senior while leading the Minutemen in rebounding with 8.8 averages both years. He ranks 34th on the school's all-time list in points (1,013) and sixth in rebounds (858).

Beginning with his freshman year, Weeks helped Massachusetts ring up records of 29-5, 35-2, 19-14 and 21-11 for a combined mark of 104-32 (.765). The Minutemen went 7-4 in NCAA tournament games, reaching the Elite Eight in 1995 and the Final Four in '96 before losing in the first round the next two years. Weeks twice led Massachusetts in scoring in NCAA play, tossing in 16 points against Arkansas in a 1996 Sweet 16 win and knocking down another 16 in a 1997 first-round loss to Louisville. In his career finale, a first-round loss to Saint Louis in '98, he pulled down 16 rebounds to come within one of the school post-season record.

After leaving Massachusetts, Weeks played in the United States Basketball League (USBL) with the Camden (N.J.) Power and then with an Argentine team called Santa Rose La Pampa. For four years, he coached at the Rasheed Wallace Foundation summer camp in Philadelphia.

Weeks and his wife Kim have a son, Tyrone Jr.

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