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Aztecs Suspend Guard Best for Rest of Season

Times Staff Writer

Michael Best, the starting point guard and second leading scorer on the San Diego State basketball team, is out for the remainder of the season because of “medical reasons,” Coach Jim Brandenburg said Wednesday.

Brandenburg said he could not specify the medical reason that will prevent Best from participating “in games or team activities.”

Best, who practiced with the team Tuesday afternoon, has not missed a game because of injury this season.

Brandenburg said he informed Best of the decision Tuesday night. Best did not accompany the team Wednesday for the start of a Western Athletic Conference trip against New Mexico tonight and Texas El Paso Saturday.

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Brandenburg said he expected Best to remain in school. He said Best’s status with the team for next season “is to be determined.”

Best could not be reached for comment. One of Best’s roommates, freshman center Neal Pollard, said Wednesday afternoon from San Diego that he had not seen Best since Tuesday afternoon.

Best had expressed uncertainty about his future with the Aztecs as late as last week. He said then that he might consider a career in professional basketball rather than return for his senior season. Best said he was considering leaving school for financial and personal reasons.

Best, a 6-foot-4 junior from Seat Pleasant, Md., had started all 26 games, averaging 12.5 points and 4.4 rebounds. He leads the team in assists (113), field goal attempts (273), turnovers (96) and minutes played (793). His 61 steals are the third best season total in Aztec history.

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He had season highs of 24 points against New Mexico and 14 rebounds against Brigham Young. He is the Aztecs’ leading scorer in conference play, averaging 15.6 points and scoring in double figures in 13 of 14 WAC games.

Best sat out last season after transferring from Clemson, where he was suspended early in his sophomore season because of academic difficulties.

Brandenburg said Best will be replaced in the starting lineup by Rodney Jones, a transfer from Panola Junior College in Carthage, Tex. Jones, a 6-2 junior, is averaging 2.8 points in 11 minutes a game.


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