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COLLEGE NOTES : UC Irvine Guard Brown Hit With Another Suspension

The struggles of UC Irvine guard Chris Brown, the nation’s most prolific three-point shooter last season, have culminated in a two-game suspension.

“I have suspended Chris so he can reassess his priorities in regards to this team,” said Coach Rod Baker, who earlier suspended the senior for a preseason exhibition game.

He will miss tonight’s game at Nevada Las Vegas and Monday’s game at No. 20 New Mexico State.

Brown’s on-court problems came to a head during Tuesday’s conference-opening loss to Cal State Fullerton. For the first time in 34 games at the Bren Center, Brown did not make a three-point shot. He had two wide-open attempts in the opening minute, missed both and finished with only two points, zero for four from beyond the arc.

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Brown remains the team’s leading scorer, averaging 11.4 points. However, he is averaging only 2.8 three-point field goals per game after making an average of 4.7 last season.

New Mexico State will be without a key player in Monday’s game as well. Backup center Crafton Ferguson will miss the game after the Big West Conference suspended him for two games for elbowing UC Santa Barbara’s Doug Muse.

Commissioner Dennis Farrell said Ferguson, who averages 9.5 points and 3.3 rebounds, also will have to sit out the Aggies’ home game against UC Santa Barbara on March 4. In addition, he must write a letter of apology to Muse.

Ferguson, a 6-foot-8 junior from Brooklyn, N.Y., hit Muse with an elbow in the face during the first half of Tuesday night’s game, which UCSB won, 75-65. Muse went down and Ferguson was ejected.

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Cal State Fullerton, which reached the College World Series last season but lost a number of players to the professional ranks, is ranked 15th nationally in Baseball America’s preseason top 25.

Stanford, with seven starters back from a 36-24 team, is ranked first. USC is sixth, and Long Beach State 19th.

The only player from an area school to make the publication’s preseason All-American team was USC outfielder Geoff Jenkins.

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