7:00 PM, Friday, November 15, Memorial Gymnasium <P> A surprising victory over the Harlem Globetrotters, 70-68, in the first exhibition game, raised hopes for the 2002-03 version of the Vanderbilt Commodores. They got the good shooting from the field that they needed for victory (47%) and actually dominated the game although it wasn't finally decided until a last-second field goal by Matt Freije.

Forty-seven of the 70 points were scored by the four biggest men (Freije, Brian Thornton, David Przybyszewski, and Martin Schnedlitz), and the team took only seven three-pointers, making three. Vanderbilt went 25-17 from the free throw line.

On the other hand, the Globetrotters did not use their leading scorer, former NBA-Allstar Cedric Ceballos, outrebounded the Commodores 41-33, and shot miserably from the free throw line (21-7, or 33.3%). With Ceballos in the lineup, the Trotters lost the next night at Maryland 97-79.

Exhibitions games are poorly reported, but it is known that the Upstate New York Travellers have two teams and exchange players between them as needed. During the present exhibition season, the results of some of their games are:

November 4: Rice 94, Upstate New York 87

November 6: UNC Greensboro 87, Upstate New York 78

November 7: St. Bonaventure 95, Upstate New York 76

November 7: Richmond 92, Upstate New York 70

Twenty players have seen action for the Upstate teams, some of the better known of whom are:

CENTERS- Billy Celuck (7-0), Syracuse, 2002; Rodney Odom (6-11), UNC-Charlotte, 1994.

GUARDS- Trevor Ruffin (6-1), Hawaii, 1994; Lazarus Sims (6-4), Syracuse, 1996; Torrey Andrews (6-5), Rice, 1994.

FORWARDS- Ryan Blackwell (6-9), Syracuse, 2000; Carlin Hartman (6-7), Tulane, 1994.

Blackwell was an outstanding player at Syracuse and it would not have been surprising if he had gone on to an NBA career. Ruffin had an NBA tryout after scoring over 20 points per game as a senior at Hawaii, and has been the most prolific scorer for Upstate.

Other players who have seen action for Upstate include Malik Campbell, Fred Cofield, Chris Conley, Terry Davis, Kevin Houston, Larry Jackson, Damien Jenifer, Earl Johnson, Thomas Meredith, Victor Payne, Duffy Samuels, James Smiley, and Chad Thomas.

The Upstate New York teams seem to be typical exhibition opponents, not playing much defense, and losing most or all of their games. Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings will have ample opportunity for experimentation. Top Stories