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Catlett Goree has NBA goods

West Virginia basketball coach Gale Catlett believes Marcus Goree has a legitimate chance to make it in the National Basketball Association.

The 6-foot-8, 235-pound Goree was a third-team All-Big East selection this past season for the Mountaineers.

He's been invited to an NBA scouting combine scheduled for late June in Chicago.

"I sincerely believe Marcus is good enough to play in the NBA," Catlett said. "But if he doesn't get that opportunity, he can still make a lot of money playing in Europe."

Catlett says Goree's major drawback is lack of height.

"If he's 6-foot-10, he's a lottery pick," Catlett said. "He has great skills to be a four (power forward), but with his size, he's probably going to have to play the three (small forward).

"Does he have the shooting skills to move out to the perimeter? Probably not. But he has all the intangibles coaches love. He's coachable, his teammates love him and he's the same all the time, and I'm sure many teams will take a long look at those qualities."

n n n

Despite the removal of illegal aliens working at the site of the West Virginia University Coliseum, the asbestos abatement project is on schedule, WVU officials say.

The target date for the completion of the project is Oct. 17, which would allow WVU's basketball teams the usual amount of practice time in preparation for the 2000-2001 season.

In another matter concerning the Coliseum, funds for painting the roof of the massive structure are likely forthcoming, according to Joe Fisher, Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Services at WVU.

"A membrane sealant was put on the roof in the early '90s when there was a problem with leaking," Fisher said. "The discoloration of the roof occurred because of a primer that was used in some spots and not in others."

Despite its age, the 30-year-old Coliseum still looks majestic at night when viewing it from I-79. But in the daytime, the roof, which has dark blotchy spots in it, is rather unsightly.

Fisher said several colors, including bronze, gold and silver, are under consideration.

n n n

Big East rival Virginia Tech is busy upgrading its football facility.

Lane Stadium, built in 1964, currently has a capacity of 51,000.

Work to add 3,000 seats in the north end zone is under way. Eventually, 11,000 more seats are to be added in the south end zone, according to Randy Butt, director of financial affairs.

"We're trying to take advantage of Michael Vick's presence here," Butt said. "Interest is at an all-time high in tickets, and we've already sold out of season tickets.

"We've had to turn away thousands of people, so we can definitely use the extra seating."

When the entire addition is done, Lane Stadium will hold more than WVU's Mountaineer Field.

Sports writer Greg Talkington can be reached at 626-1444.

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