Magnus Pelkowski became an Indiana Hoosier by way of Bogota, Colombia, but Stacey Cvijanovich of Nevada-Las Vegas is really a native of Oxnard, Calif., and Arizona freshman Matt Muehlebach comes from Stilwell, Kan.

The point is, with more foreign-born athletes playing college basketball in this country than ever before, you can never be sure whether they hail from Bulgaria or Boise.

Louisiana State Coach Dale Brown, who probably has logged more frequent-flyer miles than anyone else in quest of foreign talent, has helped perpetuate this trend.

A couple of years ago, he tried in vain to get a Soviet star to suit up with the Tigers. This season, he will have Jose Vargas of the Dominican Republic at center and Neboisha Bukumirovich of Yugoslavia -- one of the few small foreign players in the NCAA -- at reserve guard.

Plus, Brown is hoping his latest find, 6-foot-10 Hernan Montenegro of Argentina, will learn the language and be ruled eligible this week.

"The reason we went to foreign recruiting was the players were an untapped resource," Brown said. "They don't get the publicity and the headlines and all the tinsel and Hollywood previews that we give our guys, but they're excellent players."

He has toured more than 50 countries scouting or giving clinics and says he admires these non-Americans.

"They have a burning desire to get a degree in this country," he said. "Ninety percent of them are ahead of our students {in that area}. And I like their spirit, the kind of pioneer blood they have to come here to prove they can play."

Almost all the foreign-born players are centers or power forwards.

"Everybody's looking for the big guy," he said.

A geographic glance finds 6-10 Rony Seikaly (Lebanon) at Syracuse, 7-1 Tito Horford (Dominican Republic) at Miami, 7-3 Rik Smits (Holland) at Marist, 7-1 Rolando Ferreira (Brazil) at Houston, 6-11 Marco Baldi (Italy) at St. John's, 7-0 Eric Fleury (France) at Siena, 6-9 Sasha Radunovich (Yugoslavia) at Wichita State, 6-8 Ed Fromayan (Liberia) at Texas Christian, and 7-3 Michel Bonebo (Ivory Coast) at St. Michael's in Vermont.

Brown thinks television has become the No. 1 educational tool for players overseas.

"The satellite system has done it," he says. "The fact is, {they} can watch Americans play. What says a kid in Buenos Aires can't play as well as a kid from Baton Rouge?"