Senior forward Keith Kirven, the leading scorer on the 1-7 Howard basketball team, has been suspended indefinitely for disciplinary reasons by Coach Butch Beard and his future with the team remains unclear.

Kirven, 6 feet 5 and 210 pounds, was not in uniform for Tuesday night's 77-62 home loss to Towson State. A transfer from Hagerstown Community College playing in his second season with the Bison, Kirven is averaging 15 points a game.

"He broke a team rule, and officially, he is still on the team," Beard said yesterday. "I have not spoken to him since, but I will try to call him tonight because I want to talk with him."

Last season, Kirven started 18 games and averaged 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds.

Beard, who was hired in early summer, said he intends to resolve Kirven's situation and make several other changes before the Bison play again, in the Spokane Shootout on Dec. 28 in Spokane, Wash. The Bison play their next five on the road, including nationally ranked Georgia Tech on Jan. 2. Eleven of Howard's first 13 games are away from home.

Beard did not have an opportunity to recruit any new players to a team that finished 8-20 last year and lost its last six games. He came in intent on instituting full-court pressure defense and has stuck with the plan.

Despite using all 16 players on the roster in most games, and alternating starters, Beard has kept the Bison competitive in virtually every game. But he said changes will start during the next week of practice.

"We had to see what everybody could do and wanted to give everybody a chance," said Beard. "But the experiment is over. You want to win every game, but when we get into conference play {Jan. 5 at North Carolina A&T}, that really is our season."

Beard and his assistants worked into the night on Tuesday analyzing the players. Beard said he is ready to use a nucleus of eight or nine.

"I have an idea on which ones will play," he said. "I have been disappointed by the way some of them have played, at least from what I had heard about them coming in, but now, I think I know what most of them can do."