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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

November 3, 2005 at 5:34 PM

Media day revisited

One thing that’s always fun about conference media days is seeing the players interact with each other.
College athletes compete like heck on the field or court, but they also realize that they are all in the same boat and usually get along quite well once introduced.
And Washington guard Brandon Roy, a Garfield High School grad, needed no introduction to one of the other five players who was here – Oregon’s Aaron Brooks, a Franklin High grad.
Also in attendance were Oregon State’s Nick DeWitz, Stanford’s Dan Grunfeld and UCLA’s Jordan Farmar.
Most ate together at a table and talked during the lunch portion of the schedule.
“It’s been pretty fun,” Roy said. “I got in kind of late last night (his flight didn’t arrive until after midnight) and I didn’t get much sleep. But it’s exciting seeing all the Pac-10 players. There’s still a lot of time before we play, so everybody is relaxed and cool. Nobody’s mad at each other yet.”
Along with doing interviewers with whatever reporters show up here, the players and coaches also do a number of interviews for Fox Sports, the prime broadcaster of conference games during the season. A lot of those interviews you see pop up on games during the season? Many of them are done here.
– Roy and DeWitz found out that they had something in common – playing with Jamaal Williams.
Even though DeWitz grew up in Arizona and played high-school ball in Chandler, he played for an AAU team in Compton, Calif., called the Compton Magic. One of his teammates was Williams, who played his high-school ball in Corona, Calif.
“We played together at least two years,” DeWitz said.
DeWitz said that even then, Williams had a reputation for shooting at will.
“He’s the black hole,” DeWitz said. “But he gets it done. His shooting percentage is pretty high, so you can’t say anything about it to him.”
– Romar always is a hit at these gatherings. Not only is he as good at handling the media as anyone, but he also has a lot of friends in the LA media due to his days as an assistant at UCLA and a head coach at Pepperdine. He spent part of the lunch hour talking about playground heroes from his days as a youth in Compton.
He was one of the last two coaches to leave.
– Injuries were one of the recurrent themes from many of the coaches. UCLA’s Ben Howland said he hasn’t had one practice yet where every scholarship player was available and has often had just seven scholarship players available and nine overall.
But most of UCLA’s walking wounded should be back when Pac-10 season rolls around. Also bit hard by the injury bug has been Cal, though again, none of the new ailments are major.
Staying healthy for Cal, however, has been forward Leon Powe, who missed last year with a knee injury.
Cal coach Ben Braun said “no one has worked harder in his rehab than Leon” and that there are no restrictions right now on Powe. He was the Pac-10 freshman of the year in the 2003-04 season, averaging 15.1 points and 9.5 rebounds. And if he’s truly healthy and better than he was before, as Braun said, then Cal will be a team to watch for this season.
Look for more notes in The Times tomorrow as well as more here in this space as well in coming days.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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