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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 11, 2006 at 8:21 PM

What can you do?

Boy, nothing like writing a story about how a guy is finally maturing and fitting in and then finding out he got kicked out of practice that same day.
I’m referring to today’s story in the LA Daily News about Lodrick Stewart being booted from practice on Tuesday for throwing an elbow at a teammate. Here’s the link.
I talked with Stewart on Monday for the story that ran in Tuesday’s paper and he couldn’t have sounded happier about his situation, and my story reflected as much. USC coach Tim Floyd also has said on numerous occasions that Stewart – and the way he has handled matters on and off court – has been one of the pleasant surprises of the year for USC.
And the reality is that this isn’t that big of a deal. I talked with a USC spokesman today who said he didn’t think this would affect Stewart’s playing time Thursday against UW.
And hey, I’m not the only one. Several other media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, have published similar stories about Stewart, with glowing comments from Floyd.
Still, there’s some irony there that can make you do nothing but laugh.
Adding to it, Brandon Roy – who has known Stewart forever – was asked about him on Tuesday and said he thought that the difference in Stewart this year is that “he’s a good teammate now.”
Despite this little incident, I know everyone around UW thinks Stewart is playing better than he ever has. One coach told me he’s playing much better defense than before and is much better at creating shots than in the past. And they know that beating UW – which he has done just once in four games as a Trojan – is a big deal to him.
News and notes

  • Speaking of Roy, I stopped by practice briefly Wednesday and he was practicing with the team after sitting out earlier in the week with a lower back strain. That means he should be fine for the USC game, although backs are always worrisome and this may bear watching for a while as he’s obviously the last guy this team could lose. Roy said he didn’t know how the injury originated and that it began bothering him last Friday and that he noticed it a little in the second half of Saturday’s WSU game, saying he felt stiff when he came back in the game late in the second half after sitting out for a while with foul trouble.
  • Romar made an interesting statement about Ryan Appleby this week, saying that: “We think that it’s good when Ryan plays with another ball handler so that he can be free to roam and shoot. So we try to always have another ball handler with him.” That obviously means that Appleby – who has had some trouble handling the ball at some key moments in recent games – will rarely, if ever, be used as the team’s main point guard.
  • You might have seen in other outlets that Phil Nelson, a senior at McNary High in Keizer, Ore., and one of UW’s four signees for next season, missed a couple of games recently for what was termed by one newspaper as a “suspension.” But Romar said Nelson “had a family issue that had to be dealt with and it’s over with now.”
  • Romar said Harvey Perry is still in the mix to play this year. He said there have been “no setbacks” in his rehab from a stress fracture in his back and that he’s still on track to return in February.
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