Follow us:

Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 11, 2008 at 9:16 PM

On Morris and Aboya

Here’s an unedited version of a story on the Tim Morris-Alfred Aboya incident that will run on-line a little later and in tomorrow’s paper. Since I see other outlets already publishing their versions, decided to put my story out here, as well.
Here it is:
Washington senior guard Tim Morris earned himself a little airtime on ESPN and the enmity of some UCLA fans when he threw the ball off the face of Bruin forward Alfred Aboya in the final minutes of Washington’s 71-61 win Sunday.
But in the eyes of the Pac-10 Morris also did nothing wrong.
“It’s just one of those unfortunate plays that happens,” said Bill McCabe, the conference’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating on Monday afternoon after reviewing the play on tape.
The play began with Morris attempting to inbound the ball in front of the UCLA bench with 47 seconds left and the Huskies clinging to a five-point lead.
With the five-second count nearing and finding no one open, Morris decided to throw the ball off Aboya — who was guarding him closely — so UW would retain possession, hitting Aboya in the face.
McCabe said that in his review of the play it appeared Aboya jumped to the right as Morris threw the ball.
“If you look at the play very clearly, he jumps in the air pretty high the first time, then he comes down, and now the ball starts to release and then Aboya jumps to the right and takes the ball in the face,” McCabe said. “If he had jumped straight up again, the ball would probably have gone right by him. Instead, he jumps to the right and the ball hits him in the face.”
UCLA coach Ben Howland complained about the play after the game and said he asked the officials if there was something that could be done. UCLA fans have complained about it on message boards and e-mails, and ESPN made it a regular of highlight reels Sunday night and Monday.
But McCabe said there is “nothing in the rulebook (governing against such a play) unless you thought it was an unsportsmanlike act.” Players are allowed to throw the ball off another player to retain possession.
Other than being momentarily shaken, Aboya was not hurt, and he said afterward it was part of the game and “they were doing everything they could to win.” Aboya also acknowledged that Morris apologized to him on the court.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar said he was not aware until after the game that the ball had hit Aboya in the face. Romar said Morris wasn’s aiming for his face.
“I know Tim is not one go just go out and bean someone,” Romar said. “It was in the heat of the moment and Tim made a quick decision and it happened. If I had thought Tim was trying to hurt someone I would have had an issue with that.
“He was in a little confined area right by their bench and he just reacted. They (the officials) are counting (to five). But like I said, he wasn’t trying to hurt someone and he did apologize right afterward.”
UW retained possession and on the next play, Morris threw a pass downcourt that led to a Jon Brockman layin that helped clinch the win.
ALSO, the LA Times story on the incident can be found here including some harsh comments from John Wooden.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►