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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 11, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Oregon’s Pit Crew already planning for Appleby?

That’s what Mike Tokito of The Oregonian writes in this piece today saying that Oregon’s student section, the Pit Crew, is already devising ways to further heckle UW’s Ryan Appleby when the Huskies visit Eugene Thursday night.
As the story details, Appleby somehow became a villain in Eugene when he was smashed with a forearm to the face by Oregon’s Aaron Brooks at the 2006 Pac-10 Tournament. How that made Appleby the bad guy is hard to figure. The view in Oregon is that Appleby deserves it for not accepting Brooks’ handshake before the game in Eugene last season.
Certainly, Appleby could have helped defuse the situation by taking Brooks’ hand.
But the Pit Crew already had printed out pictures of Appleby’s bloody face to wave around, and was heckling him in pre-game warmups — a few fans stuffed cotton in their noses while others yelled “Aaron owns you” — so I don’t know how much the non-handshake mattered in terms of the crowd reaction.
Appleby said after the game last year he made a “gametime decision” not to accept Brooks’ handshake and did so because “I didn’t think they penalized him the right way. I’m not going to acknowledge anybody for hitting me in the face like that.”
Appleby has long contended that he thought it odd that Oregon decided to suspend Brooks for the game in Seattle but not in Eugene, thereby saving Brooks having to face the UW crowd but getting to play against the Huskies at home.
Appleby was asked if he had any lingering emotion over the incident before UW played Oregon in Seattle last month and said no, that he’s put it behind him other than when people ask about it.
Sounds as if he may have to relive it for one more night, however.
Worth noting that Appleby handled all the commotion last year just fine, scoring a team-high 21 points, He had one of his best games in the first meeting with Oregon this year, as well, scoring 19 points.

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