Seth Davis's Free Throws

Feb. 09, 2004
Feb. 09, 2004

Table of Contents
Feb. 9, 2004


Seth Davis's Free Throws


This is an article from the Feb. 9, 2004 issue Original Layout

Nate Robinson, a sophomore guard at Washington, is generously
listed at 5'9", but last week he hit new highs. Two weeks after
he was derisively called Gary Coleman by chanting fans at Oregon
State, Robinson led Washington to impressive wins over No. 9
Arizona and Arizona State. Those triumphs gave the Huskies (9-8,
4-5 in the Pac-10), who started off 0-5 in league play, their
first four-game winning streak in the Pac-10 since 1999. Robinson
dropped a career-high 31 points to go along with five rebounds,
five steals and three assists in last Thursday's 96-83 upset of
Arizona. He also earned plenty of style points with a
gravity-defying jam on an alley-oop pass from guard Curtis Allen.

"Their guys tried to defend me, but they saw my face over the
rim," Robinson said, somewhat hyperbolically, of the play. Added
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, "I tried to give it my best
acting skills, folding my arms and making it look like I've seen
that before. But if I was watching at home on TV, I'd be jumping
up and down."


When Loyola (Md.) defeated Marist 63-57 last Thursday to end the
nation's longest losing streak at 31 games, many in the
season-high crowd of 2,311 at Reitz Arena rushed the floor in a
mad celebration. "I give our student body credit; they really
created a great atmosphere," says Loyola coach Scott Hicks, whose
Greyhounds came within two games of tying the Division I record
for futility.

Loyola has been so beset by injuries and transfers this season
that Hicks has sometimes dressed only seven players for a game.
He has had to enlist walk-ons, managers and alumni for practices,
and he and his assistants have frequently suited up. The
Greyhounds followed their triumph by losing to St. Peter's on
Saturday, but at least they got to taste victory. "It was just
nice to see smiles on our players' faces," Hicks says. "It's been
a long, depressing experience, and they deserved to be happy."


Ohio State guard Tony Stockman, who was leading the Buckeyes in
scoring at week's end with 12.6 points a game, did not travel
with the team to Iowa on Jan. 24 after coach Jim O'Brien
disciplined him because he was not pleased with Stockman's
attitude in practice. After a heart-to-heart talk the next day
with O'Brien, Stockman got the message. He then turned in his
best performance of the season last Saturday with a team-high 17
points that included four critical free throws down the stretch
in the Buckeyes' 65-59 upset of No. 21 Purdue, breaking a
three-game losing skid. O'Brien calls Stockman "the biggest
challenge of my coaching career" and adds, "If I didn't think he
had enormous potential, I wouldn't be on him as much as I am."


1. P.J. Tucker has hit the wall. Texas's talented 6'5" freshman
forward averaged 15.4 points in his first 12 games but scored
only 3.6 per game in the Longhorns' next five.

2. North Carolina is playing lousy defense. The Tar Heels, who
were 13-5 at week's end and hadn't won a single ACC game on the
road, allowed Clemson to make 11 of 13 three-pointers in their
81-72 loss to the Tigers last Saturday.

3. Purdue is hurting without Kenneth Lowe. After starting out 4-1
in the Big Ten, the Boilermakers lost two straight since their
leading scorer and best defender sprained his elbow, on Jan. 27.
He is listed as day to day.