The Huskies practiced today at Pete Maravich Assembly Center for their Saturday game at LSU.
It was a lot of fun especially to see Ryan Appleby taking in the hollowed ground of his longtime hero, Pete Maravich.
"Just seeing a lot of the film of Pistol Pete and seeing him when he was on campus, and things like that, it's almost a little eerie I guess knowing that he walked around here at one time," he said.
While this was Appleby's first time at LSU, coach Lorenzo Romar had been twice before: once with Athletes in Action and once as an assistant at UCLA. That gave him a lasting memory of the LSU mascot, a real live tiger who in those days attended the basketball games.
"He was along the baseline in a cage," Romar said. "You could see guys thinking, 'Coach, no loose balls tonight … I'm not running out of bounds.'"
Romar's pro career ended the year that Pete Maravich's ended, so they never played on the same court at the same time. However, I asked Romar of his memories of Maravich: "I've got a brother that's 18 months younger than me and every morning he would check the LA Times for a number of things in the sports, but one of the main reasons was how many did the Pistol get," Romar said. "And in college I remember him playing for LSU and all the scoring that he did. But he did things in such a flamboyant manner, he was unbelievable. And then later he became a Christian, and that was something that I remember and I was really impressed with how his life changed in that way."
Tim Morris suffered a broken nose in practice in Seattle on Thursday, but he took part in the Baton Rouge practice today and said the mask didn't bother him. "It was fine," he said. "I shot the ball better than normal, really."
Finally, I asked Jon Brockman how this LSU team is different from the one UW beat in Seattle last season. "Last year when they came into our place we were a little worried about them banging us around and we knew it was going to be a real physical game. Now their focus has shifted a little bit to where they still have some really good post players, but they're not the kinds of guys who are going to beast you around. They're the type of guys that are going to be real nifty and have good footwork and they're so long they can get their shot off over anyone. It's definitely going to be a different style of basketball game."
By the way, the team was scheduled to have dinner Friday night at a place called Louisiana Lagniappe, a Baton Rouge restaurant picked out by someone who should know: UW president Mark Emmert, who came to UW from LSU. ("Lagniappe," by the way, is a Louisiana word meaning "a little something extra," sort of like the 13th donut of a baker's dozen.)
Game time is noon Saturday. Unfortunately, it's not on regular TV or cable anywhere but in the South.