The top topic over at UW Tuesday was the controversy from Sunday when Tim Morris retained possession for the Huskies by plunking the ball off the face of UCLA's Alfred Aboya.
In a post below I linked to some of the UCLA outlook on the story. Here's my Wednesday column on the topic. (Here's another Husky hoops story from today's paper: a deeper look at their troubles from the foul line.) And here's more of what the Huskies were saying Tuesday.
Morris on what happened: It was honestly a reaction. We were running a play where a couple of guys were cutting off. I looked and none of them were open. Coach Howland was in the way, so I couldn't throw it deep and it was just a reaction. He was so close. I really didn't mean to. I tried to shake his hand afterward and everything.
Morris on Aboya rejecting his handshake: Honestly, I wouldn't have either. Somebody hits you in the face, you're not going to want to shake their hands afterward.
Romar on the UCLA reaction: People tend to react certain ways and emotion gets kicked in. I just know Tim Morris pretty well – I've known him since he was 2 years old – and Tim Morris is not a gangster, he's not a thug. Tim apologized right away. I don't think it was a premeditated I'm-going-to-knock-this-guy's-face-off type of pass. It's unfortunate with what happened in that game that the concentration is there, knowing the type of kid that Tim Morris is.
Romar on whether it's OK to hit an opponent in the face to avoid a turnover: If Tim Morris would have reared back and taken aim at the guy's face and hit him in the face, we would have had problems. Him and I would had problems. But that wasn't what happened. If you look, there was just a little space there … it was confined area. And I even think Coach Holland had his hands up over on the side. Tim reacted. What are you thinking at that point? OK, I've got to stoop down on bend down maybe to hit him in the legs, maybe if he opens his legs like dodge ball I'm going to miss him. I've got to throw it. I know Alfred was moving a little bit and it just kind of happened. I'll say this too: I have a whole lot of respect for UCLA and how Coach Howland runs his team. I think they do a great job. And Alfred Aboya is one of the classiest nicest players that I've ever met.
Romar on coach Wooden's reaction:Coach Wooden is the wisest man I've ever met. And I know that based on his comments he was probably upset by it. ... I'm not sure if he felt Tim did it intentionally or not and he reacted that way. … I know how Coach is, and I understand what he said.