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Tony Bennett Radio Show Recap

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Which Cougar player ran straight to his former coach after the UCLA win? Recap time.

As always, Voice of the Cougars Bud Nameck and Head Coach Tony Bennett:

  • The coaching staff specifically told Nikola Koprivica to miss the second free throw with 2.1 seconds left in the UCLA game, as the Bruins had no timeouts remaining. Bud congratulated Nik on missing the free throw, which is harder to do intentionally than it looks. Although Bud noted jokingly that Koprivica has missed free throws about 50% of the time so far this year.
  • There was a question about why the Cougs didn't use more of their fouls late in the game to slow the Bruins down, since UCLA was not in the bonus. Tony felt that wouldn't have made much of a difference, and UCLA would have just had to inbound it right after, which wouldn't have slowed things much. [Not to mention that it could've put UCLA in the bonus down the stretch]
  • "That was the turnaround in the game", said Tony about Shipp's missed lay-in that led to Taylor's transition three. The bench had one of those "Nooooooo.... Yes!" moments when Taylor shot that three. "It wasn't a well defended game, but it was a high level offensive game."
  • Tony was teasing Taylor about his Pac-10 player of the week, saying "they obviously gave it to you for the offensive end and not the defense." He added jokingly that he tries to keep his players humble.
  • Bud briefly mentioned Senior Day coming up against ASU. The remainder of the Baynes family is coming over. Tony thinks we could have an "all brother" team considering the athletes in the families of guys like Baynes, Cowgill and Harmeling.
  • It was mentioned by Bud that Dick Bennett was in town, but not at the radio show. Tony said he's spending time with the grandchildren and prepping to go golfing in the Lewiston area.
  • A caller asked about who will help out Klay scoring next year. "We'll have to play a little different, and we'll have to play faster at times to generate offense." Tony mentioned Brock Motum at 6'9", and Xavier Thames at the point.
  • Tony thought Casto had his best offensive game of the year against USC. His hands are getting better and he's finishing better around the bucket. He's doing well consistently as a rebounder and shot blocker as well.
  • One weird moment in the UCLA game: A fan was heckling Aron Baynes behind Bud Nameck at the UCLA game, and suddenly Bud realized the fan was right beside him. Bud put out his hand to block the guy, which made the guy irate - claiming Bud punched him and that his father was a lawyer and would be able to sue him. The fan continued heckling throughout the game, until Jim Sterk, who was sitting next to Bud, got UCLA's crowd management to calm the guy down by game's end. It was mentioned that the punishment for the guy should have been to say those things to Baynes' face, and apparently Vince Grippi had the best joke - saying that some of the obscenities directed at Baynes actually meant he was a "good player" in Australian.
  • There were some things to harp on after the UCLA game including 40 Bruin points in the paint, and some transition lapses after Taylor's drives to the basket.
  • Tony talked about how the next step for Klay is becoming versatile when defenses adjust to him. He noted he was glad Klay came back strong after a tough night against USC.
  • Bud mentioned Caleb's effort: "He's probably the toughest kid we've ever had," said Tony, and he's a player that keeps coming at you. Tony loves that he's paid his dues, works hard and keeps his mouth shut. On the ball-screen switches Tony mentioned how Caleb said he didn't feel comfortable guarding Darren Collison [no kidding].
  • A caller asked how the team supports the branch campuses, and vice versa. Tony wasn't sure, but certainly the branch campuses can organize groups to watch the Cougars on TV and/or travel to Pullman or KeyArena. Some Cougar athletic fundraising events are also centered near the branch campuses (Spokane and Tri-Cities in particular).
  • After the UCLA game, the first thing Daven Harmeling did was run up into the stands to hug Dick Bennett. Tony felt that the gesture said a lot about the kind of person Daven is. Apparently Dick is allowed to sit close, but not too close, to the bench. He yells some words of encouragement, but also yells some "constructive criticisms".
  • Bud mentioned the Arizona comeback last time due to the pressure. Tony noted how they did it to both UCLA and USC, and it was impressive how they've torn apart teams with good guards like the Bruins. Tony hopes we'll be better prepared for them this time around, but the Wildcats are as hot as any team in the conference.
  • A caller asked Tony about how you prepare for Jordan Hill. Tony said it's difficult, because unlike the Lopez twins who were in large part one-dimentional, Hill is versatile. He can dominate in the low post, or turn around and face up to the basket. Hill can also make mid-range shots and go to work from either elbow.
  • Tony was asked about who he's pulling for in the PGA match play tournament this weekend. He said he's pulling for Steve Stricker, and joked that no one big was supposed to be in the tournament anyway.
  • A caller asked about what exactly is a foul in the low post. Tony said it's so athletic and physical down there, that all you want is a consistent whistle. Futhermore, Baynes has become so good at absorbing contact in the post that a lot of times he doesn't draw a foul even when he gets hit hard.
  • As a follow-up the caller asked about how to get a player off the post. Tony said semi-jokingly that you wait until the ref isn't looking, shove your knee in his butt and drive him out of the lane. Legally, however, it has more to do with not allowing the post player to establish position.
  • A caller mentioned that with about nine seconds left, the game clock didn't start to run for a couple seconds on UCLA's final full possession. The caller wondered if the timekeeper was partisan - Bud chimed in that the people who do that are usually employed by the University and it is not a traveling group within the Pac-10. Tony mentioned that it is a reviewable play, but sometimes the TV clock and the game clock do not line up. He would have brought it to the officials' attention had he noticed it in real time. The impact of those two seconds would have been denying UCLA's final attempt at a half-court winner.
  • Tony challenged the students to fill up the Coliseum for the seniors on Saturday.

Sadly, only one radio show remains this year. We'll be back for that one next week.