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COLLEGE BASKETBALL DAILY REPORT : UCLA

Swashbuckler Takes a Stab

March 13, 1997|TIM KAWAKAMI

Charleston Southern senior forward Rolando Hourruitiner didn't go for any of the diplomatic UCLA-is-great-and-tall-and-awesome discussion Wednesday.

Hourruitiner, a veteran of the Puerto Rican Pan American Games team that played Toby Bailey's U.S. team last summer, leaped at a question about the Bruins without a blink.

"We're very fortunate--we were expecting, from my point of view, a tougher team than them," Hourruitiner said of the Bruins.

"UCLA, they are a school that has great tradition, but they have not been that consistent or solid this year. They have gone up and down, and I think we can take advantage of that, instead of playing a team like North Carolina."

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The Bruins know the Buccaneers played a lot of zone this season and, given UCLA's struggles against Princeton's zone in last year's tournament, it'll be an upset if the Buccaneers don't play a lot of zone tonight.

"Earlier in the season, we were just eating up the zone," said Bruin guard Bailey, who, with 113 three-point baskets, has 56 more than the No. 2 three-point shooter. "I don't think people will run zones, they won't run it for long, at least."

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Charleston Southern is saying that Errol McPherson, the quick 5-foot-10 point guard who missed the last five games of the season because of a knee injury, probably will suit up just to get a cameo appearance in the tournament.

But the UCLA coaching staff is leery.

"I hear that he might play," said assistant Steve Spencer, who did the scouting report. "And when I hear might, to me, that means he will play."

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Cincinnati Coach Bob Huggins, an assistant at Ohio State in the late 1970s, answered coyly when asked Wednesday if he was or would like to be a candidate for the newly vacant Ohio State job.

"I never say never," said Huggins, who has a long-term deal in Cincinnati. "It's kind of like a definite maybe."

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