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UCLA REPORT

Afflalo Gives, Gets an Earful

December 18, 2005|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

ANN ARBOR, MICH. — As soon as the referee acknowledged his timeout request, UCLA Coach Ben Howland was out on the Crisler Arena floor, waiting for his shooting guard, Arron Afflalo, to come over.

Waiting to congratulate Afflalo on one of his six three-point baskets or his 20 points overall?

Not exactly.

Howland was waiting to get in Afflalo's face, and did so with obvious displeasure on his own face.

Afflalo could have filled up the basket all afternoon and it wouldn't have caused Howland to overlook the shooting guard's behavior after Afflalo thought he had been fouled on a shot. He remained back as the ball moved up court, too busy questioning a referee to worry about playing defense.

"You want to talk to the referee," said Howland, "you do it when play stops, when there's a dead ball. They were pushing the ball and he was talking. And to talk like that on the court shows a lack of respect."

No argument from the sophomore guard.

"The coach got on me and he should have," Afflalo said. "He's not supposed to cater to me. This is not the NBA. He's supposed to harp on me when I deserve it."

*

Afflalo had another run-in with a referee Saturday, but this one was accidental. And a lot more painful than listening to Howland's criticism.

Afflalo and referee Ed Corbett banged knees, causing the pain from a previous bruise on Afflalo's left thigh to return. Afflalo briefly came out the game but quickly returned, showing no lingering effect.

Although it wasn't the same referee as the one Afflalo had argued with, he figured there may have been a connection, even if it was of the cosmic variety.

"There may have been a little karma working there," Afflalo said.

*

Although the Bruins have won nine of their 12 meetings with Michigan, this was only the second time the teams have met in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines beat the Bruins, 70-66, at Crisler Arena two years ago.

*

UP NEXT

Wednesday vs. Wagner, 7:30 p.m., Pauley Pavilion, 570, no TV -- This will be the Bruins' first game against this Northeast Conference school on New York's Staten Island.

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