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North Carolina State gives Drexler another bad memory

On the Front Ro

Rohith Nandagiri

I think Clyde Drexler knew there was no hard copy edition of the Daily Cougar this week. Thatís why he decided to get thrown out of the game against North Carolina State. He knew there wouldnít be as many readers, so he could get away with it. OK, maybe not.

What was supposed to be a game of reflection for Drexler turned into a game of frustration for the first-year coach. He saw his team get fouled repeatedly with no calls and saw his opponents go to the foul line 50 times.

Of course, the game also featured four of the five starters in severe foul trouble en route to a 100-73 loss at the hands of their eternal nemesis; the NCSU Wolfpack.

NC State coach Herb Sendek kept his starters in the game the whole way and was basically playing against four walk-ons, which he used to his advantage. He piled it on like the Harris County morgue.

At the end of the game, assistant coach Reid Gettys, who took over the coaching duties while Drexler listened to the game on the radio, was visibly upset and did not leave the court in a normal fashion as he motioned to the referees.

The referees did play a big part in the game. Both teams shot 46 percent. UH shot 28 of 61 and NC State shot 29 of 63. It came down to free throws, with the Wolfpack shooting 36 of 50 as opposed to only 26 total for the Cougars.

When he was ejected, Drexler proceeded to shake the hands of his entire bench and left for the final five minutes. This means he did not catch the Moceanu incident, and I donít mean Dominique, but rather Tega, the black belt. Moceanu came into the game and boxed out Keith Bean to the floor. Bean then took a shot and caught Monceanu with an elbow to his head. Not exactly safe. The ACC referees obviously didnít care because they didnít see it or call anything. 

So Moceanu took justice into his own hands and gave a nice forearm shot to Bean and was promptly thrown out of the game. Big deal. With only a minute left, it really didnít matter except for style points. Drexler didnít see it but found out what happened later.

"My player said he was hit in the face first and everybody on our bench saw it," said Drexler. "So, he retaliated. Weíre a very disciplined team. We donít have violence as part of our team, but by the same token if someone hits you in the face you just donít let him run down the court fancy free. I think there is a time and place for everything, but the game should be played on the court and violence is not a part of the game and shouldnít be."

It should also be noted that Sendek did not pull out Bean even then. Is there really a need to leave your starting forward in the game when youíre up 20?

One of the few positives was Gee Gervin, who scored 25 points while dishing out three assists. Heís fast becoming a great scorer like his father and looking more and more like another San Jacinto product ó Sam Cassell.

Also, former defensive lineman-turned-forward Patterson Owens played more minutes than expected and scored four points in about 3 minutes. He also got into the physicality with a head butt to Bean early in the second half. The Cougars were also out rebounded 45 to 33 for the game.

Even with all this, the Cougars managed to cut the deficit to three with 17:50 left. Then the fouls mounted again and it went downhill from there.

Odds and Ends

One of the forwards who was sent to the bench with foul trouble, William Stringfellow, unveiled a new hairstyle Saturday night. The Allen Iverson, Latrell Sprewell corn roll look has now invaded Cougar land. We have now seen three different hair styles from String. He was bald last year. He had the mild afro going earlier this year, and now this. The Daily Cougar gives high marks for his Ďdo. Maybe coach Drexler will try this as well.

UH forward William Stringfellow appears with his old hairdo (before sporting the corn row look).

Courtesy UH Sports Information

Cincinatti has moved to No. 3 in the land after Maryland was beaten by Kentucky over the weekend. They are now 6-0 and look very strong. If you thought the game against NC State was physical, just wait until the Cougars play the Bearcats next Tuesday. UH will have their hands full against Kenyon Martin and Melvin Levitt. If the Cougars can play big down-low and hit their outside shots, they might have a chance. But the Bearcats are deep and talented, and Head Coach Bob Huggins has his team playing extremely well. They beat a team named Duke two weeks ago.

The Cougars will play the Houston Flight on Dec. 17 in Hofheinz. This is an exhibition game against Rodney McCray and other former professionals and local players. The Cougars lost to this team last year in an exhibition game.

Charles Fordjour might not be part of the Cougarsí next season. Heís been nursing a couple of injuries this season and may not get any playing time.

Justin Wiggins is in the same boat. He has yet to play this season and may transfer to Rice or HBU.

Cedric Taylor, playing in Kansas now for a junior college, might come back to UH a year from now. Look for a big turnover from this yearís squad to next year.

Reach Nandagiri at 

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