Olson comments on game

By Monty Phan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

In the wake of Damon Stoudamire's recent bout with inciteful clairvoyancy, it seems as if everything is right in the world of Arizona men's basketball.

Or ... is it?

Though the 12th-ranked Wildcats' recent sweep of the Oregon schools has put them in second place in the Pacific 10 Conference a half game behind the front-running Bruins Coach Lute Olson had some heated words about certain occurrences on the court during Saturday's win in Corvallis. The comments, however, had nothing to do with players.

Late in the second half, with Arizona (15-4 overall, 5-2 in the Pac-10) enjoying a comfortable lead, Stoudamire was called for a blocking foul on the Beavers' Stephane Brown. Brown handed the Arizona guard the ball, which Stoudamire promptly threw back at him. Stoudamire was then called for a technical foul.

"On the call on Damon, the TV people saw exactly what we saw from the bench, which is: Damon gets called for the block and Stephane throws the ball at him on the floor," Olson said. "So Damon throws the ball back to him. Now who should get the technical?

"You've got three officials out there, which is absolutely ridiculous," Olson continued. "So fine, one guy makes that call, the other guy should come over and say, 'Look, the other guy threw it at him first.' You've got six sets of eyes out there, you can't be that blind to it. And then to hear another official say, 'Hey look at what the score is.' They shouldn't know what the score is. That's not even their job. Their job is to call the game, and they stopped calling the game. It's like, 'Hey, you've got a big lead. We don't have to call anything.' There are three of them out there.

"It's just like when Joe McLean goes down on the breakaway and the guy gives him two hands in the back and no call. I don't care what the Pac-10 says on my comments on this, it's ridiculous. If you're going to work the game, then work the game. I said, 'Damon, it was dead wrong, but you give Brown credence by reacting to the jerk move on his part by throwing the ball back to him.' We're hired to coach the game and the players are on scholarship to play it, and the officials should work the game for 40 minutes and not look up and tell me what the score is. I can tell what the score is, I don't need help from them."

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