It was 10 a.m. Wednesday, and Boomer Brazzle's yawns were audible through the telephone.
Brazzle, the Pepperdine team captain, was trying to get some extra rest before a game that night. The Waves (2-2) went on to beat Cal State Fullerton.
Brazzle, a Benson grad and returning All-West Coast Conference first-teamer, scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game.
Even drowsy, Brazzle was able to answer these five questions:
1. How will Pepperdine cope without center Will Kimble (diagnosed with a career-ending heart condition)?
'It was a big loss, especially since the other guy's hurt,' Brazzle says. The other guy, 6-9 Glen McGowan, should be back next week from knee surgery.
2. What's your role this year?
'I have to do a little bit of everything,' he says. 'I just want to win.'
3. Are you guys ready for revenge against Oregon? Last year, the Ducks walloped the Waves 88-64, holding them to 32 percent shooting and outrebounding them 54-28. The two fast-breaking teams play Dec. 14 at Malibu, Calif.
'Yeah, we're ready,' Brazzle says. 'They beat us kind of bad last year. (Oregon) plays how we play.'
4. How good are the Waves? An NCAA Tournament team again, with four returning starters and the top five scorers back?
'I think we can make the tournament,' he says.
5. How do you guys match up with Gonzaga, your WCC nemesis?
'I don't know yet,' he says.
Yawn. There you have it.
Saturday's Kansas-Oregon game at the Rose Garden, 12:30 p.m., will break the single-game attendance record for a college game in the state. The record is 15,431 at the Garden for Duke and Portland two seasons ago. At least 16,000 will see Saturday's game. É Luke Jackson is just 21 of 49 from the field so far. Forwards Robert Johnson (.750) and Ian Crosswhite (.571) are sizzling. É The Ducks are being outrebounded by two a game.
Kansas already has two losses, to North Carolina and Florida. The thing is, the Jayhawks probably will finish with only five or six. É 'The guys are down; there's a lot of expectations around here, some of it unrealistic,' KU coach Roy Williams says. 'And, again, I'm not the guy that put us No. 2 in the country. Some other people did.' É Guard Kirk Hinrich (back strain) may not play Saturday. Forward Wayne Simien has been slowed after spraining his ankle. É On Portlander Aaron Miles, Williams says: 'The ball just
hasn't gone in the basket for him, and he hasn't made quite as good of decisions as I think he needs to make. Maybe I set him up for even too high of an expectation. I still have complete, total, 100 percent confidence in him.'
NOTES: Ben Coffee, a Benson grad, has played five, two, six and six minutes in PSU's first four games. 'No comment,' says coach Heath Schroyer, when asked why the Washington transfer hadn't seen more action. Sounds like a guy in the doghouse. É Arizona's Salim Stoudamire made his season debut Tuesday and sank two 3-pointers against St. Louis. He missed the first two games because of a sprained ankle.
The Oregon women shot poorly in three recent losses. They didn't play well together; they didn't execute. Coach Bev Smith benched point guard Shaquala Williams against Wisconsin-Green Bay, then suspended her for disciplinary reasons Wednesday. Smith has called Williams 'stubborn.' Sounds like Williams' well-documented headstrong ways have popped up again. 'No hunch' when she'll be back, Smith says. Can Smith really sit her for Saturday's PapŽ Jam game (3 p.m. versus Brigham Young at the Rose Garden)?