Ex-Arizona Wildcats leery of Coach K’s impact on referees in Sweet 16 gameby Javier Morales on Mar. 21, 2011, under Sports
Former Arizona guard Reggie Geary, who knows a thing or two about drawing the attention of referees, offered a suggestion Monday night for UA coach Sean Miller heading into Thursday’s Sweet 16 game with Duke in Anaheim.
Although he never had the chance to play Duke in his career, Geary says he knows the star power veteran coach Mike Krzyzewski has on the referees.
“I think Coach Miller should use the K.O. (Kevin O’Neill) technique; it’s an old NBA technique,” Geary,a former NBA player as well, said as one of the hosts of the “Out of Bounds” show on KCUB (1290-AM).
“It’s the technique K.O. used with Derrick Williams, drawing attention from the media about the fouls he gets. Coach Miller should say this week that, ‘We know Duke will get all the calls and we will try our best.’ He should bring attention to (Krzyzewski’s image with the refs).
“He should consciously get in their brains and maybe we can balance that out a little bit.”
Geary is one of three former members of Arizona’s 1994 Final Four team — Joseph Blair and Corey Williams the others — who did not hold back an opinion about Duke during the “Out of Bounds” show broadcast weekly in Tucson.
“With Coach K sitting on the other bench, when he stands up and gets on the referees, that’s a lot of weight for (the refs) to carry,” Geary continued. “They will be starstruck. Coach Miller needs to stand up too.”
Blair then interjected, “He might have to take the jacket off.”
Blair also said Duke and Krzyzewski may “get some of that Blue Magic” in regards to calls from the refs.
They remember the value of Lute Olson‘s image on the bench when Olson argued with the refs. They believe the victory disparity between Krzyzewski (900-283 in 36 years of coaching) and Miller (165-69 in seven years) is something that can adversely affect the Wildcats when it comes to Krzyzewski getting in the face of the referees.
“If Coach Olson did his thing and the refs didn’t say, ‘Sit down,’ don’t you think Coach K will do the same thing?” Williams said.
One of Geary’s most notorious moves during his collegiate career was forcing the refs to give former Cal coach Todd Bozeman a technical foul in Arizona’s 96-77 victory Feb. 13, 1994.
Bozeman was given a technical foul by referee Charlie Range after he grabbed Range’s arm to protest Geary’s alleged trash talking. Bozeman and Olson also got into a heated exchange near the scorer’s table at Haas Pavilion.
The heated game between the 18th-ranked Golden Bears and No. 16 Wildcats was tied at 61 at the time of Bozeman’s technical. Arizona proceeded to score 20 straight points to pull away.
“I didn’t feel I deserved the technical foul,” Bozeman said afterward. “He slurred our entire bench and got away with it, right in front of the referee.”
“That was the best psyche job of my life,” Geary, denying profanities were used, said after the game. “I know what the boundary is. I never crossed the boundary.”
Former Arizona player Deron Johnson, a Sunnyside alum, called the “Out of Bounds” show and asked his former teammates about Krzyzewski having a personal vendetta against the Arizona program.
Johnson discussed the Olson and Bobby Knight rift and that Krzyzewski is a disciple of Knight. He added that Krzyzewski cut former Arizona player Chris Mills from the United States 1990 Goodwill Games roster while keeping his own — Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner.
“I remember when Laettner beat out Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) for the (1992) Dream Team,” Williams said. “That was ridiculous.”
Actually, the late Chuck Daly coached that team but Krzyzewski was one of the assistants along with P.J. Carlesimo and Lenny Wilkens. Laettner was the only collegian on the “Dream Team” roster and he beat O’Neal, at LSU at the time, for the final roster spot.
“Since I was in high school, I hated Duke,” Blair said with a laugh. “Ever since I saw Laettner step on that dude, I wanted to punch him.”
Blair spoke about Laettner’s intentional stomp on the chest of Kentucky freshman Aminu Timberlake in the 1992 NCAA East Regional Final. Laettner, assessed a technical foul and not ejected, later made the legendary winning jump shot in overtime on the length-of-the-court pass.
“Duke earns about 80 percent of the hype they get,” Williams said. “The free national commercial spots they get on ESPN, that’s a little much for me.”