UCLA Coach Walt Hazzard naturally felt a lot better Saturday night, after his team had rolled over Miami, 109-64, at Pauley Pavilion, than he did after a 37-point loss at North Carolina in the season opener.
After the North Carolina game, Hazzard was doing a slow burn and saying things like: "What goes around comes around."
Saturday night, he was saying: "I keep telling my team that in order to be a good team, we need to develop that killer instinct. Get somebody down and bury them. I tell them, 'Step on their throats and cut their hair off.' That's the kind of attitude we need by Jan. 2, when the real (Pac-10) season begins.
"You have to remember that Miami is a first-year program. Bill Foster will build a good program there. He has everywhere else he's been. . . .
"But we didn't go out there with a take-no-prisoners attitude in the first half (after which UCLA led by just 10 points). That's what we need to do every game, no matter who the opponent is."
Hazzard wasn't the only one conjuring up images of scalpings.
Foster said with a grin and a shrug, "Me and George Custer!"
After this massacre, which took place before a paltry gathering of 5,346 and a local television audience, UCLA had a record of 5-2 and Miami 5-3.
Foster said, "Now, I know how Walt Hazzard felt at Chapel Hill," and added that he was more surprised by Miami's 5-2 record going into Saturday night's game than he was about the game becoming a rout.
"The second half turned into the kind of game that we expected to have a lot of this season," said Foster, whose Hurricanes are the first basketball team Miami has put on the court since dropping the sport after the 1970-71 season.
"We're a first-year program playing with four freshmen. . . . Our goal has been to be a realistically competitive team by Year 3. Until this game, we've been telling people that we're competitive now. . . .
"We shouldn't have been intimidated, but I guess we were. If you get through the first 20 minutes without the heebie-jeebies, you figure you're going to be OK. But we just got killed in the transition game in the second half and just generally played like a bunch of freshmen. I told our kids that if we maintained our composure during the first five minutes of the second half, we'd be all right. But instead, we started firing up air balls, we couldn't get a rebound, we couldn't hit a free throw."
Holding out his arms as if he were hugging a big beach ball, Foster said: "The basket suddenly got about this big for UCLA, and they got happy."
After struggling through the first half to lead by just 41-31, UCLA let Miami get within nine points before starting to roll.
UCLA was up, 45-36, when Bruin guard Montel Hatcher launched UCLA's attack with a 15-foot jump shot. Miami guard Bryan Hughes missed two free throws, and the ball went back to the UCLA end, where center Craig Jackson dropped in a lob pass from forward Reggie Miller.
A questionable offensive foul call moved Foster to such a comment that he earned a quick technical foul. Miller made two free throws, and it was a 15-point game.
Hatcher stole the ball and raced for a layup to make it a 17-point game.
Miami scored two points, and UCLA scored six more. There was no stopping that trend.
But Hazzard continued to use his top eight players in his usual combinations. It was not until the clock showed 8:19 to play and UCLA had a 38-point lead that freshman Rod Palmer replaced Hatcher.
Miller, the Bruins' leading scorer, finally sat down with 5:28 left, when the Bruins had a 41-point lead.
Asked why he had stayed with Miller so long, Hazzard said: "I wanted him to get two more field goals to keep up his average."
Miller, who averages 24.5 points, sat down with 21 points.
"He ended up not shooting the ball down the stretch, so I took him out," Hazzard said.
Miller said that he was surprised he was left in the game so long. As for why he wasn't shooting the ball at that point, Miller said: "I was looking to get Jack (Haley) and Jerald (Jones) into the flow. I was looking to boost their stats up, too. It's a team game. They're always helping me get my points. I wanted to help them get theirs."
While Miller hasn't been running up the point totals he compiled in the first few games, Hatcher has been picking up the slack. Hatcher had 16 points Friday night and 25 Saturday night, and Miller said: "It was like a prayer being answered. It makes other teams play me honest."
Guard Montel Hatcher had his career high with 25 points, bettering his mark of 18 set last season. Hatcher, who has been coming back from a pulled muscle in his leg, says he's fine, now. "I haven't had any trouble with it for the last few days," he said. "It was just a matter of getting back in shape. I felt like I was shooting the ball pretty well all along." . . . Reserve forward Charles Rochelin had his career best with nine points. . . . After the showing Jerald Jones made in the game against St. John's, Hazzard promised that Jones would see more game time. He has. Against Miami, Jones played 16 minutes, made 5 of 6 shots and had 11 points.