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Archive for Friday, February 16, 1996

CROWD

February 16, 1996

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Iowa State's fans treated Raef LaFrentz SO rudely in Ames last season, Cyclone Fred Hoiberg lashed out at the spectators after the game.

The fans not only booed native Iowan LaFrentz, but they called him "traitor" and a few other words not fit for print.

"They were nasty," said LaFrentz, who had five points on 2-of-5 shooting in KU's 69-65 loss.

It was not an enjoyable experience for the 6-11 forward from Monona, Iowa, who chose KU over Iowa, not Iowa State.

"I was nervous," LaFrentz said of his first return trip to Ames. "I think my Big Eight experience, my college experience was not great at that time. We went there early in the season and it all kind of took me by surprise."

The game in Ames was LaFrentz's second Big Eight contest.

He did bounce back for 12 points in a win over ISU in Lawrence and struggled with four points in a loss to the Cyclones at the Big Eight Tournament.

Just nine days ago, he scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in an 89-70 victory over the Cyclones at Allen Fieldhouse.

Now it's time to go back to Ames again. KU, 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the Big Eight, will meet ISU (18-5, 7-2) at 3:05 p.m. Saturday at sold-out Hilton Coliseum.

"I am fired up. I've been fired up a whole year," said LaFrentz, KU's leading scorer and rebounder at 14.2 points and 8.6 boards a game.

"I expect the same reaction, but I hope my reaction will be different. The boos are just part of going back. I have to go there, block out the crowd and have a good game."

Not all the fans in Hilton will be against LaFrentz.

"I can't wait to get there. I have one buddy who goes to Iowa State. He bought 60 tickets. A lot of people will be there to support me, too."

KU figures to face its biggest road challenge of the season Saturday. A win would give the surprising Cyclones a share of the conference lead.

"It would be a big game regardless. It's for first place again. This time, it's up there," LaFrentz said. "They are really impressive. They are the surprise team in the league by far. I'm happy to see them near the top. Coach (Tim) Floyd has done a great job of rebuilding there. We've got to take them seriously."

ISU guard Dedric Willoughby scored 24 points against KU at Allen Fieldhouse, while Kenny Pratt contributed 14 points, Shawn Bankhead 13 and Kelvin Cato 12.

Scot Pollard had 20 points and 11 boards for KU, folowed by LaFrentz, who had 17 points and Paul Pierce, who added 14.

For a halftime update and the final score Saturday call Access at 865-5000, category 6000.

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