Even in victory, however, the Bruins' shortcomings were apparent as they committed 29 turnovers in last Thursday's 77-67 win over Washington. What's more, the Bruins frequently have shown a lack of passion. "I don't think everyone in this locker room always understands what it means to play for UCLA," says senior guard Ray Young. "We should know by now that we need to play hard or we'll lose."
Losing is probably not an option for Lavin, who has a new boss in first-year athletic director Dan Guerrero. Four weeks ago Guerrero fired football coach Bob Toledo, who was 49-32 in seven seasons, and since then the AD has had numerous chances to give Lavin a public word of support, but he has remained conspicuously silent. UCLA has been to five Sweet 16s and one Elite Eight during Lavin's six years as coach, and it will probably take that kind of late rush to save his job. Still, Lavin believes that will happen. "I've always said that if you stay on the path of progress, you'll make the necessary improvements to succeed," he says.
Butler's Free Throw King
Archey's Mark: 76 and Counting
As Darnell Archey, Butler's senior guard, closed in on the NCAA record for consecutive free throws made, his teammates grew increasingly reluctant to mention the streak for fear of jinxing him. Archey, however, counted the numbers to himself as he made each one, right through the record-breaking 74th consecutive shot last Saturday late in the first half of the Bulldogs' 68-65 win over Illinois-Chicago. He made two other attempts in the second half to boost the new mark to 76. "I was joking with my teammates that I was going to shoot the last few with my eyes closed," said Archey, who hadn't missed a foul shot since Feb. 8, 2001.
As a senior at New Castle ( Ind.) Chrysler High, Archey went after Steve Alford's school record of 64 straight, but his quest ended at 40. Likewise he'll undoubtedly come up short of the NCAA record for career free throw percentage (90.9%), which is held by Greg Starrick, who played at Kentucky and Southern Illinois from 1969-72. Archey, a reserve until this season, almost certainly won't get the 300 made free throws required to qualify. (Through Sunday he was 119 for 125 in his career, a 95.2% clip.)