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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Omar Samhan sticks it to the Zags

By Diamond Leung

Saint Mary's star center Omar Samhan had already been labeled "The Most Hated Man in Spokane" before helping his team beat Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference tournament final.

During Monday's game, he played the villain again while picking up a technical foul for giving a slight shove to Robert Sacre during a break in the action, and the two exchanged words. Samhan the day after was happy to (jokingly) reveal what he told Sacre, who he's mixed it up with before:
"All I said was me and Coach B [Randy Bennett] are going for a victory dinner, and if he didn’t have any dinner plans, he was more than welcome to come with us," Samhan told KNBR radio in San Francisco.

Yep, he's quotable, all right.

Bennett said later on in the interview that he did in fact let the team celebrate the night away at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas before heading home to Moraga. He also said Samhan isn't perfect.
"Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water is the expression for him," Bennett told KNBR. "He’s got it. He’s got a huge heart, he’s emotional. Like any player, you want to have control of the emotions, and he’s improved so much in that area from his freshman year until now."

Still, The Spokesman-Review (from Spokane, of course) is taking issue with the stunt Samhan pulled during pregame introductions when he left Zags guard Demetri Goodson hanging and "seemed to cross the line into poor sportsmanship."
It started with his refusal to take part in the customary hand shake with the opponent at center court. Demetri Goodson was introduced and headed to the center circle. Samhan was introduced and met his teammates near the free-throw line. He looked over and caught Coach Randy Bennett’s eye, who quickly looked away. Samhan stayed put and glared either toward Goodson or the GU bench (couldn’t tell from my angle) in a hackneyed move that you’ve seen in every boxing press conference stare-down.

The big men on the Saint Mary's side of the bracket might want to take all of this into consideration. Who knows what Samhan has planned for his next act?