SAN JOSE, Calif. (CBSLA) – UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner admitted to trying to “irritate” Oregon freshman forward Louis King by calling him “Queen” during Sunday’s NCAA Tournament loss.
“I was saying ‘double team Queen’ to try to see if I could irritate him. And I did. And I kept talking to my team about what we wanted to do,” Turner told reporters during a postgame press conference. “We were calling him ‘Queen’ because I knew it might irritate him, because of how important he is to their team, the queen in chess. It was a play on his name of King.”
King scored 16 points in the Ducks’ 73-54 win over the Anteaters to reach the Sweet 16.
“And it bothered him, started thinking about me, started thinking about [UC Irvine junior guard Max Hazzard]. But he came back and finished the game really strong. And he’d had a thing or two to say to me during the game, and I wanted to let him know that what I’d done was out of respect.”
Forty-eight-year-old Turner said the taunting of the 19-year-old forward was in reference to how important King is to the Ducks, much like the queen is in chess.