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    Then & Now: Dapreis Owens

    Then & Now: Dapreis Owens

    Compiled By Dave Brandon

    (Photo Courtesy NU Media Relations)

    Dapreis%20Owens.jpgDapreis

    Owens played for Nebraska from 1989-1992, and was part

    of two NCAA Tournament teams. The 6’8” Owens started

    games in three different seasons, and as a senior, led

    the Huskers in field goal percentage (55%).

    Owens recently joined HHC for our

    latest Sunday edition of “Then & Now.”

    HHC: Thanks a lot for

    taking the time to join us!

    DO: Yeah man, thanks

    a lot for calling. I got your message awhile back and am

    glad you called back, I’ve been looking forward to this!

    HHC: As have we.

    First off, what brought you to Nebraska from Mansfield,

    Ohio, where you averaged 27 PPG and 14 RPG as a senior?

    DO: Well, I always

    liked the Big 8 conference, and remember watching

    Oklahoma in the national championship game. I just had

    always been a big fan of the Big 8. And then Lynn

    Mitchem was the assistant coach who recruited me most,

    although Coach Nee also came up a couple of times. But

    yeah, I chose Nebraska over Wisconsin, Cleveland State,

    Minnesota, and I think Tennessee, if I recall correctly.

    HHC: Tell us your

    initial impression of Danny Nee, who is one of the most

    colorful figures in college basketball history.

    DO: (Laughs) Well, my

    initial impression was that he was very outspoken, and

    good with words. He was a motivator, and a problem

    solver.

    HHC: As a freshman at Nebraska, you guys

    finished 17-16, and made the NIT. Individually, you

    played in 29 games, and came up big in the NIT game

    versus Ohio State, where you scored 18 points and

    grabbed 7 boards. What do you remember most about your

    first season at Nebraska?

    DO: I remember a lot

    of great players, like Eric Johnson, Pete Manning, those

    guys, and watching them, and just trying to fit in with

    the chemistry of things and what Nee was doing. And as I

    look back, after my freshman year, I almost wish I had

    redshirted because of the minutes. My time as a freshman

    wasn’t enjoyable at times.

    HHC: Was it tough being so far from home,

    and which teammates did you immediately bond with?

    DO: Yeah, it was tough. I was a homebody

    and missed it, and still live here now. But, I bonded

    with my roommate, who was Lewis Geter, and we had known

    each other previously. And Clifford Scales and I had a

    close relationship, Carl Hayes of course, Ray

    Richardson, pretty much all of those guys. Unfortunately

    I don’t really talk to them anymore, at least not on a

    regular basis, although Lewis and I communicate maybe

    twice a month, he’s in Virginia now.

    HHC: Your sophomore season in 1989-1990

    was good for you individually, as you averaged 8.4 PPG

    and 4.4 RPG while scoring in double figures 11 times.

    However, as a team, you guys finished a dismal 10-18.

    How disappointing was that season?

    DO: We had a horrible season, and it was

    really frustrating. But, the talent was there, we just

    couldn’t put it together. It was frustrating my

    sophomore season. Just losing repeatedly was just tough,

    game after game after game, and losing convincingly to

    other Big 8 teams, and looking like we couldn’t even

    compete. That carried over to practices, off the court,

    etc. That was tough.

    HHC: Did Coach Nee make life a living

    hell?

    DO: Yeah, pretty

    much. (Laughs) It was a tough year for the players,

    coaching staff, and basketball program as a whole. We

    didn’t do a good job of filling the stands at home, so

    you know we also didn’t on the road.

    HHC: Before we talk

    about the magical year of 1990-1991, we need you to be

    honest. Prior to the start of the season, did you have

    any idea that you guys would be as good as you were?

    DO: Like I said, we knew we had the

    talent, but it was a chemistry thing my sophomore year.

    We couldn’t get the chemistry going, and the same

    nucleus of guys my sophomore year made it happen in that

    90-91 season with a few additions, like Moody, Farmer,

    and people like that. But it was a chemistry thing, and

    once we bonded, it was hard to stop.

    HHC: 1990-1991 saw you guys make the

    school’s second NCAA tournament appearance, as you went

    26-8 and finished the year in the top ten of some polls.

    Talk about that amazing year and what sticks out?

    DO: Yeah, it was an amazing year. It was

    like we turned the whole program around overnight. I

    remember putting in the hard work before the season

    started, and seeing the team psychologist, all the stuff

    we did in the preseason to prepare. Then, we had the

    fluctuation of starting positions and rotations, and

    trying to find the right combinations. I sprained my

    ankle that year, and I missed like 6 games. But, it was

    a magic carpet ride once we got to Kansas City.

    HHC: What made you

    guys need to see a team psychologist prior to the

    season?

    DO: We needed a team

    psychologist for team relations. It was another way to

    try and find chemistry, and I think Jack Stark was his

    name, and he did a good job, as far as getting guys to

    open up.

    HHC: Jamar Johnson said that he thinks the

    success of that team can be traced to the fact that you

    guys had lost so bad the year before, and were just sick

    and tired of losing. Is there truth to that?

    DO: Most definitely,

    most definitely. We were sick and tired of losing, and I

    got tired of hearing the basketball jokes, and the

    basketball program being so weak. So yeah, we hated

    losing and simply worked harder.

    HHC: Your senior season at Nebraska was

    1991-1992, and as a team, you again made the NCAA

    Tournament, as you finished 19-10. How gratifying was it

    to end your career on a high note?

    DO: It was extremely gratifying. I was

    able to get there back to back years, and my senior year

    was probably my best, as far as playing wise. And it was

    just so much fun, it was like it was supposed to be. I

    have no regrets as far as playing basketball at the

    University of Nebraska goes, especially my senior year.

    HHC: What are your favorite memories of

    Nebraska, both on and off the court?

    DO: On the court, I think it would have to

    be… Well, being the Ameritas Classic MVP. That was a fun

    weekend. And off the court, it’s probably just the

    friends I made out there. I still keep in contact with a

    few people out there, and the campus experience was a

    lot of fun for me for my four years.

    HHC: A lot of people

    say that those early 90’s teams choked come NCAA

    Tournament team, and were selfish. What is your response

    to that?

    DO: I really believe

    we should have beaten Xavier the first year. The second

    year was Connecticut, and I think they were much more

    talented than we were. So, we were outmatched with them.

    But the first year, we could have done a few things that

    could have gotten us a “W.” I think it came down to some

    X’s and O’s types of things, at least to me. A lack of

    certain calls and certain combinations and rotations

    were the main reason that I think we lost like that.

    HHC: When was the last time you were back

    in Lincoln, and do you get a chance to follow the

    current team much?

    DO: I was in Lincoln about two or three

    years ago. I played with Henry T. “The Legend” Buchanan

    at a tournament in Hastings, and I try to follow the

    program as much as I can, I’m a Cornhusker. As a matter

    of fact, I’ve got a big huge, huge wager with a friend

    here on that Michigan/Nebraska Alamo Bowl game, so we’ll

    see what happens.

    HHC: And before we get to what you’re

    doing today, can you give us a funny Danny Nee story or

    two to add to our growing collection?

    DO: The thing that we used to laugh with

    him about is that he would always tell you almost

    exactly what you wanted to hear. If you had NBA dreams,

    he would give you a person in the NBA and compare you to

    them. For me, he used to tell me, “Hey Dapreis, you’re

    just like Mark Aguire. You’ve got that body, and you can

    get to the NBA.” And after awhile, he just stopped

    saying it (Laughs).

    HHC: (Laughs) At least he didn’t tell you

    that you reminded him of Kurt Rambis! Hey, what has

    Dapreis Owens been doing since 1992, and what is he up

    to today?

    DO: Well, after I

    left Nebraska, I had a pretty good career in Europe and

    South America. Most of my career was in South America,

    where I played from 1994-2000. But, I played in places

    like Paris, Venezuela, Australia for a year, Uruguay,

    Argentina, so I was really a world traveler. I was

    enjoying it and ended up having a stress fracture,

    didn’t know it, came back to Lincoln to get it looked

    at, and they fixed it for me. And I played one more

    spot, Chile, and it was bothering me so much that I

    stopped, and my plan was to rehabilitate it some more

    and then keep playing. In the meantime, they gave me a

    teaching job to teach special education here in

    Mansfield, so I’ve been teaching special education for

    the last seven years.

    For awhile, I also coached

    basketball at the high school level, and now at a local

    college called OSU-Mansfield, where I run the women’s

    programs. We are the Mansfield Lady Mavericks.

    HHC: Nice. Dapreis, thanks a lot for

    taking the time to join us. We’ve set you up an e-mail

    account at

    [email protected] , and are hoping

    you’ll take some e-mails from Husker fans. Are you cool

    with that?

    DO: Most definitely, that’d be great. And

    thanks a lot for having me, this was fun. I’ll have to

    get some contact information for some of my old

    teammates from you.<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">



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