UCLA center Joshua Smith's first game against crosstown rival USC was a frustrating experience for one of the top freshmen in the conference. He didn't appreciate the Trojan players' celebratory antics, told reporters the officiating was "terrible" and also gave the middle finger to a USC fan.
According to the Orange County Register, the big man and McDonald's All-American recruit acknowledged Tuesday that he used the obscene gesture and regretted the incident.
"Yeah, that did happen," Smith said. "I lost my cool, somebody actually said something personal to me, talking to me about my family. I just gave them a little one. I mean my parents taught me well but he said something personal where I just let him know how I felt. I do regret it. I'm a better person than that. My family has raised me to tune stuff out like that be he said something pretty personal. With me after the game with emotions all over the place it just kind of happened."
Smith, who was saddled with foul trouble during the UCLA loss, also apologized for calling out the referees and received an admonishment from coach Ben Howland.
"His comments about officiating were totally poor judgment," Howland said on Tuesday. "It was really, really bad. You can't do that. Only one foul wasn’t a foul that was called on Josh.
"The other fouls, all (the other) fouls were good calls. To say something like that and it gets printed is really poor judgment.
"He’s got to grow up and that that's uncalled for."