Saturday, April 30, 2005

Unheralded..............????

Jason Terry leads the Mavericks over the Rockets

Left, right, left, left, right

Gilbert Arenas leads the Wizards over the Bulls

Former Salpointe punter transferring to Arizona?

Says here that second-team All Big-Sky punter Kyle McQuown has packed up his 42.1 ypp avg. and left Idaho State for his homestate of Arizona. Kyle prepped in Tucson for the Lancers of Salpointe, and:
"The situation at Arizona would appear perfect for McQuown, as the Wildcats' current punter, Danny Baugher, is a senior. McQuown has not used his redshirt season yet, so he would be left with two years of eligibility after Baugher graduates."

Let's see if this develops into anything.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Gone to the dogs

Softball: Schultz will miss Cats road trip to Oregon

This story reports that Schultz will miss the road trip, but gives no definitive reason for that.

Big Weekend ahead

With crucial league series starting today, the Wildcat baseball and softball teams need to turn it up and keep it going through league and post-season play. And how great is it to have both teams ranked high nationally? Go Cats!

AZ/usc baseball on TV -- all three games being played at Sancet-Kindall this weekend will be broadcast live nationally. Great exposure for both teams, Tucson, and Cat fans all over.

Shelly Schultz -- Dan Ryan reported on KVOA sports tonight that Shelly was being left behind on the trip to Corvallis. The reason given was she had been charged with animal cruelty after leaving her two dogs home unattended during a past road trip. Can't find anything else yet on this.

asu blows big lead, loses Pac-10 golf title -- just loved the sound of that headline.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Things to know today

The usc Trojans come to town this weekend to test the Wildcats. Nothing less than top-notch games and talent are expected.

Washington is the come-from-behind winner in the 2005 PAC-10 Men's Golf tourney. Arizona placed third, a notch below Sparky.


Short list. Be thankful.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

PAC-10 Baseball

Top four face off in battle for the top of the standings. Of interest in the article:

"PAC-10 NOTES

GOLDEN SPIKES WATCH - Eight Pac-10 players have been named to the Golden Spikes Award 'Watch List.' Those players are Trevor Crowe of ARIZONA, Travis Buck and Jeff Larish of ARIZONA STATE, Brennan Boesch of CALIFORNIA, Jacoby Ellsbury of OREGON STATE, Jed Lowrie of STANFORD, Jeff Clement of USC, and Tim Lincecum of WASHINGTON. The award given out by USA Baseball, recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the country and has been awarded since 1978. The five finalists for the award will be announced in June with the watch list subject to change based on weekly performance.

ARIZONA lost a season-high three straight games last weekend, marking the first time this season that the Wildcats have been held winless over a weekend series... Arizona has been powered by its offense, which leads the Pac-10 in batting average (.328), slugging percentage (.526), runs (343), RBI (308 - tie), doubles (107), triples (25), total bases (791) and walks (193). When it comes to pitching, the Wildcats have been commanders of the K, recording a league-leading 413 strikeouts, including 131 strikeouts looking - also tops in the Conference... Catcher Nick Hundley has heated up in Conference play, leading the Pac-10 in slugging percentage (.792), doubles (9) and total bases (38) in league games. Teammates Trevor Crowe and Jordan Brown lead the Conference in runs (18) and and RBI (23), respectively, in Pac-10 contests. "

Whatever happened to...

Trina Smith? A two-sport (volleyball/hoops) athlete at the UA in the early 90's, Trina has been introduced as the new head women's volleyball coach at Wright State. This is her first head coaching position, having been an assistant at South Carolina for the past eight years. Add Wright State to your list of teams to root for.
What are the nickname and mascot of Wright State,? anyway?

Trojans lose at home before leaving for Tucson

usc must have been looking ahead to their coming series against the Cats when they played Loyola-Marymount Tuesday.

"'I hope we can forget about it and quickly,' (usc head coach Mike) Gillespie said. 'Arizona is the most important series so far.' "

Just when I was starting to forget Arizona's own "Lost Weekend."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Cats drop to number 9....number 9.....number 9.....

Baseball America - 2005 College Baseball Top 25

Turn me on, dead man.

Baseball hopes the bad trip is over

At least Arizona wasn't the only ranked team to have a collapse last weekend. Georgia Tech dropped 3 to ACC foe Virginia, so the Cats can take some consolation in the fact their losses were non-conference.

"Arizona totaled eight runs in losing three games in Sacramento, Calif. UC Irvine held UA to four runs in two games before Sacramento State topped the Wildcats 7-4. It marked the first sweep of the year for Arizona, and its first three-game losing streak."

usc comes in to town this weekend for a crucial Pac10 series, so don't forget to wear red and take in a game or two.

Snyder throwing cheese in Wisconsin

Jason Snyder, once a UA Wildcat, is powering through the Class A Midwest League. Off to a 3-0 start with a nice 2.41 ERA, he leads the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (affiliated with the Seattle Mariners) in his first full year of pro ball. With the Cats in 2002, looks like he might be worth keeping an eye on.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Up to strength? Not the Huskies

Up to strength? Not the Huskies Folks in Seattle aren't sold yet on Tyrone Willingham and his impact on the Husky football team, especially in the conditioning of the players. The article does acknowledge the turnaround in the AZ program, though:

"Word on the street is Arizona's strength and conditioning program has transformed the Wildcats from flabby to lean. Coach Mike Stoops pilfered Corey Edmond and Mark Hill, Schmidt assistants, away from his brother and gave each a two-page spread in his team's media guide, equal billing with his assistant coaches."

Nice job, Stoops!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

This is one rough course

In the world of golf, how is this for a crazy lie. Retiree hits his tee shot on a par 3 and the ball rolls onto the tail of an alligator (there's a joke in here somewhere). Tee it up again....no penalty.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Did you hear the one about...

...the Penn State forward who may transfer to the UA? The Daily Star hints today that Aaron Johnson, who led the Big 10 in rebounding with 9.9 boards/gm, is considering transferring to AZ and trying his luck as a walk-on player for the Cats. With no scholarship offer, AJ would have to walk-on the team, sit out the 2005-06 season, and have one year of eligibility remaining. He would be a force, at 6ft 8in and 250 pounds, and would join the crowd of Tangara, Walters, Brielmaier and others in the inside.
More on this soon.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lute invites former player now coach and his team out for a friendly December tourney

Just when you think there isn't anything else to know about Lute Olson along comes a former Iowa player and his UCF Golden Knights to remind us that he actually did have pre-Arizona years. Years to mold and inspire players other than Wildcats. With UCF joining Conference USA next season, coach Kirk Speraw is taking a page out of his old coach's manual and upgrading his non-conference schedule, a proven practice that Lute works to perfection here. The more competitive the opponent the more spirited the team will play, and losses like that teach much more than sloppy wins. Think Kirk is looking forward to playing against the Cats?

"I was thinking about going out there as a guarantee opponent, but then Lute said, 'Well, I've got this tournament,'" said Speraw, who played for Olson at Iowa. "Forty-five minutes later, it was done."

In his 12 season with Golden Knights, his team won more than 25 games last season and made their 3rd trip to the dance in Speraw's tenure. No cupcake here, folks, sorry.

Off the hook

At least this criminal case against a college athlete will go away nice and fast. Los Angeles DA's have decided not to file sexual assault (rape) charges against Eric Wright of usc due to lack of evidence. Does that mean Eric gets back the $100K he forked over for his bail?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Late night odds and ends

Adam Austin powers the offense -- and it sounds like the offense will be shaggin' and fraggin' this fall. Yowsa.

Batcats pound New Mexico -- again. Season series now stands at 4-0. That's the #6 ranked Wildcats, a lofty ranking that's well-earned. I'm a little miffed at Tuesday's Daily Star, though. There was not a single mention of the game to be played that night, nor did it appear in the Radio/TV listings for the day (print edition). Somebody napping over there, guys?

Whatever happened to -- Dennis Latimore? The former Wildcat-turned-Irish (a nice mix, actually) has announced he will forego his final year of eligibility at Notre Dame and turn pro, most likely overseas. At the UA's Midnight Madness when Dennis and Isaiah Fox were freshmen I was most impressed with Latimore, and kept up with him whenever I could catch him on TV. If he had stayed here and worked on his game he would have been of great value these last 2 years. btw - DL will be earning his degree in English and African-American studies from ND in May.

"The highest rated member of a heralded recruiting class in 2001 that included Salim Stoudamire, Channing Frye and Will Bynum (who transferred to Georgia Tech and helped them to the 2004 NCAA final), Latimore never could get his career untracked at Arizona. He started only once in 57 games for Lute Olsen's Wildcats and averaged 11.4 minutes per game."

Read this before the next track meet

Now that the myth of basketball as a non-contact sport has been busted it should come as no surprise that track and field can also be damaging to your health. What are the odds of having one student impaled with a javelin and another hit in the head with a shotput at the same practice? Discus sandwich, anyone?
Thanks, FARK.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hometown bias

The Vacaville Reporter ran this story on that city's prep stars and their respective college careers. Headlining the story - the Wildcats' own Jordan Brown. As JB says:

"Good things happen when you want to win."

UA Asst. hoops coach gets head coaching job

Losing asst. coaches to the head coaching ranks is not new with UA hoops. This time it's the ladies turn, with Shimmy Gray getting the nod (and job) at St. Louis University. Her toughness and attitude should help the struggling Billiken program gain back some respect. Congrats to Shimmy!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Stoops neutral on possible 12-game slate

From Azstarnet.com:

The Division I Management Council has approved legislation that would allow I-A and I-AA schools to add a 12th game starting with the 2006 season.

Shouldn't be a problem, then, to make it a National Championship Game, should it? Think "revenue."

Uncle!

Woke up this morning to find that both UA ball clubs - baseball and softball - were both the victims of a cruel prank. Apparently, someone broke into the equipment rooms of both teams and stole all but the fungo bats, leaving both teams powerless against yesterday's opponents. Imagine Women's Softball getting mercy ruled by ucla and Men's Baseball suffering a 17-1 loss to osu on the same day. The only consolation is that fans only have to endure one forgettable day instead of two.

Rubber game of the series with the Beavers is today, with temperatures in the high 80's. Should be an excellent crowd, boys.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ron Mexico.......what a big man you are

from Wizbang

Wildcats are producing more than good guards

Those folks in Phoenix are taking notice of not only the fine athletes coming out of the UA, but also the, well, fine athletes coming out of the UA. For hints, check here.....and here.....and here.....and here.....

Three cheers for Title IX.

Conservative Blog Praises Gilbert Arenas

Power Line: More on the local sporting scene...................got to love Gilbert. He was always smiling when he played at the University of Arizona. Memories of Stanford gym and Gilbert trying to dance on the wrong foot as the crowd yelled "right, left, right, left" as he walked off the court............. Lute was upset, he didn't get Gilbert's sense of humor at that moment.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

'Moneyball' explains Arizona's success

Michael Schwartz of the Daily Wildcat does a great job explaining the "Moneyball" theory of evaluating players and talent for pro teams, and the stats help explain why the boom is back in Wildcat baseball:

"Even with an old-school manager, the Moneyball theory is at work in the Arizona lineup. With a team full of patient, productive hitters and a pitching staff striking batters out at a record pace, it's no wonder why the Wildcats have dominated conference play thus far. "

The Beavers are dammed this weekend.

Got the basketball jones?

The Pac-10 released their official recap of the 2004-05 basketball season today, which includes this somewhat overlooked fact:

Arizona reached the regional semifinals for the fourth time in five seasons.

Is it just me, or does our tag as "Choker" seem to linger even with such impressive showings? There's a certain little school to the north that would give their eye teeth to be able to lay such a claim, and plenty more around the country.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Seattle standout selects Wildcats

The only thing different about this point guard from the northeast is that she'll play for the Women's team. Welcome, Malia O'Neal.

Who's next?

Not only has Nate Robinson (the little bugger) left the washington Huskies to take his act to the pros, now we learn that Chris Hernandez will test the money waters a la Jason Gardner - no agent. And Ike Diogu is doing the same. How many players do the pros need, anyway? In the words of Billy Dean, "Let them be little." And let the fans enjoy watching them play while they truly love the game.

Everyone makes mistakes, oh yes they do

J. Ryan Casey writes in the Arizona Daily Wildcat about the decision to give athletes with a checkered past a second chance by some coaches and schools. asu has been getting lots of bad press recently, and I hate to rub it in any more.....anyway. It would appear that Coach Stoops carefully weighs the positives and negatives of each recruit/team member, and he strikes as the kind of guy who's not going to be snowed by anyone, and if he is, he'll weed 'em out on the practice field. He is on a mission to build a solid program here, a contender year in and year out, and I'd hate to see the guy who gets in his way.
And, besides, we've got former gang members doing just fine kicking insurgent butt half a world away, so in some cases "rehabilitation" does work.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Cats preach non-violence

Off-the-field behavior is being addressed by coaches and staff at the UA as college sports seek to weed out the hoodlums and riff-raff. The return of the student-athlete as role-model is much needed. How about requiring the players to wear their letter jackets when they're out on the town? Some of them might think twice before picking a fight with anyone.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Dirk Koetter's situation regrettable, but preventable

So says the Idaho State Journal in this article about the former Boise State coach now at asu. Things don't seem to be getting any rosier for the team to the north,either, other than the recent vote of confidence given Rob Evans by the athletic director...assistant AD...whatever. All the rest of the PAC-10 must be pinching themselves on that one.

Batcat juggernaut coming home after 2nd road sweep in a row

Good things keep happening for the UA baseball team, the latest a come-from-behind 13-10 victory over Washington State today. Still looking for a consistent third starter, soph Mark Melancon threw some solid relief to close down the Cougars in the late innings.
"The series sweeping victory improved Arizona to 24-10 overall and 8-1 in the conference, the best start to a Pac-10 season for any UA team in school history. "
Oregon State drops in for a 3-game series this week - time to pack the house.

Barry Zito of the Oakland A's.........a true American Sports HERO

California Conservative � Strikeouts for Troops

The Official Site of the Masters Tournament

here's the leaderboard

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Lute wants to take team in a new direction

Always on the lookout for new talent with the great skills, athleticism, and special flair needed for today's college game, Coach O is adding showmanship to that list. Here's a sneak peek at some new recruits. (Large file - be patient)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thursday update

Wildcats' big target -- no, not the one painted on the jerseys of our basketball team for the last 20 years. B.J.'s 10 TD catches last year equals the total of the entire Wildcat team.

Lute takes on FoxSports - and he's still not happy with the lack of national exposure. How can it be a "national" game if the nation isn't watching?


Softball beats asu - so what else is new? Eleven straight, 52 out of the last 54 against the Gun Devils.

"One last question" -- quotes from Lute's season-ending press conference.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Lute and Roy agree to home-and-home series

The Wildcats and Tar Heels will be playing each other starting next season, kicking the Cats' schedule up into the stratosphere. With non-conference games against Utah, Virginia and an appearance in the powerful Maui Classic, the Wildcats again will avoid noone to strengthen themselves and their game.

Too bad the dookies can't take a hint and not be so difficult to get on the schedule - they won't play on the road or without their refs for any meaningful regular season game. Prove me wrong.

Hot Sauce needs more "seasoning"

While it appeared just last week that Hassan Adams would forego his senior season for a shot at the NBA, those reports now seem to be exaggerated. With most, if not all, NBA teams recommending one more year in college to fine tune his skills, it appears more likely that Sauce will return to finish his college career.
Oh, yeah!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Morning After

Dang it! Not only did I have to watch the National Championship game last night, a game the Wildcats would have been in if not for that squandered lead against lll., but to add insult to injury CBS's fan poll picked that very same comeback as the "Game Changing Performance" of the entire tourney. Carolina would have been a tough out for the Cats, though I would have loved to see that game. Is the Elite Eight Pre-season tourney still going on?

More pops for Salim -- his stock just keeps rising.

Where have all the women gone? -- if they go to the UA, they're probably in class (or have class). Playboy drew a much larger crowd of wannabe centerfolds when they visited asu than here at UA.

Feed the Studs -- Wildcat football team looking to get the ball to the big-play guys in the fall. Can't wait, and thanks to Pae for renewing our season tickets in the horseshoe end of Arizona Stadium.

Baseball team records series sweep -- newsworthy because it is the first series sweep by the Batcats since 1999. Our star is rising...

This star already shines -- Terry Francona, the Bosox manager who led them to promised land lst year and reversed the curse, recalls his roots at Sancet Field.

What's new with the Gundevils? -- the Loren Wade/Brandon Falkner incident is just the latest at Shoot-em-up U. The wild west still lives, at least it does 100 miles to the north of here.

Bear Down!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Williams, UNC came long way in short time, and kudos to Mike Sweeney for seeing the light and picking them to win it all, ensuring himself of top prize in the bracket pool this year. With two points separating him from 2nd place (yours truly) it was the closest contest yet. Thanks to all participating in this year's brackets, and Mike, the check's in the mail.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Saturday Sports Stuff

It's the weekend of the Final Four, but since the Cats went down to the lllini my focus has shifted. Who can really listen to Billy Packer call anymore games, anyway, and my hopes of winning the bracket pool are shot, too.

Batcats win in LA -- got to hear Jordan Brown's grand slam on the radio as I drove home from work last night. This just might the year Wilma and I make it out to the ballpark. Remember the days of fans hanging over the railings at Hi Corbett just to catch a glimpse of the Cats?

Softball wins too! -- the women's softball team opened league play last night with a win over stanford, after an atypical shaky first inning for Alicia Hollowell.

Linebacker's injury puts comeback on hold -- Spencer Larsen's return to college football was postponed again (the first hiatus was for his 2-year Mormon mission). Good luck with the rehab, Spence!

Lute graduates another -- head coach, that is. Looks like Rodney Tention is set to be named Loyola-Marymount's new leader, with speculation already that Lute may seriously consider ex-Cat stars Reggie Geary or Miles Simon to fill RT's spot on the bench.

Recap 2004-05 -- Daily Wildcat does a nice job here of looking back at our Elite Eight season.

100 yards a game -- that's how much offense B.J. Vickers is expected to bring to the Cats offense this fall. Sounds like another Hassan Adams-type player with just the freak athleticism we haven't had at wideout before.

"I've never been to his house for dinner..." -- seems college basketball's two over-the-top announcers, Dick Vitale and Billy Packer, have nothing in common except making me gag and turn down the sound. For more on the baloney, check here.....

Salim's senior season -- "I just want to be remembered as a good guy."

Bear down.