Monday, October 31, 2005

Luke Walton shoots, scores on Wheel of Fortune

Can't miss TV this week on Wheel of Fortune :: NBA Week. Monday pitted Luke Walton against his dad, HOF'er Bill Walton and former teammate Richard Jefferson. What a great showing by two former Wildcat greats and the ol' hippie (Sorry, Bill, there are no J's). Watch on Wednesday 11/2/05 for Mike Bibby. And by all means check out the video interviews of all these great Cats.

btw - Luke whipped up on Papa and former roomie RJ tonight. Read the diary of his teammate Stacy here.

Wildcat tricks and treats

Halloween night and the horde of kids we were expecting are just not showing up. Lucky for us there are plenty of treats for Cat fans.

Cats host Bruins -- Homecoming this weekend, and AZ hosts the 7th-ranked Bruins. Sounds like the UA is ready for a scrap, and sooner or later Ucla won't be able to pull another whirlwind comeback out of their...pantalones.

Check out these stats -- just one penalty and a single turnover against the Beavs. That's what I'm talking about...

L'il Kim comes up Big -- Kim Glass named PAC10 Women's V-ball player of the week while rewriting the AZ record books.

Fall Ball -- We're talking baseball here, as Lopes has a major rebuilding job on his hands after losing seven position players from last year's Top 10 team.

In basketball news -- the Men's cage team welcomed Special Olympians for a special practice and autograph session. Saw the video of this on KVOA and it was truly inspiring.

Lute not an old fogey at 71 -- he's still able to adapt his offense to the style and types of players on the roster. Can you say - up tempo?

Chuck Cecil update -- now coaching for Tennessee in the NFL, no doubt giving an all-out performance.

Overdue hat-tip -- to UA soccer All-Everything star Mallory Miller. Great job laying the foundation for the future of that program.

There's a hole in the world tonight -- and in the middle of the Women's basketball team. Polkey meant so much to this team.

Thanks for the reminder -- "Wildcats Elated By First Win Over 1A Team." Keep digging, Tempe...

We're Number 1! -- so says in ranking the PAC10 basketball teams, while naming Hot Sauce the Player of the Year.

Bear Down and Beat the Bruins!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Arizona 29 Oregon State 27

From the AP:

Arizona coach Mike Stoops put his faith in a true freshman and Willie Tuitama delivered. Tuitama threw for 335 yards in his first career start and Arizona won its first Pac-10 game of the season with a 29-27 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.
"He's way beyond his years," Stoops said of Tuitama. "He has a great feel for the game."
Matt Moore threw for 436 yards for the Beavers, but had six interceptions and a fumble as Oregon State lost to the Wildcats at home for the first time since 1998.
Michael Thomas, another freshman, had 162 yards receiving and Anthony Johnson added 117 for Arizona (2-6, 1-3 Pacific-10). The Wildcats built a 23-10 halftime lead after a 40-yard interception return TD by Michael Johnson and a 75-yard TD pass from Tuitama to Thomas. Mike Hass had 11 catches for 190 yards for the Beavers (4-4, 2-3), passing James Newson (2000-03) to become Oregon State's all-time leader in receiving yards. Yvenson Bernard ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 12 TDs on the season for Oregon State.
The Beavers were often their own worst enemy — four of Moore's six interceptions came while in Arizona territory and Oregon State was penalized for 106 yards.
Moore completed 32 of 43 passes, but had four interceptions in the first half. He settled down in the second half, leading the Beavers on consecutive scoring drives in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 29-27.
But after the Beavers drove to Arizona's 24, Johnathan Turner stripped the ball from Moore and the Wildcats recovered. The Oregon State defense forced Arizona three-and-out on consecutive drives, but Moore threw two more interceptions, one coming on the last play of the game. "Everyone has bad days like this and you never want to have one, but it happens," Moore said. "They caught us in bad positions and we didn't take advantage of our opportunities."
Tuitama, who completed 13 of 22 passes, played for the first time last week against Oregon, coming into the game in the third quarter to replace Richard Kovalcheck.
Oregon State had planned to pressure Tuitama, forcing him out of the pocket and into quick decisions, but he stayed cool against the pressure, delivering several completions while on the run.
"I wasn't nervous at all," Tuitama said. "I went out there calm and the whole offense was." The Beavers had beaten Arizona six straight times, but have been vulnerable against the deep ball. Tuitama exploited the weakness, completing five passes over 35 yards. "We didn't exactly make it hard for him, leaving guys wide open," said Oregon State linebacker Trent Bray. Moore, a junior transfer from UCLA, has thrown 16 interceptions to just four touchdowns in Pac-10 play. He ended up one pick short of tying the school record, set by Erik Wilhelm in 1987.
Rebuilding Arizona hasn't been a quick fix for Stoops, who is 5-14 since taking over the moribund program last season. But the Wildcats have played close Pac-10 games this season and appeared on the verge of turning the corner. "We've played well and lost, and it's not a good feeling," Stoops said. "But we persevered and it paid off in the end."

Can Willie Wonk the Ducks?

This could be the game that the Wildcats finally put all the pieces together and pull out a big W. With 4 of our losses coming by 7 points or less, it just takes one or two breaks to go the troops' way to make a difference. And has anyone else noticed that the defense isn't all that shabby this year? First in the PAC10 in passing defense, a ferocious rush (just ask Kellen Clemens), and some great young linebackers. Willie T (Mr. T? Tuie?) makes his first start, and the team was behind him 100% last week against those dang Ducks - you could feel the energy level jump a notch or two when Willie went in. Dam the Beavers - full speed ahead!

The News-Review from Oregon -- this article is meant to be pro-Beaver, but it smells of opportunity for the Cats. 10 INTs thrown by OSU in the past 4 games? Yummy!

Passing lane -- with OSU ranked next-to-last nationally in pass defense, Willie T and the Boys could start something big. That is, if the O-line can hold back the rush.

Beavers like their chances -- heck, they're 9 1/2 point favorites. We like our chances better!

Beavers hope to confuse Willie -- hoping to confuse our true freshman QB with coverages and blitzes? As mentioned before, OSU is a bottom feeder when it comes to pass defense.

It's a focus thing -- being close at the end is barely a moral victory for fans, either. If the UA can maintain intensity and focus today, it could spell trouble for the Beavs.

Cats MVP out for season -- that's most valuable punter, as Danny Baugher went down for the season after recovering and returning his own blocked punt last weekend. Then again, if we score on every drive, we don't NEED a punter. Just a thought...

No TV today -- and to think Jeff got the FSA sports package in Denver so he could follow his Cats. That sucks.

Let's review. Limit the penalties, silly timeouts, and dropped passes. Win the turnover battle. Play with heart and focus. Win the freakin' game!

Bear Down!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Lute's hidden identity

From The Arizona Daily Star comes this little story about Olson's family tree:

"Lute Olson's great-grandfather was a Norwegian farmer named Ole Anderson. Ole Anderson's son - Lute's grandfather - also was a farmer who moved to North Dakota from Norway alone at age 19. Vebjorn Olson took his last name from an old Scandinavian tradition of patronymics, wherein sons took their fathers' first names and added 'son.' "

Incredible resources are available online and through the LDS church - and it's addictive detective work once you get started tracking down your ancestors. Coach Pukerud just doesn't sound the same, though.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What do golf and trampolines have in common?

You've got to read about this hilarious protest dreamed up by angry homeowners whose view of a pricey golf club were suddenly obstructed - by a 6 foot fence! From The Daily Record...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Corky likes Tui Time

And he's got it right - we've found a passing game. Now if we can find a catching game.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The case for collapsible goalposts

Rushing the endzone and pulling down the goalposts cost this college student his life. What's the matter with kids these days?

Ducks lay egg, still waddle out with win

Dang it! It was another "one that got away" story for the UA football team last night, one that should have been in the W column. With Willie T coming in midway through the first quarter and providing a huge lift to the entire team, it was easy to leave the game with a sense of future for this team. Just a matter of correcting mistakes in the basics of the game. Basics like holding onto the ball, wrapping up a tackle, keeping an eye on the play clock, and catching the dang ball when it's thrown right to you.

Oregon escapes 28-21 -- that just about sums it up.

Hey band. Get the Led out! -- I still yearn for the days when the marching band did just that - marched and played music. Times are changing, sad to say. Being a former Pride member myself (in the late '60's) I still hum the trombone part when I hear Bear Down. Still, what's with the disappearing act for the entire third quarter? The team actually managed to tie the game!

We want Willie -- the chant went up from the ZonaZoo and Stoops responded. So did Willie. Why did we keep him under wraps for so long? This from hometown Stockton paper - Free Willie 2.

What? No TV?? -- Neither the UA or asu games were televised yesterday. Good thing for both schools.

And just in case noone else noticed -- ASU sucks.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Willie T Time?

"Is the Willie Tuitama Era about to begin at Arizona?

That's the question coach Mike Stoops is laboring with, because changing quarterbacks is one way to deal with the disappointment of a 1-5 start.

"It's been a tough decision all week," he said of potentially benching sophomore Richard Kovalcheck in favor of Tuitama, a true freshman. "Willie has incredible talents, a terrific arm. He just lacks the mental maturity it takes to play quarterback at this level. But we have to move forward as a program and see if he makes us better at this time."

Kovalcheck will start against Oregon, and Stoops seemed reluctant to dump his team's woes on him. But Kovalcheck has tossed 10 interceptions and ranks 10th in the Pac-10 in pass efficiency.

The offense ranks 96th in the nation in scoring, with just 19 points per game.

"Sometimes he makes some bad decisions at critical times that hurt us," Stoops said.

Tuitama, 6-2, 212 pounds, was one of the marquee recruits in the Wildcats' touted recruiting class. He threw for 2,734 yards and 32 touchdowns for St. Mary's High School in Stockton, Calif., and was regarded as one of the West Coast's best quarterbacks.

"Willie has all those intangible things you look for in a quarterback," Stoops said. "(But) he's still never been under fire at this level. ... You never want to put a kid into a situation where he fails just because he doesn't have the proper preparation."

QUICKLY: After being penalized 38 times in its first four games, Arizona has drawn only eight flags in its past two outings. ... "

From Seattle P-I

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wildcats still poised and positive

Bruce Pascoe's Locker room interviews after Saturday's loss reveal a team still focused and together. And ready to move on to the next game against Oregon. Yesterday's rant was one of frustration and "anticipointment" (thanks, Wilma), and we'll be there Saturday decked out in red to cheer the Cats on.
Hey - anything could happen.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mercy Rule for Pima CC football

Pima College cancelled the remainder of their 2005 season's games, due to a lack of eligible players. After being outscored 360-50 (or thereabouts) it puts a merciful end to JC football in town this year. The death-knell was actually sounded when PCC administrators decided only local players would be able to play on the team. How nice it would be to have a feeder school in town for the UA teams, but that doesn't seem realistic with such restrictions.

Stoops "Whoops" do it again

Last night's game with Stanford was difficult to watch. Mistakes abounded from the pregame introductions (the team took the field as the smoke was clearing from the fireworks meant to signal their arrival) to our last legitimate chance to win the game (another turnover on 4th-and-forever). Missed assignments, dumb penalties, poorly thrown balls to wide open receivers....what a disappointment after watching us march down the field with the opening kickoff. I've got to chide the "Pride" again, the band, after they took the entire third quarter to get back into their seats and not being there to support the team. When Stanford took the second-half kickoff and drove the field for a TD the band was pulling their Houdini act and couldn't muster a squeak. And Led Zeppelin songs for the halftime show? Some tunes just don't lend themselves to French horns and oboes, get it?
Wilma and I did do our own salute to Hispanic Heritage Night (say what?) and headed to Guillermo's for a couple of #9 platters and a pitcher of cerveza (American). Still can't get the bad taste of the game out of our mouths, though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hometown Paper - Eben Britton

The Burbank Leader has this story about freshman O-lineman Eben Britton, and the pride they have this young man is obvious. And we thought Laugh In was the only good thing to come from Beautiful Downtown Burbank. That, and Jeff's "Watch this, Dad" classic.

Jawann McClellan can't play - NCAA

The NCAA has denied Jawann McClellan's appeal for eligibility and will not let him play in the Cats' first seven games this year. JMac was enrolled in a summer school class when news of his father's passing sent him into an understandable funk. He couldn't recover in time retake the class.

"It's my fault that I'm ineligible, and I have to accept that," McClellan said in McKale Center yesterday. "I've moved on, and I'm really happy because I'm really focused on school right now."

Does he get to go to Maui with the team in suit and tie

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wildcats earning respect

The UA is rated a 5 1/2 point favorite this weekend, showing last Saturday's respectable showing against #1 SC helped their cause. Bring 'em on!

Wanted to write more, but Wilma wants me to take her outside now. Stay tuned.....

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Pesky Cats Dog SC

The Wildcat football team escaped the Coliseum with their psyches intact, their expectations elevated, and a (man I hate to say this) moral victory after yesterday's game with the Trojans. Proving that the 37-point spread that the oddsmakers had put down for this game was about 16 points too much should give the team a big boost going into this weekend's game against the Stanford Indians. Were the Cardinal the first team to go PC?

Cats make their point in LA -- and expose some chinks in the Trojan armor. Can I say chinks?

Stanford celebrates victory -- yes, it was a road trip to Wazzu. Now is the time for Cat fans to step up again and root the team on this Saturday. Remember the atmosphere at the Purdue game?

Carroll rationalizing the win? -- maybe we can be so lucky someday.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Keys to a Wildcat victory today

Wilbur's Ladder to Success today for the Cats:

-Limit turnovers. Better yet, eliminate them.
-Keep penalties to a minimum, 5 or less. No silly ones, either, like motion, 12 men on the field after a time out, or late hits.
-Win time of possession, and not by letting the Trojans break off big TD plays.
-Have at least 2 big plays of our own.
-Shut down Reggie Bush like we did last year.
-Steal the SC band instruments so we aren't constantly annoyed by that aggravating victory song.

Accomplish all of these, we win. Accomplish a few, we might make it respectable and keep our dignity going into next week's home game against Stanford.

Beat SC!

This could be the day Cats make history

One way or another today's game with SC will make the headlines. The final score will either be in headline font, proclaiming a stunning Wildcat upset, or in smaller print detailing yet another Trojan victory. Greg Hansen doesn't put much stock in the upset, though this Wilbur remembers vividly a UA victory over another #1 SC team back in '81. You see, we were in the Chicago Store at the time, buying Jeff his first real drum set, when the Cats pulled off that upset. Some moments are just frozen in time.

Anything is possible today, fans. Keep the faith. Bear Down!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Wait until - GULP! - next week

The Wildcat defense managed to hold the Cal Bears under their season averages for points scored and total yards, but is was all for naught as the offense struggled more than ever against a tough Cal defense. Let's just hope that the "00" the team is wearing on their helmets in Polkey's memory doesn't reflect their weekly scoring output. With the SC Trojans coming up Saturday in another national TV game now more than ever we need to find some offense.

TBS Press Points -- Some of the comments made by the game's announcers were really pretty kind. On Stoops: 'Recruit, recruit, recruit, that's the mantra of Mike Stoops and his program. I don't care how good a coach you are, without players, your(sic) just a guy with great concepts. With players your(sic) a guy with accomplishments.'"

Devils crumble -- Watching USC come back from a halftime deficit for two straight weeks worries me a lot. Watch out for them to jack it up in the first half to prove they can score in the first 30 minutes. And that Sparky is just a major irritant, isn't he? Is all he can do shake his fist and pitchfork??

Arizona's best QB -- sits on the sidelines.