Saturday, February 25, 2006

Put a Fork in them

The signs were there early for a big Wildcat win- Sparky showing up with a football for a basketball game; Zona Zoo members camping out the night before for first dibbs on seats; Rob Evans still "coaching" asu...
Arizona totally cleaned Tempe's clock at McKale, and time may be running out for the Sun Devils' head coach. Too bad the Pep Band didn't play "Goodbye to You" as Evans left Lute and Bobbi Olson Court for what probably was the last time - unless he sells lemonade better than he sold basketball to the Valley of the Stunned.

Was SC really going for a 3-Peat?

These folks don't think so, and present a good case of *gasp* media bias in perpetuating the myth.

After the regular season ended with Texas and USC both undefeated
and playing in the national championship, the media became enamored
with all things Trojan -- ignoring the fact that there was another team
on their way to the championship. ESPN ran a different segment on USC every
night on Sportscenter. Of course, the result of doing something like
that is predictable…they lost. However, even after they lost to
Texas, the media wouldn’t give up their resolve…

Friday, February 24, 2006

Curling Hits the Big Time

That can be the only explanation after the "Golden" streaker hits the ice. Is that a chicken in your pocket or is it just that cold?

Frosh Faces

Tomorrow's game against Tempe boasts the 2 top freshmen in the PAC10. Those crazy Sun Devil fans will say anything to think they have a shot at beating the Cats.

For sure the game won't feature the top two coaches. Rather, it will emphasize again the huge gap between the level of play at the two schools. Bye, Rob.

NCAA streak motivating Arizona down the stretch

Expect a highly-motivated Arizona team to take the floor against Tempe tomorrow, as the Cats seek to extend their NCAA streak to 22 years, the nation's longest.

“We know we have to win these last three games,” center Kirk Walters said. “It’s huge. It’s sort of the tradition of Arizona basketball, and we don’t want to be the team that let this down and was the team that didn’t get the 20 wins and that berth in the NCAA tournament. We definitely want to keep that going.”

Look for the Wildcats to do just that

Thursday, February 23, 2006

OUR Marcus Williams

The Wildcat freshman is opening quite a few eyes with his play this year. Include NBA eyes, as the rumblings are beginning about an early exit for Marcus. Say it isn't so!

A surprising development that has taken place over the course of the 2005-06 basketball season at Arizona is how the NBA draft stock of freshman wing Marcus Williams has shot through the roof, according to NBA sources involved in scouting and personnel. Although Williams, a 6-foot-8 scoring machine from Seattle, has never publicly declared any plans to leave school early, the buzz his play has generated as the year has worn on may make his decision a lot more complex....Ben Hansen at | Stock Watch

Bill Fritter, anyone?

From comes the question of the day:
"Q: Who’s the next coach that’s gonna get fired? Rob Evans at ASU?
— Marlene, Tempe, Ariz.
A: Probably so. He has had eight years to get competitive with rival Arizona. He has won one game against the Wildcats. Evans has taken ASU to the NCAA Tournament one time (2003).
Hard to believe, but Evans had better success at Ole Miss where he won an SEC championship before he got to Tempe.
A couple of things look apparent. He doesn’t get the good players in the state; Lute Olson does. Southern California is not a recruiting hotbed for him; neither is Texas (except for Ike Diogu).
And, his supporters would rather be outside in the Arizona warmth than inside.
Inside, by the way, is not an arena but a recreation center that could be hurting Evans’ recruiting.
Finally, this is not a good year for the Pac-10 and ASU is in last place.
If a guy can have success at Ole Miss in basketball and not at Arizona State, there is an issue with more than the coach, but firing the coach is the easier solution."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What was I drinking?

Looks like I jumped the gun a bit on the game against Tempe. Tip-off isn't until Saturday, and I apologize to anyone marveling at their great seats tomorrow when nobody else shows up.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tipsy Tree

Almost missed this story. I didn't see Stanford's mascot much today, and one reason might have been it couldn't get off the bar stool. Seems the little lady - you wouldn't expect any self-respecting guy to put on the needles - who served as Stanford's Tree this year was axed after showing up pickled for the Cal game last weekend. Guess she was three sheets to the limbs.

Cats Chop Down Stanford

Desperately needing a split on this road trip, Arizona came up big when it needed to today. A "back-to-form" second half gave the Cats a big W over Stanford after losing to Cal on Thursday. And since the game was on CBS, I actually got to see it in HD! Flippin' sweet. After Tempe's big win over Cal yesterday, Wednesday's game should be doozy for a change. Or not.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Open Your Golden Gate - and Your Pocketbook

The Cats are off to the Bay Area schools, looking for at least a split of the two games. Cal tonight, then the timbers of Stanford on Saturday. Here's hoping they don't slip into that road funk and drop their 3rd road series of the season.

  • Ever wonder how much it costs for one of these little trips? Your "Priority Seating" charge at work.
  • Chris Rodgers makes the trip. It'll be interesting to see what kind of minutes he picks up.
  • Cal rejoices in their lead over the Cats in the PAC10 standings.
  • It's the inside job that's getting it done for the Cats. That's good, especially when you're the worst-shooting 3-point team in the league.
  • Lute pops the bubble.
  • Dickie V puts us back on the bubble.
  • The everchanging linup - for AZ and for Cal.
Git R Done, Cats!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olson Triggers Rodgers' Return

Chris Rodgers' Happy Trail led him right back to practice yesterday, bringing with him that defensive intensity the Cats have been sorely missing the past few weeks. Whether he gets in the game or rides the pine is irrelevant.

Chris Rodgers was reinstated by Arizona coach Lute Olson on Monday
after the senior guard was kicked off the team three weeks ago for
undisclosed disciplinary reasons. Rodgers started 13 of the 16 games he
played before being dismissed, averaging 10.8 points.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Overheard at the Gonzaga/Stanford game...

Student sections at basketball games are close to the teams, which encourages some pretty interesting remarks, chants, and comments to opposing players. That doesn't count the Scum Devils section (all 37 of them), of course, which reached an all-time low jeering Steve Kerr back in the 80's about his father's death, or shouts aimed at Lute about the recent death of his wife, Bobbi. The Kennel Club at Gonzaga has been overheard referencing a current movie about lonely sheepherders in Montana (filmed in Canada), giving new meaning to ASSists and putbacks.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cats Scratch Beavers

Ivan Radenoic, the cerebral Serbian, led the Wildcats to a solid pounding of the OSU Beavers, 80-58. Looks like the Cats are back, just after we thought they'd slipped into something more comfortable - a coma. Thus, they avenged their two-game sweep by the Oregon schools on the road. Now they need to take their new-found confidence and momentum to the Bay area schools next week, as they ride the slippery slope of The Bubble.

Splash! goes Tempe -- AZ men's and women's swimming and diving teams sweep the Sun Puddles.

Gymcats win -- beating the OSU Beaverettes on the road. Final score - 195.400 to 194.925. Whew!

Softball takes two in tourney -- Alicia Hollowell (how many years of eligibility does she have?) notched her 14th no-hitter.

The NCAA rules on Instant Replay

The Rules Committee of the NCAA has approved the implementation of instant replay, along with a coach's challenge on questionable calls, for the 2006 season. This was tried in a few conferences the past season with varying results and reviews. The proposal now comes up for a full vote in March. Personally, I like the Moutain West Conference twist to the rule: Coaches would call a timeout to make a challenge. If the call was overturned, the team would keep its timeout and retain its challenge until it lost one. If the call was upheld, the team would be charged a timeout and the coach couldn't challenge again.

Other rules changes that are lost in this proposal are aimed at speeding up (why?) the game itself. The clock will start when the ball is kicked on a kickoff, not when the ball is touched. Halftime will be shortened to 15 minutes. The kicking tee will be reduced to 1 inch to reduce the number of touchbacks. Etc.

If you've been following this blog for awhile you'll know I'm most excited about the shortening of halftime. There's only so much Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd being played by bassoons and French horns that I can take.

Trivia: Who was the halftime entertainment at the first Super Bowl?

And when we get behind closed doors

U.S. basketball players experience 2 Irans | - Houston Chronicle

The story about the banning of the dunk in college basketball

Texas Western's Road to Glory :: The real story behind Don Haskins' history-making college basketball program

Friday, February 10, 2006

Zona Ducks Oregon

For some reason, I didn't turn off the game last night when the Cats trailed Oregon by five points with less than a minute to play. Maybe I was thinking about the Fighting Illini's miracle win last March against my Cats and was hoping somehow McKale could provide such a Miracle. Glad I didn't leave before the Oregon meltdown. Next come the Beavers, smarting from a lopsided loss to (ohmygawd) Tempe. Keep on truckin' Cats!

Off the bubble? -- at least for now. It's still a day-to-day thing.

You're out! -- softball out of the Olympics as of 2012, much to the dismay of Coach Candrea and his ladies.

Football recruit news -- read halfway down the article to find out a little about AJ Simmons.

What about Louis? -- Louis Holmes, the nation's top-ranked defensive end, still has Arizona Stadium on his mind. Now if he can just get past that pesky biology class at Pima College.....

Batcats talent pipeline -- runs through beautiful Santa Rosa CA. Get out and see these guys.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Sunday

According to Greg Hansen --
"It would be a total shock if Stoops were unable to keep coveted junior college defensive line recruit Louis Holmes in Tucson until he becomes eligible. Holmes lives here and works out daily with UA football players. He considers himself part of the family and vice versa."

Darryl Lewis update -- the troubled former Wildcat and NFL Pro Bowler will face the judge on felony charges in Cali. Hope he can get the help he needs.

The sun came up again today

While it would have been easy for Olson to rant and rave after the Cats' most recent loss (nine already this season), he took the opposite approach. Don't dwell on the past, but look forward to today and tomorrow. There is still much to gain and accomplish this season. Still opportunities to improve.
If the coach of our beloved and beleaguered Wildcats can be so optimistic, how about the fans? We can start by showing up at McKale this week against the Oregon schools and remind the Cats what it's like to have the homecourt advantage on our side. How about it, folks?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

Coach O is going to have become a Wizard himself if he's going to help his troops make to the Big Dance. At least he'll be able to click his Nikes while thinking, "There's no place like home...there's no place like home." The infamous Wildcat swagger looks more like a stagger, and coming home is just what the road-weary Cats need about now. Nothing like some home cookin' with an appreciative crowd to help right the ship.
Anyone else think the emotion that seems to be lacking has anything to do with Chris Rodgers' departure? Just a thought, but we could use someone with a fiery attitude right about now.

Cats drop another one -- down by 24 at one point, they managed a respectable run before running out of gas in the end. Nice try, though.

UA not alone -- they're in good company this year with other powerhouses fighting to stay out of the NIT.

Hitting the skids? -- Corky Simpson thinks so, anyway. Are we that spoiled? Yep.

Two thumbs down

Lute made the boys watch a video replay of Thursday's loss to SC, complete with slo-mo and freeze-frame, and the reviews were unanimous. "Sketchy plot." "Limited action." "Lacks star power." "No continuity." "Would have left early if I could have."
Still better than Breakback Mounting, though.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

California Here We Come

Ready or not, the Cats take a big trip to LA to tangle with SC and ucLA. Even though the UA is 3-point favorite tonight against the Trojans, it's a cinch those points won't come from behind the arc. A measly 31% shooting touch from 3-point land has caused Lute to alter his offensive strategery - again. Let's see if he stands by his promise to yank anyone caught taking an ill-advised shot from "downtown." Has anyone else noticed his tolerance this season in letting players play through their mistakes? Maybe it's time to shake up a few egos.

RPI of 16? -- the NCAA released their first RPI rankings, with Arizona holding down 16th place. A few more quality wins would place them even higher. Then again, Tempe is whooping it up with a 191 ranking.

Recruiting -- recruiting, recruiting. Football-style.

100 minutes to SC. Definitely, 100 minutes. Go Cats!