Schu Strings: Look out for the greatest team ever

Message board regulars might be familiar with fgreek, and his insightful, often borderline-brilliant contributions to the community. As a result of said borderline brilliance, fgreek and I occasionally meet for lunch. This year's Wildcat basketball team was at the conversational forefront.

Lunches with fgreek are often lengthy affairs. Fortunately, he's in such a hoity toity tenured position at the University that he can afford the occasional extended gathering. That is, when he isn't pounding the pavement for donations to his educational improvement program.

So in between the political banter and discussions about the state of Wildcat football, fgreek asked if I had the same positive, touchy-feely feeling about Arizona men's basketball that seems contagious on the boards.

Schu: You mean that Channing Frye will be the best center in the history of Arizona basketball?

Fgreek: That he'll dominate every center in the game, and at his rate of growth could go head-to-head favorably with Yao Ming and Shaquille O'Neal. And that Salim Stoudamire

Schu: …is the best one on one player in the game. I saw him in that matchup with Jason Terry, Damon Stoudamire and Miles Simon in the summer pro league, and let me tell you now, Salim is ready for The League.

Fgreek: Oh, unquestionably. And you know his personality will be perfect because Arizona has the greatest bench in the history of college basketball ready to take his spot. If he gets out of line, the game's best coach, Hall of Famer Lute Olson, will not hesitate the pull the plug and go with superstud freshman Jawann McClellan, who can just shoot the lights out.

Schu: Or don't forget Jesus Verdejo and Daniel Dillon. I mean, Verdejo's a former Golden Gloves boxer, so you know he's tough.

Fgreek: Yeah, and Dillon will play for the Australian Olympic team in 2008. I mean, this is the same country that gave us Andrew Gaze. You know they play serious hoop Down Under.

Schu: And we haven't even mentioned Chris Rodgers.

Fgreek: Oh yeah, pure versatility. Nobody at the college level can play so many positions. Attitude problems? Not with Chris Rodgers this year. He finally understands the system. All of that is behind him. He'll be big-time.

Schu: Big-time indeed, and as amazing as he'll be, his name will hardly ever be uttered because of the greatness of Hassan Adams. Adams should be a lottery pick right now. Such great heart, such emotion, such a sparkplug.

Fgreek: He's playing his natural position again, so the sky's the limit. Heck, he jumps so high his head might scrape the clouds.

Schu: And on the inside, Frye will get help because Isaiah Fox is the most valuable player on the team.

Fgreek: Valuable indeed. Forget that he's only averaged two points and two rebounds during the course of his career. This is Isaiah Fox we're talking about, and he's going to be the difference on the inside. You can't stop him. Can't stop Arizona.

Schu: And we haven't even talked about Muhamed Tangara. Greatest rebounder in the history of the program. Pete Williams said so himself.

Fgreek: Don't worry about the offensive game. That Tangara will give Arizona what it hasn't had in the past. He's the real deal.

Schu: The real deal indeed, and he might struggle for playing time with Kirk Walters in the mix.

Fgreek: Oh yes, Kirk Walters. They say the greatest improvement is between the first and second years, and it's possible Walters has made more improvement than anyone in the history of Arizona basketball. They can't redshirt him. Can't do it. He's that good.

Schu: And don't forget Radenovic.

Fgreek: Oh no. Never forget Radenovic. He now understands the speed of the American game, and those Europeans have great fundamentals. In the world of European basketball, there's Dirk Nowitzki and Ivan Radenovic. Look out for Ivan.

Schu: And Beau Muhlbach.

Fgreek: Oh, Muhlbach goes without saying. I mean, his name is Muhlbach, after all. It doesn't matter that he isn't related, doesn't matter that he missed a dunk. This is the guy who scored 36 points in the Red/Blue Game. And that's what matters.

Schu: You mean those comments about the Arizona basketball team?

Fgreek: Yeah, those comments.

Schu: Sounds about right to me…

…Moving on…

…In the spirit of fairness, or perhaps because I really didn't have anything else to do on a Thursday night in Tucson, I attended Ann Coulter's talk at Centennial Hall. For those who don't know, Coulter is a conservative columnist who has released three best-selling books that rather unpleasantly bash the liberal sect. I went to the sold-out Michael Moore event at McKale Center earlier in the month, so I figured swinging that wacky ideological pendulum in the other direction might be entertaining. It's that most wonderful time of the year, where propaganda swirls like a Florida hurricane. The best I can say about this election is it's over in a week.

Moore and Coulter have one thing in common. Punctuality is not a strong suit. Moore was a half hour late. Coulter's performance was delayed two hours, but at least she had weather as an excuse.

Coulter started the show with a semi-prepared speech. Highlights included simplifying the racial profiling issue and calling John Kerry a gigolo. Pretty tame stuff. Then she fielded questions, and it was during this portion of the show the fun took place.

Whether you like her or not, one truly must admire Coulter's peripheral vision. During an answer, she caught a glimpse of something suspicious off stage, and with the agility of a gazelle sprinted toward the back. Good thing she did as two protestors made a beeline for her podium, packing custard pies in tow.

However, it was obvious these guys never won their girlfriends a stuffed animal in the carnival, or ever played a lick of sports, because they got within three feet of Coulter…and missed. They didn't just miss. They missed badly.

Those in attendance naturally booed loudly, yet I found myself just laughing. I figured it's kind of like what football coaches say about a wide receiver going over the middle of the field. You know you're going to get hit anyway, so you might as well catch the ball. In this case, as a protester, you know you're going to get physically apprehended, so you might as well hit the target.

I've seen my share of clips of European leaders getting the pie in the face treatment. Apparently, as is the case in basketball, their American counterparts lack critical fundamentals.

In post-event interviews, Coulter ranted about how the liberals are mad and they're out of control and how she might have to hire a bodyguard because tempers are flaring. And all the while, I was thinking, "It's a bleeping pie." Yes, I was thinking bleeping.

University police spokesfolks said the protesters would be arrested and charged with a variety of offenses, including damaging the stage curtain, which could run as much as 3 or 4K. I had no idea Oxy-Clean was that expensive. Then they said the protesters indicated they weren't throwing pies at Ann Coulter. They were throwing pies at Ann Coulter's ideas.

Either way, you missed.

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