Just spoke with ASU's media relations guy and he says that Ike Diogu is better this year. If that's true, this could be scary. Ike was already pretty damn good.
0:00 before the tip
If the national anthem is any indication, the crowd could be pretty good. The three singers who sang the anthem. (Nice three part harmony by the way).
It's time for another addition of "stupid things I think about". The Wildcats huddle up and jump up and down after the player introductions. Injured freshman Mohamed Tangara is one of the participants. Do you think he needs to get a doctor's clearance to participate? He has a back injury, so I would assume that jumping up and down is not real good for it. Could the NCAA not grant his medical redshirt because of this?
19:24 in the first
We're thirty seconds in and Channing Frye and Ike Diogu each have a bucket. Channing always plays well against ASU and we all know how good Diogu is. With apologies to David Lucas, these are clearly the two best big men in the Pac-10.
18:24 in the first
ASU is off to a great start. Serge Angounou scores on a putback, then a Diogu block leads to an easy fast break.
17:25 in the first
Ike is on fire. The big man has struggled in the past against the Cats, but not so far this game. 2:35 into it and he has seven points. He just knocked down a three-pointer.
15:20 in the first
The Wildcat big man looks like he wants to go bucket for bucket with Ike. No, not Channing Frye, it's Ivan Radenovic. He has seven points and two boards early.
12:45 in the first
This is what a rivalry should be. After a foul ASU is screaming for a "no-call". At the same time Lute is stalking down the sideline calling for an intentional foul. Both coaches start jawing at each other, and the assistants all look displeased. Meanwhile Kevin Kruger is crying to anyone who will listen.
The funny thing is that neither side is right. On the play the Cats throw a baseball pass to Channing Frye who is tangled up with an ASU guard. The ASU player clearly fouled Frye, but it was by no means an intentional foul.
11:51 in the first
There is an iffy call on Salim Stoudamire on a tie-up. From my vantagepoint it could have gone either way, however, Lute is furious and pointing to the video screen. Ironically enough, they never show the replay.
Stupid things I think about, part two. Bret Brielmaier is in the game. If I'm the UA I let him set hard screens all night long when the Cats play teams like Oregon and UCLA. I want to see guys like Jordan Farmar and Malik Hairston trying to run through Brielmaier. The Cats could really tire out those guys. Of course the plan really wouldn't work against Nate Robinson. Hell, Robinson is thick enough that he could probably do some damage himself.
11:17 in the first
Another iffy call. Lute has lost it. He looked like he might walk off the floor, but he's standing on the baseline with his hands on top of his head. The officials are letting a lot of contact occur down low, but then they are calling ticky-tack stuff up top.
Is there anything funnier than when Olson gets mad at the officials, but does not want to engage the officials? He walks to the end of the bench, drinks the Gatorade, then grabs a clipboard and stares at it. Right now he has bypassed the Gatorade and clipboard and he's just standing down there with his hands on his head and glaring at the refs.
10:53 in the first
Kruger just nailed his third three in a row, but gets called for an intentional foul on the other end. He spent a few moments too long admiring his bucket and did not get back on defense. Not surprisingly he is crying to the officials after the foul call. Frye beat him down the floor and Kruger grabbed him around the waist. No attempt at the ball, just a nice bear hug as Frye went up for the bucket. Frye not only scored the basket, but knocked down the two free throws. How many times do you see a four point play that does not occur behind the arc?
Too make maters worse, the Cats get possession and Frye scores, making it a six-point possession.
Kruger cries as much as any player in college basketball. He could be the most hated Sun Devil since Kyle Dodd, although I doubt Kruger will be stomping on any Wildcat players like Dodd did.
8:33 in the first
Time to state the obvious, but the officials are just brutal. They are inconsistent and are making flat-out incorrect calls. They are bad both ways. Arizona has had their share of calls go against them today, but on the last possession Hassan Adams had a hold of Bryson Krueger, preventing him from getting to the pass. The ball sailed out of bounds and the UA was awarded the ball.
I just don't get how they can be this bad. The small conference coaches at the Fiesta Bowl Classic were dismayed that these were Pac-10 officials. How can the Pac-10 hope to be considered an elite conference when schools from the Horizon League and the Big Sky think these guys are terrible? Tom Hansen needs to do something, because these guys area joke.
6:28 in the first
Cats have a chance to tie, but have rushed their last two shots. Rodgers ignored two open men on the break and Shakur put up an off balance fadeaway five seconds into a possession.
5:25 in the first
Somehow Jason Braxton has eight points. He's the guy who put the "off" in "off guard".
3:45 in the first
Shakur has scored the last eight and the UA takes the lead. The last possession was wild. The Cats get the break, drive and dish to Chris Rodgers who has his three rattle in and out. Hassan Adams gets two looks at it and eventually gets the long rebound outside the arc. He gets it to Stoudamire who drives and kicks to Shakur who drains the three from the corner. Shakur leads all scorers.
2:04 in the first
They are letting kill each other inside, but Jawann McClellan has been called for two fouls away from the ball. I'd like to say they were bad calls, but they were so far away from the ball that I couldn't even tell you what he did.
1:36 in the first
The Cats may be playing their smallest line-up since 1950. 6-6 Bret Brielmaier is at center, 6-4 McClellan is at power forward and Daniel Dillon is at the small forward spot.
55.7 in the first
Diogu goes to the line. He has not scored since his three-pointer three minutes into the game. Ivan Radenovic and Isaiah Fox have been phenomenal on defense.
17:52 in the second
Only Jason Braxton can airball a lay-up attempt. Not only did he fail t o draw iron, but his baseline drive resulted in his shot missing the rim by a foot or two.
15:58 in the second
The band starts the "high school refs" chant. Sadly, that's an insult to those who officiate high school basketball games.
12:08 in the second
After letting him get away with murder, they finally call Ike for an inside foul. The only problem, IT WAS A BAD CALL. They let him pound Frye and Radenovic all game long and then they call him for what appeared to be a clean block. Gotta love these Pac-10 officials.
7:31 in the second
Somehow this is a 17-point game. The Devils have balanced scoring and are shooting over 50%, but the Cats are rolling. The Devils are started to panic and the Cats took advantage with a 16-5 run. The Devils are done.
5:52 in the second
Fashion note: Frye changed shoes at some point. In the first half he wore black shoes. Now he is wearing white shoes.
3:40 in the second
How's this for a lack of respect? Ike Diogu is at the line and the band is chanting, "over rated". To make matters worse, the scoreboard has him identified as "Ike Diogo".
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