Schu Strings: It's all my fault

I take full responsibility. Yeah, me. I realize that hardly anyone is willing in this day and age to step up and take the blame, but I'm going to set an old-fashioned example and do so here. It is my fault Rick Anderson played so well in the Bay Area. I admit it. Had it not been for last week's premium content column, suggesting that perhaps freshman guard Will Bynum start in his place, who knows how Anderson would have performed?

Anderson was undeniably beneficial with his 13-rebound effort in the Wildcat win at Cal, then played well down the stretch, as did Arizona, in the overtime triumph at Stanford. Come to think of it, when looking for a barometer to determine Arizona's state of mind in the ever-perplexing issue
of consistent team intensity, perhaps Anderson's performance is the model to follow.

In simple terms, when Anderson appears unfocused, Arizona has its problems. When Anderson is paying attention, the UA becomes very formidable. Arizona appears to have four fairly consistent components in Jason Gardner, Luke Walton, Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire. Anderson gives the UA a complete team, and if Bynum can continue to show improvement, Arizona has a solid option off the bench as well. But if Anderson, and to a lesser degree Bynum, struggles, the UA often appears to be playing four on five.

Elsewhere, the Welch's LPGA golf tournament passes through Tucson. That means the return of former UA all-American Annika Sorenstam, who has had fabulous success, not surprisingly, in this tournament in the past, and shot 23-under last year.

CDO volleyball standout Bre Ladd become the first Arizona prep athlete to land Gatorade National Player of the Year honors. She'll be a Wildcat in the fall. Ladd looks like the reincarnation of Marisa DaLee, and given her pedigree she might have even greater upside, a compliment if ever there was one. Volleyball Coach David Rubio is not just knocking on the door of another Final Four. He's on the verge, after years of building, of finally making Arizona one of the nation's true volleyball powers.

Arizona baseball has gotten off to yet another good start in the preseason, but the difference this year is that there appears to be pitching, and consistent pitching at that. Andy Lopez' Wildcats have won a number of games this year by yielding minimal runs, which obviously, could go a long way toward being competitive when the real test, Pac-10 play, arrives.

That should just about do it for now, but remember. If you ever need to find a scapegoat should something go wrong, I'm your man. For it's always my fault.


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