Speaking of Hill, his double-double last night was huge. More importantly, Hill's play of late tells me that Lute hasn't lost his magic touch in finding diamonds in the rough when out on the recruiting trail. Now, if he could only go and find a few more guys willing to get after it on defense as hard as Hill this whole fiasco of a mid-season stretch this year will soon be forgotten.
I've been in e-mail war with some of my friends in defending Arizona's Top 25 ranking and high computer numbers. I've done an admirable job thus far but I have to be honest, I'm starting to feel like Custer here in that I'm running out of ammo fast. How do you defend Arizona after last night's lackluster performance in Corvallis? For a team that can't afford to lose to anyone right now, let alone a downtrodden Beavers squad, Arizona played like a team whose back wasn't up against the wall.
Actually, maybe the Wildcats didn't get the memo about this. Instead, I'll send them a news flash…ARIZONA…YOU'RE BACKS ARE AGAINST THE WALL…YOU MUST FIGHT YOUR WAY INTO THE TOURNAMENT…end news flash.
Let's move on.
I know it's only February but I can't wait for the first press conference out of the Dallas Cowboys Spring camp when Terrell Owens finds out that Wade Phillips will be twice as focused on defense than Bill Parcells ever was.
Boy, oh boy, Reggie Bush just can't keep his name out of the papers when it comes to USC. I don't want to see anything negative happen to any Pac-10 school so I sincerely hope that there is no truth to the rumors that Reggie had anything to do with the recruitment of McNight who some consider to be the best high school recruit in the country.
Speaking of USC, society in general has once again failed miserably in teaching our youth a lesson. In probably the last chance in NBA superstar-to-be O.J. Mayo's life to actually feel the adverse affects of his poor actions, a court judge issued a temporary injunction which allowed Mayo to delay a three-game suspension for pushing a referee. The delay was just long enough to allow Mayo to play in a nationally televised basketball game last week. Mayo will now serve the three-game suspension, but will return to the court just in time to play the #1 high school team in the country, St. Patrick New Jersey. I mean seriously, you hear about athletes getting preferential treatment all the time but in the end what, if anything, are these athletes learning that will make them better human beings.
Remember when the Super Bowl was this really cool televised sporting event? I do too.
I find it utterly amazing that a group of highly paid ad executives sit in a room and give the thumbs up to 95% of the advertisements that run during the Super Bowl. For me, just give me the Geico Cavemen ad-spots and be done with it.
It's utterly amazing what USC continues to do in recruiting. How do you sell a five-star recruit on your program when there's five other four and five-star recruits already ahead of him on the depth chart?
I was reviewing Arizona's upcoming football schedule, recently. Three of our four October games are on the road. The home game is against Stanford. The road games are California, USC and Washington, in that order. Saying Arizona must come out of September 3-0 is the understatement of the year.
Rivalry Week in college basketball just doesn't resonate as much as Rivalry Week in college football. I know there are more rivalry games being played across the nation this week but by my count I see only three that really have anything to do with anything – USC/UCLA, Missouri/Kansas and Duke/North Carolina. Now, you know ESPN concocted this whole cockamamie thing in the first place so they could further distort the significance of the Duke/UNC game (as if anyone cares outside of the ACC). It's sad really, but genius on the part of the ACC who clearly has the best of the best handling their marketing, TV contracts, etc.
What Tony Bennett is doing with Washington State is nothing short of amazing. Last night's beat down of Stanford is just another of many already delivered messages that this team is going nowhere but up.
Arizona State is so incredibly close to getting their first conference win. Please, oh please, don't let them be winless when they welcome Arizona into Tempe during the final week of the conference season.
They'll get their first serious chance at getting that much sought victory when they visit Corvallis on Saturday. The Beavers are ripe for another loss, even though they gave the Wildcats all they could handle.
The two most disappointing performances from Thursday's games belong to two teams who will square off tomorrow at 12:30 PM, PST. Oregon and Arizona both survived against the worst two teams in the league. Although I can go on for an hour as to my frustration with what went down last night in the state of Oregon, I'll be kind and dismiss the poor play of both these teams as simply overlooking their opponents in anticipation of Saturday's featured conference match up.
On the first go around, Aaron Brooks hit a running bank shot with two seconds on the clock to catapult his team to victory over the Wildcats in Tucson. This time around, Arizona will look to return the favor. They'll need to play much smarter and much more aggressive on defense then they did against Oregon State if they hope to contain the Ducks. They'll also need better contributions from Chase Budinger and Jawann McClellan if they expect to score in the 80s (which is what it'll take to win).
For those of you wondering where my Pre Game Analysis' have gone, let's just say I'm taking one for the team right now. As you may recall, for the first 15 games of the season I was pretty much money on my predictions. But then a friend of mine dropped me an e-mail and told me how money I was and how he hoped I was putting money on the games because I was predicting the final margins with such accuracy that it was getting ridiculous. For example, prior to the Houston game, a pal asked if the 15-point spread was too much. I text backed that we'd win by 25. The final score was 87-62. Anyway, life was great. Arizona was winning, and yadda, yadda, yadda. Then the congratulatory e-mail arrived, Arizona's players apparently stopped reading my pre game reports (or just started doing the opposite of what my formula for success was calling for just to spite me), Arizona started losing and well, here we are. So, until I receive an e-mail from my friend (and you know who you are – nickname rhymes with Lucky) telling me how lame my pre game predictions had become, I just can't quite bring myself to give final score predictions in fear that the curse that was bestowed upon me (and consequently to the Wildcats) still exists.
One last thing, you've gotta give it up to teams who work hard and overcome adversity so here it goes. Let me give a quick shout out to Long Beach State. The 49ers are leading the Big West Conference and are making a serious run toward the NCAA Tourney despite playing without two of their stars who are sidelined while their eligibility is being worked out. LBSU's Bracket Buster game was snubbed by ESPN and won't be televised, but that doesn't mean that the Pyramid won't be rocking anyway.