How’s this for being inconsistent:
In its preseason college basketball guide, Web site CBS.sportsline.com ranks Arizona No. 30. That’s likely to be the lowest of any preseason pick.
To make matters worse, the Web site misspells UA coach Lute Olson’s name.
“Even when Lute Olsen’s Wildcats are down, they don’t fall too far,” the prediction says. “At this point, Olsen’s program is judged by how far it goes in the NCAA Tournament, not if they make the Big Dance.”
Later, in attempting to predict the NCAA Tournament field and the eventual champion, the Web site has UA going all the way to the title game in Atlanta, eventually losing to Ohio State.
Magazine says Walton
should have gone No. 13
Dime Magazine redid the 2003 NBA draft, changing the way teams should have drafted according to the players’ performances to this point in their careers.
Not surprising is that former University of Arizona forward Luke Walton moved into the lottery. He’s been that productive and valuable in his three years with the Lakers.
Instead of being a second- round pick at No. 32, Dime had him at No. 13, going to Memphis.
“The ’03 Grizzlies had talent: Pau Gasol, J-Will, Bonzi, Shane Battier, James Posey and even Mr. Potential, Stromile Swift.
As we’ve seen from their 0-for-post-season franchise record, they still needed someone to help produce offense,” the magazine said.
“Walton isn’t a big scorer, but his passing and basketball IQ would’ve created opportunities for guys that needed to be set up, i.e. Battier, Swift and Posey.”
Steinbrenner mum so far
on Torre firing report
NEW YORK – Yankees manager Joe Torre likely will be fired and replaced by Lou Piniella following another early exit from the playoffs, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.
But Yankees owner George Steinbrenner would not comment on the report.
“I am deeply disappointed at our being eliminated so early in the playoffs,” Steinbrenner said in a statement issued Sunday by spokesman Howard Rubenstein. “This result is absolutely not acceptable to me nor to our great and loyal Yankee fans. I want to congratulate the Detroit Tigers organization and wish them well.
“Rest assured, we will go back to work immediately and try to right this sad failure and provide a championship for the Yankees, as is our goal every year.”
On Saturday, the Yankees were eliminated from the first round of the AL playoffs, losing to Detroit 8-3 in Game 4.
It was the second straight year New York lost in the opening round.
The Yankees have won the World Series four times under Torre, most recently in 2000.
They had a record $200 million payroll this year and matched the New York Mets for the best record in the regular season.
The Yankees have made the playoffs in all 11 years that Torre has been their manager. They have won nine straight AL East titles.
The 66-year-old Torre has one year and $7 million left on his contract.
Piniella is a former Yankees star and managed them in 1986-87 and for most of 1988. He guided Cincinnati to the 1990 World Series title and later managed Seattle and Tampa Bay.
The 63-year-old Piniella took a year off from managing last season.
- The Associated Press
Simms vows to play again,
spleen or no spleen
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms says he believes he will play again in the NFL despite recently having his spleen removed.
“If I feel like I can play, why not play?” Simms said. “I can’t hurt my spleen again.”
The weekend quotebook
from college football
“There is too much pain in the locker room to feel like this is a moral victory.” – Washington coach Tyrone Willingham after the Huskies’ 26-20 close loss to USC.
“Nobel Prize! Nobel Prize!” Fans in Berkeley, Calif., chanted when George F. Smoot, recent winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, was introduced at halftime of the California-Oregon game.
The Bears won 45-24 and have topped 40 in five straight games since being humbled at Tennessee.
“The schedule isn’t going to get any easier. We’re not going to lay down.” Michigan State coach John L. Smith about facing unbeaten No. 1 Ohio State this week.
> Got a beef? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Call: 573-4635. Fax: 573-4569. Write: Sports sound-off, P.O. Box 26767, Tucson, AZ 85726-6767
ON THIS DATE
Arizona fans see little hope after UCLA loss
A UCLA freshman cornerback returns an interception for a TD. Why are freshmen at other schools ready to play, but our freshmen need three years to develop? This program is nothing but hype and spin. When do the heads start to roll? How confused was QB Willie Tutitama in the first quarter? Does anybody else think he might be problem A?
- TONY B.
The worst part of this defeat is the blow to our recruiting efforts.
The coaches make the decisions on what is practiced and what is played. But those decisions seemed poorly thought out. The Wildcats were on their own out there running junk stuff without a prepared offensive line. What was that onside kick call from the sidelines all about? Seemed like a dumb idea that lead to dumb execution.
There won’t be any turnaround coming next year either. What recruits could be motivated to take our side? Bad day. Sad night. Poor forecast.
- RAY B.
I’ve been saying it for the past several weeks now, Tui needs to learn how to throw the ball away. Its not the O-line’s fault that he keeps getting sacked. Why wasn’t Austin eating grass while he was in there? Maybe it was because he got rid of the ball and didn’t need 10 Mississippis to throw. Funny how Tui can’t gain a yard and Austin comes in and makes the offense look decent.
That helmet-to-helmet non-call was absolutely poop! But face it, Tui saw the guy coming all the way. Why not try getting out the guy’s way?
- JIM S.
USC, Washington, UCLA – all history. Schedule for next year: Piedmont State Teachers, Loyola-Marymount L.A.; North Eastern Dakota, Idaho State Teachers College and Glendale Community College. Mr. Stoops, call your brother in Oklahoma to see if he will take you back.
- ART L.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
Rushing yards per game by Arizona this year, ranking 118th out of 119 Division I-A teams. Others at the bottom:
119. Baylor 41.2
117. Temple 56.3
116. Duke 70.2
115. Akron 70.3
What is Pitt’s football rivalry with West Virginia called?
Answer: The Backyard Brawl, a nod to the proximity of the schools. Pitt leads the series 59-36-3. Brawl 2006 is Nov. 16 at Pitt.
By Steve Rivera, The Associated Press