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The Bounce: UA, Pima women have high hopes

<h4>Hoops on the mind </h4></p>
<p>Syracuse's Arinze Onuaku dunks against Richmond during Tuesday's game. Syracuse won 76-71.

<h4>Hoops on the mind </h4>

Syracuse's Arinze Onuaku dunks against Richmond during Tuesday's game. Syracuse won 76-71.

Don’t think for a minute new Arizona women’s basketball coach Niya Butts is going to let up on her players after winning two of three games to capture the Bank of Hawaii Invitational.

“We need more from them,” Butts said. “We need more on a consistent basis. That’s what I am trying to get them to understand.

“It’s not a matter of who your opponent is. We have to be ready to play every season, every minute and every hour. Some of us would like to turn it off and on, but it’s not something you can do.”

Arizona got major contributions in Hawaii last weekend from players who had gone missing in exhibition games.

Sophomore Ify Ibekwe and senior Beatrice Bofia averaged 17.1 and 10.3 points, respectively.

The tournament was a coming out party for Ibekwe, who also averaged 10 rebounds per game.

“We needed more out of her,” Butts said. “We challenged her and she went out and produced.”

Bofia, 6 feet 6, could have been the biggest surprise.

“She had two real solid games. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without her,” Butts said. “She was poised and patient. She made some mistakes, but many more positive things happened than negative.”

Senior Amina Njonkou and freshman guard Reiko Thomas also finished the tournament averaging in double figures. Njonkou is averaging 17.3 points per game. Thomas sports a 10.7 points average.

UA lost its opener to Toledo 64-63 but came back to defeat Loyola Marymount 88-83 and Hawaii 62-50.

“That first loss taught us a lot,” Butts said. “I think it helped us win the next two. Anything you can get a start like that it helps a lot especially with confidence.”

UA faces UC Santa Barbara in its home opener at 3 p.m. Sunday at McKale Center.

Aztecs on the rise?

Pima Community College women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus may have the talent to open some eyes.

“I don’t want to be too optimistic, but if the team plays up to the way I think they’re capable of, we can maybe surprise a few people,” Holthaus said. “Pima has been so poor in the past that hopefully we can raise a few eyebrows.”

Holthaus needs his 10 freshmen to mature fast. Only two sophomores are on the roster.

“It’s a young team and we’re going to have moments of freshmen making mistakes,” Holthaus said. “The talent I think will make up for it in the end because they are talented. We have a lot of depth.”

Pima (1-1) entertains Cochise College at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in its home and Arizona Community College Athletic Association opener at Aztec Gym, at Greasewood and Anklam.

The Pima men’s team (1-1) will face Cochise at 7:30 p.m.

Holthaus played all 10 players that traveled last weekend. Sophomore Cristen Schweitzer (Cienega High) was sick and did not make the trip. Freshman Sabrina Molina (Benson) is waiting on papers to clear her.

Pima will look to Courtney Payne (Cienega) after she averaged 11.9 points and 7.3 rebounds to rank 17th and 15th in the league, respectively, last season.

Freshmen Abyee Maracigan (Flowing Wells) and Adilene Villalobos (Sunnyside) scored 20 and 16 points respectively in an 80-48 win over Western Texas.

“As a coach I would like to have as many players in double figures because it makes it harder to scout. We are deep enough to pound it inside if we have to. We have a good enough perimeter game as well,” Holthaus said.

BRAZZLE

Cuban crisis

So Mark Cuban – Internet billionaire, Dallas Mavericks owner, blogging geyser – is in the soup for alleged insider training, the feds claiming he saved himself $750,000.

That’s chump change. It wouldn’t even pay his NBA fines. But the folks down at the Securities and Exchange Commission can be a little touchy.

The upside to all this, though, is we could well be treated to another episode of one of the more entertaining grudge matches in the public domain.

The David and Mark Show.

Better than Dr. Phil and Oprah.

It’ll be David Stern, the NBA commissioner, possibly having to decide again what to do about the most vexing of his ownership flock. This will not be the first time that Stern has had to sit at his desk, gaze into the midtown Manhattan air, and try to cope with some sort of Cuban crisis.

First, of course, we have to find out if the man really did it.

Cuban’s personal blog normally provides lively – not to mention voluminous – commentary on everything from the status of the Western Conference playoffs to hedge funds. So what would Wednesday’s soliloquy be about the charges?

“I wish I could say more, but I will have to leave it at this, and let the judicial process do its job.”

Let’s face it, when it comes to public relations, this is not the best time to have your name bandied about for possible Wall Street trickery.

Then again, Cuban is savvy and a difficult man to keep down. He might also be innocent. Whatever happens, never bet against a man who needs more than eight zeroes to write out his personal worth.

Cuban may not own the Cubs one day – this won’t help him with baseball owners who were already reluctant to admit his unconventional sort to their club. But he’s a 21st century survivor.

MIKE LOPRESTI

Gannett News Service

Don’t go east

When editorial writer John Soule of the Terre Haute (Ind.) Express beckoned citizens 157 years ago to “Go west, young man,” he might as well have added, “And don’t come back, because it could get ugly.”

Just ask the four West Coast teams in the NFL. San Diego, Seattle, Oakland and San Francisco have visited teams in the Eastern time zone a combined 11 times this year.

Record: Zero-for-2008. And if you throw the Arizona Cardinals into the mix, it’s 0-14.

“When you look at the western teams, you’re not really talking about good teams,” former Giants coach Jim Fassel said. “That’s the bottom line.”

USA TODAY

<br />
<h4>QUOTABLE </h4>
<p>‘If you believe what you read, my personal safety could be in jeopardy.’</p>
<p>LANCE ARMSTRONG, cyclist,</p>
<p>who fears he could be attacked by spectators if he returns to the Tour de France” width=”482″ height=”640″ /><p class=

QUOTABLE

'If you believe what you read, my personal safety could be in jeopardy.'

LANCE ARMSTRONG, cyclist,

who fears he could be attacked by spectators if he returns to the Tour de France

———

ON THIS DATE

1961: George Blanda of the Houston Oilers passes for 505 yards and seven touchdowns in a 49-13 rout of the New York Titans.

———

SPORTS SOUND-OFF

Recruiting and high school

Re: Salpointe football team hit with one-year probation next season

• Salpointe is a private school that can offer the incentives. Why doesn’t anybody look at the public schools? FAST EDDIE

• This is embarrassing for the coaches, players, teachers and alumni. The word on the street has always been that Salpointe football recruits. Now all of those who defended Salpointe’s name to those accusations look stupid. DIAMONDFAN

• Shame on the AIA . . . to pick out Salpointe and penalize them while turning a blind eye to the rest is disgraceful, just disgusting. No, I am not a Salpointe graduate, booster, or parent. I am a coach that has seen this firsthand and I am fed up with it. The AIA has to go. BTW

• I graduated last year from Salpointe and spent all four years in the football program. I can tell you from experience that Salpointe . . . doesn’t recruit. As a freshman, I was 115 pounds and ran a 5.1 40-yard dash. By the time I graduated, I was bigger and faster, weighing 195 and running a 4.8 40-yard dash. Salpointe football trains harder then anyone else in the city. I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS

• This must be pretty severe for the AIA to regulate on Salpointe like this, and there had to have been some hard-core evidence against them. For all the stuff that goes on around the state and in Tucson, I can’t ever remember the AIA reacting like this to something against Chandler Hamilton . . . or anybody (in Tucson). NIGHTHAWKS08

• It’s going to be tough to motivate the kids next year with them already knowing there is no possible chance for playoffs. TUC333

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TRIVIA QUESTION

What do Ohio State football players get if they defeat Michigan this weekend?

———

ANSWER: A gold charm in the shape of a pair of football pants.

The tradition began in 1934 when Francis Schmidt, Ohio State’s coach, told those wondering how his team would fare against mighty Michigan, “They put their pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else.”

Schmidt’s Buckeyes went out and defeated Michigan four consecutive times, all by shutout.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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