Horne plays, provides spark for the Wildcats in 76-74 winby Steve Rivera on Dec. 23, 2009, under Sports
North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe wasn’t surprised to see Jamelle Horne get in the game and have an impact. Players play and they eventually perform.
Horne did just that in Arizona’s 76-74 win over NC State in McKale Center on Wednesday night. It was another madcap night at McKale. Nic Wise saved the day once again, hitting a driving lay up with one second left. Forty-eight hours earlier, he hit a 20-footer at the buzzer for the win.
That was the big story – again. The second one was the fact that Horne played. And 27 minutes no less.
He had 12 points, eight rebounds. Enough said.
But Sean Miller said Horne might not play until February after suffering an ankle sprain 10 days ago.
“Every young person who has that ankle sprain or foot sprain feels differently and it scared Jamelle initially,’’ said Miller, of the sprain. “He went down that path that he was going to be out a long time.
“I’m glad he played.’’
And there was no witch doctor or voodoo involved, although one would think some was used on Horne’s mysterious ankle injury that was said to have him out until – maybe – February.
Christmas Miracle? Maybe a motivational tool by Miller. Maybe a combination of both.
You do what you have to do to get players to get on-point and in tune and in touch with what’s going on.
Miller and Horne met to “get on the same page’’ with Miller’s hope that the injury didn’t set him back from having “a very good junior year.’’
Miller went to Horne right away after not starting him, playing him a minute or so into the game after UA was down 4-0. And Horne provided a quick spark, creating two turnovers and scoring four quick points.
“I came back and gave it what I have,’’ said Horne, who chalked up all the February talk as “miscommunication.’’ “It came down to the buzzer but we took this win and we go into Christmas happy.’’
And healthy – apparently. Now, all Horne has to do is stay motivated because when he is he can do damage (and not just to himself). When Horne is emotionally right and healthy, Miller said he “can be very good.’’
“Jamelle is one of those players where he can be his own worst enemy,’’ Miller said. “He and I have talked about it. I’m sure other coaches have talked about it.’’
It’s about body language or languishing about a bad play here and a bad play there when it comes to Horne, Miller said. “It can’t allow him to not do other things he can do on the court,’’ Miller said. “When he’s really locked in and can be that player who can do a little bit of everything … he’s a starter on so many teams in our league.’’