If this was the Pac-5 the Wildcats would be in big trouble.
The stat has been repeated many times. Since the start of Pac-10 play Arizona is now 0-3 in the first game of the weekend and 3-0 in the second game. Can we schedule a quick game before taking on ASU this week? Is there a high school team available?
The rule for Pac-10 basketball fans has always been: Don’t judge the weekend until you’ve played both games. There’s no sense in going crazy about a Thursday loss when there’s still a game on Saturday. This is especially true when you have a team for which any weekend split is a good thing.
With the Oregon State defeat the last-second-shot book is now balanced for the 2010 Cats. Two for the good guys, two for the other guys. Live by the buzzer-beater, die by the buzzer-beater.
While I’m happy with the road split it’s still frustrating that a very valuable sweep was there for the taking. The UA had a double-digit second-half lead in both games but could only hold on to one of them thanks to an offensive drought in Corvallis. We’re used to dreaming of the Final Four. Now we’re going scoreless in the final four (minutes).
That added a bit of pressure for the Oregon game. Win and you’re tied for fourth. Lose and you’re alone in tenth. That’s life in the jumbled Pac-10. As it stands there are three teams each with two conference losses and the other seven teams have exactly three losses apiece. Ten-way tie or bust!
Right when Arizona was in danger of replacing UCLA in the cellar the Ducks reverted to their 2-16 form from last year. We are much obliged for your 33% shooting!
Oregon’s McArthur Court always looks like one of those high school courts that’s not quite regulation size. It was nice to see our guys walk out of that place for the last time with a win.
It was also good to see the red uniforms back. Don’t be a stranger, cardinal kit!
Wise’s behind-the-back split of the double-team drive and no-look pass to Williams was the highlight reel play of the night but it was the first behind-the-back split of the double-team that won the game. The lead had been trimmed to eight with just over two minutes left when Wise kicked it out to Fogg for the dagger three.
I wouldn’t recommend behind-the-backing against good defensive teams but a guy who has that in his bag of tricks needs a flashier name. Niq Wise is back.
Baseball has bad-ball hitters. Jamelle Horne is a bad-ball shooter. The less in rhythm he seems the better the chances of the ball going in. Maybe he should shoot free throws on one foot.
It’s great to watch Kyle Fogg’s confidence soaring. He’s aggressive going to the basket, he’s not afraid to launch it from deep and you can count on him to finish games at the free throw line (12-for-12 is pretty good).
At the other end of the non-freshman esteem spectrum is Brendon Lavender. To say he isn’t looking for his shot is an understatement. I don’t even think he knows it’s missing. “What? Score points? No thanks, I’m good.” I hope Brendon finds the trigger again soon because he’s not going to be out there much longer if he’s a zero threat on the offensive end.
I am a big fan of Derrick Williams’ post-dunk surfer pose. Hang (on the) ten (foot rim), brah!
I also love when DW draws yet another foul on the road and the entire crowd groans. Get used to it, people.
I am not a fan of turnovers. You have to feel pretty lucky to win a game in which you turn it over 18 times. The Cats had gotten the giveaway number down to 11 against UCLA, 10 vs. WSU and 12 against UW, but it was a 16-per-game turnover frenzy on the Oregon Trail.
I am conflicted about Jerryd Bayless. I’m still not sure how I feel about our first one-and-done, but if he keeps showing up at games to support the school where he hung out for a couple semesters I’m willing to give him the chance to grow on me.
I am a huge fan of college rivalries. That’s right, it’s ASU Week. They’ve beaten us five straight times. They’ve won their last four games by a combined 70 points. They’re preparing for their only home sellout of the year. It’s not looking good for the boys from Tucson.
The whole state knows the Devils are going to pack it in with their zone and dare the Cats to beat them from the outside. Fogg (48% for the season on threes), Horne (44%) and Wise (37%) are all going to have to be hot from deep. We then need ASU’s four guys who shoot it at 39%+ to all run cold. Piece of cake, right?
This will be Sean Miller’s first game against the Orangish-Yellow and Almost-Brown. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. How important is it to win your first rivalry game? Mike Stoops did it…and proceeded to lose his next three.
But, hey, ASU is alone in first place as we approach the halfway mark of the conference season. This is a chance to “knock them out of the Rose Bowl,” hardwood style.
That’s the kind of sweep I like best.