If Cal won 3OT classic vs. Arizona, Montgomery would be Pac-10′s top coachby Javier Morales on Mar. 08, 2011, under Sports
Random thoughts while wondering why many reporters in the Pac-10 region favored Mike Montgomery as coach of the year after the Golden Bears went 2-6 against the league’s top four teams — Arizona, UCLA, Washington and USC — while Oregon’s Dana Altman was 3-5?
In the beat-the-dead-horse argument, Altman took over an Oregon program that lost its head coach (Ernie Kent, late in the coaching search process) and basically its rotation. The Ducks should have finished last but instead finished seventh.
Why Sean Miller than if Arizona was a preseason No. 2 choice? Try finding one person other than Miller, his staff and players who thought the Wildcats would finish 14-4 in the league. The Wildcats arguably had only one poor loss, at Oregon State. Losing at Washington, USC and UCLA is nothing to fret about, although the 22-point loss in Pauley Pavilion was an embarrassment.
Cal’s most humbling loss was by 14 points at Stanford to start the Pac-10 schedule. The Golden Bears were also swept by Arizona. If Cal holds on to beat the Wildcats in that three-overtime classic in Berkeley, Montgomery probably gets the nod from his league brethren. The Golden Bears would have tied Washington in the league standings and UCLA and Arizona would have shared the title. …
Flashback to less than two years ago, only 20 months ago to be exact, and Derrick Williams and his AAU coach Lionel Benjamin were sifting through requests from 40 major-college programs for his services after he was released from his letter of intent with USC.
Williams had only three official visits to take and he and Benjamin chose Memphis and Arizona as the first schools to examine.
Gonzaga was potentially the third choice. Williams grew up respecting the Arizona program, which included former player and assistant coach Josh Pastner, who just took over for the departed John Calipari at Memphis.
Williams also expressed a desire to attend school close to where his mother, Rhoma Moore, lived in La Mirada, Calif. Proximity to his home is one reason why he first signed with USC.
A week after visiting Memphis for three days (Pastner, his staff and players could only be involved with two of them per NCAA rules), Williams took a weekend trip to Tucson. Miller closed the deal after showing Williams how he helped develop players with similar skills, such as Derrick Brown, at Xavier.
We’ve heard that same approach used with Class of 2011 commit Angelo Chol of San Diego Hoover High School. An example of how success can manifest greater results in the future — Miller will use Williams now as an example with recruits much like Lute Olson marketed Sean Elliott. …
Remember the name Daniel Dingle. He is a 6-7 do-everything Class of 2012 forward from Bronx (N.Y.) St. Raymond’s in the same mold as Williams. Arizona assistant coach Book Richardson is working his New York City ties and has Dingle genuinely interested in the Wildcats. Miller and Richardson have already offered a scholarship, as has St. John’s, West Virginia and Xavier.
Dingle led St. Ray’s to a 59-49 victory last week over St. Francis in the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Class AA intersectional quarterfinals. He had 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 7-of-9 from the foul line. He also had 17 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals.
Dingle was named the CHSAA “AA” Player of the Year in a vote of league coaches. St. Ray’s plays Christ the King, Khalid Reeves‘ alma mater, in the semifinals Wednesday. Christ the King features Class of 2013 guard Isaiah Lewis, who is also strongly considering Arizona because of Richardson’s efforts. …
When looking at Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology brackets, the subplots can be amazing. In his latest bracket, Lunardi has the Wildcats as a No. 5 seed in the West playing potentially Tom Izzo and Michigan State in a first-round game. Rick Pitino and Louisville are a potential second-round game with a Sweet 16 matchup looming against No. 1 Duke in nearby Anaheim.
Equally interesting is Miller’s former team, Xavier, also a No. 5-seeded team playing in — get this — Tucson.