Arizona notes: Wildcats stem tide of poor Pac-10 tourney performancesby Javier Morales on Mar. 10, 2011, under Sports
LOS ANGELES — Arizona junior guard Kyle Fogg did not look to be in pain although he sat by his locker with two huge ice packs on both quadriceps.
Fogg, 0-2 in the Pac-10 Tournament before Thursday, looked relieved, as if a weight was lifted after Arizona beat Oregon State 78-69 at the Staples Center. The Wildcats snapped a three-game losing skid in the tournament, winning for the first time since 2008.
It was only the sixth conference tournament win for the Wildcats since they won the title in 2002.
“We were a lot more focused coming into this one,” said Fogg, who was replaced in the starting lineup by Kevin Parrom because he did not practice Tuesday and Wednesday in order to rest his legs.
“Everyone wanted to win. There’s not many guys in this locker room who won a Pac-10 tournament game and we all wanted to get our first win. The biggest reason is we want to win that (title) game on CBS on Saturday. I think everyone is really locked into that and we are going to play our hardest to get to that championship game.”
I remember when I covered Arizona’s 1996-97 NCAA championship team the Wildcats chanted “Play on Monday” before defeating North Carolina in the Final Four. The rally cry “Play on Saturday” does not carry the same significance but it has a meaning of its own with this year’s Wildcats.
An Arizona spokesperson informed me that the Wildcats are not Twittering this because of a team decision, not because UA coach Sean Miller is enforcing them to stop. Arizona’s players, especially Derrick Williams and Kevin Parrom, have openly tweeted comments and re-tweeted comments of their friends and fans.
You won’t read this in a Tweet from Parrom, but he will likely start again Friday against USC. Fogg said he should be “good to go” in a couple of days. Although he did not look hobbled, he played a season-low 10 minutes.
“This was the first time I had a couple of days off this week, and that was good for me,” Fogg said. “I was able to run out there. It was bothering me a little bit, but I’ll be good to go.
“It was a little awkward at first but after a while, it went away because the adrenaline got flowing.”
Stars in the crowd
Jack Nicholson was not in his customary seat watching a Lakers game here, but there were plenty of Arizona stars at the game.
The list includes Lute Olson, former basketball players Kenny Lofton and Pete Williams, and former UA All-American football player Ricky Hunley.
Hunley told FoxSportsArizona.com reporter Jack Magruder, formerly full-time at The Arizona Daily Star, that he wants to get into the broadcasting business.
When the Pac-12 lands its own network, Hunley would be a natural choice as one of the color commentators, given his playing background with the Wildcats and NFL and his coaching stints with USC, Missouri, Florida and the NFL’s Redskins and Bengals.