Rundown of Arizona, Belmont, Harvard and New Mexico from A to Zby Javier Morales on Mar. 21, 2013, under Sports
The NCAA tournament bracket Salt Lake City pod of Arizona, Belmont, Harvard and New Mexico from A to Z:
A is for assists: The leading assist man among these four teams — New Mexico’s 6-4 guard Kendall Williams — is also incredibly the Lobos’ leading scorer. Williams has 166 assists, topping Harvard’s Siyani Chambers (161), and he leads New Mexico with 13.5 points a game.
B is for Bruins: Arizona has another chance to beat a Bruins team this year after losing three games to UCLA. It is the first time the UA will play a Bruins team other than UCLA. Belmont and Arizona have never met and the Nashville, Tenn., school is the only other Division I program with the nickname Bruins.
C is for Clark: Belmont 6-3 guard Ian Clark is the leading scorer in the pod with 18.1 points per game. He not only leads these teams but the nation shooting 46.3 percent from three-point range.
D is for defense: New Mexico leads the group, limiting opponents to 38.8 percent shooting from the field. Harvard is tops in three-point percentage defense at 32.5 but is the worst in overall field-goal defense (44 percent). Arizona rates last among the four teams in three-point shooting defense (36 percent) and third overall field-goal shooting (41.4 percent).
E is for EnergySolutions Arena: The Wildcats lost 87-65 to BYU and Jimmer Fredette there in 2010. Steve Kerr and Jud Buechler celebrated an NBA championship there, however, in 1998 with the Chicago Bulls when the arena was called the Delta Center.
F is for fine: Sean Miller’s $25,000 fine and public reprimand from the Pac-12 for his conduct with a referee and conference staffer at the conference tournament in Las Vegas came at the same time of year that Alford had trouble with the Mountain West three years ago. Alford was reprimanded by the Mountain West for yelling an expletive at BYU’s Jonathan Tavernari after a game at Provo in early March 2010.
G is for Grant: Arizona’s 6-10 freshman forward Grant Jerrett can become the tallest UA player to lead the Wildcats in three-point shooting in a season. He is shooting 40.8 percent (31 of 76) from beyond the arc. The next-best mark is Kevin Parrom’s 39.8 percent (39 of 98). Parrom is a 6-7 forward. Sean Elliott is the tallest at 6-8 to lead the UA in three-point shooting (43.7 percent in 1988-89).
H is for Harvard: In 2006, Harvard determined that any student (not just an athlete) of a family making less than $60,000 would be provided a free education, provided they academically qualify. Students from a family making between $60,000 and $180,000 would be responsible for no more than 10 percent of their income. The change has allowed coach Tommy Amaker to recruit players Harvard could not in years past.
I is for Ivy League: Harvard nor any other team in the Ivy League has won an NCAA men’s basketball championship. Neither has a team from the Ohio Valley Conference where Belmont plays or Mountain West which features New Mexico. UNLV, of the Mountain West, won the 1990 NCAA title as a member of the Big West.
J is for jump shot: Fitting that Belmont’s J.J. Mann inbounded the ball to senior guard Kerron Johnson, who nailed the game-winning “J” against Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship. Johnson dribbled upcourt with the Belmont fan section on its feet. He got free to nail the game-winning jumper in the lane with 1.2 seconds left in overtime. He also made a jumper with less than 10 seconds left in regulation that sent the game to overtime.
K is for Kirk: New Mexico redshirt sophomore forward Alex Kirk, who leads the Lobos with 7.9 rebounds per game, was a recruiting target for Miller out of Los Alamos (N.M.) High School. Kirk narrowed his decision to Arizona and New Mexico after strongly considering Cal, Maryland, Oregon State and Minnesota. “Coach Miller has a good situation over there and great players, but I had to stick with UNM,” Kirk told Scout.com on the night he committed to the Lobos in 2009.
L is for Lyons: UA senior point guard Mark Lyons is playing in his fourth consecutive NCAA tournament, the previous three with Xavier. In the Musketeers’ first-round games against Minnesota (2010), Marquette (2011) and Notre Dame (2013), Lyons has not roared from the start like he wanted. He has nearly as many turnovers (six) as field goals made (seven) in those games. He shot 7 of 22 (31.8 percent) from the field and 2 of 7 (28.6 percent) from three-point range in a total of 71 minutes in those three first-round games.
Read the rest of the alphabet at WILDABOUTAZCATS.net. Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner