One thing I love about early basketball: the reintroduction to in-game dunks and the enjoyment associated. Inevitably, the hiatus makes us enjoy the dunk in an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” kind of way, and declare such early dunks as “dunk of the year” and other overreactions. I’m guilty of the same behavior, whether it’s folks like Paul George or the first good dunk of the season is normally met with massive enthusiasm.
Such is the case with Derrick Williams of the Arizona Wildcats. Williams was on the receiving end of a an alley-opp from point guard MoMo Jones, and needless to say, he finished the “opp” part with some unexpected flourish.
Williams’ dunk helped cap an impressive showing from second-year coach Sean Miller, who is looking to get his Wildcats back to the top of the Pac-10, a conference ripe for one of their traditional basketball powers to reclaim their position as one of the best schools on the basketball environment.
The Arizona Wildcats came away with a gift of an overtime win last night against Lipscomb. The final score was 83-82, thanks in large part to a questionable game-winner, courtesy of Nic Wise. After Lipscomb missed the second of two free throws, the Wildcats to the other end, where Wise got his attempt off just as the buzzer sounded.
Or did he? Did Santa Claus come a few days earlier for the Wildcats?
Looking the at the video, it’s hard to argue against the idea. At the seven-second mark, the ball clearly looks like it’s in Wise’s hands as the backboard light goes on. However, from the second angle, it’s a little more dubious. Considering the initial look, was the second angle — and the potential view that gave Arizona the win — necessary?
Of course, there’s something to be said for reviewing all the evidence, and if the second angle creates doubt, perhaps the ruling on the field court should stand. Over at the Tuscon Citizen, the early Christmas gift wasn’t enough to raise spirits. Apparently, the idea of, out of the two teams, Lipscomb being the one most likely to make the NCAA Tournament is a little disappointing.
Still, the truth is, Lipscomb, a preseason co-favorite in the Atlantic Sun Conference, has a better chance of being in the NCAA Tournament than Arizona.
And that’s just kind of sad.
Through 10 games of the nonconference season, it is obvious that 5-5 Arizona does not have, will not have, an NCAA Tournament resume. The postseason door is open just a crack because the young Wildcats, if they can get everyone healthy (Jamelle Horne, Kevin Parrom), figure to have a reasonable chance of playing their best ball in March for the Pac-10 Tournament.
The league is so bad that maybe the Cats could get hot at the right time, run the table in Los Angeles and earn the league’s automatic berth to the NCAAs. If you’re clinging to hope, that’s it.
So again, why on earth did he not bolt for the more prestigious Arizona Wildcats basketball team, especially when there were reports of an offer being on the table? Incidentally, in the linked article, Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman says of Tim Floyd:
Apparently, the lack of door love has negative effects. Just ask the University of Arizona, who saw their head coaching job offer get turned down by Tim Floyd. Maybe next time, Arizona’s athletic department will allow their back door to be featured while they are entertaining their next coaching prospect.
Apparently, finding a coaching replacement, even for high-profile jobs like Arizona, is harder than ever. Memphis, meanwhile, is absolutely floundering since John Calipari’s announcement to take the Kentucky job. Rumors of transfers and de-commits now plague a team that was on the cusp of an extended flirtation with college basketball greatness. Now it’s back to the drawing board for program that’s still looking for a new head coach.
Or, “The Other Wildcats Want Tim Floyd.” Either one would work. In case you don’t know what I’m babbling about, the Arizona Wildcats have offered their head coaching position to USC’s Tim Floyd — on a non-interim basis — although, unlike a recent hire for another Wildcats team, there was no “door love” waiting for Floyd to make his decision. No “The Door” Facebook pages or anything remotely close to the Calipari/Kentucky hubbub we just sat through.
Nevertheless, the west coast Wildcats have targeted their man, viral popularity explosions of athletic department doors be damned. As long as Floyd can continue to get the O.J. Mayos and DeMar DeRozans of the world, everybody concerned should be pleased — provided he accepts their offer to leave Los Angeles.
Apparently, Floyd has 24 hours to accept or decline Arizona’s offer.
Apparently, he’s a fan of Christian Laettner as well. In a move that contributed to his Houston Cougars team giving the game away, Aubrey Coleman, after getting rung up for a charging call against Arizona’s Chase Budinger, Coleman decided he’d try his curb-stomping skills on Budinger’s face. While an official could see him, meaning, not only did Coleman act like an ass on the basketball court, he’s apparently not incredibly slick when trying to sneak something past the authorities.
ESPN is reporting Arizona Wildcats coach is stepping down from his position as head basketball coach. Evidently, Olson will be replaced by assistant Mike Dunlap on an interim basis. As of now, the University of Arizona is remaining mum on Olson’s departure and they are essentially denying the report:
Arizona spokesperson Tom Duddleston said Thursday morning that Olson hasn’t informed the administration that he is resigning. Duddleston said he went to his superiors and was told, “no way,” in response to the report.
“We’re not making any announcement to that effect,” Duddleston said. “At this moment there is nothing going on.”
If Olson is indeed done, his last few seasons at Arizona have been odd. Last season, he missed the whole year because of a sabbatical related to his marriage difficulties and his return has been less-than-smooth because of an alleged falling out with interim coach, Kevin O’Neill.
Olson won the National Championship in 1997 and has taken Arizona to the Final Four four times.
Actually, this behavior simply mimics what’s becoming an epidemic in college athletics. The set-up: Arizona fans were mad their team was getting housed by USC. When Davon James punctuated USC’s dominance with an emphatic dunk, complete with him pointing to the Wildcats crowd, a `Zona fan decided they’d pay him back. With a bottle of water:
Now, maybe James shouldn’t have pointed at the crowd after he spiked that dunk, but the fact remains, you don’t throw stuff at opposing players or teams. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure James was responding to 20 in-game minutes worth of heckling from the Wildcats fans. To his credit, Arizona coach Kevin O’Neill got on the PA and called his student section out, while apologizing to USC.
If this and the type of stuff the SI article refers to continues, perhaps we’ll need to start holding rivalry games in closed arenas. H/T to SbB.