Thoughts for the upcoming UA/ASU 2010-11 rematch

A look back – May 12, 2010, former UA recruit-slash-ASU freshman Victor Rudd becomes the fourth player to bolt from ASU along with Demitrius Walker, Brandon Thompson, and Taylor Rohde. Rudd eventually enrolls at the University of South Florida.

UA fan “sleepingGiant” posits:

Wow!!.. Nobody seems to want to play for Sendick and his 40 minutes of helI “watch paint dry” offense! ASU is easily looking like the worst basketball team in the Pac-10 right now for next season. Meanwhile UofA will be back to putting up the usual basketball scores they put up against ASU for a quarter of a century.

This quote sets off a huge firestorm, where many Tempe Normal faithful blast sleepingGiant as being uneducated and uninformed.

Some examples:


You said the same EXACT thing last year. Don’t you get tired of being wrong…EVERY…SINGLE…TIME???


As for UofA – maybe you clowns will actually qualify for the NIT next year….


The same UA basketball team that didn’t even get an NIT bid? Yeah, ASU fans are terrified…


Somebody tell Sean Miller he’s not in the weak A-10 anymore….he couln’t even get his team into the NIT in the weakest year in the Pac-10’s history.


With 5 good recruits coming in this is not surprising. Herb can handle it.

It doesn’t look like Herb is handling it at all. As of February 6, 2011, Tempe Normal is 9-14, 1-10 in the Pac-10. With 7 conference games remaining, Tempe Normal will have to go 6-1 just to get to .500. Anything less and it assures Tempe Normal of a losing season unless they win the Pac-10 tournament.

Currently, Tempe Normal ranks near the bottom of the nation in three of four major statistical categories (points per game, rebounds per game, field goal percentage), and only two players average in double figures in points per game. Only two players have gotten to the free throw line more than 60 times (Abbott, Lockett), and as a team, Tempe Normal shoots free throws at a 64% clip.

Arizona, on the other hand, ranks in the top 100 in three categories (points per game, field goal percentage, assists per game), has a National Player of the Year candidate (Derrick Williams), plays 11 men with no real noticable dropoff outside of the center position, and has six players shooting three pointers at a 38% or better clip. They shoot free throws at a 74% rate, and get to the line almost twice as much as Tempe Normal (600 to 385), with five players having more than 60 attempts.

Yes, the next game is in Tempe, but really it’s more like McKale Center North. It doesn’t help that recently Tempe Normal cordoned off almost 3200 seats, ostensibly to give it a “home court feel”. Realistically, though, nobody’s buying that because even after that, Tempe Normal still can’t sell out games. No, it’s because they got tired of seeing all the empty seats… except when Arizona comes to play, in which case the Arena is mostly cardinal red and navy blue instead of maroon and gold.

Now, Tempe Normal’s Herb Sendek is 6-4 against Arizona since 2007-08 season. However, of those 6 wins, only one of them is against Sean Miller. Again, that’s ONE win against a non-interim Arizona coach.

That says volumes about Tempe Normal’s program – that it can jack it up against the interims but completely shuts down against the heavy guns. Oh, and by the way, Lute Olson’s record against ASU: 43-6. Miller’s career Arizona record against ASU: 2-1. So, that’s a 45-7 record by regular Arizona HC’s (not counting interims) against ASU HC’s in the last 28 years.

Yes, that’s exactly SEVEN wins over regular Arizona HC’s in 28 years. That five-game win streak between 2007-2009 was fool’s gold since it was over the interim HCs.

So, for Sunday’s game:

Frontcourt: Arizona. Tempe Normal has no answer for Williams who will go for another double-double (at least 20 points and 10 boards). Jamelle Horne will also get 10-and-5, and Perry will get 8-and-5. In otherwords, Arizona’s frontcourt will have a field day on the glass – and second chance points – against the woefully undersized Tempe squad. Tempe’s Kuksiks will get his 10 points, but that’s about it.

Backcourt: Arizona. Jones, Fogg, Mayes, Hill, and Parrom have come alive in the meat of the Pac-10 schedule. Tempe’s Abbott and Lockett can score in bunches (27 ppg combined), but after them, McMillan, Felix, King and now Creekmur offer a combined 16 ppg off the bench. And while Jones and Fogg combine for only 18 ppg, the Arizona bench of Mayes, Hill, Lavender and Parrom offer up another 25 ppg.

Coaching: Arizona. Normally, Sendek would have the edge if it were any other coach, but this isn’t any other coach. Miller has shown he can outcoach Sendek and already owns the career head-to-head coaching lead against Sendek, going 3-2 as Arizona’s and Xavier’s HC.

Intangibles: Arizona. The game is being played in Tempe, but both teams have a week off after a trip to the Bay Area schools. Tempe Normal, however, has given Arizona a lot of game film to find weaknesses – not that it’ll be hard to find them… see “frontcourt” – whereas Arizona has given Tempe Normal a lot to worry about after a 3OT win at Cal, where two nights earlier Tempe Normal could not close the door on the same Cal team.

Arizona by 10.

Brandon Dunson commits to Tempe Normal

Ok, so why am I, a University of Arizona fan, writing about a JUCO transfer – who, by the way, is unrated by – that just committed to ASU?

Simple, because it’s extremely laughable.

Dunson’s stats are, well, rather pedestrian for a JUCO coming to a high-major Division I school: 12 ppg, 4 assist, 4 boards. The Arizona Republic states that Dunson shoots 44% from 3-pt range. But if he’s a 44% shooter, how many 3-pt shots is he taking a game to only get 12 ppg? Three?

Dunson last played at Wabash Valley JC in Mt. Carmel, IL. Translating the level of competition from there to the Pac-10 really knocks off almost 20% of his averages, meaning that really Dunson will be averaging around 10ppg, 3 assists and 3 boards.

But Dunson is supposed to be an “explosive” point guard. Really? At 3 assists and 10 points per game?

There’s a reason why Dunson was only recruited by a handful of schools – Oklahoma State, Nevada, Illinois, Gonzaga, and UC Riverside – and it’s because at the high-major level, Dunson is probably a backup-backup PG, or maybe a defensive replacement guard.

And then there’s this quote:

“I just wanted to play for a West Coast school and for a coach that can develop guards,” Dunson said.

Ok, so that’s why OK State and Illinois never had a chance, but when exactly did ASU turn into a place for guard development? Seriously?

So basically, this JUCO transfer wanted so much to come to Point Guard U (ie. U of Arizona) that he committed to the first school with “Arizona” in the name that came knocking. I think ASU needs to check his grades to be sure he can actually pass his classes, since obviously GEOGRAPHY is a problem for him.

What this does show is that Sendek CAN’T recruit the elite-level PG’s to ASU. The Josh Selbys and the Ray McCallums of the world aren’t giving Tempe Normal even a sniff. And why should they when Point Guard U is down the road with Sean Miller helming the ship, especially after Arizona shellacked ASU last week IN TEMPE. And please, all you ASU fans out there that claim Derek Glasser is elite-level… have you SEEN your schedule this season?

Yes, Glasser became the all-time assist leader at ASU this season, and he’ll probably finish with around 580 assists – and I’m being generous here because I’m giving Tempe Normal two games in the Pac-10 tournament and two games in the NIT (ASU making the NCAA Tourney is laughable at this point after the beat downs by Cal and Arizona). But seriously, there’s FIVE Wildcats with more than 580 assists in their careers – Arizona’s all-time assist leader is Russell Brown with 810; that’s 230 more than Glasser will see in his college career. (The others: Mustafa Shakur 670, Damon Stoudamire 663, Jason Gardner 622, Luke Walton 582.)

Dunson’s impact to ASU’s team? Negligible. Threat level to Arizona? Non-existent, especially given that at max we’ll see him for only two seasons.

Notable about the UA win over Tempe Normal

Tempe Normal’s Herb Sendek is 5-0 against Arizona’s INTERIM coaches, but 0-3 against the regular HC’s (Olson, Miller).

That says volumes about Tempe Normal’s program – that it can jack it up against the interims but completely shuts down against the heavy guns. Oh, and by the way, Lute Olson’s record against ASU: 43-6. Miller’s record against ASU: 2-1 (includes 1-1 as Xavier HC). So, that’s a 45-7 record by Arizona HC’s (not counting interims) against ASU HC’s in the last 27 years.

Yes, that’s SEVEN wins over Arizona HC’s in 27 years. That five-game win streak in the last two was fool’s gold since it was over the interim HCs. Nothing against Russ Pennell and Kevin O’Neill, but it’s hard to recruit talent to a school when you have the “interim” tag over your head.

Stupid FSAZ

So they’re not showing the 2pm Coyotes game because the Tempe Normal College men’s basketball team is playing at 4:30 Arizona time.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Tempe Normal is still not relevant outside of Maricopa County, but the Coyotes are relevant on the West Coast – ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY’RE PLAYING AT ANAHEIM, AND ESPECIALLY SINCE THE COYOTES ARE ACTUALLY A GOOD TEAM THIS YEAR.

Stupid FSAZ, and people wonder why FSAZ gets a bad rep for broadcasting – this is why.


I just finished watching the Denver / Phoenix game and I can honestly say that, while I know that FIBA officiating is easily the worst in the world, that NBA game was by far the worst officiated game I’ve seen in 2009, starting from the 3rd quarter on.

The refs, all three of them, swallowed their whistles whenever Phoenix had the ball, but touch a Denver player’s hair and it’s a 2-shot foul. Steve Nash is fouled on the way to the hoop with 6 seconds left in the game and there’s no call. Even the NBA TV broadcasters were like “WTF?” No wonder Alvin Gentry was livid.

I do not believe David Stern for a second that the officials are impartial. That’s a load of crap. And I’m really starting to believe that when the former players/refs are hung out to dry by their peers for making incriminating statements about the others in their group, there’s truth to it. Yeah Donaghy was a crooked ref, but you know what? Everyone thought Canseco was loony when he came forward about the BS going on in baseball – I’m starting to think that Donaghy might also have some bits of truth out there as well that will come to light eventually.

As for now, well, the Suns were homered in Denver, and it wasn’t because the Nuggets played good basketball, it was because the Suns had to play an 8-on-5.

When will we see some transparency with the officials, David Stern? I can’t wait to see what the stat crunchers find with the foul calls in this game. The media will be all over this one in the morning. It comes down to this – a two-time MVP drives the lane, is shoved, and there’s no call, but a former drug addict that is not one year removed from a 2-year suspension gets to run over and through Suns players and gets the benefit of a call EVERY SINGLE TIME.

That, my friends, is bullshit.