Blog Entry

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

Posted on: February 14, 2009 4:08 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2009 4:09 pm

Make that seven in a row for Arizona.

And is Russ Pennell going to be the Pac-10 Coach of the Year?

Mike Montgomery (California) and Lorenzo Romar (Washington) can certainly make a case, as could Herb Sendek (Arizona State). But as long as the Wildcats don't collapse down the stretch it's looking more and more like Pennell deserves the award, particularly following Saturday's 84-72 thrashing of UCLA.

It's incredible -- as I detailed in Thursday's column -- the way Pennell has been able to inherit a bad situation, take some early lumps and still position Arizona for a 25th consecutive NCAA tournament. The Wildcats have gone from 11-8 (2-5 in the Pac-10) to 18-8 (8-5 in the Pac-10) in a matter of roughly three weeks, and even if they lose every remaining road game (at Arizona State, Washington State and Washington) they'll still finish with a winning record in the Pac-10 as long as they don't take a home loss to California or Stanford.

Translation: This is going to work out OK.

That's my prediction.

And though it probably won't land Pennell the Arizona job on a fulltime basis -- athletic director Jim Livengood is aiming much higher, according to everything I've been told -- what it should do is let Wildcat fans enjoy this season that seemed destined to be a debacle before it even started. Then when it's all over and done, Pennell will get to listen to other schools that will almost certainly be interested in his services, because he'll possess the type of coaching credentials that can't be ignored, plus a Pac-10 Coach of the Year award to boot.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2009 10:31 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

lol,  washington is waiting for nick wise, chump budd, and jordan bagger  to get here

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2009 10:30 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

Typical intellectual insight you provided to refute my argument, I would gladly go into detail year by year, and as for creating a profile, I never felt compelled to write, but I am sick and tired of Arizona and the love fest the sports writing community has for them, and what are we supposed to feel so happy that Lute leaves the program in bizarre fashion, exposing himself as a self absorbed moron like a Bobby knight and gets to play in a way over rated league, with a bunch a talent still left on their team only to go 18-8, with a RPI of 50 and SOS of 50, wow, THAT 7 game win streak is sooo impressive! Yeah I wonder what seed they will get this year, hopefully a 5 seed, and lose again in the 1st round!

Since: Nov 26, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2009 10:05 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

You created a profile just to spout this bile?  Crawl back in whatever hole you came out of...Tongue out

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2009 9:57 pm


I love how you mention that this is the worst year in Pac-10 history and yet somehow going 18-8 and 7-5 in this pathetic conf is something to brag about. Arizona is by far the most overrated team year after year, they are the media darling of the West, and yet go to the NCAA tourney as a high seed, year after year and lose early in the NCAA pathetically more than any other team in NCAA tourney history.

Going back to last year look at this report, what a joke:

They go 18-15, 8-10 in the Pac-10 conf, gwin only 4 of thier last 12 games to finish the season, and 2 of those wins are against Orgeon State who was 6-24 and 0-18, and the other was against Cal who was 17-16 and 6-12 in the conf, and yet somehow got a 10 seed!!!!! THAT IS THE BIGGEST INJUSTICE EVER in th NCAA, and naturally lose in the 1st round to WVU! SOMEONE explain why they got to extend their streak to 24 years in a row!!????


Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2009 9:16 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

nice post abruzzidog,  how many tourny births does ASU have (not as many as UA), how many conference titles (not as many as UA), how many final fours (not as many as UA), how many first round draft picks (not as many as UA), how many national titles (not as many as UA) - how many NCAA point shaving scandals (well, you got us there) so congrats, ASU may win the conference this year, during arguably the worst year in recent memory for Pac-10 basketball - cum talk to me when they put together a run half as long as UA'S still current run

ps. good luck next year when Harden and Pendergraph are gone and UA has a new coach (Pitino?, Few?, Dixon?) and the recruiting classes that type of coach brings


Since: Jul 26, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2009 8:47 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

Keep patting yourselves on the back while ASU wins the conference.


Wuck the Fildcats

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2009 7:44 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

Gary great article and probably a good call for the COY in the PAC10. Please don't let the rest of the country know though. We're enjoying staying under the radar. No one felt Arizona was going to be Arizona this year. Thanks to Lute stocking the cupboard and for Russ, Mike, Reggie and the Staff for giving them confidence to play like the Arizona the country has come to know.

It's great that Jason and Jerryd were there to remind them why they play for Arizona today.

Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2009 7:04 pm

Nice coverage GP

You've been spot on and early in on a huge story in college basketball (probably ESPN will be reporting all of this next week, lol)

Curious if the Cats crack your top 26 this week... a good argument could be made.



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2009 6:46 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

I guess I don't see what is so great about this story.  I mean you can't miss what you never had and the fact of the matter is that Lute did not coach last season and nobody knows what impact the two Frosh would have had.  Even when Lute said he was coming back there was always a feeling it wasn't going to happen.  I'm quite sure the players weren't all that shocked when he backed out.  And even if they were, there is no reason for UofA to be a poor team this season.  They have three quality veteran players in Hill, Wise and Budinger, these three form as good of a trio as any in the conference.  Next season will be the true test for Arizona.  With a 2009 recruiting class of near zero, if the big three all leave after this season the leftovers have the look of a last place team to me.  25 straight NCAA's looks like it may happen, but I wouldn't bet on a 26th. 

Since: Sep 10, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2009 5:49 pm

Nice homestand for Arizona, Pennell

Thanks, Parrish for staying on top of what should have been a terrible year for the UofA. Hard to imagine any other college team that has had to overcome such adversity--Brandon Jennings opting for Europe over college, Lute Olson retiring before the first game, a key bench player (Withey) electing to withdraw from school and transfer, and the decommitment of the entire recruiting class of 2009.

Now you correctly point out that the tournament is no longer an illusion. Not a given, but splitting the remaining games should put the Wildcats in. And a deserved result for our fan base which has remained loyal throughout--the games are still sellouts and the crowds are raucous. Olson turned Tucson into a basketball town and this university is a legitimate, sustaining basketball school. No matter who the coach is for 2009 forward, Arizona remains a premier basketball address.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or