Posted on: October 2, 2009 9:52 am
Edited on: October 2, 2009 9:53 am

Arizona considered leader for in-state product

Arizona coach Sean Miller spent Thursday night with Daniel Bejarano and is now a strong candidate to gain a commitment from the in-state product who this week decommitted from Texas.

“I just want him to be happy wherever he goes," Bejarano's high school coach, Joseph Bustos, told MaxPreps.com's Jason Hickman. "For whatever reason Texas was no longer the place for him."

Among those reasons is Bejarano's reported desire to stay close to his Phoenix home after his father, Damion Gosa, was shot to death in June. Bejarano had been committed to Texas since last October. He's now considering Arizona and Arizona State but, at this point, seems more interested in the Wildcats.

“His first words when he decommitted was, `Hey, get a hold of coach Sean Miller,'" Bejarano's mentor, Ray Arvizu Jr., told the Arizona Daily Star's Bruce Pascoe. "He’s very excited.”

MaxPreps.com ranks Bejarano No. 28 overall in the Class of 2010.
Posted on: September 28, 2009 9:07 am
Edited on: September 28, 2009 9:12 am

Recruiting notes from the weekend

There were some significant recruiting developments this weekend.

Here are some of them:

Irving visits Duke: Kyrie Irving, ranked fifth in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com, visited Duke, then Tweeted about it. "Duke official was great! I enjoyed every single second," he wrote. "Everything there fits me and is right for me...you never know what will happen ." Duke has long been considered the favorite to land Irving, a 6-foot-1 point guard from New Jersey. Still, Texas A&M is among the schools hanging around, primarily because Aggie assistant Scott Spinelli was college roommates with Irving's father, Drederick Irving.

Selby narrows list: Josh Selby, famous for decommitting from Tennessee in July, has narrowed his list of potential schools to six, and UT is not one of them. The final six are Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, Miami and Syracuse. All indications are that Selby -- a combo guard ranked 14th in the Class of 2010 by MaxPreps.com -- will make a final decision in the Spring.

Jones narrows list: Class of 2010 standout Terrence Jones trimmed his list of potential schools to seven -- specifically Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. MaxPreps.com ranks Jones as the No. 12 prospect in the Class of 2010.

USC gains fifth Class of 2010 pledge: Kevin O'Neill accepted a commitment from Maurice Jones, according to Scout.com's Evan Daniels. Jones is a 5-7 point guard who reportedly averaged 28 points and 13 assists last season in high school. He's the fifth Class of 2010 prospect to commit to USC despite an ongoing NCAA investigation.
Posted on: September 8, 2009 9:43 am
Edited on: September 8, 2009 9:46 am

Injury keeps former Arizona hooper from FB debut

Greg Paulus has received all the attention as the basketball player turned football player.

And for good reason.

He's the starting quarterback for a Big East team, after all.

But there is another former basketball player playing college football this season.

His name is Fendi Onobun.

Onobun completed a four-year career at Arizona in March by helping the Wildcats to the Sweet 16. Last month, he took advantage of the same rule Paulus took advantage of and enrolled at Houston to play football for the Cougars. He's listed as a tight end.

So how did Onobun do in the opener?

He didn't play, actually.

"He is still recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered in the first week of camp," said Chris Burkhalter, Houston's associate athletic director for communications. Thus, we're still awaiting the football debut of Fendi Onobun. But I just thought it was worth noting that there is more than one former Division I basketball player now playing Division I football at a different school.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 26, 2009 2:55 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2009 2:55 pm

Nobody does draft picks better than Arizona

Jordan Hill went in the first round.

Chase Budinger went in the second round.

And that means that Arizona still leads the nation in NBA Draft picks since 1989, i.e., when the draft was shortened to two rounds. More than anything else, it's a testament to the Hall of Fame career of Lute Olson. But it also shows why Sean Miller found the vacancy too intriguing to pass up.

Here's the updated list ...


1. Arizona (31)
2. Duke (29)
3. UCLA (28)
4. North Carolina (25)
5. Connecticut (23)

(Also worth noting: First-round pick Brandon Jennings signed with Arizona, although he never went to college.)
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 26, 2009 9:06 am
Edited on: June 26, 2009 9:21 am

Stanley Burrell cannot be held to 140 characters

One of the more interesting ways to follow the NBA Draft was -- surprise, surprise -- via Twitter .

Kevin Love was Tweeting every pick, seemingly confused at times about why his new GM selected 17 point guards. Kevin Durant was welcoming James Harden to Oklahoma City. Hasheem Thabeet was typing about the joy of looking at stars from a rooftop (or something like that). And then there was former Xavier standout Stanley Burrell, who started by rooting for Derrick Brown and then turned to defending Derrick Brown before ultimately criticizing Sean Miller.

It was fascinating stuff.

Burrell -- who played at Xavier from 2004 to 2008 -- started by predicting Brown would go here or there in the first round. It never happened, of course. So Burrell Tweeted that he was "jinxing my boy. im pulling for u and your fam D Brown. u deserve this!" Naturally, when Brown started slipping, some Xavier fans ripped his decision to leave school early. Why? Because that's what fans do. They love you when you play for their favorite team. But if you ever leave early they mock you if the decision doesn't go as planned.

Happens every year.

It happened this year.

But Burrell didn't like the tone.

So he took the time to defend Brown.

"Come on X-fans.. save the criticism on D Brown. My man is a special talent and he WILL be drafted tonight and he WILL make a roster. watch!"

Then ...

"if i recieve one more negative msg about D Brown, i will find a way to block that person. D is chasing a dream! Hes from xu- Support him!!!"

And then ...

"some of u fans really amaze me some time!!! makes the true xu fans, look bad."

And then (when Brown slipped well into the second round) ...

"Lets face it... SM isnt trying to develop pros. It was all about him! Look ive spoke to SM ONE time since grad. from X. Family huh? NOT! ... SM taught me many things that im thankful for. Most recently, this world is cut throat! GET YOURS WHILE U CAN! Wow!"

"SM" stands for former Xavier coach and current Arizona coach Sean Miller.

Brown confirmed as much in a later Tweet.

He then ranted against Miller in a magnificent way.

"I said what I said about Sean for a few reasons. 1) The fact that ive talked to a coach ONE TIME since grad. that i gave my blood, sweat, and tears for(for 4 yrs) is BULLSHIT! I sacrificed (just like the rest of my teammates) for Sean and our team...He made me believe that we were really like family to eachother. when really that was just a scheme to get us all to buy in to the "team system". He proved me right when i realized we only spoke once for about 15 secs when i attended the temple vs xu home game. i understand coach is really busy but i truly believed in the guy & what he taught me. i see now that really its all about getting yours while u can in any way u can. i remember reading a quote in the paper from Sean where he said, we win at XU without having a single pro on our roster. * Now even if thats true, do u really need to put us out there like that? Because we too want to provide for our families after college. And no, a comment like that wont keep us from being drafted into the NBA but it does show how Sean wanted all the success to be about him and his coaching. Lets not get my words mixed-up, sean is an amazing coach but if yall think that his coaching ALONE was the reason for all the success we had, YOURE WRONG! It also took guys in the locker room willing to give whats best for them PERSONALLY for the good of the team, the university's name & its winning tradition. Sean was just the one that seriously benefited financially. I have a degree and some of the most amazing memories from XU but the things ive learned since leaving xu makes me wish i would've done what was best for me and mine and not the other way around. Cuz thats what its about, right? Its not! but i learned the hard way. so i say congrats to D Brown for choosing to do whats best for him and his family (not saying that playing for coach mack would've hurt him for next yr because coach mack is a GREAT COACH that is definitely ready for this opportunity) but D Brown reached out and grabbed a piece for himself tonight, instead of just being on the giving end (like we were all trained to do at xu)."
Posted on: June 23, 2009 7:28 am
Edited on: June 23, 2009 7:39 am

O'Neill's return trip to Arizona should be fun

You might've read how I was baffled by USC's hiring of Kevin O'Neill. But I explained in my second post about the subject that it was nothing personal against O'Neill, because though he is by all accounts tough to work with and play for, I've always found him to be more entertaining than boring, and that's the type of stuff that's important to me.

Take Monday's introductory press conference, for example.

I've seen lots of introductory press conferences, and most of them are lame. But O'Neill managed to say a few interesting things while responding to criticisms of his way of operating, specifically his way of treating people.

"Contrary to popular demand, I'm not Darth Vader," he said. "You would think I was slaying people every time you turn around. ... Over the years, I've been in situations where not all the players always like the coach. Well, guess what? The coaches don't like all the players sometimes either, especially when you're in rebuilding situations."

(Translation: I hate my players just as much as they hate me.)

My favorite moment was the jab at Arizona, i.e., the school that hired O'Neill as an assistant, named him Lute Olson's successor, let him coach a season and then kicked him out the door so that Olson could return (even though Olson never coached another game). O'Neill started by complimenting Olson, but he ended with a little shot.

"Lute deserved the opportunity to come back and be the coach; he had earned that over a Hall of Fame career," O'Neill said. "A lot of people said a lot of things after I left; I didn't say anything. I don't have any ill will or any bad feelings whatsoever, plus I ended up in a better job."


Now I'm not sure USC is a better job than Arizona, and there is nothing factual to base that on.

But what  I am sure of is that I like that O'Neill took the time to say it.

And what I can't wait for now is his first trip back to Tucson.
Posted on: June 10, 2009 10:21 am
Edited on: June 10, 2009 10:22 am

Florida is no longer involved with Stephenson

I touched on Lance Stephenson in my column about Tim Floyd , pointed out that it's widely believed that the school that ultimately takes the New York star will be at risk of a similar NCAA investigation. Among the schools I initially listed as still involved with Stephenson were Maryland, Arizona, Memphis and Florida. But a source close to the Florida program told me this morning that the Gators are no longer pursuing Stephenson.
"[There's a) zero (percent) chance we take him," the source said.

And when you consider that Arizona's Sean Miller also seems skeptical, that leaves Maryland and Memphis as the lone schools still believed to be genuinely open to taking Stephenson, although sources close to the Memphis progam have long insisted Josh Pastner and his staff do not have a good feeling for where they stand, don't really know what's happening with Stephenson or what he's thinking.

My guess?

Stephenson never plays in college.

Just like I'm assuming Renardo Sidney never plays in college, either.

And truth be told, that'll probably be what's best for everybody involved.
Posted on: May 3, 2009 3:33 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2009 3:34 pm

Miller lures former Xavier recruit to Arizona

Further proof that prospects are almost always more committed to a staff than a school came Sunday when former Xavier signee Kevin Parrom committed to Arizona, i.e., the new home of former Xavier coach Sean Miller.

Parrom (ranked 88th in the Class of 2009 by Scout.com) is the third top 100 prospect Miller has lured to Arizona in the past four weeks, joining Kyryl Natyzhko (ranked 48th by Scout.com) and Solomon Hill (ranked 58th by Scout.com). He's a 6-foot-6 forward from New York, one who should help Miller's transition to the Pac-10 be smoother than expected, his rebuilding job as Lute Olson's successor be quicker than most anticipated.

The development means 96 of Scout.com's top 100 prospects from the Class of 2009 are now off the board.

The four remaining uncommitted players listed are No. 2 John Wall, No. 8 Lance Stephenson, No. 37 Eric Bledsoe and No. 69 Deshawn Painter. Also available is Latavious Williams, a fifth-year player who is ranked as the nation's 17th-best prospect by Rivals.com. Williams will reportedly choose Monday between Georgetown and Memphis.
Category: NCAAB
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