Sunday, December 09, 2007

Pay’s Pick and Roll - December 9, 2007

The Tucson Barometer

In a conversation with a co-worker earlier this week, she mentioned that in grade school, a teacher once referred to her as “The Barometer”. Be it as it may, this teacher could determine if course material went over students’ heads by examining my co-worker’s non-verbal communication.

Of course, this had absolutely nothing to do with college basketball, but it’s a perfect segue to the University of Arizona, who had their own atmospheric test on Saturday as they faced Illinois at the house that Jordan built – The United Center.

It’s one thing to go on the road and face another quality team from another power conference. It’s an entirely different thing though to have a game that starts at noon … Eastern time. Feel free to add that you’re a group of young men, aged mostly between 18 and 20, who just found out that the guy you committed to is taking the year off to deal with, of all the things in the world, a divorce.

Knowing all of this and having an opponent that pulled no punches, Arizona battled back from multiple double-digit deficits to overcome the Illini in overtime. Though the Wildcats were the beneficiaries of poor free throw shooting from the opposition as well as a missed timeout call by Nic Wise when the Wildcats had none, the 2005-06 and 2006-07 likely would not have fought back that many times.

Though the road gets only tougher with alternating home and road bouts prior to Pac-10 play against the likes of Fresno State, UNLV, San Diego St. and Memphis, Arizona won a game away from home against another team who will be fighting for one of the 34 at-large bids. Not to mention, they did it without playing particularly well, save Jordan Hill. Given their schedule and overabundance of youth, tests will arise, but right now, there are few clouds in the Tucson sky.


Navid said...

thank the lord, someone outside of Tucson has a good outlook on B-Ball this year... good post!

Paymon said...

I wouldn't go as far as calling it a good outlook, but I'd be remiss to mention that it was a very good gut-check win away from McKale that more talented and experienced Arizona teams of yesteryear have failed to capture.

This win could be all for naught if a) Illinois turns out to underachieve and/or b) Arizona fails to finish in the top six of the Pac-10.