NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Shawn Long #21 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs battles for the ball with Kyle Fogg #21 of the Arizona WIldcats during the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches Vs Cancer at Madison Square Garden on November 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Since 1988, the Arizona basketball program has produced NBA draft picks in 20 of 24 years. So when the 2012 NBA Draft gets rolling at 4:30 p.m. PT today, it'll be a weird case of the Wildcats lacking representation.
Patrick Dorsey of ESPN made a word cloud of the most successful mascots to win championships in the 2011-12 season, and taking from former Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood's catch-phrase, "It's a great day to be a Wildcat."
Solomon Hill has eerily similar statistics to former Arizona stars Luke Walton and Andre Iguodala, according to Rush the Court. Like those two icons, Hill led the Wildcats in rebounds and assists. He also is a better three-point shooter than the current NBA players and gets to the foul line at a much higher rate. While his much higher win shares is likely an attribute of this year's squad being not-so-good, it's arguable he would have similar scores had he played on Walton and Iguodala's teams. And it's a good bet his assist numbers would increase as well.
With baseball's national championship, Arizona moved up in the final Director's Cup rankings, finishing in 19th place, writes Anthony Gimino.
Georganne Moline, Arizona's 400-meter hurdler, has a shot at earning an Olympic berth as Patrick Finley writes in this column. Head track and field coach Fred Harvey might shed some tears if she does.
The Rose Bowl is sticking to its schedule in the revamped BCS.
ESPN Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller thinks there is hope for the Wildcats' offense but a lot of questions on the defensive side of the ball coming for Arizona in the first year under head coach Rich Rodriguez. Nothing is surprising there. Kind of similar to my breakdown of best and worst positions on the team. The biggest problem? The lack of any pass rush.
- Bruce Pascoe breaks down the likelihood of Kyle Fogg or Brendon Lavender being taken in the draft, and that likelihood is pretty low considering the depth of this year's crop of players. After all, high-profile talents like Washington youngster Tony Wroten Jr., Oregon State star Jared Cunningham, and national championship game star Doron Lamb of Kentucky could all fall out of the first round. But that doesn't mean Fogg and Lavender don't have their sights set on making an NBA roster. In Fogg's case, a Summer League invite isn't out of the question, but the more interesting projection is that of Lavender. The role player for the Wildcats has a more NBA-level athleticism and size as a defender, but it's his three-point accuracy that is opening scouts' eyes.
- Sports Illustrated's baseball insider, Albert Chen, believes that Arizona baseball could be just beginning what turns into a dynasty, and much of it has to do with coach Andy Lopez's small-ball approach that developed in the first season at Hi Corbett Field. Chen's recap of the final College World Series gamediscusses James Farris conquering 10 episodes of Workaholics that helped him calm his nerves before his victory that sealed the national championship for UA. He also writes that Brandon Dixon sort of called his big-time hit, his only knock in the CWS.