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Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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June 9, 2008 12:05 PM

Garbage redux

Posted by Bob Condotta

So that was kind of a fun college basketball discussion for June, which was the whole point.

And as I expected, "not garbage'' beat "garbage'' by an Obama-over-Kucinich-type margin.

Having read through it all, have to say I, too, agree with the "not garbage'' contingent. Not because I'm being a homer or anything, but just that I think you still have to take a big-picture view of where the Huskies are right now.

Sure, they have been disappointing underachievers the last two seasons. Still, they haven't hit the depths of the Sonics, Mariners or Husky football --- each of whom are coming off, or are in the midst of, some of their worst seasons ever (particularly the Mariners and UW football, since I think we can all agree the Sonics' situation is so odd as to be impossible to judge through mere wins and losses).

And not only has the Husky basketball team not sunk to those same levels, but it also appears better positioned to get back on track in 2008-09 --- if it doesn't, then this argument will have a decidedly different tone a year from now from both you and me. (And yes, I am saying I think the hoops squad has a better chance to get back to where it wants to be this year than does the UW football team. But maybe that should be a separate discussion for another day --- it is still June and I have a lot of blog posts left to fill until the fall rolls around).

There's no doubt 08-09 looms as the pivotal year for Lorenzo Romar. Many coaches stumble for a year or two while trying to rebuild/reload, especially those that lose players the caliber of Brandon Roy (who I still think few realized just how good he was while he was a Husky). But three struggling years in a row, with a roster that now appears to have the requisite ingredients for success on paper (added experience with Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon and Quincy Pondexter; added depth at the spot it's most needed with the three incoming guards) and serious questions would have to be asked and answered.

What we know at the moment is that Romar is already the fourth-winningest coach at UW in just six years; that he has provided the school with some of the greatest moments in its basketball history; and that there are reasons to believe him when he says the good times will return this year.

To respond to one comment I saw:

--- One poster blamed the "local media'' for over-hyping the recruiting of late, specifically the Spencer Hawes-led Class of 2006. I'll admit to some culpability there while pointing out it wasn't just us --- rated it No. 6 in the nation; rated all four players as four- or five-star recruits; also ranked it No. 6. I could go on-and-on. And when UW was ranked No. 8 early in that season, that was the national AP poll, not anything locally. If anything, I actually think it was the national buzz over these recruits that helped feed the local media excitement. Few of us locally had really seen any of these guys other than Hawes before they got here. I think the thought was that we all knew how good Hawes was, and if the national guys are right about the others, this really will be a hellacious class. To be fair, we still don't know for sure that all those rankings are necessarily wrong. I think Hawes is going to turn out to be a really productive NBA player; I think "bust'' is too strong for Pondexter's first two years, and caution that he still has two years left; and Oliver and Nelson could each become Players of the Year in their new conferences. That said, no doubt the class is a huge disappointment for what it ended up contributing to UW.

Anyway, I get the sense that most of you agree in general on this topic --- the program is in much better shape than it was in the dark days of Russo, Nance and Bender, but the last two years have been disappointing and improvement is necessary this season to show that those were merely aberrations. I think that's exactly where I stand, as well.

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Posted by naterob4

1:16 PM, Jun 09, 2008

I agree the Q-pon can't be considered a bust, yet..I feel he is very much in the mold of Bobby Jones, and BJ didn't really start taking off until his JR. year, and if he can build of the Cal game in the Pac-10 tourney I think he will just fine, and with the progression of Venoy, and Isiah coming in I feel Qpon doesn't have to be a number #1 scoring option he'd be a 3rd option behind Brockman, and IT just like Bobby was #3 behind Broy/Nate, then B/Roy, Tre..

I agree with Bob though HUGE year for Ro especially if he can't break the 7 game losing streak to Wazzu, and he can't get either Bradley/Gaddy...

I mean know matter what "SPIN" Softy at KJR puts on it, the Dawgs were going hard after Siva..

Posted by dawgpack

2:27 PM, Jun 09, 2008

I disagree with the assessment that Quincy should be the third option. He showed at the end of last year that he can be a great first option, and a versatile scoring threat. Thomas will be a great help in providing scoring, but I'm not ready to put all my trust in a freshmen getting his first pac-10 action. Down the road is another story. Quincy is also more of a scorer than bobby was, who was known for his defense.

And I think last year showed that Brockman cannot be a #1 scoring option. Fantastic rebounder, put-back guy, and a good #2 or #3 option, but he is not a guy we can go to when we are down by two with 15 seconds left in the game. He can create his own shot sometimes, but I remember from last year many erratic and forced shot attempts in key situations. It was just that the huskies had no other choice but to make him the first option last year. Quincy driving the lane, looking for a pullup jumper or taking it all the way, or dishing it off to brockman when the defense collapses is the ideal situation.

Posted by mattysimone

2:37 PM, Jun 09, 2008

yes they did want siva, but siva I think has a big head and wasnt to excited having to play with all the other guards. Hopefully he doesnt get into both smith and wrotens head. Wroten is very young but siva has already got to him about louisville...thats very scary if he leaves the state. Had I.T.not made it I think he maybe comes here. Id rather have I.T. all day anyway. This is going out on a huge limb but yall can quote me at the end of the season but I think Thomas may edge out Holiday (no.3 scout) and jennings (if he makes it, meat does make a good point of saying why would the ncaa not qualify one of the top recruits) for pac 10 freshman of the year. it all depends on the team record. Romar does need a great X and O assistant because there is nobody else id rather have sitting in living rooms than ty and lo ro! Bob as for hawes........he makes my blood boil and I already went into that with my post in the first garbage blog

Posted by Formerly Guest

3:20 PM, Jun 09, 2008

Dumb question- To where did Oliver transfer?


Posted by patience

3:33 PM, Jun 09, 2008

looking forward to watching q-pon having a breakout season. he spent the entire first half of last season very hesitant on offense, time after time looking to pass first and drive second when the dawgs cleared a side for him. quincy is the one player with the skills to create a shot and/or break down the opponents defense. he must continue where he left off last year and go hard to the hoop.

agree with bob about the added experience making a difference this year. the huskies will be one of the most experienced teams in the conference along with ASU.

also believe this season will bring a return to utter domination by the huskies on the offensive glass. qpon, mba and wallace are all very accomplished offensive rebounders and brockman should be the best rebounder in the nation. this was a key for both the huskies sweet sixteen teams and should be again. nothing like putbacks and throwdowns to get hec ed ROCKING!

Posted by fudazz

3:57 PM, Jun 09, 2008

Big plus for Romar's job security this year is that basketball is one sport that freshman can really produce and be a factor. Irregardless of who the first, second, or third options end up being, if QPON will quit trying to think so much, and just play the game, I like the dawgs chances.

Posted by BigBallaJ

4:07 PM, Jun 09, 2008

Oliver transferred to San Jose St.

Posted by Scott

4:12 PM, Jun 09, 2008

It's all about style of play. QPon will thrive in the open court uptempo game. So will Brockman. I hope MBA can keep up. I think All the new guard talent will have us back to te fun and productive basketball we so missed the last two years.

Of course, a big part of uptempo basketball is defense. Not a lot of fast breaks occur off of made baskets or free throws.

Lets see if any of the new guys know how to play D. I liked Overton's, Wallace, Smith and Brockman on D, but the rest are questionable and unknown to me. Although I think Qpon and MBA are fully capable, and Dentmon was good as a Freshman as long as Broy and Jones were the main stoppers.

Posted by Olyfan

4:23 PM, Jun 09, 2008

Adrian Oliver went to San Jose State.

For those who might want to know about Nelson too: Phil Nelson went to Portland State.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

4:25 PM, Jun 09, 2008

Matty- "2:37 PM, Jun 09, 2008

"yes they did want siva, but siva I think has a big head and wasnt to excited having to "

Is that your response to every big time recruit that Romar misses on from his own backyard?

You should be happy with the recruits that are headed to the Huskies, but you sound rather foolish when you make comments like " I'll take so and so all day long over so and so" or " I'd rather have so and so" just because Romar wasn't able to land the recruit. Just admit that there isn't much pull for a kid to come to or stay in Washington, so be happy with what you got but don't try to downplay your disappointment in not landing the better players.

Posted by mattysimone

5:54 PM, Jun 09, 2008

easy I put my hand on the bible...I will take I.T. all day over Jennings!! I wanted jru bad but like I stated before I.T. ( maybe even suggs ) will win the pac ten frosh of the year over those two. dont get so rattled on the stand man...not good for your record. siva wouldnt have had many mintues with suggs,turner,thomas and overton. he would have had to split time and that may have been him cry like a little girl...aka oliver........we dont need him. We do however need Smith and wroten and if romo losses both of them then I have big problems with him..........meat your an idiot because if you read this blog you will know that I was they one saying he is not that great at keeping kids in state....want me to go back and find it for you guy?

Posted by mattysimone

6:00 PM, Jun 09, 2008

Id hate for you to represent me your homework idiot!!!

now what chump? go back to your hole troll!

Posted by mattysimone

3:02 PM, May 16, 2008

I love romar and the huskies but husky19 how can you say hes done a great job with the instate guys? hes done horrible! brock,isiah, hawes thats it!!!! all the others either werent big names or were out of state. hawes was a joke anyway and isiah hasnt even suited up yet. he has lost so many good players instate that its not even funny. I think hes doing a overall good job recruiting But at the same time not even close enough to par for the big name in state players. I know were not memphis, ucla,texas,nc or duke but cmon 2-3 out of how many in the last 5-6 years? 10-12? hopefully there are some more robinsons and roys to come....go dawgs!!! oh yeah and i dont see bradley comin here

Posted by naterob4

6:02 PM, Jun 09, 2008

Matty...Isiah will be nice, but Pac-10 frosh of the year?? R u insane?? You mentioned Jrue Holliday, and Brandon Jennings, but one guy you forgot about who might be better than both of these guys is Demarr Derozen, you ever heard of him? He's from Compton, they call him Vince Carter with a better jumpshot..and obviously you haven't seen Siva play wouldn't say these things if you have the guys only 6"0 but he's got a silky smooth J, handles, and I mean SICK HOPS!!!!

Posted by mattysimone

6:06 PM, Jun 09, 2008

I have watched siva play in person and he looked to me like another overton...which is great but after watchin him play in person I wasnt to concerned. your compton boy has opened up his recruitment since the mayo fiasco so he might not even be in the pac ten...he has all the top schools callin......hmmm wonder why he had chosen usc? does gabe say that? troy be be destroyed?

Posted by mattysimone

6:09 PM, Jun 09, 2008

the big man that just went to ucla could be a force just a homer and know isiah has sick skills . we would have to ofcourse make the tourney for isiah to win that but ill stand by it

Posted by mattysimone

6:25 PM, Jun 09, 2008


you can ave siva and his sick hops :)

haha im just sayin

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

8:24 AM, Jun 10, 2008

Matty- I guess my simple point struck a nerve in you since you had to throw derogatory names at the Meatball. Always a good sign of intelligent discourse when you resort to mud slinging. Your own brethen are trying to point out how ridiculous you sound. Get a clue son. Whether you admit Romar can't recruit homegrown Washington talent is not the point; your coping mechanism when he can't get them is to bash the kid and say that the lower prospect that has interest in Washington is better anyways...that's pretty funny kiddo.

I will bet you anything that Isiah Thomas is not Pac-10 Freshmen of the year. I will put up never posting on here again if that happens what are you willing to wager?

Posted by MT Husky

8:41 AM, Jun 10, 2008

Bob, thanks for doing that. As you indicated, it did indeed provide a few days of interesting commentary during some slow summer (and I use summer loosely as here in Montana it is 45 degrees and snowing) days.

I agree with most of the responders regarding a lot of issues such as QPon ready to break out next season, Romar making mistakes but learning from them, expectations of fans being too high, Brockman being great but forcing shots, etc. and I really agree that Romar deserves a mulligan for the past two seasons due to so many unmitigable circumstances .

One thing though I strongly disagree with are the comments that Romar “better land Bradley or Gaddy” or even some of the other younger big names in the Seattle area.

Romar should be evaluated by whether he is building a program of which fans can be proud, based on quality of play and quality of players (on and off the court) over a long term basis.

It is unfair to say he really NEEDS to land “so and so” before having any idea who he might land in lieu of that player (if they don’t commit to UW) and/or how that player even ends up succeeding.

I’ll be thrilled if Gaddy or Bradley commit to UW. But even if they don’t I’m very optimistic about the future of the Huskies and have every confidence Romar will do a find job in the coming seasons with whomever he ‘lands’ and am not basing my opinions of his success in any way on whether or not Gaddy or Bradley (or Wroten or Smith) come to UW.

P.S. I was really impressed with the quality of responses by so many people and especially the respect given by the Cougar, Wildcat, Duck, etc. fans..

Posted by Scott

9:04 AM, Jun 10, 2008

I agree that Romar shouldn't be judged solely on his ability to get specific recruits. I just think UW has a real chance to become a consistent top 25 team if they can consistently get 50% of the in-state guys they target. If they push this number up to 75%, great. If they fall below 50%, they'll need to supplement with some nice gets from outside (Suggs, Turner, Breshers).

Posted by MT Husky

9:14 AM, Jun 10, 2008

Scott, ideally I like it when the local guys stay "home". If I had my druthers, all of those guys would be at UW. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if one player isn't quite as good as another but is better...I'd rather see Romar take the local kid (within reason).

But...Romar has done a very good job with his recruiting, and has landed several top and quality local kids. So if he does fail with some of the names that keep cropping up, I hardly think it is fair to include that as a criticism of him as a coach.

Let's hope he does land his reasonable share of the Gaddys and Bradleys (and Wrotens and Smiths)...but let's critique him as a coach based on the overall quality of the program over the long term, not on the ones that got away.

And for the record, if there are some quality local kids that he DOESN'T even recruit...that i would have an issue with. But it is obvious he has worked very hard to land the in-state talent.

Posted by mattysimone

9:32 AM, Jun 10, 2008

ok mt and how will you feel when you see in back to back years the teams that smith and wroten play for winning national championships? not a good feeling......gotta be as bad as appleby watchin florida winning nat champs two years in a row AFTER he transfers. Well meat that is a great bet! I think i may be lynched if I dont take you up on the bet. bob knows our emails so its a deal...not the football one though...if I lose maybe ill start up my it is...I.T. wins frosh of the year you never come back again...he loses and Im never back. Ok fellas im steppin in the line of fire for you all...wish me luck! LETS GO I.T.!!!!!!

Posted by MT Husky

10:00 AM, Jun 10, 2008

Matty – it will suck if smith and wroten were to play for a National Championship team and it’s not the Huskies…all I’m saying is I’m not indicting Romar for that if it were to occur. He’s doing his darndest to recruit these kids and UW is not an elite program (yet…we may get there someday). Romar’s coaching success and Huskies future DOES NOT rest on whether or not Huskies land any of the aforementioned players.

Regarding freshman of the year…if I.T. were to garner that award it would be the upset of the century. I love I.T. – I recently wrote the top 5 reasons why it’s better for UW program that he committed there rather than Brandon Jennings. But a lot of that is because Brandon Jenning’s is one and done. Jrue Holiday, Jennings and Derozan will all be studs in the NBA someday…I’m not about to back any statement predicting I.T. will be freshman of the year over them….I’m not even yet convinced he’ll be the best freshmen for the Huskies (I am very excited about what Suggs will bring). I’m with you that I.T. is a great thing for the UW program…arguably will do more for it than Jennings would…but calling frosh of the Pac-10 is a bit of a stretch I fear (not that I wouldn’t love for you to end up being right however).

Posted by mattysimone

10:07 AM, Jun 10, 2008

I say why be if you cant win big? I like the 100-1 odds! they payoff...bye bye meat! so for me thats a big enough cash! I do agree suggs could be that guy to...Meat you down to let me have Suggs in that bet to? dont be scared! I watched a reel on trent last he looks like a baby reign man!!!! dunkin from the FT line!!! I know a couple guys have been pumpin him on here, we need him. he looks like a great fit for a team like memphis or NC. I saw him hit one three and the rest was just dunks and weaving through traffic, so maybe his stats arent all world but wow that kid can fly!

Posted by patience

1:11 PM, Jun 10, 2008

please ignore the meathead when he offers to "bet you anything" because he doesn't honor his wagers when he loses.

he's a a lot like his hero lute, real good at making commitments, but not good at keeping them.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

3:01 PM, Jun 10, 2008

Patience (I mean Mallory)- I held up my end of the bargain, but if you remember what the bet was it was with Mallory. I posted what I said I was going to post about him, but if you recall, A) He no longer is a poster on here so any continued reprecuations of the bet with him are no longer are binding and B) It was a short term bet where I paid out what I lost.

Now, I would be careful of continuing your Lute bashing as you obviously have no class at all.

I will say this again so there isn't any confusion about the bet:

If incoming Washington Freshman Isiah Thomas wins the Pac-10 Freshman of the year award, I Dave "The Meatball" Armistead will not post on any Washington Husky basketball blog ever again with the exception of sending a message to Mattysimone that he was correct, and that the Meatball is wrong. If Isiah Thomas does not win the Pac-10 Freshman of the year award, Mattysimeone won't need to be banished, but he will need to never make disparaging remarks towards the Meatball or UofA Basketball. That is the bet. No more, no less.

Posted by patience

3:57 PM, Jun 10, 2008


lets get a few things straight:

A) i am not mallory.

B) you made that bet with me not mallory. the bet was that you would post that "mallory was a genius and that you were an idiot" if the dawgs won 4 or more pac 10 games. you were to post that statement every day during the pac 10 tournament.

C) you failed to make the posts.

i stand by my contention, you don't keep your word. you have zero credibility.

the fact that you would lie about yourself in cyber space is fairly pathetic, but then again we don't have very high expectations of mildcats, especially a mildcat that haunts a husky forum (seriously, what's the deal with that?)

further, stop getting so upset with my lute bashing. he deserves it. its a fact that he walked out on his team and its fact that his recruits are walking on arizona as a direct result.

its my opinion that the sun has already set on lute olsen, he simply refuses to do the honorable thing and retire. at this point he is simply a tired, selfish, shell of the great coach he once was.

romar isn't as great a coach as lute, but he's ten times the man lute is.

Posted by mattysimone

6:01 PM, Jun 10, 2008

ahhh cmon meat you wont give me suggs too? whats the harm there both log shots right? hey meat do you now mike d very well?

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

9:05 AM, Jun 11, 2008

Patience- 1st off...I printed that statement once, but when Mallory never showed his negative face again, I felt the bet was null in void as it was with him, not anyone else on this board.

Purely laughable comparing Lute to Romar. I've seen some charitable things Romar has done, and he should be commended and I do not question is character (I question his coaching), but he'll need years of consistency to match a man like Lute Olson. You might want to check Lute's record on how much he has donated in time, money, sweat, and tears in the fight against cancer and a search for a cure. When you have 1 ounce of his integrity, class, and selflessness than you can cast a stone at him for taking a 1/2 year break after 37 straight years of high intensity coaching. The guy is 74 years old, and people like you think he quit on the team? Why do you think he brought a guy like O'Neill in who had all that experience? Lute could have confided differently with his players, but he couldn't say anything publicly as it would have been a violation of the Medical Leave and Family Act. If you knew anything about Insurance, law, and medicine, the reasons for Lute's absence are protected under various legal acts.

Lute took a leave of absence due to medical reasons, he didn't walk out on anyone, and short sighted people like yourself Patience have chastized Lute. Beautfiul part is, is that Lute does not care and he is completely energized and will relish in proving all the naysayers wrong. You and the lot of you fickle minded media drones will all look silly when my Cats are back on top. Enjoy your hatred Patience, and get a clue about reality.

Posted by MT Husky

10:08 AM, Jun 11, 2008

Other than a bit harsh sometimes, and I don't agree with some of them, I think most of your comments have been very fair Meatball.

Posted by patience

1:34 PM, Jun 11, 2008


you made a bet and you didn't pay. nobody is interested in what your excuse for not making good is. excuses are excuses.

as lute leaving the team for "medical reasons", what a crock of malarkey. you know it, i know it. and more importantly, lute's recruits and players know it. lute's time is past. it ended when he quit on his team.

one thing is certain, meatball. when the dawgs dominate the mildcats twice this season, you'll be nowhere to be found.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

1:55 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Patience- you run your mouth through your fingers a good amount on this blog. You will be feeling awfully small when my Cats beat you twice this upcoming season (as to the norm in this rivarly). Have fun on the outside trying to look in year after year after year...

What a joke you are little fella, I wonder why so much venom for Lute. Must be because he has made a career of smacking around programs like Washington. Your jealously is very unbecoming.

Posted by Cougfan

2:09 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Patience: I still want to know what your take is on Don James. As far as I know he is the only "quitter." Lute is back; that means he did not quit!

Posted by patience

2:51 PM, Jun 11, 2008

lol @ meatball!

i don't feel "small" when the huskies lose any more than the huskies winning would make me feel "big". they manage to win and lose regardless of my feelings. i am a faithful fan, nothing more or less. as a result, i post here in both the good times and the bad times.

you, on the other hand, are a mildcat, hanging out on a husky board and welshing on bets that you were brave enough to make but too cowardly to pay. you incessantly run your mouth when things look good for your team and disappear when they don't. (kinda like lute last year) i'm sorry that you need to have arizona succeed in order for you to feel good about yourself, because that's really quite pathetic if not tragic.

tragic for you, especially in light of the disarray lute's selfishness has caused your program. same as the general population, lots of coaches have marital problems, or family problems without walking out on their responsibilities. its called being a man.

how is lute going to recruit now? he's an old, old man with a limited future who obviously could fall apart at any time and walk out again. his recruits recognize this. deep down, so do you.

Posted by SouthSoundDawg

6:20 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Matty you are my hero and I am now IT's biggest fan. If you get the meathead out of here you will be a living legend.

"Now, I would be careful of continuing your Lute bashing as you obviously have no class at all."

You better watch out, you might make meaty cry by stating facts about his man crush. Lute was once a great coach, not so much anymore. His time has come and gone like all coaches.

"The guy is 74 years old, and people like you think he quit on the team? Why do you think he brought a guy like O'Neill in who had all that experience? "

Wait, what? So does this mean he was planning on leaving the team all along? What is it with Zona fans and their compulsion to stick up for Lute? First he is so great for bringing in such a great assistant like Kevin O'Neil, then when that fails it's all O'Neil's fault and he suddenly becomes public enemy #1 in UA's dreamland. Was Lute not the one that hired that piece of crap coach you guys now despise?

"You will be feeling awfully small when my Cats beat you twice this upcoming season (as to the norm in this rivarly). Have fun on the outside trying to look in year after year after year..."

Huh, live in the past much? I guess that has become the norm for Zona fans. The record between Uw and Zona is 6-5 since 2003. Beating us twice has hardly been the norm and a couple of those losses were in OT so I would hardly come on a Husky blog claiming superiority like you love so much.

Face it, UA is on the down swing and only its own die hard fans are the only people who don't think the program is in dissarray right now. Ask Gaddy what he thinks of "old man" Lute. Things aren't going to great in the desert, especially now that you guys are playing second fiddle to ASU in every sport.

Haha, UW has its share of problems but I would take our situation in basketball and football anyday over what UA has right now. At least we are on the upswing, you, well are constantly getting worse. Just one small step away from missing the tourney and fading it oblivion for you and your boy Lute. But have fun in your delusions meaty, just please take them somewhere else.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

8:08 AM, Jun 12, 2008

Typical uneducated husky koolaide drinkers...enjoy your CBI tourney this year, hopefully you guys can win your home game this year. How much did it cost your school to play in that game? How sad.

Posted by SouthSoundDawg

12:35 PM, Jun 12, 2008

So thats all you got left now Meaty to bash the huskies on the CBI? No rebuttal on trying to prove my claims about your own school wrong? Talk about uneducated, it takes a huge edumacation to just resort to what you perceive as an insult.

I guess I have ripped on Lute and UA enough, I will now congratulate you guys on being the first team in history to make it to the NCAA Tournament with a losing Pac-10 record. You got swept by your bitter rival and were even beaten once by us lowly dawgs, but congrats on that unprecedented tourney run. You can only rely on tradition so long before the name UA will no longer get you an automatic bid into the tournament.

Plus I don't think the $60000 or so CBI fee cost UW anywhere near as much as the whole Kevin O'Neil debacle cost the UofA. We lost a game nobody wanted to be in in the first place, big deal. It meant nothing and the players obviously showed as much. I can excuse that type of performance from a struggling, rebuilding team more so than if they were to roll over and get spanked in the first round of the tourney by what I thought was a less talented W. Virginia opponent. But I guess 1 and done in the NCAA is better than 1 and done in the CBI, I will give you that.

Honest questions for you now Meaty, is Chase going to stay or go and will Jennings qualify? Oh and you have claimed in the past that Derozan would be going to Zona, how is that one coming along? Another honest question, do UA fans truly think that the incoming assistants are far superior to those that left? I mean, prior to last year you would have thought O'Neil was the greatest thing since sliced bread but we know how that turned out. Do you think Lute cleaning the cupboard will pay immediate dividends? Personally I think it will take the team quite a while to get used to not just the new assistants, but Lute as well. Should be an interesting season in the desert, I am predicting 7th place in the Pac and no tourney bid. Ouch.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

10:11 AM, Jun 13, 2008

SouthSound- Since you are quite uneducated and rely on media sources that do not see the entire picture, the meatball feels that he needs to right the situation and give you a few free nuggest of knowledge.

Lute Olson knew that he was going to need to take the entire season off last year due to medical reasons and a messy divorce, and he also knew that if he needed to rely on an Assistant Coach from the Arizona family to steady the ship for the season otherwise he would be forced to retire. Jim Roz did not have the stomach for Head Coach as evidenced when he stepped in for Lute during his other short absences, so Lute moved Roz into a administrative role. Miles Simon and Josh Pastner both were too young and couldn't command the overall respect needed to run the team. Past players like Steve Kerr and the like recommended Kevin O'neill as he had numeruous Heading Coaching Jobs at the College and NBA levels. Unfortunately on paper, O'Neill looked like the best option.

When the announcment was made that Kevin O'Neill was coming to Tucson, this meatball cringed, as I grew up watching Marquette and the negativity that O'Neill brudes affected the players, the university, and the community. I completely questioned what Lute was thinking, but when I looked at the alternatives, on paper O'Neill had to be the guy. The season unfolded much to how the meatball thought, and the verbal abuse that O'Neill had on the players, and the bone head after bone head comments that he made to the media ( "I would rather lose by 25 than play a zone"- subsequently UofA lost by 26 to UCLA and not once played a zone. " A player would be stupid not to go to the NBA if they are a 1st round guarantee pick"- subsequently Bayless is gone, and Budinger appears to be following him out the door) cemeted his negative outlook onto this team. The affects? Nic Wise and Jamelle Horne thought about transferring, Negedu and Gaddy de-committed, and Bayless is gone for the NBA and Chase could be too. The players didn't de-commit and want to leave because Lute Olson took the season off and they felt that they were cheated; they felt this way due to the prospect that Lute may not come back. Let's fast forward a bit... University of Arizona AD Jim Livengood over steps his boundaries and announces Kevin O'Neill will be the successor. This made the Meatball puke and if it were going to be true, that my Wildcats would certainly take a huge fall from grace, and struggle into he was replaced. Thankfully, Lute being a man of his word returned!

So, Lute Olson returns and his first order of business is to distance the main cause of all this turmoil from the University and basically fires Kevin O'neill. Lute Olson was wrong that Kevin O'Neill could steady the ship. Unfortunately he banked the season on a loser, and it had more negative reprecuations than he could have even imagined.

It will be shown soon, but Miles Simon was let go for serious reasons in his personal life. Let's just say that he'll be well entrenched in personal legal issues over the next few years, and the University rightfully terminated his employment. His replacement Reggie Geary (ex. UofA defensive minded great player) has more experience and should have been the assistant coach a few years ago hired, but when Olson was approached by Miles Simon he couldn't say no. Think about the prospects of having a past Final 4 MVP as your recruiting weapon. What kid wouldn't want to go to UofA when Miles Simon is sitting in their livingroom and pitching for the University? Unfortunately, he was ineffective. Reggie is a huge upgrade.

The Mike Dunlap hire is great. This guy won 2 NCAA Division 2 national championships, and also has some good NBA level experience coaching with the Denver Nuggests. This guy has been first class all his coaching life, and it's amazing that this will be his first Division1 go around. Russ Pennell is also a solid hire with more college coaching experience then Pastner, and he is also respected in the AAU circles that Pastner seems to get many nods at.

So to answer your question, our coaching staff of Lute Olson, Mike Dunlap, Russ Pennell, and Reggie Geary is far, far, far superior than Kevin O'Neill, Miles Simon, and Josh Pastner. These new guys will develop the talent and help reestablish Arizona as the best in the Pac-10 and elite club in the country.

Now for answer is we will know what we need to know on Monday. I still think he is 50-50 on his choice, and hopefully Steve Kerr (Suns GM and UofA Legend) gave him advice to stay in school one more year. Yesterday's workouts in Phoenix did not really indicate which way Chase is currently leading. He is receiving good feedback that he will be a 1st round lock, but if he returns he could easily be a Top 5 pick.

To me, Brandon Jennings is being treated pretty unfairly, but I am confident that he will qualify. If he doesn't qualify, and Chase Budinger goes to the NBA, than yes, I think your 7th place projection of Arizona is fair. However, if Jennings and Chase play together, I see a final 4 in Arizona's future next year. Jennings, Wise, Budinger, Horne, and Hill will be too much for anyone, and Withey, Onobun, Johnson, Jacobsen, Fogg, and Levander will be an adequate enough bench to have some decent depth. If Chase goes pro, and Jennings does qualify, I see my Cats finishing 1st or 2nd in the Pac-10, and getting to the 3rd or 4th round of the NCAA tourney. Jennings is that good. previous comments regarding DeMar Rozan made sense as we have a scholarship open at his position and Arizona could be considered "close to home" in matching his criteria, but they were simply made in "hope'. If you read into my comments in any other way than I hoped Rozan would be a Wildcat, than you need to fine tune your reading skills and realize I was being sarcastic.

So to answer your other question, yes I am quite excited about next year as our excellent coaching staff will mold together a winning combination regardless who is in a Wildcat uniform. With Jennings we will continue to go far in the NCAA tourney (Washington will be on the sidelines once again) and our continued success will attract elite highschool basketball players for the future. Lute has about 4-5 really good years left, and those around us should appreciate what he has done for the game and the Pac-10 as a league.

I hope these nuggests shed some light on you SouthSound as you seem to be happy in taking small tidbits that the media puts out there and base your all of your viewpoints on this misconceptions. This is a dangerous way to live, and I hope for your sake and those around you that in the future you don't open your mouth (in this case your fingers) when you don't have the first clue.

And yes, enjoy the FBI pick-up game year after year, after year, after year....

Posted by patience

1:41 PM, Jun 13, 2008

hey meatball,

what you are really seeing, with your rambling posts about arizona roundball glory, is images of long long ago.

the future of arizona basketball walked out the door with lute last year. the staff is a shambles, the recruits are waffling and lute is doddddering on the edge of dementia.

must suck to be you

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

3:09 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Whatever you have to tell yourself to get yourself throught the day Patience. Quick question, why are you stalking my posts? You really must have nothing better to do because you never come up with anything knew. Always the same tired points.

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