Arizona Basketball

Countdown is over: Arizona Wildcats open 2013-14 season against Cal Poly


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Fast break notes …

Chris Eversley

Chris Eversley

No stranger to McKale: Cal Poly includes a player and assistant coach who have stepped foot into McKale Center before. Paul Fortier, in his first season as an assistant at Cal Poly after nine years in the same capacity with his alma mater Washington, has endured many games against the Wildcats in Tucson. He played for Washington when the Huskies featured Detlef Schrempf and Christian Welp. Cal Poly senior forward Chris Eversley, an All-Big West selection, will be a good test for Aaron Gordon and Rondae Jefferson. Eversley was a freshman with Rice in 2009-10 when the Wildcats beat the Owls 66-49 at McKale in Sean Miller’s inaugural season. Eversley did not play in the game.

Cal Poly Pac-12 slayers: Eversley had 15 points and 10 rebounds in Cal Poly’s 70-68 miraculous comeback victory over No. 11 UCLA last year at Pauley Pavilion. Down 51-33 in the second half, Cal Poly went on a 34-14 run. That marked the beginning of the end for UCLA coach Ben Howland, who that weekend had to deal with Tyler Lamb’s transfer from the program. Cal Poly also won 42-36 — that’s right, 42-36 — at USC in 2011. The final score reflected Kevin O’Neill’s slowdown tactics (the kind that frustrated Lute Olson when O’Neill was the interim UA coach in 2007-08). The Mustangs made a late comeback in that game as well, trailing by as many as eight points. Cal Poly also has games at Oregon (Dec. 1) and at Stanford (Dec. 29) this season.

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Arizona’s No. 0 & 00 players
Source: UA media relations
00
Gilbert Myles, G, 1975-78
Anthony Cook, F, 1986-89
0
Gilbert Arenas, G, 1999-2001
Jerryd Bayless, G, 2007-08
Dondre Wise, 2010-12

Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon

As fresh as fresh can be. Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson are a couple of McDonald’s All-Americans who are as hyped as any freshmen combination to sign with Arizona. The only other McDonald’s tandem was last year with Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett. The difference is Gordon was the McDonald’s MVP and rated No. 3 in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.com. Jerrett was No. 15 in 2012. With Miller’s use of eight to 10 players, don’t expect Hollis-Jefferson or Gordon to break the freshman scoring record in the first game. That will belong to Eric Money for eternity. He scored 37 points against Cal State-Bakersfield in the 1972-73 season opener. Jerryd Bayless holds the freshman scoring record with 39 points against ASU in 2008. Bayless had four games with at least 31 points as a freshman. Can Gordon top that? Again, with the way Miller uses his rotation, it will be difficult for Gordon to post those numbers. Furthermore, Bayless was the go-to guy in Olson’s first season without the Cats because of his leave of absence.

What’s “groin” on here? Tried to research an Arizona basketball player who suffered a groin injury such as Gordon but could not find one. ASU’s had a couple in recent years — James Harden and Jamelle McMillan — that sidelined each for at least two games. The ways Gordon has treated his groin pull: Icing the inside of his thigh to reduce pain and swelling. Experts at WebMD recommend doing it for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days, or until the pain is gone. Gordon can also compress his thigh using an elastic bandage or tape. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler tore his groin muscle on Oct. 20. He was supposed to be out at least four weeks but will return this weekend, only three weeks after the injury, against Detroit.

Countdown to Tip-off Blogs:

— Arizona Wildcats, Gabe York building a relationship of trust
Mark Lyons, Michael Wright at No. 2 were Arizona Wildcats right up there, this close, to top
— Arizona Wildcats No. 3 players experienced seasons to remember
T.J. McConnell hoping to play big wearing No. 4 for Arizona Wildcats
Leon Blevins, Jawann McClellan team captains who impacted Arizona Wildcats different ways
Steve Rivera produces another book about Arizona Wildcats basketball
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller featured on Seth Davis Show
— Arizona Wildcats basketball: Top-5 memorable Elite Eight games
Twitter feed reads on Day No. 9 of countdown to tip off
— Arizona Wildcats’ career assist record an unassailable mark
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller on freshman Aaron Gordon: Defense “deal-breaker” for wing spot
— No. 12 symbolizes success after hoops career for two Arizona Wildcats guards
No. 13 not unlucky for couple of Arizona Wildcats standout guards
— No. 14 for Arizona Wildcats includes two pivotal players who revived program
— No. 15 embodies grit, determination and intelligence for Arizona Wildcats
— Ranking Arizona Wildcats’ top Sweet 16 victories
— Arizona Wildcats guard T.J. McConnell on Bob Cousy Award Watch List
— ASU’s Jahii Carson Arizona Wildcats’ top opposing player this season
Mike Bibby, Tedy Bruschi spend day with Arizona Wildcats
— Arizona Wildcats guard Jordin Mayes sets sight on successful senior season with 20-20 vision
— Unsung players wore No. 21 proudly for Arizona Wildcats
Jason Gardner’s No. 22 is retired but Coniel Norman and Ray Owes also wore number admirably for Arizona Wildcats
— Arizona Wildcats No. 23 players historic in different ways
— No. 24 in Arizona Wildcats history one for the statistical record books
Steeeeeeeeve Kerrrrrrrr!!!!
— A look at the greatest takeaways from Arizona Wildcats’ Red-Blue Scrimmage
— A look at past, future today with Arizona Wildcats’ Red-Blue Scrimmage
— Arizona Wildcats’ Aaron Gordon vying to become third freshman to win Pac-12 player of year
Ernie McCray did more than score for Arizona Wildcats
— Arizona Wildcats’ No. 31 not retired with Jason Terry’s name but should be
— No. 32 most storied jersey number in Arizona Wildcats history
— No. 33 in Arizona Wildcats history symbolic of hard work ethic, ideal role players
— Simon says: No. 34 special with two of Arizona Wildcats’ greatest wearing jersey number
— If Arizona Wildcats center Kaleb Tarczewski has field-goal percentage like Jud Buechler, UA will be fine
— Arizona Wildcats legend Sean Elliott scored career-high 36 points opposing Sean Miller
Nick Johnson looks to improve perimeter shooting, limit turnovers
Jordin Mayes hoping to return to shooting form earlier in Arizona Wildcats career
39 days and counting toward Arizona Wildcats’ season
Joe Skaisgir best Arizona Wildcats basketball player you’ve never heard of
Nick Johnson looks to improve FG percentage while Arizona Wildcats limit opponents
Chris Mills, A.J. Bramlett reached Arizona Wildcats stardom via different paths, roles
Jordan Hill climbed hill for notoriety while Ed Nymeyer lived up to hype with Arizona Wildcats
Fantastic Four who wore No. 44: Jersey special for Arizona Wildcats program
— Two of Arizona Wildcats’ best centers — Sean Rooks and Channing Fryedonned No. 45
— Arizona Wildcats great Ernie McCray reminisces about his record-setting 46-point performance
— Arizona Wildcats star recruit should not be compared to Blake Griffin
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller on fast track to Pac-12 success
Things you may not know about Arizona Wildcats point guard T.J. McConnell
— Arizona Wildcats will benefit from presence of Joseph Blair in practice
— Arizona Wildcats preparing for what could be memorable 2013-14 season

WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.

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