Arizona Basketball

Former Arizona Wildcats center Rooks supportive of Tarczewski’s potential decision to return for senior year



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As with anything without receiving the news from the source, social media went on a guessing spree early Thursday morning with the “news” of Kaleb Tarczewski returning for his senior season at Arizona.

By the end of the day, no official word was heard from the post player.

With the possibility of Tarczewski returning for one more college basketball season, I took to social media to ask former Arizona big man Sean Rooks of his analysis of Tarczewski.

It was at this time of year 24 years ago that Rooks was in the same situation as Tarczewski. He was a junior weighing his options for the upcoming 1991-92 season — return for his senior season or go pro after completing four years of school after redshirting as a freshman?

Tarczewski did not redshirt, but he is a junior faced with the decision of turning pro or continue his development as a senior.

Rooks held a press conference at McKale Center on April 24, 1991, in which he announced that he was returning to Arizona for his senior year. He wanted to end the speculation and the many phone calls.

“I thought my answering machine was going to break,” Rooks was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Here is the Twitter conversation I had with Rooks today about Tarczewski:



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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:

If Kaleb Tarczewski makes it official to return for his senior season he could realistically become one of the top five scoring post players in Arizona hoops history. He could join Bob Elliott, Channing Frye, Anthony Cook and Sean Rooks, all of whom are in the top 15 overall scorers.

Rank: Overall school ranking.
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The most significant part of Rooks summarizing Tarczewski’s probable decision to return — It is a “very mature decision”.

The choice Rooks made in 1991 showed his maturity and paid dividends in the long run.

He was taken in the second round, the 30th pick overall (which is a first-round pick today) by Dallas. He did not become a lottery pick as some forecast after he chose to stay at Arizona for his senior season.

But he developed his game more and became a better pro on the court and off of it, as his tweet suggested, because of his maturing process through four playing seasons at Arizona.

He played 12 years in the NBA and reportedly earned more than $17 million.

Rooks’ decision to wait certainly paid off.


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Tarczewski is on pace to break the career starts record held by Jason Gardner. He is only 28 starts shy of tying Gardner.

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[/ezcol_1half_end] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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