Arizona Athletics

Rivera: Shut the Front Door

I found it curious – odd, in fact – that Arizona director of athletics Dave Heeke attempted to soothe the souls of Wildcat football fans with a message of everything will be fine. This just two weeks into the season, one that already has many fans wondering what kind of future the Wildcats have.

I guess that’s what prompted the first item in his Wildcat Wednesday message earlier this week. Through two games, it’s very apparent UA’s season of high expectations have turned into survival mode after the team’s losses to BYU and Houston.

Kevin Sumlin, flanked by UA president Robert Robbins (left) and athletic director Dave Heeke. (Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics)

Here’s Heeke’s message – if you haven’t seen it already:
“Last weekend our football team traveled to Houston for game two of our season. While not the outcome we were looking for, I assure you that our program is focused on the mission of improving week to week. Football coaching transitions are always difficult as players and coaches learn new systems and measure potential strengths and opportunities. However, I encourage all of our fans to believe in the process and stay the course with this program. During the trip to Houston, I had the opportunity to be around the football team and coaches. It is clear there is great optimism and sense of purpose. I am excited by the strong student-athlete and coach leadership in this program, and I am looking forward to the rest of this season.

How many people show up to Saturday’s game with Southern Utah is anyone’s guess, so here is mine: 32,000 but an announced crowd of 42,000.

Enjoy the late-night.
Saturday’s game with Southern Utah should be an easy one; next week’s vs. Oregon State is anyone’s guess given the circumstances of the team (injuries and the perplexing play/use of quarterback Khalil Tate). And in two weeks, in comes Southern California. Before the season started there was hope – from the faithful – that Arizona would be 4-0 going into the USC game and Tate would be a favorite for the Heisman. But it couldn’t be further away from all that given the state of the program just two weeks in.

Bibby, Simon in town this weekend
They couldn’t make it for the second Lute Olson Fantasy Camp last week but former Arizona star guards Miles Simon and Mike Bibby will be in Tucson this weekend to help launch a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store at the Tucson Mall.
Bibby, who lives in Phoenix and coaches at Shadow Mountain High, will be at the store from 1:30-3:30 p.m. And Simon, an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, will be there from 1-2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Get there early if you want to get an autograph.

Bibby couldn’t make the Fantasy Camp but he did send a message to the group.

Kobi Simmons signs with Cleveland
It’s still a couple of weeks away from NBA camps opening their pre-season training camps, but it looks like former Arizona player Kobi Simmons has landed a possible gig with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He signed a one-year contract. He’s coming off a season with the Memphis Grizzlies and its G-League team. He was waived by the Grizzlies in August.

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