Adia Barnes hosts a weekly Arizona Women’s Basketball Instagram show called “Sunday Night Live!” and her guest tonight was Arizona legend Jason Terry, the newest member of Sean Miller‘s coaching staff.
Both have engaging and effervescent personalities and they are Arizona alums who starred for the Wildcats in the 1990’s. Barnes played with Arizona’s Sweet 16 team under Joan Bonvicini in 1998, a year after Terry won the men’s national title with the Wildcats.
Their discussion included a variety of topics, including Terry asking Barnes for advice as he becomes a college assistant for the first time (Barnes was an assistant at Washington before becoming the head coach at her alma mater) and Terry addressing how discipline is different today from when Lute Olson was his coach.
Barnes commented that Terry has advantages over most of his peers as an assistant coach.
“I mean for you, it’s different because you’re automatically coming with so much credibility, which is good,” Barnes said. “You played in the NBA for so long (19 years), all the guys want to get there. So for you, I think what’s gonna really be awesome for the recruiting itself for sure. When you walk in the gym, you’re gonna get recruits.
“That’s just huge; the name of the game is recruiting. The other thing is player development. You worked and played with some of the best and you’ve done all that. So for you to be able to teach the stuff, the little tricks of the trade, the little things you did as a player … things you actually did and apply that work, I think that’s huge.”
Barnes also said being a mentor and his impact on the community will be significant.
“Everybody loves you,” she told Terry. “Just to bring that excitement back, I think it’s just gonna add so much. So many people are gonna want to come and talk to you. It’s going to help (the program) kind of grow even bigger.”
Terry and Barnes shared a light moment when Terry was asked what is one of the differences of today’s college basketball as to when he played.
Barnes interceded, “You can’t run the dog crap out of people any more. You can’t punish them with running. When I was in college, if you were late, you were gonna run like 50 suicides (a grueling stop-and-return running drill on the court). I can’t do that now. It’s like way softer. We used to get killed when we were in college.”
Terry brought up a story of Miles Simon being late to a class, which adversely affected the whole team.
“Coach was like, ‘Okay, I want everybody in the gym by 6 a.m.,'” Terry said. “Well, it was 6 a.m. and everybody was on the line. He put Miles in a chair at halfcourt. He did not have to run one single line. I know you can’t do that any more.
“We were heated. I don’t think we talked to Miles for two weeks.”
Barnes said she had a similar experience when she was late to class. Bonvicini made the team run while Barnes waited for them in the locker room.
“I was in there crying; they were cussing me out,” she said with a laugh (she can laugh about it now). “You feel so bad and all your teammates are so ticked off.”
Terry mentioned he and his family are still residing near Dallas but plan to relocate to Tucson by mid-August. He has five daughters ages 5 (Jrue), 13 (Jasa), 16 (Jaida), 19 (Jalayah) and 22 (Jasionna). Jalayah and Jasionna both attend ASU — Jalayah is a sophomore and Jasionna is a graduate student after earning her bachelor’s at TCU.
Of course, the topic of Terry’s knee-high socks was discussed.
“I had skinny bird legs so I wanted to cover my legs up as much as possible,” he joked. “No, honestly, it was a tribute to my pops. I saw a picture of him in high school and he wore the high socks back then, so I always rocked the high socks for him.”
Terry ended the conversation showing his excitement for Barnes and her burgeoning program, saying, “The banner is going up in that building (McKale Center) for women’s basketball real soon.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.