Arizona Basketball

Cat Claws: Arizona Wildcats notes of the day



They should make a video out of this like those Old Tucson productions …


Rich Rodriguez will have to pay Arizona $1 million in his buyout if he leaves Arizona before his contract expires for West Virginia after Jan. 15 next year. Does Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne know something we don’t? Rodriguez is from West Virginia. He played for the Mountaineers and coached the program to success from 2001-07. Most of his staff coached with him at West Virginia and have strong ties there. Rodriguez’s parents live in West Virginia, at Grant Town, where the Arizona coach was raised. I think Arizona fans should be more concerned if Rodriguez is lured by an NFL team if Chip Kelly and his no-huddle spread offense continues to have success with the Eagles. Rodriguez has the kind of demeanor as a player’s coach, yet also demanding, that he can co-exist with professional players. . . . Sean Miller’s prized recruit Stanley Johnson, who can realistically earn the Pac-12 Player of the Year award as a freshman next season, celebrated his 18th birthday today. Aaron Gordon is still 18 (won’t turn 19 until Sept. 15). Comparing Johnson to Gordon at the same stage (entering Arizona as five-star recruits), Johnson’s skills are more refined and his leadership skills are more like Nick Johnson. Gordon came on strong in February. Arizona fans will see Stanley Johnson as a reliable force from Day One. …

Three former Arizona Wildcats teammates — Shaquille Richardson, Robert Golden and Nick Foles — will be representing their former school in the state of Pennsylvania.

Former Arizona Wildcats cornerback Shaquille Richardson, Pittsburgh’s fifth-round draft choice, signed a four-year deal with the Steelers today. Terms were not disclosed. Fall camp should be interesting. Richardson will compete against former Arizona teammate Robert Golden for playing time. Golden, who will be in his third season with Pittsburgh, is listed as a safety despite playing cornerback while with the Wildcats. Golden is 5’11” and 202 pounds. Richardson is listed at 6’0″ and 194. They are very similar in size. . . . Used to be college football was played only on Saturdays and the rivalry games were the last weekend of the season. That’s when TV contracts were not as significant as today. The Pac-12 released the national TV schedules and starting times for some games involving Pac-12 schools today. The Arizona Wildcats play at least five games on national TV, including the season-opener against UNLV at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 29 (a Friday night game) on ESPN. Four of Arizona’s 12 games will not be on Saturdays. Other than the UNLV game, the games are at Texas-San Antonio (Thursday night game on Sept. 4 on Fox Sports 1 only six days after the opener), at Oregon (Thursday night Oct. 2 on ESPN) and against visiting ASU (Friday afternoon the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28). . . . Incredibly, the Wildcats have another long stretch of not being around Tucson for a while. They have only one home game in October. After hosting Cal on Sept. 20, the Wildcats have only one game at Arizona Stadium (Oct. 11 against USC) before returning Nov. 8 against Colorado for Homecoming. That’s only one home game in a stretch of 49 days. They have three road games and a bye week in that span. . . . The Wildcats played only one home game in a 50-day span (Aug. 30 to Oct. 19) last year. After hosting UTSA on Sept. 14 they had two bye weeks mixed with two games at Washington and USC. Arizona had a similar stretch in 2011 when it played only one game at Arizona Stadium over a 41-day span (Sept. 24 to Nov. 5). . . . The Pac-12’s California schools — USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford — end their regular season playing a team other than their arch-rival: USC vs. Notre Dame (Nov. 29), UCLA vs. Stanford (Nov. 28) and Cal vs. BYU (Nov. 29). publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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