[ {"id":"da7668fe-87a0-11e6-8a40-2b134670e44c","type":"article","starttime":"1475334000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-10-01T08:00:00-07:00","priority":40,"sections":[{"blog":"sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog"}],"application":"editorial","title":"What to watch for when the Arizona Wildcats visit UCLA","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/article_da7668fe-87a0-11e6-8a40-2b134670e44c.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/what-to-watch-for-when-the-arizona-wildcats-visit-ucla/article_da7668fe-87a0-11e6-8a40-2b134670e44c.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/what-to-watch-for-when-the-arizona-wildcats-visit-ucla/article_da7668fe-87a0-11e6-8a40-2b134670e44c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":5,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Michael Lev\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Three things to look out for against the Bruins, plus a score prediction and preview links.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats football","josh rosen","nick wilson"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"images":[{"id":"7a679bea-8ccc-508a-840a-99eedefef742","description":"","byline":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a6/7a679bea-8ccc-508a-840a-99eedefef742/57128a8dacd76.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a6/7a679bea-8ccc-508a-840a-99eedefef742/57128a8db89d8.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a6/7a679bea-8ccc-508a-840a-99eedefef742/57128a8dacd76.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a6/7a679bea-8ccc-508a-840a-99eedefef742/57128a8dacd76.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"da7668fe-87a0-11e6-8a40-2b134670e44c","body":"

Here are three things to watch in tonight\u2019s Arizona-UCLA game at the Rose Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN), plus a score prediction and some pertinent preview links:

1. RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS

Arizona\u2019s running back situation isn\u2019t pretty. Starter Nick Wilson is questionable because of an ankle injury. Does questionable mean 50/50? In reality, it\u2019s probably something less. Wilson missed most of the Hawaii game and all of the Washington game. It wasn\u2019t a crippling loss while J.J. Taylor was doing his Darren Sproles impersonation. With Taylor out, though, the Wildcats really need Wilson to not only play but last four quarters. The alternatives all have limitations. Zach Green is serviceable but isn\u2019t an explosive open-field runner (as Taylor and Wilson are when healthy). Tyrell Johnson is the fastest player on the team but ill-suited to a workhorse running role. The coaches are high on Branden Leon, but he\u2019s an unproven walk-on. Samajie Grant just started taking reps at tailback this week. Can the Wildcats beat the Bruins with a makeshift running back corps? It won\u2019t be easy.

2. BRINGING BACK THE BLITZ

Don\u2019t be surprised if Marcel Yates is more aggressive this week than last. Arizona did not blitz as much against Washington as it had in previous games. Some of the numbers \u2013 the Wildcats sacked Jake Browning four times and limited him to 160 passing yards \u2013 suggest that strategy more or less worked. But if you actually watched the game (which I did \u2026 twice!) you\u2019d know that Arizona didn\u2019t consistently make Browning feel uncomfortable. That\u2019s a must against Josh Rosen. The question isn\u2019t so much how to do that but who\u2019s capable of it. It appears that Tellas Jones (ankle; probable) is going to return this week \u2013 he\u2019s one of the UA\u2019s captains for the game \u2013 but we thought he\u2019d play last week as well and he couldn\u2019t go. Jones\u2019 return would help immensely; he\u2019s one of Arizona\u2019s best pass rushers (and playmakers in general). John Kenny made some plays at the \u201cStud\u201d position normally occupied by DeAndre\u2019 Miller (ankle; out) but isn\u2019t a dynamic pass rusher. Personally, I like MLB Cody Ippolito in that role. If he can get in Rosen\u2019s face regularly, the quarterback could struggle to find a rhythm.

3. CREATING DOUBT

Arizona hasn\u2019t been competitive in its past two trips to the Rose Bowl, scoring just 17 points in a pair of one-sided losses. How can the Wildcats change their fortunes? A strong start is imperative. \u201cArizona\u2019s got to find a way to create doubt early in the game so UCLA doesn\u2019t feel like they\u2019re hitting on all cylinders,\u201d Fox Sports college football analyst Petros Papadakis told me. It\u2019s a great point. As Pac-12 guru Jon Wilner observed, UCLA could experience something of a hangover effect after coming oh-so-close to upsetting Stanford last week. The Wildcats could deflate the Bruins \u2013 and the crowd \u2013 by starting the way they did against the Huskies. (The UA was within 2 yards of going up 14-0 over a team that destroyed Stanford on Friday night. Yeah, college football is weird.) Interestingly, Arizona had a 7-0 lead the last time it visited Pasadena, in 2014. The Wildcats didn\u2019t score again, losing 17-7. UCLA scored the first 28 points (in less than 19 minutes) en route to a 66-10 mauling in 2012.

FINAL SCORE: UCLA 30, Arizona 23

PREVIEW LINKS:

Arizona\u2019s goal vs. UCLA: Keep Rosen from rising

UA-UCLA Hot Sheet: On QB Dawkins' confidence, Twitter's impact, the new RBs

"}, {"id":"ac103502-87b0-11e6-a711-a751ea1e15e7","type":"article","starttime":"1475310300","starttime_iso8601":"2016-10-01T01:25:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1475312802","priority":45,"sections":[{"pascoe":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe"},{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Freedom of movement again theme of basketball officials' clinic","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/article_ac103502-87b0-11e6-a711-a751ea1e15e7.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/freedom-of-movement-again-theme-of-basketball-officials-clinic/article_ac103502-87b0-11e6-a711-a751ea1e15e7.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/freedom-of-movement-again-theme-of-basketball-officials-clinic/article_ac103502-87b0-11e6-a711-a751ea1e15e7.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"The Pac-12 and other Western conference officials went over tweaks to the rules implemented last season.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats basketball","bobby dibler","j.d. collins","pac-12 basketball"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"images":[{"id":"4929f6e6-87b3-11e6-91df-cbe83eb8ebd1","description":"Officials from the Pac-12 and other Western conference discuss whether Arizona's Kaleb Tarczewski should have been called for a foul in this video, during a clinic Friday in Phoenix.","byline":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/92/4929f6e6-87b3-11e6-91df-cbe83eb8ebd1/57ef77ce3fd14.image.png?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/92/4929f6e6-87b3-11e6-91df-cbe83eb8ebd1/57ef77ce3fd14.image.png?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/92/4929f6e6-87b3-11e6-91df-cbe83eb8ebd1/57ef77ce3fd14.image.png?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/92/4929f6e6-87b3-11e6-91df-cbe83eb8ebd1/57ef77ce3fd14.image.png?resize=1024%2C576"}}}],"revision":16,"commentID":"ac103502-87b0-11e6-a711-a751ea1e15e7","body":"

PHOENIX \u2013 NCAA basketball rules officially change only once every two years, and this year isn\u2019t one of them.

But that didn't mean the 160 or so officials from the Western Officiating Consortium had a chance to play golf or otherwise goof around during their three-day stay at the Phoenix Airport Marriott this week.

There were still plenty of discussions over new tweaks to the current rules \u2013 most of them still involving the general push toward allowing greater freedom of movement \u2013 while the Western refs also went through a number of breakout sessions to study difficult areas of officiating.

Typically, the video clips shown in each breakout session drew a lot of discussion, much of it serious, some of it light, but always with the theme of trying to make the first call (so as not to allow a play to devolve into more fouls) and stay consistent.

After the breakouts were through Friday, NCAA officials coordinator J.D. Collins addressed the entire group with a detailed discussion of the tweaks to the new rules implemented last season. He broke them down for the Star beforehand.

\uf06e While no formal rules were changed, a rule within a rule was added: Although coaches were not allowed to call timeouts in live ball situations starting last season, they can now call them if their team is trying to inbound the ball and the ball has not left the inbounder\u2019s hands.

Collins said the rule was put into place originally to keep coaches from being able to call a timeout when standing next to an official as the action played out on the other side of the court.

\u201cThat rule worked,\u201d Collins said. \u201cBut this year we\u2019re going to allow that coach to call a timeout as long as the ball is still out of bounds, and that\u2019s a good thing.\u201d

\uf06e Two rules will be interpreted differently. The first involves a secondary defender who strays into the restricted area to guard a ballhandler, a situation that used to automatically be called a block. Now that secondary defender will not be called for a block if he jumps straight up to block a shot.

\u201cIf his hands are above his head and he\u2019s perfectly vertical and he\u2019s playing defense on the offensive player -- as long as he jumps in the air and maintains his principle of verticality that is not going to be a restricted area call,\u201d Collins said. \u201cIn some sense he\u2019s cleansed himself of the restricted area by jumping in the air. If he remains on the ground as a secondary defender, it will be a blocking foul.\u201d

The other rule interpretation change involves what officials now refer to as \u201cthe cylinder\u201d \u2013 the immediate space both a defender and offensive player have around them. If that space is invaded by either side, it\u2019s a foul \u2013 and that interpretation could wind up changing many former player control fouls into calls against the defense.

Here\u2019s why: If a defensive player gets into an offensive player, and the offensive player goes up or down in normal motion to make a shot, the call goes against the defense even if the offensive player contacts (or hurts) the defender while doing so.

However, if the offensive player goes side-to-side while trying to clear space, and makes contact, it would be a player control foul against him.

\u201cThe change is if a player takes the ball below his waist, he\u2019s making a normal basketball play,\u201d Collins said. \u201cIf he takes it above his shoulders, he\u2019s making a normal basketball play. Those two plays make the offensive player legal. If the defense is in (the offensive player's space) and there\u2019s elbow contact, the foul\u2019s gonna be on the defense.\u201d

The new interpretation could also change the way players are coached to make traps, particularly at midcourt. They won't be able to get as close into a dribbler.

Defenders can\u2019t just \u201cwalk up and body them and now there\u2019s contact. That\u2019s a defensive foul,\u201d Collins said.

\uf06e\u00a0In addition to the rule adjustment and two interpretations listed above, there are also two changes in emphasis.

One is a greater emphasis on calling travel in the post if a player catches the ball, jumps in the air, then comes down and resets both his feet and shoots.

\u201cWe\u2019re gonna call that traveling this year,\u201d Collins said. \u201cWe have collectively done a horrible job of that in the past.\u201d

Another is a greater emphasis on sportsmanship and bench decorum from the coaches box. Coaches received a one-shot penalty for getting out of the coaches box and a two-shot penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior.

\u201cA coach is allowed to spontaneously react but the rulebook has a litany of items they can\u2019t do,\u201d Collins said. \u201cI think you\u2019ll see a higher focus on that from our officials nationwide but it\u2019s not a situation where there\u2019s a light switch and you go from one place to another. There is going to be confusion on it and our officials should address more technical fouls if a coach\u2019s behavior continues. They\u2019ve got to talk with them and communicate.\u201d


While UA\u2019s media day Thursday kept me from watching that day\u2019s Western Consortium breakout sessions, I was able to watch presentations about freedom of movement and block/charge calls Friday.

Not surprisingly, the block/charge discussions generated a variety of opinions, with officials voting nearly in a 50-50 split on whether one call should have been called a charge or a block.

The officials went over in detail a close call between a driving Dillon Brooks of Oregon and a defending Ben Carter of UNLV, with many agreeing that Brooks was correctly called for a charge while Carter stood high in the key, appearing to be in legal guarding position but having slightly extended his chest and knee while falling down.

Western Consortium officials coordinator Bobby Dibler suggested that Carter\u2019s knee initiated the contact, and that it was a block.

\u201cWhere did the contact occur?\u201d Dibler said.

Bottom line: A defender can move to maintain his guarding position laterally or diagonally, but if he moves toward an offensive player and initiates contact, it\u2019s a foul.


During both the block/charge and freedom-of-movement talks, presenting officials emphasized the need to make the first call of a play before things degenerate.

Official Chris Rastatter showed a video of a St. Mary\u2019s-Gonzaga play in which officials missed a foul on a St. Mary's defender \u2013 and then, after the same St. Mary\u2019s player found himself sandwiched between Gonzaga\u2019s Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis, officials instead whistled Sabonis for an illegal screen.

\u201cThat sends their big to the bench with his second foul and eight minutes left in the first half,\u201d Rastatter said. \u201cI imagine coach (Mark) Few was not happy that he didn\u2019t get the first call.\u201d


The officials meeting was the first that the Western Officiating Consortium has held with the Big Sky a full member -- all six Western Division I conferences are now members -- and Dibler was optimistic that would make a difference.

\u201cThe hope is that by having the six conferences together, there\u2019s one message \u2013 from me or the presenters -- and that should help our consistency no matter who\u2019s playing or who\u2019s officiating the game,\u201d Dibler said.

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Ironwood Ridge controlled possession throughout in a dominant 44-18 victory on Homecoming over Mountain View on Friday night.

Coming off a 37-12 road loss against Queen Creek last week, Ironwood Ridge (5-1) stopped Mountain View on a fourth-down conversion just outside its own red zone on the Mountain Lions\u2019 first possession of the game to seize momentum early.

The Nighthawks then drove down the field and punched in a 2-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Nathan Grijalva to take a 6-0 lead with 1:32 left in the first quarter.

After quickly stopping Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge drove down the field for another touchdown. Nighthawks senior tight end Daniel Peabody followed his blockers on an outside rush and scored a 6-yard touchdown to increase his team\u2019s lead to 14-0 with 8:03 left in the second quarter.

After the game, Peabody said losing to Queen Creek the previous week helped fuel the team against the Mountain Lions.

\u201cWe had a tough loss last week and that motivated us to get out and practice hard,\u201d Peabody said. \u201cOur goal isn\u2019t to win every game of the season, it\u2019s to win state. We\u2019re trying to get better and came out and made a statement. It was big for us.\u201d

The Mountain Lions (4-2) got on the scoreboard during their next drive when senior quarterback Caleb Ryden ran in a 6-yard touchdown to cut the I-Ridge lead to 14-6 with 3:44 left in the second quarter.

Nighthawks junior running back Nick Brahler added a 3-yard rushing touchdown with 1:27 left in the second quarter to give Ironwood Ridge a 22-6 lead over Mountain View going into the half.

Those three first-half rushing touchdowns set the tone for the rest of the game in what turned out to be a dominant rushing performance from the Nighthawks.

In total, Ironwood Ridge finished with 331 rushing yards, punched in four rushing touchdowns and converted three 2-point conversions on the ground.

Ironwood Ridge opened up the scoring in the second half with a 58-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cole Gerken to junior quarterback Nick Pallanes with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

Pallanes\u2019 58-yard touchdown reception was the longest play of the game by either team, and one of three plays of 50 yards or more by the Nighthawks.

Brahler scored Ironwood Ridge\u2019s final touchdown with 11:26 left in the game and increased the lead to 44-6 before Mountain View scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

After the game, Peabody said playing Mountain View is the biggest game of the regular season for the Nighthawks.

\u201cMountain View is the biggest game for me, to be honest, and I think everyone else feels the same,\u201d Peabody said. \u201cOf the regular season, this is it. I think it\u2019s the new Oro Valley Super Bowl. I don\u2019t think it\u2019s Ironwood and CDO anymore. I think it\u2019s Ironwood and Mountain View.\u201d

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Everyone\u2019s eyes were on Cienega\u2019s No. 11, Jamarye Joiner, on Friday night.

He was returning to his old home turf at Salpointe Catholic for the first time in a few years. But, if he was nervous, you\u2019d hardly know it.

Running into the locker room after pregame warm-ups, he was jumping around and using his arms like wings on an airplane.

Those arms were later used to throw two touchdown passes (20 and 31 yards) and lead his Bobcats to a 6-0 record, defeating the Lancers 51-14.

\u201cI wanted to show my team that I was loose,\u201d said Joiner. \u201cWe\u2019ve worked so hard for this \u2014 going 6-0 \u2014 everyone bought into the program.

\u201cThis year we want to become a powerhouse.\u201d

It was a total team effort as the Bobcats held the Lancers to 14 first downs and 283 total yards. Terrell Huggins, a junior free safety, came up with three interceptions.

The first one came with 6:39 left in the first quarter on Salpointe\u2019s 38-yard line. Five plays later, Joiner scored on a 6-yard run, as Cienega took a 10-0 lead.

\u201cWe\u2019ve been waiting for Terrell to make big plays,\u201d said Cienega coach Pat Nugent. \u201cWe knew it was coming sooner or later and he had a great night.\u201d

Senior Chris Vega came up with seven tackles and two big sacks at the end of the first half that stopped a drive by Salpointe.

With time running down and the ball on the Bobcats\u2019 39, Vega stuffed quarterback Sean Barton on consecutive plays. Cienega led at the half 23-14.

\u201cChris is our leader on defense and is having a great year,\u201d said Nugent. \u201cThe defense had their backs against the wall and responded.\u201d

Salpointe\u2019s only scoring came in the second quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run by Trevor Volpe (18 carries for 132 yards) and an interception by Caleb Eubanks and a 20-yard run into the end zone.

Cienega senior Aaron Sauls finished with eight carries for 86 yards and touchdowns of 3 and 29 yards. One came in the third quarter with a big block from Joiner.

\u201cHe sort of fell when I gave him the ball and I knew if I gave him that block he had open space, he\u2019d score,\u201d said Joiner.

Senior Breaben Bolton was on the receiving end of Joiner\u2019s two touchdown passes of 20 and 31 yards. He had six catches for 128 yards.

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Marana (4-2) used a balanced offense in a 31-13 victory against Flowing Wells (3-3) on Friday night.

Diego Miranda had three touchdowns in the first half, with two on the ground and one coming through the air.

Marana rotated between Connor Leavens and Trenton Borguet all game, with both finding success in different aspects of the game.

\"Each guy brings something different to the offense, and force teams to gameplan for both,\" said Marana head coach Andy Litten.

Marana went into the half up 22-0, but Flowing Wells was able to bring some momentum out of the locker room in the second half, getting things to 22-13 on a 58-yard Jose Suarez touchdown run.

\"We try to control tempo the whole game,\" Litten said. Tthey capitalized on some penalties and sloppy play and made us play at their tempo most of the second half.\"

The Tigers finally put things away late in the fourth quarter on a touchdown by Tariq Jordan. Jordan finished with 76 yards receiving, while Miranda finished with 82 total yards and three touchdowns.

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LOS ANGELES \u2014 A lot went wrong in Arizona\u2019s 56-30 loss to UCLA last season. Among the many problems: The Wildcats did not sack Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen in the first half, when UCLA built an insurmountable 42-14 lead against turnover-prone Arizona.

The Cats got to Rosen twice in the second half, but by then it was too late. They can\u2019t let that happen again. The UA can\u2019t allow Rosen to stand in the pocket and enjoy the view of the San Gabriel Mountains at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.

\u201cWe\u2019ve got to get home,\u201d Arizona defensive lineman Sani Fuimaono said. \u201cIf we\u2019re getting to the quarterback, getting off blocks quicker, penetrating upfield and just having a party in the backfield all night, I think it\u2019s going to end well for us.\u201d

The Wildcats are hoping to party like it\u2019s 2011. They\u2019re seeking to end a four-game losing streak against the Bruins. The first step is to get pressure on Rosen.

Although he has yet to live up to expectations this season, Rosen remains perhaps the most talented passer in college football. There\u2019s no throw he can\u2019t make when given time to scan the field.

\u201cGreat arm. Good vision. He scans the field well,\u201d Arizona defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said. \u201cHe\u2019ll go from his first read all the way back to his third or fourth read. He\u2019s very good in the pocket.\u201d

In a way, Arizona got a sneak preview of Rosen last week. Washington\u2019s Jake Browning has a similar profile. Both are sophomore pocket passers capable of making \u201cwow\u201d throws if allowed to operate without harassment.

The Wildcats held Browning relatively in check. He completed 14 of 21 passes for only 160 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Arizona sacked him four times but didn\u2019t pressure him consistently.

Surprisingly, two touchdowns represents Rosen\u2019s best output of the season to date. He hasn\u2019t put up the eye-popping numbers everyone expected \u2014 just five touchdown passes and four interceptions through four games.

Some of Rosen\u2019s struggles (which might be too strong a term) stem from UCLA\u2019s transition to a new offense. The Bruins are still adapting to a radically different system, a phenomenon the Wildcats can relate to on the other side of the ball.

\u201cAll the position groups are adjusting to the new way of the world in-season,\u201d Fox Sports college football analyst Petros Papadakis said of the UCLA offense. \u201cThey\u2019re not there right now.\u201d

The transition is rife with challenges. Spring practice and training camp provide ample opportunities to learn the plays and get used to a new way of doing things. But in-game adjustments require a level of comfort and familiarity that can be attained only in, well, games.

\u201cThe guys that grow up in a system, so to speak, it\u2019s easier to do that with,\u201d UA coach Rich Rodriguez said.

He was referring to his defense. He just as easily could have been talking about UCLA\u2019s offense. He continued.

\u201cOur guys are going to grow up in this system,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cRight now they\u2019re still learning it. Offensively, it\u2019s easier to make adjustments. For our defensive guys, it\u2019s all new.\u201d

UCLA parted ways with Noel Mazzone in the offseason, elevating Kennedy Polamalu to the coordinator role. The Bruins had an up-tempo, spread-style offense similar to Rodriguez\u2019s. Now they\u2019re more apt to feature a fullback or two tight ends. Rosen is under center more often.

One of the ideas behind that shift: Provide Rosen with better protection.

\u201cNo quarterback likes getting hit,\u201d Papadakis said. \u201cThat\u2019s why they moved to this offense. They wanted to keep him clean in the pocket.\u201d

That plan generally has worked \u2014 since the opener, anyway. Texas A&M sacked Rosen five times. Not coincidentally, he had his worst game that day, throwing three interceptions.

Since then, Rosen has suffered a total of five sacks (including the spread-busting sack/fumble/touchdown at the end of the Stanford game) and has thrown only one interception. Rosen\u2019s completion percentage and efficiency rating have risen each week.

\u201cThe numbers aren\u2019t staggering, but he\u2019s moving in the right direction,\u201d UCLA coach Jim Mora said. \u201cHe\u2019s reading his progressions better. He\u2019s understanding our scheme better. He\u2019s making better decisions. He\u2019s taking care of the ball better, believe it or not. \u2026\u2009

There\u2019s a lot of little things that maybe aren\u2019t showing up completely in the stat sheet.\u201d

Rosen is experiencing incremental progress despite the new offense not achieving one of its other main goals.

UCLA ranks last in the Pac-12 and 113th in the nation in rushing at 117.8 yards per game. (If Brandon Dawkins were his own school, UCLA would rank behind him, too.) The Bruins are averaging an anemic 3.2 yards per attempt. Even pass-obsessed Washington State is better.

Yates knows better than to assume those numbers are gospel. His defense just surrendered 352 rushing yards to Washington \u2014 whose ground game supposedly was struggling \u2014 and again will be without linebacker DeAndre\u2019 Miller (ankle) and nose tackle Parker Zellers (knee).

\u201cWith the game we just had,\u201d Yates said, \u201cI would have to be thinking they\u2019re pretty excited to run the ball against us.\u201d

Arizona doesn\u2019t want this to be the week when UCLA rediscovers its running attack. Or when Rosen finds his form.

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Upcoming schedule

Saturday Oct. 1

SWIMMING AND DIVING

TYR High School Classic, at The University of Arizona 10 a.m. (Sierra Vista Buena, Marana, Catalina Foothills, Mountain View, Canyon del Oro, Palo Verde, Cholla, Pusch Ridge Christian, Sabino, Desert Christian, Sahuarita, Desert View, Sahuaro, Salpointe Catholic, Douglas, Sunnyside, Tanque Verde, The Gregory School, Tucson High, Ironwood Ridge, Walden Grove)

\u00a0

Monday Oct. 3

GIRLS GOLF

Tucson High vs. Sierra Vista Buena at Mountain View Golf Course 3 p.m.

Cholla vs. Rincon/University at El Rio Golf Course \u00a03 p.m.

Marana, Palo Verde vs. Sahuaro at Rolling Hills Golf Course 3 p.m.

Flowing Wells vs. Salpointe Catholic at Randolph Park 3 p.m.

Sabino at Sunnyside 3 p.m.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Salpointe Catholic at Canyon Del Oro 6 p.m.

Sierra Vista Buena at Cienega 6 p.m.

Amphitheater at Douglas 6 p.m.

Santa Rita at Empire 6 p.m.

Desert View at Marana 6 p.m.

Palo Verde at Pueblo 6 p.m.

Catalina at Pusch Ridge Christian 6 p.m.

Walden Grove at Rincon/University 6 p.m.

Mountain View at Sahuaro 6 p.m.

Tucson High at Sunnyside 6 p.m.

Sahuarita at Tanque Verde 6 p.m.

Cholla at Flowing Wells 6:30 p.m.

To report scores, email sports@tucson.com or call 573-4146

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New information in the death of Arizona Wildcats offensive lineman Zach Hemmila suggests that he didn\u2019t have prescriptions for the two medications that killed him.

Hemmila\u2019s autopsy, released by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner this week, listed his cause of death as a toxic combination of oxymorphone, an opiate painkiller, and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication.

Hemmila, 22, died on Aug. 7 or 8. His death was ruled accidental.

Hemmila\u2019s cousin, whom he was living with at the time, discovered Hemmila\u2019s body shortly before 7 a.m. on Aug. 8, when she went into his room to talk to him, according to the Pima County Sheriff\u2019s Department investigative report, obtained by the Star through a public records request.

When deputies arrived, they found Hemmila lying on his back on the bed with his feet planted on the floor. He was wearing a headset and had a video game controller in his hand, the report said.

In interviews with the cousin\u2019s husband, detectives learned that Hemmila had been taking hydrocodone, an opiate that\u2019s commonly known as Vicodin. The man also said that Hemmila \u201cmay have been high\u201d when he saw him at 10:30 p.m. the night before.

Detectives took photos of five prescription bottles found in Hemmila\u2019s backpack, none of which were alprazolam or oxymorphone, according to department officials.

The investigative report showed at least three of the prescription bottles had another person\u2019s name on the label, but the names were redacted.

During the investigation, one of Hemmila\u2019s family members handed detectives a few \u201cunknown pills\u201d that Hemmila reportedly purchased about a week before, Capt. Gary Anderson, head of the Sheriff\u2019s department criminal investigations bureau, wrote in an email.

When asked if the pills had been tested or identified, Sheriff Chris Nanos said that the request fell under federal health privacy laws, known as HIPAA.

A large portion of the 29-page investigative report was redacted.

The day after Hemmila\u2019s death, detectives interviewed two employees of a northside insurance agency who said they \u201chad significant contact\u201d with Hemmila and knew him well. Their connection to the victim is unclear from the reports, and the contents of their interviews were redacted.

"}, {"id":"f2c0e53e-86cd-11e6-8e28-3748e61cd6e4","type":"article","starttime":"1475212920","starttime_iso8601":"2016-09-29T22:22:00-07:00","sections":[{"highschool":"sports/highschool"}],"application":"editorial","title":"High school stats and scores for Sept. 29","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/article_f2c0e53e-86cd-11e6-8e28-3748e61cd6e4.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/high-school-stats-and-scores-for-sept/article_f2c0e53e-86cd-11e6-8e28-3748e61cd6e4.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/high-school-stats-and-scores-for-sept/article_f2c0e53e-86cd-11e6-8e28-3748e61cd6e4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Thursday Sept. 29 scores GIRLS VOLLEYBALL RIO RICO 3, \u00a0AMPHITHEATER 0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-14) RR \u2013 Aces: Cruz 3, Cluff 2, Castillo 1, Garayzar 2, Arellano 4, Team total 12. Kills: Cluff 4, Castillo 5, Garayzar 3, Arellano 2, Sesteaga 2, Team total 16. Blocks: Campos 2, Garayzar 4, Team total 6. Digs: Cruz 3, Campos 9, Carrizoza 1, Cluff 8, Castillo 9, Garayzar 5, Arellao 3, Sesteaga 1, Team total 39.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#tweet"],"customProperties":{},"images":[{"id":"8123be21-ea57-5486-ad7c-49db9694d951","description":"","byline":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/12/8123be21-ea57-5486-ad7c-49db9694d951/57128d5948a50.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/12/8123be21-ea57-5486-ad7c-49db9694d951/57128d5953c32.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/12/8123be21-ea57-5486-ad7c-49db9694d951/57128d5948a50.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/12/8123be21-ea57-5486-ad7c-49db9694d951/57128d5948a50.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"f2c0e53e-86cd-11e6-8e28-3748e61cd6e4","body":"

Thursday Sept. 29 scores

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

RIO RICO 3, \u00a0AMPHITHEATER 0

(25-19, 25-17, 25-14)

RR \u2013 Aces: Cruz 3, Cluff 2, Castillo 1, Garayzar 2, Arellano 4, Team total 12. Kills: Cluff 4, Castillo 5, Garayzar 3, Arellano 2, Sesteaga 2, Team total 16. Blocks: Campos 2, Garayzar 4, Team total 6. Digs: Cruz 3, Campos 9, Carrizoza 1, Cluff 8, Castillo 9, Garayzar 5, Arellao 3, Sesteaga 1, Team total 39.

MARANA 3, \u00a0SUNNYSIDE 0

(25-19, 25-17, 25-14)

SS \u2013 Aces: Lozano 2, Team total 2. Kills: Jackson 3, A. Felix 1, E. Felix 1, Garcia 1, Lozano 5, Team total 11. Digs: I. Lopez 4, A. Felix 5, Garcia 15, Carpio 1, Lozano 3, Crawford 2, Jordan 2 Team total 32.

Canyon Del Oro 3, Catalina Foothills 1

San Tan Valley Poston Butte 3, Cholla 2

Empire 3, Sahuarita 2

Cienega 3, Tucson High 1

To report scores, email sports@tucson.com or call 573-4146

Friday Sept. 30 schedule

FOOTBALL

Desert View at Cholla

Marana at Flowing Wells

Sahuaro at Sierra Vista Buena

Cienega at Salpointe Catholic

Mountain View at Ironwood Ridge

Catalina Foothills at Canyon del Oro

Walden Grove at Nogales

Sahuarita at Amphitheater

Palo Verde at Douglas

Pueblo at Rio Rico

Sabino at Catalina

Empire at Pusch Ridge Christian

Santa Rita at Tanque Verde

"}, {"id":"50faa4c0-86c2-11e6-ab41-07bdc50283cc","type":"article","starttime":"1475208900","starttime_iso8601":"2016-09-29T21:15:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1475209683","priority":45,"sections":[{"pascoe":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe"},{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona basketball: On Simmons' leap, Alkins' attitude and Miller's sweat equity","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/article_50faa4c0-86c2-11e6-ab41-07bdc50283cc.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/arizona-basketball-on-simmons-leap-alkins-attitude-and-miller-s/article_50faa4c0-86c2-11e6-ab41-07bdc50283cc.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/pascoe/arizona-basketball-on-simmons-leap-alkins-attitude-and-miller-s/article_50faa4c0-86c2-11e6-ab41-07bdc50283cc.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Kobi Simmons is just two inches shy of Nick Johnson's 47-inch vertical leap record.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats basketball","ray smith","kobi simmons","keanu pinder","lauri markkanen","rawle alkins","sean miller"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"images":[{"id":"91ecad9d-3968-5e94-845f-e1b9d80834f5","description":"Arizona Wildcats guard Kobi Simmons (2) during media day. Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"505","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1e/91ecad9d-3968-5e94-845f-e1b9d80834f5/57edc31ddd111.image.jpg?resize=620%2C505"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1e/91ecad9d-3968-5e94-845f-e1b9d80834f5/57edc31ddd111.image.jpg?crop=1589%2C893%2C0%2C103&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1e/91ecad9d-3968-5e94-845f-e1b9d80834f5/57edc31ddd111.image.jpg?crop=1589%2C893%2C0%2C103&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1e/91ecad9d-3968-5e94-845f-e1b9d80834f5/57edc31ddd111.image.jpg?crop=1589%2C893%2C0%2C103&resize=1024%2C575&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"youtube":[{"id":"ae5ce56c-86c5-11e6-9e9d-5f952e8fe709","starttime":"1475209380","starttime_iso8601":"2016-09-29T21:23:00-07:00","title":"Sean Miller on the Tonight Show","description":"Yeah, you've probably seen this...","byline":"","video_id":"P8LYSSwaRWE"}],"revision":16,"commentID":"50faa4c0-86c2-11e6-ab41-07bdc50283cc","body":"

When the Arizona Wildcats held a running vertical leap test Thursday, athletic freshman Kobi Simmons literally lived up to his reputation.

He cleared 45 inches, just shy of Nick Johnson\u2019s 47-inch Miller-era record.

\u201cI hadn\u2019t done it in a while but I think some of the team knew,\u201d Simmons said.

\u201cWhen it was my time to go, everyone crowded around with video recorders. Everyone knew (what I could do) and they were just, you know, blown away.\u201d

That wasn\u2019t the only victory in the competition. The other was that Ray Smith hit 40 inches, the same height he reached a year ago before he blew out his second ACL.

Smith said he felt his athleticism has returned to \u201c100 percent\u201d while noting his vertical leap result and said \u201cit\u2019s only going to get better as time goes on.\u201d

Smith also said putting muscle on has added stability.

\u201cIt\u2019s how quick I move and get to different places without pushing,\u201d he said.

Smith has already joined the Wildcats for five-on-five drills and said he was leaving tonight for Las Vegas, where his hometown doctor will examine him. If the result is satisfactory, Smith will join the Wildcats fully when official practices begin Sunday.

We had a longer look at Smith, and what he's learned during his two rehabs, in this story.


Arizona is loaded with wings and has plenty of upside up front. But who's gonna be the point guard?

Miller said again Thursday that Kadeem Allen has been moved primarily off the ball, leaving Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Simmons to battle for the job.

They could also share it, or even play together when Simmons moves to the two.

\u201cIt\u2019s not an either-or relationship, meaning one is in when the other comes out,\u201d Miller said. \u201cThose guys will play a lot together. For me and our staff the challenge always is to put your best team, your deepest group out there.\u201d

Miller said Jackson-Cartwright is \u201cExhibit A\u201d of the guys who came back hungrier after the first-round loss to Wichita State and has experience that could help.

\u201cThere\u2019s nothing like experience in coming back for your third year,\u201d Miller said. \u201cI think that some of the things that Parker has learned as a freshman and sophomore he\u2019ll implement this year. I\u2019m really excited about watching him play.\u201d

Simmons said he\u2019s been getting used to the UA system and focusing on defense, and was unsure at which guard spot he expects to play the most.

\u201cWherever coach wants me to play, what he thinks will get us the win,\u201d Simmons said.


One of the buzzwords used by several UA players Thursday was going \u201cpositionless,\u201d considering the number of versatile players they have on the wings and in the post.

Freshman Rawle Alkins appears to have potential to be just that, with the athleticism and strength to play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward, though Miller said he wasn\u2019t sure if Alkins would play power forward right away.

\u201cThat may be something we learn as we get into real practice here,\u201d Miller said. \u201cRawle is a small forward. He\u2019s a tremendous offensive rebounder. Physically strong.

\u201cHe has done everything that we\u2019ve asked him to do. He\u2019s done a good job in the classroom. Has done a good job in the weight room. And has had the attitude you want to see with an incoming freshman. He doesn\u2019t come to you with all the answers. He really comes to learn and work hard. He loves the game.

\u201cIn our practices you can start to see a few things but him being able to make plays at the basket and being an unselfish passer, is something that really stands out watching him early on.\u201d


Arizona's five-star freshmen (Alkins, Simmons and Lauri Markkanen) have allowed juco transfer Keanu Pinder to fly under the publicity radar so far.

But since UA is now without the 19 combined rebounds that Kaleb Tarczewski and Ryan Anderson averaged last season, Pinder may work his way into the rotation.

\u201cKeanu sometimes is the forgotten man because he came from Hutchinson (Kan.) junior college,\" Miller said. \"But one thing that stands out about Keanu is he has a gift (for rebounding) \u2013 an explosion to the ball and a hunger to go get it.

\"He doesn\u2019t do it because he\u2019s 6-11. He does it because he\u2019s tough-minded and very, very physical. He also has incredible quickness defensively. So when you talk about depth, about players competing, he\u2019s somebody who\u2019s in the mix because he gives us what we really lost from last year\u2019s team.\u201d


Over the summer, Miller found a silver lining in all the buzz over the sweat-soaked shirt he wore during UA\u2019s loss to Wichita State in last season\u2019s NCAA tournament.

\u201cIt used to be the Johnny Carson show,\u201d Miller said, referring to his childhood appearance on the Tonight Show as a ball-trick prodigy (video attached), which he dislikes rehashing. \u201cThe good news is they don\u2019t talk to me about that anymore. It\u2019s some sort of sweat joke or whatever.\u201d

Miller kidded that \u201cwe\u2019re gonna launch a huge advertising\u201d campaign about the T-shirt company he will endorse \u2013 he did, seriously, receive a ton of freebies \u2013 and said he \u201clearned his lesson\u201d after trying a new lightweight shirt he hadn\u2019t worn before.

\u201cWhere I erred is I tried out a new shirt that I\u2019d never worn before,\u201d Miller said. \u201cI wasn\u2019t sick. It wasn\u2019t like I sweated any more than I usually do. It\u2019s just when there\u2019s less material, it was a disaster. \u2026 I can\u2019t take that one back.\u201d

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If you read any national magazine or website regularly, you\u2019ve surely seen some form of this headline: Have millennials killed off _____?

Fill in the blank: Television, automobiles, bicycles, \u201cAmerican Idol.\u201d Whatever.

You\u2019d think that as a generation, millennials were axe-wielding sociopaths, hacking away at all of our treasured institutions.

But conversations with numerous coaches throughout Tucson has me begging one question, which is sure to generate a flood of InstaSnaps, or whatever the young whippersnappers are doing these days:

Have millennials killed off high school football in Tucson?

(Cue dramatic music).

This conversation only started because I was having trouble picking my jaw off the floor.

A few weeks back, while chronicling Canyon del Oro\u2019s attempt to rebound from a down year, head coach Dusty Peace said something along the lines of, \u201cWe have a stronger group of seniors this season, 26 instead of 14.\u201d

Fourteen senior starters, I half-inquired, half-corrected.

\u201cOh, no, 14 total,\u201d Peace said.

Fourteen?...Total?

That had to be incorrect, but there it is on the Dorados\u2019 online roster: A baker\u2019s dozen, plus one.

Their opponent this week, Catalina Foothills, has 33 players on its entire roster. I called Justin Argraves over at Tucson High; he\u2019s got 11 juniors on his whole varsity team.

Not to get all back-in-my-day, but my high school football teams teemed with players in Thousand Oaks, California, a sizable suburb in the Ventura County outside Los Angeles. My freshman season in 1998, the Lancers \u2014 not the Salpointe Lancers, mind you, but the TOHS Lancers \u2014 had almost six dozen kids. The backup\u2019s backup had a backup.

My senior year, we had about three dozen in my class, and only about half started.

Now, a team is lucky to run two-deep.

Two-deep? Heck, what some of these guys wouldn\u2019t do for 11 reliable starters.

\u201cIt\u2019s really bad,\u201d Peace said. \u201cI did the numbers last year, and the reality is the percent of football players is way down. It\u2019s not even close. All across the city.\u201d

It\u2019s not like Tucson high school football was ever like the game deep in the heart of Texas, but even a cursory look at a stack of mid-1990s football programs reveals a decline. Many of the Tucson-region state playoff contenders two decades ago fielded teams of 45, 50, 60-plus \u2014 Catalina Foothills had 50 players in 2001 \u2014 never really competing in size with the likes of Scottsdale\u2019s and Phoenix\u2019s powerhouses, but enough to offer some healthy competition.

Like a quarterback who doesn\u2019t see a blitzing safety on the backside, local coaches have been blindsided.

\u201cIt\u2019s been very, very gradual,\u201d said Foothills head coach Jeff Scurran, whose Falcons head to CDO Friday to face Peace\u2019s Dorados. \u201cI had teammates who were literally beat up by the coach, hit in the head with a helmet. And the whole thing was if you don\u2019t like it, don\u2019t play football. Our coach used to line us up and paddle us for group noise. Bend over, hands on our knees, with our heads two inches from the wall, and bam, you\u2019d walk away holding your head and your butt.\u201d

Those days are long gone, but even with fewer fire-breathing coaches singeing the eyebrows off of 16-year-olds, the kids are staying away.

And it is a combination of factors that has led to a declining local high school football population.

Factor 1: The risks are too great.

There is some debate among area coaches about the recent health scares that have been attributed to the violence of the sport. Scurran doesn\u2019t believe concussions are scaring away kids in droves, pointing to the vastly higher number of head injuries that occur in sports like soccer. But Pima College coach Jim Monaco, who has extensive local high school coaching experience, believes it\u2019s a big factor.

\u201cParents, they\u2019re just, they\u2019re worried,\u201d Monaco said. \u201cThere\u2019s been so much made of the concussion thing. I don\u2019t know man, I played for a guy who was a terrible coach; punched me in the sternum, broke it. I wouldn\u2019t leave. I blew my knee, my patella was gone; I played with a knee brace. I wasn\u2019t going to let anybody get the best of me. Those kids don\u2019t exist now. I hate to say it, but it\u2019s a fact.\u201d

Factor 2: Sports specialization.

Exhibit A: Local would-be stud Turner Washington, a senior at CDO. He played football for two years, but after getting better and better at the discus, he transitioned solely to track and field. A 6-foot-5-inch, 245-pound specimen, Washington would be one of the most coveted football players in the state, and as Peace said, \u201cOur best lineman on campus doesn\u2019t even play football.\u201d

Washington acknowledges that he likely could\u2019ve earned a small-school Division-1 scholarship, maybe lower-tiered Pac-12, but, the thoughtful senior said, \u201cThrowing is what I really love, and it\u2019s a more manageable sport to do in college. It\u2019s safer; one of my best friends just tore his ACL, and I wasn\u2019t going to risk managing both sports. Any given second, my knee could\u2019ve blown out and I could be done.\u201d

Maybe he belongs in the Factor 1 section about risks, but he admits, if he wasn\u2019t so good at the discus, he\u2019d still be playing football.

Factor 3: The Cool Factor has chilled.

A confession: I played high school football to get girls.

It didn\u2019t work, of course. Rarely does it for the funny, 5-8, 230-pound backup, backup guard. But you know what? As they say, it got me in the conversation.

Truth of it is, I loved the sport, and I had desperately wanted to play for years to the dismay and ultimately disapproval of my mother. By about Day 3 of summer practice, I realized that just about the only tangible benefit I\u2019d get, at least as that portly freshman, was the right to wear that sweet, sweet jersey on Friday morning.

For the gangly kid who couldn\u2019t fill out a milkshake straw or the chubby kid who couldn\u2019t put down the milkshake straw, this was it, baby. We were one of Them.

\u201cHey man, the last guy who graduates out of med school is still called a doctor,\u201d\u2019 Monaco said. \u201cBack in the day, if you were on the football team, if you just had the fortitude to get through two-a-days, that was all you needed. You were in.\u201d

Newsflash: Football ain\u2019t that cool anymore, bud.

\u201cTen, 20 years ago, football was glorified,\u201d Tucson\u2019s Argraves said. \u201cEveryone\u2019s eyes were on the sport. It\u2019s still a big thing, but it\u2019s just not as big. You\u2019re throwing in technology, all these studies that go into the long-term risks, and it\u2019s getting some of the borderline kids who 15, 20 years ago would\u2019ve played, now they have an excuse not to.\u201d

Why put yourself through the gruel of two-a-days when you can get just as High School Famous by being pithy online?

\u201cKids have found different ways to \u2014 and I hate to sound old \u2014 but to get the attention,\u201d Peace said. \u201cWe were football players, kings of everything. Now you can be a king of school if you have a funny Twitter account.\u201d

Washington admitted as much himself.

\u201cGlory comes from whatever you\u2019re doing and being good at it,\u201d he said. \u201cThe biggest thing now \u2014 and I\u2019ve thought about it the last year \u2014 but it\u2019s cooler to be smart and get good grades more than anything else now. Yeah it\u2019s great to score touchdowns, but the stereotype of all the jocks are the popular kids \u2014 now you see some of the most popular kids are in all AP classes.\u201d

Jonas Leader, one of a handful of CDO senior leaders, agrees.

\u201cPlaying football has nothing to do with it anymore,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s all about personality and whatever. I don\u2019t think there\u2019s anything negative about it, I just don\u2019t think it\u2019s like such a positive thing any more. But I guess maybe I\u2019m not the perfect guy to ask.

\u201cI just love football.\u201d

So, fellow football followers, fear not.

There\u2019s still a few of them left out there.

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In Tucson, Miller Time has nothing to do with Happy Hour or a cold beer.

Miller Time means that UA basketball coach Sean Miller has scheduled a press conference at 2:15 Thursday afternoon in Room 106A at McKale Center. Miller Time means that if you want a seat in the claustrophobic setting that wasn\u2019t touched by any of the mega-millions spent refurbishing the building, you must arrive by 2.

Or maybe 1:55, because at 2, only one seat remains vacant. That seat is quickly occupied by Brian Jeffries, the Voice of the Wildcats. John Marshall, who is one of The Associated Press\u2019 most widely circulated college basketball reporters, arrives from Phoenix at 2:15.

Marshall stands for the next 51 minutes and 39 seconds, as Miller delivers the much-anticipated State of the Wildcats report, which is probably a record for any coach in college basketball.

No one else in Tucson could pull this off. Not the mayor, not the chief of police, not Jim Click.

Miller is a superior public speaker. He\u2019s like an artful copy editor, eliminating the fluff, pruning everything but the meat of the story.

At Arizona, there is a lot of meat to the 2016-17 basketball story, and on Thursday it took Miller 51 minutes and 39 seconds to get to all of it. Ordinarily, anyone talking 51 minutes and 39 seconds about anything should not be spared a copy editor\u2019s snipping.

But Miller pulled it off; he fielded 27 questions. This is how it played out in five easy pieces:

1. Freshman Lauri Markkanen, a 7-footer from Finland, is not going to be pushed around nor need significant break-in time. \u201cHe\u2019s ahead of the game right now,\u201d said Miller.

2. Freshman guard Kobi Simmons will hit an open jumper, and even a few when he\u2019s not open. \u201cWhether he plays (point guard or off guard), he\u2019ll be a big asset for us,\u201d said Miller.

3. Do not write off sophomore center Chance Comanche as a long-range prospect. \u201cHe\u2019s as talented as anyone in our program,\u201d the coach said.

4. Sophomore wing Allonzo Trier is the walking definition of \u201cgym rat.\u201d \u201cI think he\u2019ll be one of the best guards in the country,\u201d said Miller.

5. Junior center Dusan Ristic, who worked out with boxers over the summer, has been a revelation. \u201cHe\u2019ll be the best version of himself,\u201d said Miller. \u201cYou\u2019ll see.\u201d

It is 42 days until Arizona plays a game that counts \u2014 against Michigan State in Hawaii \u2014 but that\u2019s misleading. The clock is already ticking. For Miller, it rarely stops.

Miller will turn 48 a few days before Thanksgiving, and he said he\u2019s \u201cvery refreshed.\u201d That sort of talk belies his schedule.

At 48, Duke\u2019s Mike Krzyzewski conked out. He coached just 12 games of the 1994-95 schedule before stepping away to catch his breath for the rest of the year. The burning sense of obligation to be No. 1 beat him up.

It makes you wonder how long Miller, or any college basketball coach, can continue the pace. The Wildcats recruited the nation\u2019s No. 5 Class of 2016 according to Rivals.com, and are currently ranked No. 3 by the same people.

\u201cIf you\u2019re trying to go after the top prize, the highest level of college basketball, recruiting is an obsession,\u201d Miller said. \u201cIt is at a level that nobody has ever done before, that\u2019s why it\u2019s so hard to compare generations. No one has ever done this.\u201d

UA freshman small forward Rawle Alkins, who is from New York City, said that Miller\u2019s coaching and recruiting intensity \u201camazes me.\u201d

\u201cArizona wasn\u2019t even on my list,\u201d he said Thursday. \u201cThen Coach Miller flew to Detroit to watch me in the middle of last season, and he really stepped it up. He literally wouldn\u2019t give up. I came out here to watch the game against Oregon, when (Arizona) was going for 50 straight home victories, and everybody treated it like the end of the world.

\u201cI wanted to be part of that type of purpose.\u201d

That purpose is seen in Miller\u2019s approach to the Oct. 14 Red and Blue Game.

Most Tucsonans would say the yearly home game against UCLA, or someone at the top of the Pac-12, would be the most anticipated game of the year. Miller has an addition: the Red-Blue Game is almost as important.

\u201cFrom a recruiting standpoint, it\u2019s arguably the biggest week we\u2019ve had during my time as coach at Arizona,\u201d said Miller.

By my unofficial count, Miller has offered scholarships to 36 players from the Class of 2017. One of those, 7-foot DeAndre Ayton of Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix, considered by some the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2017, has already chosen to play for Arizona.

If Miller and his staff are fortunate, aided by the Red-Blue Game and attendant festivities, they could crank out the nation\u2019s No. 1 recruiting class by November. Or something close.

Arizona begins full practice Sunday. It\u2019s almost like a break for the coaches.

\u201cIn September, recruiting is all day, every day, from start to finish,\u201d Miller said. \u201cIt\u2019s all day, every day, start to finish in April. It\u2019s all day, every day, start to finish in July and August. The thing is, it\u2019s relentless. And it doesn\u2019t mean you\u2019re going to do well, either. That\u2019s just what you do to have a chance.\u201d

On the last day of September, Arizona has a chance.

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Doug Soetaert understands how to achieve at the highest level. He played goal in the majors and was part of a Stanley Cup championship.

Now he\u2019s in Tucson, as general manager of the new minor league Roadrunners, working to help young players achieve that same dream \u2014 and to get back to the NHL himself.

\u201cI love working with young players,\u201d said the 60-year-old Soetaert. \u201cHelping them with that major-league dream is something I take seriously. I\u2019ve gotten players to the NHL and I look forward to one day getting back there myself, back in management.\u201d

The immediate job in front of the Edmonton native is the creation of the Tucson Roadrunners\u2019 inaugural player roster. The bigwigs in Phoenix at the parent Coyotes made a wise choice in allowing their new GM to focus on the hockey operations, with the organization\u2019s other business concerns allocated to other staff such as team president Brian Sandy.

And the hockey operations for this new team is a big job.

Soetaert has the challenge to fill this new roster and balance out a set of goals that are unique to the American Hockey League. Just one step away from the majors, an AHL team must simultaneously develop very young talent for their parent NHL team and put a competitive product on the ice to sell tickets locally.

All the potential talent in the world won\u2019t help a hockey team survive unless ticket sales help pay the bills.

Player development and winning are each goals difficult beyond most hockey fans\u2019 imagination \u2014 doing both while selling tickets will take some alteration of the \u201cwin-now\u201d attitude of many sports fans.

\u201cIt\u2019s not about win-win-win now in the AHL,\u201d the new GM said. \u201cIt\u2019s about being competitive now-now-now, and every year.

\u201cWe want to win hockey games in a winning environment. Players enjoy coming to the rink every day when you are winning, and that\u2019s the kind of environment we want to build here,\u201d said Soetaert.

Soetaert is taking six or seven players from last year\u2019s Springfield Falcons roster and adding free-agent veterans, along with a splash of young talent from the Coyotes\u2019 system.

The Tucson franchise agreement only came through in late June, but Soetaert doesn\u2019t believe he\u2019s at any disadvantage in building what is practically an all-new franchise, since the free-agent market didn\u2019t open up until July first anyway.

\u201cWe\u2019ve done it the right way this year, analyzing returning players and adding some older players to help guide us and compete,\u201d he says. \u201cAnd we\u2019ve signed some ECHL players to keep the ship floating in the right direction in case of injuries and call-ups.

\u201cWe are well-prepared for the season,\u201d he said.

Getting out of the gate fast \u2013 avoiding those big losing streaks that new teams often endure \u2013 is a scenario any franchise in a new market covets, but Soetaert says he and his staff haven\u2019t discussed the beginning of the season that way. The long-term goals must remain in focus.

Do things right each and every day and the rewards will be there to count up at season\u2019s end.

Tucson hockey fans \u2014 and there should be a boat-load of new ones jumping on board this season to give the game a try \u2014 need to understand that long-term goal. With their patience will come the rewards of following an AHL team through its ups and downs, measuring ultimate success as the news of a call-up to the majors makes a young Roadrunner smile from ear to ear.

Get enough of those kids up to the Coyotes, and this GM should get his chance to move back to the bigs, too.

So with each of those call-ups you have to believe that Soetaert will be smiling, too.

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Two years away from the basketball court, and Arizona\u2019s Ray Smith has already turned into something of a part-doctor. A part-athletic trainer. Part-psychologist.

And maybe even part-coach.

\u201cI feel like I\u2019m a lot of people right now,\u201d Smith said.

That much was clear Thursday, when the Wildcats\u2019 redshirt freshman forward discussed his two ACL rehabilitations at Arizona\u2019s annual preseason media day.

It was also clear in how Smith has already helped graduate transfer forward Talbott Denny deal with his recently torn ACL, which will keep the Lipscomb transfer out this season.

\u201cIt\u2019s definitely kind of made me feel a little better,\u201d Denny said. \u201cBecause in the beginning I was just thinking, \u2018Man, ACL\u2019s like a death wish for a basketball player.\u2019 At least having somebody talk you through it with his experience is kind of nice.\u201d

Smith flew home to Las Vegas on Thursday night to be examined by his hometown doctor. If he gets the OK, Smith will join the Wildcats fully when they open full-length preseason practices on Sunday.

Here was Smith on psychology:

\u201cA lot of mental problems with ACL tears is that people don\u2019t trust their leg and what they tend to do is baby it, and they\u2019ll hurt themselves,\u201d said Smith, who tore his second ACL in practice 11 months ago. \u201cI\u2019ve done things so hard that just being on the court is not even the scariest thing. It\u2019s not one bit of scary.\u201d

Smith on the science of ACL tears:

\u201cIt could have been just plan genetics,\u201d Smith said of his own injuries, then later added: \u201cWhen you tear one ACL, your body naturally favors a leg, so when you put all your pressure on the opposite leg and bang, you (hurt) it just like that. It\u2019s crazy.\u201d

And Smith on coaching, or what he learned about it while sitting on the bench the past two seasons:

\u201cBeing able to see the game at a level that many freshmen don\u2019t get to see ... (shows) how important the little things are,\u201d Smith said. \u201cThere\u2019s things I have to work on, but there\u2019s a sense of defensive schemes and tasks I feel like I have that in my back pocket just because of what I\u2019ve been watching all year. For the most part, there aren\u2019t any things coach (Sean) Miller has to get on me about.\u201d

That\u2019s already been the case. Miller said again Thursday that Smith has done \u201ceverything we\u2019ve asked of him\u201d in rehabilitating the knees, both when Smith was rehabbing the first one in Las Vegas as a UA signee and last season when he dealt with the second one at the UA.

He\u2019s strengthened his legs. Strengthened his upper body. Gone through offseason skills training. Run the team mile race. And prepared for the much different responsibilities of small and power forward that he\u2019ll have this season.

There\u2019s only been one difference between Smith and his coaches.

\u201cI think there\u2019s almost a tug-of-war right now,\u201d Miller said, \u201cwith us holding him back some and clearly Ray wants to be treated like everyone else.\u201d

On that one, Smith has no choice. He\u2019s already been cleared for and participated in some five-on-five drills \u2014 Miller said this weekend\u2019s doctor visit is part of a \u201cprocedural\u201d approach \u2014 but coaches have kept him from some drills and will continue to do so.

\u201cHe\u2019s like everybody else, but we\u2019re going to be well aware of when he gets fatigued,\u201d Miller said. \u201cThat\u2019s when he\u2019s at the most risk early on, and we\u2019ll pull him. Sometimes his practice days will be shorter.\u201d

In other words, nobody wants to see it happen again. But Smith didn\u2019t sound like the sort of guy who was worried about that.

He didn\u2019t get there immediately, though. Smith said his first dunk attempt a few months ago \u201cfelt like a struggle,\u201d and disagreed when it was suggested his confidence never left him.

\u201cThat\u2019s actually funny,\u201d he said. \u201cMy confidence definitely left me. These last three, four months have been tough for me. Being a confident kid and coming back (but) can\u2019t make a 15-foot jumper or can\u2019t really dunk, you know what I mean?

\u201cBut I\u2019ve really gotten a boost of confidence over the last two weeks. I\u2019m turning into my old self, I feel.\u201d

Now, Smith said he can \u201cget up and dunk, plant, twist, turn\u201d without thinking about it, and he found Thursday his athleticism may be all the way back too: Smith said he recorded a 40-inch running vertical jump, the exact height he reached a year ago.

Though it\u2019s early, Smith is on track to become one of the still relatively rare high-level athletes to return fully from two ACL tears.

Of course, in all that study time he\u2019s had over the past few years, Smith has learned of athletes who have returned from ACL tears, sometimes even two.

\u201cI wouldn\u2019t say it\u2019s motivation, but it\u2019s a sense of \u2018I\u2019m happy for them, I\u2019m happy they got through it,\u2019\u201d Smith said. \u201cNow it\u2019s my turn.\u201d

Rim shots

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For a long time, recruiting in Southern California went something like this:

USC gets whichever players it wants. UCLA is up next.

The Arizona Wildcats battle everyone else for whoever is left.

Since Rich Rodriguez was hired in 2012, though, the Wildcats have made a more concerted effort to recruit Southern California. With cornerbacks coach Donte Williams and defensive coordinator Marcel Yates on board, the UA is making even deeper inroads.

Eleven Southern California players have committed to the Wildcats\u2019 2017 recruiting class. The latest, two-star defensive lineman Austin Faoliu from Santa Ana\u2019s Mater Dei High School, verbally committed Wednesday. Arizona has already reeled in four-star athlete Greg Johnson from Los Angeles\u2019 Augustus Hawkins High School and four-star running back Nathan Tilford of Ontario Colony, and has convinced safety Rhedi Short \u2014 a three-star prospect from Los Angeles Cathedral \u2014 to flip on his commitment to UCLA.

UA coaches will spend the next few months convincing three more SoCals \u2014 wide receiver Joseph Lewis and cornerbacks Thomas Graham and Darnay Holmes \u2014 to choose the Wildcats over the Bruins.

Times are changing.

\u201cThey\u2019re going to get their fair share,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cAs I always tell the staff, there\u2019s players everywhere. From a recruiting standpoint, I feel real good about where we\u2019re at and the guys that we\u2019re getting, whether USC, UCLA or anybody else is recruiting them. I like where we\u2019re at, and I\u2019m pretty excited about what the next few years are going to look like for us.\u201d

Here\u2019s a look at the eight best recruiting battles between UCLA and Arizona over the last decade. See who won:

Brett Hundley (2011)

Position: Quarterback

From: Chandler

Recruiting ranking (Scout.com): Five stars, No. 3 QB in the country

Winner: UCLA. Hundley was from Arizona, and his father went to the UA, but the Mike Stoops regime instead chose to pursue Daxx Garman from Southlake, Texas. Arizona didn\u2019t even recruit Hundley\u2019s high school teammate, running back Paul Perkins, who wound up a standout at UCLA.

Did he pan out?: Absolutely. Hundley had a stellar career, went 3-0 against Arizona and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

Rob Golden (2008)

Position: Cornerback

From: Fresno, California

Recruiting ranking: Five stars, No. 4 CB in the country

Winner: Arizona. Golden might have been the biggest recruiting coup of Stoops\u2019 tenure.

Golden committed to the UA early, then decommitted and considered UCLA before ultimately returning to the Wildcats.

Did he pan out? Golden had 183 tackles, four interceptions and two touchdowns in four years. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers after going undrafted in 2012 and has since carved out a nice NFL career. Golden is a co-captain this season.

Devin Fuller (2012)

Position: Quarterback

From: Old Tappan, N.J.

Recruiting ranking: Four stars, No. 3 QB in the country

Winner: UCLA. Rodriguez made Fuller a priority shortly after being hired, but the quarterback ultimately picked Westwood over Tucson.

Fuller cited family reasons: His uncle, the comedian Sinbad, lived near UCLA\u2019s campus.

Did he pan out? UCLA coach Jim Mora moved Fuller to receiver, and the speedster became a downfield threat. The Atlanta Falcons took Fuller in the seventh round of this year\u2019s draft.

Marquis Flowers (2010)

Position: Safety

From: Goodyear

Recruiting ranking: Four stars, No. 23 safety in the country

Winner: Arizona. Flowers picked the Wildcats over UCLA and USC, among others. Flowers was the state\u2019s second-highest rated recruit in 2010.

Did he pan out? Flowers took off after moving to linebacker in 2012, amassing 100 tackles in 2012 and 94 in 2013. He is in his third season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Rahim Moore (2008)

Position: Safety

From: Los Angeles

Recruiting ranking: Five stars, No. 2 safety in the country

Winner: UCLA. Moore committed to UCLA early but still took a visit to Arizona and told Scout.com it was \u201camazing\u201d and the campus \u201cwas great.\u201d Moore ultimately signed with the Bruins.

Did he pan out?: Without question. He led the nation in interceptions in 2009 and was an All-American. He played five years with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.

Shaq Richardson (2010)

Position: Cornerback

From: Los Alamitos, California

Recruiting ranking: Three stars, No. 27 cornerback in the country

Winner: Both? Richardson initially signed with UCLA but was kicked off the team following an arrest. He ultimately transferred to the UA.

Did he pan out? Richardson contributed for four years, registering 186 tackles and intercepting nine passes. The Steelers picked Richardson in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.

Devon Modster (2016)

Position: Quarterback

From: Las Flores, California

Recruiting ranking: Four stars

Winner: UCLA. Modster verbally committed to the Wildcats in the summer before his senior season but flipped to UCLA close to signing day.

Did he pan out? TBA: Modster is redshirting his freshman season in Westwood.

DaVonte\u2019 Neal (2012)

Position: Wide receiver/cornerback

From: Scottsdale

Recruiting ranking: Five stars, No. 1 cornerback in Arizona

Who won: Arizona \u2026 sort of. Neal went to Notre Dame out of high school but lasted just a year before leaving. Neal planned to transfer to UCLA before Rodriguez and the Wildcats swooped in.

Did he pan out? The five-star rating suggests Neal should have been a star. He has struggled with the Wildcats, though he has made progress since moving to cornerback last year.

OTHERS

RB Pierre Cormier (2013, four stars, to Arizona), OL Keenan Walker (2015, four stars, to Arizona), DL Brian Price (2007, four stars, to UCLA), LB Eric Kendricks (2010, three stars, to UCLA), LB Jamardre Cobb (2014, four stars, to Arizona), DB Brandon Burton (2016, four stars, to UCLA), RB Jordon James (2010, four stars, to UCLA.)

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Arizona Wildcats tailback Nick Wilson is questionable for Saturday\u2019s game against UCLA because of an ankle injury.

This is the second week in a row that Wilson has been listed as questionable. He sat out against Washington last Saturday after getting hurt in the first quarter the previous week against Hawaii.

The situation at running back became somewhat dire when Wilson\u2019s replacement, freshman J.J. Taylor, suffered a broken ankle against UW that will sideline him indefinitely. Arizona has given receiver Samajie Grant some reps at tailback this week to provide reinforcements. Zach Green and Tyrell Johnson likely will comprise the top pairing if Wilson can\u2019t play.

In something of a surprising development, quarterback Anu Solomon (knee) is listed as out. Solomon had been questionable each of the past three weeks.

Solomon did not suffer a setback in his recovery from the knee injury he suffered Sept. 7. But with a limited travel roster for a conference road game \u2013 and Solomon net yet fully practicing \u2013 Arizona decided to declare him out. Brandon Dawkins will make his fourth straight start.

Several other players who were out or got hurt last week won\u2019t play against UCLA. They include linebacker DeAndre\u2019 Miller (ankle), nose tackle Parker Zellers (knee) and receiver Shawn Poindexter (foot).

Safety Tellas Jones (ankle) is listed as probable for the second week in a row. He dressed and warmed up against Washington but did not play.

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