Arizona basketball: Seen & heard at McKale Center

2013-02-07T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:33:30Z Arizona basketball: Seen & heard at McKale CenterPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 


McKale Center turned 40 on Friday, and the Arizona Wildcats celebrated Wednesday night.

Fans dressed appropriately, mostly cooperating with an edict to wear either white, red or blue, depending on their seating section.

The result was a pinwheel effect, with red comprising most of the sidelines and both end zones.

The vote

At halftime, the UA also announced the top five moments in McKale Center history, as voted on social media by fans:

5. Dec. 20, 1987 - The Wildcats beat Duke in the Fiesta Bowl Classic.

4. February 1989 - Sean Elliott breaks the Pac-10 career scoring mark.

3. Jan. 12, 2011 - President Obama speaks at a memorial service after the Jan. 8 shooting.

2. Jan. 20, 1984 - Steve Kerr returns to action after his father's assassination.

1. Feb. 11, 2011 - Derrick Williams blocks a Washington shot as time expires during the first white-out game.

Luke's dad

The latest stop on Bill Walton's Pac-12 campus tour came Wednesday morning, when the former UCLA star spoke to a UA sports journalism club.

He introduced himself to the room at Biological Sciences West as "Luke's dad," a reference to his former Arizona Wildcats star son.

He then, in his trademarked jazz-riff stream of consciousness style, spoke about everything from war to music to, yes, even basketball.

He referenced Linda Ronstadt and Biosphere II and cycling in Tucson.

He even, at the request of one student, shouted his trademark phrase, "Throw it down!"

Because there's no way to connect the topics together, here's a smattering of Walton's various dissertations from the talk. He said:

• That football is "a halfway house between the army and prison."

• "The basis of all sports is surfing," a reference to balance and getting in the zone.

• That the first time he played organized basketball, he wasn't wearing socks and was inserted into a game. He tried to pass the ball from halfcourt and it swished through the net instead.

• That, on his graduation day, he receiving the following note from coach John Wooden: "It's the things you learn after you know it all that count."

• That Lance Armstrong is comparable to former Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff.

• That he doesn't want to hear about athletes' sex lives on Twitter but does want to hear their opinions on social issues, like immigration reform.

• That "cool people" live in the West. "Does anyone know anyone who says, 'I want to move to the Midwest? … Or to the South?'"

• He said the Wildcats needed a "creative and diversified offense," then veered into an examination of the San Francisco 49ers' play-calling at the end of Sunday's Super Bowl.

The big number


Three-pointers made by Stanford in the first 9:08. The Cardinal didn't make another one for another 23-plus minutes.

Music recommendation

Walton told the hundred or so students in attendance to invest in one album this year: Neil Young's latest, "Psychedelic Pill," which was released in October.

"There are four anthems for all time in it," he said.

His favorite song from the album, which he quoted at length from memory, is called "Walk Like a Giant." He used the title of the tune (which runs more than 16 minutes) as a theme for the students' goals. Walton told them to identify and follow role models, and to chase their dreams.


"I am guilty of everything - mostly, smiling on cloudy days." Bill Walton

In memory

Sean Miller wore a bracelet Wednesday night in honor of Peter Sauer, a former Stanford basketball player and fellow Pittsburgh native.

Sauer, a captain on the Cardinal team that reached the 1998 Final Four, collapsed and died during an adult basketball game in New York last summer. He was later diagnosed with an enlarged heart and a skull fracture from the fall.

In a Tweet, Miller referred to Sauer as "someone I knew well from Pittsburgh" and "an amazing person" who "left us too soon."

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Arizona 14 2 0 0.875 26 3 0 0.897
Utah 12 4 0 0.750 22 6 0 0.786
Oregon 11 5 0 0.688 21 8 0 0.724
UCLA 10 7 0 0.588 18 12 0 0.600
Stanford 9 7 0 0.563 18 10 0 0.643
Oregon State 8 9 0 0.471 16 12 0 0.571
Arizona State 7 9 0 0.438 16 14 0 0.533
California 6 9 0 0.400 16 12 0 0.571
Colorado 6 9 0 0.400 13 13 0 0.500
Washington State 6 10 0 0.375 12 16 0 0.429
Washington 4 12 0 0.250 15 13 0 0.536
USC 3 13 0 0.188 11 17 0 0.393

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
USC at
3/4 7:00 pm
Oregon at
Oregon State
3/4 9:00 pm
Colorado at
3/5 7:00 pm
California at
3/5 7:00 pm
Utah at
Washington State
3/5 9:00 pm
Stanford at
Arizona State
3/5 9:00 pm
California at
Arizona State
3/7 12:30 pm
Stanford at
3/7 2:00 pm
Utah at
3/7 2:30 pm
Colorado at
Washington State
3/7 4:30 pm
Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...