SEEN & HEARD IN CORVALLIS, ORE.
UA HOOPS

Arizona Wildcats basketball: Seen and heard

2013-01-13T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:23:57Z Arizona Wildcats basketball: Seen and heardBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Special guest

Former Wildcat big man Isaiah Fox sat near the UA bench wearing a red sweater while taking in his first UA basketball game since 2007-08, when he came to see former teammate Daniel Dillon play against UCLA.

"It's been a while," Fox said.

He's been a bit busy.

Fox, who played for the Wildcats between 2001-02 and 2005-06, said he has spent most of his time since UA playing professionally in Australia, Japan, Mexico and China, where he last played during the 2010-11 season.

Now living in Beaverton, Ore., Fox is coaching youth basketball. While Fox appears to be in playing shape, and may return to playing overseas, he's also aiming for a potential coaching career.

"I'm really loving the coaching environment," Fox said. "I know I want to coach. I'm still open to playing overseas but it depends on the situation."

Some perspective

The most recent front pages of the local newspapers didn't have a mention of any sort that fourth-ranked Arizona came to town Saturday.

Instead, "Beer by bike" was the centerpiece headline in Saturday's Corvallis Gazette-Times, a feature on a local brewery manager who delivers his goods via a custom-made bicycle that can carry two kegs at a time.

And in Friday's Daily Barometer, the student paper at OSU, a banner screamed "Bill Walton rides the bus to Corvallis," referring to Walton's stop via his Pac-12 bus tour.

Walton was part of the 1976-77 NBA champion Portland Trail Blazers and, while that team played well before most OSU students were born, Walton told the Barometer that he is always warmly welcomed in Oregon.

"One of the great things about the long, strange trip that is my life is that wherever I go, when I run into the great people from the state of Oregon, they always look at me with that special sense of pride," Walton said. "They always say 'I was there. I saw that. I saw something really, really special.' "

Seeing blue

After losing at Oregon while wearing their usual red uniforms Thursday, the Wildcats broke out the blues for Saturday's game.

Arizona has not worn blue uniforms since it lost 64-63 at Colorado on Jan. 21 last season.

The Wildcats finished last season 3-2 wearing red, with wins at California, Stanford and Washington State plus losses at Washington and ASU. (They did not have to wear a road uniform in any of their Pac-12 tournament games.)

This season, UA was 4-0 in red before the loss at Oregon, with wins at Texas Tech, at Clemson and against East Tennessee State and Miami in the Diamond Head Classic.

He's back

Due to some continuing physical rehab, UA go-everywhere fan George Kalil missed the Diamond Head Classic last month.

But Kalil made this week's trip to Oregon and Oregon State, saying he's 85 percent recovered from a health issue that impacted his walking ability last spring. Kalil said he plans to accompany UA on all remaining road trips.

Ready for a challenge

Like any team coming off a big loss Thursday, the Wildcats could have entered Saturday's game with either more determination or a sudden lack of confidence.

But OSU coach Craig Robinson said before the game that he didn't think it would matter much what the case would be with Arizona

"When you're playing a team that's this good and this well-coached, it doesn't matter," Robinson said. "They're going to be prepared for every game. They're always going to be prepared."

Quotable

"I don't think our guys felt pressure from winning as much as (UA's loss at Oregon) was a reminder that you can really take it for granted."

UA coach Sean Miller, before Saturday's game

The big number

1

OSU's rank in Pac-12 three-point percentage defense (30.3 percent) before Saturday's game, when UA hit 10 of 25 (40 percent)

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