Sneakers for Peters’ sake
Both teams’ coaching staffs sported sneakers and suits during Sunday’s 65-56 win at McKale Center to honor Akron director of basketball operations Dan Peters, whose son, Danny Peters, is the Arizona assistant director of basketball operations.
The elder Peters, 59, is battling pancreatic cancer and after surgery to remove the tumor proved unsuccessful in December, he told the Akron Beacon Journal that doctors had given him just a five percent chance to live.
In addition to the suits and shoes, coaches wore purple ribbon lapel pins, with “4 Pete’s Sake” written on them.
“It’s very, very significant,” UA coach Sean Miller said. “It’s hard on everybody. It’s a way for us to create awareness and at the same time pay tribute to someone who is an excellent coach, great father, unbelievable person who is now in a battle that is very, very real.”
Arizona also honored former UA athletics director Dave Strack on the Jumbotron. Strack, who served as athletic director from 1972-82, passed away on Saturday at the age of 90.
Jarron Collins back at McKale
Jarron Collins stood up from his seat on press row just before the national anthem, and he gazed around the huge arena slowly, his Stanford career surely passing before his eyes.
McKale didn’t offer the best of memories.
Collins, who starred for the Cardinal from 1997-2001, went 0-4 at McKale during his college career – including two losses by a combined 50 points during his freshman year – and he finished just 2-6 against the Wildcats overall. His freshman season ended up pretty good, though, as the Cardinal advanced to the Final Four.
He currently serves as an announcer for the Pac-12 Network, after a 10-year NBA career which included a 2009-10 stint with the Phoenix Suns.
More and more, Arizona fans are heading to the Zona Zoo dressed in full garb. Not Arizona gear, mind you.
No, there was a Spider-Man and a Buzz Lightyear on Sunday afternoon, and a girl dressed as batman. In addition to the familiar human watermelon, there was also a student dressed like a taco. Gumby, as usual, was in attendance, plus a student with a puppy dog head.
And then there was the character in the “Sean Miller is my Hero” T-shirt, with the Superman logo as the S.
Sights and sounds
Former Wildcat and current Harlem Globetrotter Eugene “Wildkat” Edgerson was in attendance Sunday, albeit minus the massive Afro that has been his trademark. … McKale Center could’ve fought for decibel-level records on Sunday, particularly after Kaleb Tarczewski collected an Aaron Gordon miss and dunked the putback to give Arizona a 5-point lead as the first half expired.
11 Arizona absolutely dominated Utah on the offensive glass on Sunday, a major factor in the win. The Wildcats claimed a 40-29 rebounding advantage, largely because they had won the offensive rebounding battle, 20-9.
Tweet of the night
“This is the 1st #ArizonaWildcats have had (needed?) a one-man show but Nick (Johnson) has played the part well. #BearDown.”
Another big number
14 Despite pedestrian numbers from the frontcourt for much of the night, the Wildcats outscored Utah 38-24 in points in the paint in the win.