UA coach Sean Miller spent a few extra moments chatting with WSU's Brock Motum after Thursday's game, in which Motum scored 28 points but hit only one of three free throws with the Cougars trailing by three with 21 seconds left. Motum made just 10 of 18 free throws overall.
"Hopefully he didn't hang his head over any missed free throws there at the end because he willed his team to put them in a position to win," Miller said. "I just always admire guys like him that, a year ago, didn't have as big of a role and two years ago, you really didn't know who he is. Now all of a sudden, he's a bonafide all-conference player."
Not only was Arizona's Greg Byrne the rare AD for even making the trip to Washington State on Thursday, but he's also a veteran of Friel Court.
He just didn't play for the Cougars. Former WSU coach Kelvin Sampson made sure of that.
Byrne played in Sampson's Cougar Cage Camp in the late 1980s as a high schooler from Eugene, Ore, but Sampson quickly realized he wasn't going to offer him a scholarship for Washington State.
"He saw me play," Byrne said, laughing.
Byrne said Sampson used to call Byrne "Colfax," in reference to a tiny town outside of Pullman.
"I said 'Why?'" Byrne said. "He said 'Because you can only jump as high as the Colfax phone book.'"
Actually, Byrne was on hand Thursday to spend time with the 10 UA donors who are joining the Wildcats on their charter-flight-and-bus tour of Washington this weekend. But he will disembark in Seattle today and fly back to Tucson to be on hand for the Wildcats' first baseball game at Hi Corbett Field tonight.
So far, Byrne said, UA has reason to be excited about the move.
"We've had really good public interaction," he said.
The atmosphere at Beasley Coliseum may have been subdued Thursday, with fewer than half the 11,671 seats filled, but at least the Cougs had a splashy new scoreboard to liven things up.
The scoreboard features the words "Beasley Coliseum" in bright white letters, and there are video screens on all four sides.
The $3 million scoreboard replaced an old one installed in 1992. It was so old that Beasley director Leo Udy noted on a WSU news release that "everything was out of date, and no one made parts for it any longer."
The new one hangs from the Beasley rafters much like UA's does at McKale Center and was paid for by athletic department funds - and, presumably, a number of sponsors also helped.
The permanent sponsor of the board is the Northern Quest Resort and Casino outside Spokane.
"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy, Oy, Oy!" - WSU student fans, cheering on Australian forward Brock Motum after each of his 10 made free throws
Not yet for Mayes
UA sophomore guard Jordin Mayes spent the evening on the Wildcats' bench next to conditioning coach Chris Rounds and trainer Justin Kokoskie with a boot over his injured left foot.
Mayes, who suffered a stress reaction on Feb. 2 at California, remains doubtful for Saturday's UA game at Washington but could return for next week's games with USC and UCLA.
Mayes had broken the same foot last summer, so UA staffers have been treating the injury carefully.
Prolific tweeter Kevin Parrom opted not to live-tweet the game, after providing fans with often-humorous commentary while watching on television during the Wildcats' trip to California and Stanford two weeks ago.
"I am locked in, and I don't want to blow up my followers' TL (timeline) with my tweets," Parrom's Twitter page said.
The big number
Free throws attempted by Motum, a career high.