Giant heads!

Zona Zoo was overrun by giant heads Thursday night.

The student section had giant images of each UA player's head - plus that of UA coach Sean Miller - dry-mounted on cardboard. They measured about 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall.

Our favorite - Jesse Perry, dreadlocks and all.

The giant heads are becoming more popular around the country; we first saw it at San Diego State a few years back.

Another silly new thing we liked Thursday: UA cheerleaders facing the student section had three new signs, which read "Boing!," "Pass!" and "Brick," showing the Zona Zoo what to chant during big moments of the game. Miller taught the student section those cheers when he arrived at Arizona last year.


UA athletic director Greg Byrne had a familiar guest Thursday - ESPN football analyst Mark May.

The former offensive lineman came to Tucson to see Byrne, his friend of six years, and ESPN football partner Rece Davis, who called the game.

May was asked which player on the floor - Joshua Smith, Reeves Nelson or even Derrick Williams - would make the best football player.

His answer: the 6-foot-10-inch Smith, easy.

"I've said all night, 'The kid needs to be wearing shoulder pads,'" May said.

May, who wore a Wildcats cap, was a prep basketball star who could have attended Rhode Island, among other places, on scholarship.

He played football at Pitt instead, winning the Outland Trophy before becoming part of the Washington Redskins' famed "Hogs."

Early arrival

Tyler Broker likes to get to Arizona Wildcats' games early.

Thursday, however, was ridiculous.

When his last class of the day ended at 2 p.m., the senior history major walked to the Zona Zoo entrance doors on the west side of McKale Center.

"There wasn't anyone there," he said. "I started a line, and a guy came right after."

Broker found a way to spend the time. He read more than 350 pages to finish Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman, "Where Men Win Glory."

Broker was rewarded for his wait. He sat in the front row of Zona Zoo, on the far right side. That's where he was seated last year when the Wildcats defeated USC. He tries to sit near there every game; it's lucky.

"Now," he said, "I have to have it."

The big number

Dec. 5

The last time center Alex Jacobson played - against Oklahoma - before entering Thursday night's game in the second half.

Sent in

Twenty-three years ago this week, Jerome sent it in.

Jerome Lane, a Pitt power forward, shattered the backboard on a national television dunk. Announcer Bill Raftery's call - "Send it in, Jerome!" - became part of the basketball lexicon.

Sean Miller, then a freshman, passed to Lane.

"A lot of people call it 'The Dunk,'" Miller said this week. "It's definitely 'The Pass.' The dunk wouldn't have happened if the pass didn't happen."

Miller saw mention of the dunk on an ESPN broadcast Monday.

"I was very disappointed Bill Raftery didn't mention me at all," Miller said. "I thought we were connected at a very high level."

Miller joked that his "name should be brought up," always, when talking about the dunk.

"Just imagine if we're playing UCLA here, and it's a nationally televised game like that one was, and on a 2-on-1, Derrick (Williams) shatters the backboard," he said. "It's a moment that's unforgettable."


"ESPN does a great job."

Byrne, refusing to be baited when asked if he'd like to see ESPN at McKale Center more. The Pac-10 has a television contract to negotiate in the next year.

Another big number


UCLA's 18-point deficit Thursday was its largest of the season.

Pat Finley