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UA basketball: Cats plan first trip abroad since '06

2012-02-14T00:01:00Z 2014-07-24T10:45:04Z UA basketball: Cats plan first trip abroad since '06Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 14, 2012 12:01 am  • 

The Arizona Wildcats are planning their first foreign exhibition trip in six years this summer, probably to the Bahamas.

The Wildcats have been eligible to take a foreign tour since 2010, but third-year UA coach Sean Miller delayed doing so until more of his program was in place.

But by this August, when the Wildcats are likely to take a trip, Miller will have the bulk of his current team back plus the four highly touted recruits he signed last fall and anyone else he adds this spring.

"We were waiting for the right time," said Ryan Reynolds, UA's director of basketball operations. "Our first year definitely wasn't the right time and last year we kind of had a our feet under us a little bit more but we were still trying to make up so much ground."

The biggest benefit for most teams taking a foreign tour is the 10 full practices they are allowed beforehand, and Miller said on his radio show Monday that his team could benefit from that time as well as from as a new NCAA rule allowing up to two hours a week of instruction in the summer.

Previously, coaches were not allowed any time on the court with their players between spring and fall semesters.

Reynolds said the trip is not finalized, nor have exact dates and location been chosen, but said the Wildcats would likely leave in August to head to the Bahamas, where Miller took his Xavier team in October 2004. The trip would likely be for a week or less.

Teams are allowed to take a foreign tour once every four years. UA has not taken one since it went to Vancouver, British Columbia, for Labor Day weekend in 2006.

Former Wildcats among richest

The Arizona Wildcats are the third-most successful college basketball program in the country, according to an analysis that has nothing to do with NCAA tournament appearances or total wins.

Instead, the Wall Street Journal recently compiled what it called a "more coldly practical measure" - the total amount of NBA dollars paid to former players of a school - and former players at Arizona were third only to their counterparts from North Carolina and Duke.

The ex-Wildcats were paid a total of $738 million in the NBA since 1985, while North Carolina players totaled $853 million and those from Duke $809 million. UCLA was the closest Pac-12 team to Arizona, checking in with $463 million at No. 10.

Of course, the vast majority of the UA players were products of the Lute Olson era, led by guard Mike Bibby (total of $108 million, according to Basketball-Reference.com) and Gilbert Arenas ($101 million).

But Miller recruited and coached Derrick Williams, who is making $4.6 million this season as a rookie for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Rim shots

• Even with their wins over Colorado and Utah last weekend, Arizona's RPI dropped from 62 to 66 in the official NCAA ratings released Monday.

Arizona is No. 42 in the Sagarin ratings and No. 31 in ESPN's "Basketball Power Index" ratings.

• Two former Wildcat recruits were honored Monday as players of the week in their respective conferences: Kansas' Jeff Withey in the Big 12 and UNLV's Mike Moser in the Mountain West. Withey practiced with the Wildcats as a freshman in 2008 before deciding to transfer in the wake of Lute Olson's retirement while Moser dropped his UA commitment at the same time and signed with UCLA then transferred to UNLV in 2010.

• In the Pac-12, Oregon's E.J. Singler earned the Player of the Week award over UA nominee Nick Johnson and several other players.

Up next

• Who: UA at Wash. St.

• When: 7 p.m. Thursday

• TV: FSAZ

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