ANAHEIM, Calif. – Kaleb Tarczewski received Pac-12 honorable mention all-academic honors today, so I asked him about his pre-business studies during the open locker room interview session today.
“I’m hoping to apply for the Eller (business) school for entrepreneurship, probably over the summer,” Tarczewski said. “It’s a great academic program and obviously life isn’t all about basketball. You want to prepare yourself for what’s the come after basketball.”
But, well ... wait. Does that mean he’s planning to come back for sure?
Tarczewski wouldn’t bite on that one, even with his biz school visions.
“I’m not sure," he said. "I’m going to wait until the end of the season and sit down with some people I trust, my circle and group of people, and figure out what is best for me. Now is not the time to think about that.
“If (they) think I’m ready to go, I’ll go and if not, I’ll come back. Doesn’t matter now."
One of Tarczewski’s mentors, former Boston Celtics coach John Carroll, told the Star last month that he has advised Tarczewski that there's a difference between being drafted and making an impact in the NBA.
"A lot of people are in a rush to get there and they don't understand the demands and accountability that's required at that level," Carroll said. "So my message to him consistently since I've been around him is that 'you're going to have that opportunity but be ready when it comes.' "
Draft Express projects Tarczewski to be the No. 26 pick of the 2015 draft. The well-connected website bases its projections not only on how high a player will go but also on when the player is expected to leave.
So maybe, those are all good signs for the Arizona Wildcats. Then again, maybe not.
If it isn’t exciting enough for Gabe York that he’s a starter playing in the NCAA tournament – “a dream come true,” he says -- he also just happens to be in the Honda Center.
That’s the same place where he played in high school playoff games as a junior and senior, and only four miles away from his high school, Orange Lutheran.
York said he doesn’t consider himself an Orange County guy, actually having commuted from West Covina during most of his high school career, but is still finding the homecoming of sorts special.
“Ever since I’ve been watching the NCAA tournament, I was like `Wow, I wish I could be a part of that,’ “ York said. “And being able to be the No. 1 seed, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“It definitely is a nice thing to be able to be out here and see everything that I was a part of for high school.”
More questions today for UA coach Sean Miller about his brother Archie, who has joined him in the Sweet 16 as Dayton’s coach.
The two brothers are 10 years apart in age and also in coaching longevity, with Archie Miller in just his third year overall as a head coach.
“He's at a different kind of scope where his career is,” Sean Miller said. “Not that I've been doing it for a long time, but this is year ten for me now. So he probably reacts to things maybe a little bit in a different way. I think we both coach with a similar style. I might be a little quieter in my approach than him at this point. But he gets to year ten, he'll probably be a lot like me. I think there are a lot of similarities.”
Because of that age difference, Miller said the two did not have a “sibling rivalry,” with Sean having left for college when Archie was only in elementary school.
“It would be more me looking out for him, and I think him kind of watching how I did things,” Sean Miller said. “I'm very proud of what he's done. I'm also really happy for Dayton.
"When you hire a coach who has not been a head coach before, especially in a program like they have, not that you're taking a leap of faith, but you're believing in something that you haven't seen. Watching him deliver and just watching where that program is going, I'm happy for everyone involved there.”
Miller once again pointed to Feb. 14 as a turning point for the Wildcats, who lose in double overtime to ASU that evening, still trying to figure out how to deal with the loss of Brandon Ashley. Miller turned to Gabe York as a starter immediately after that game and also went deeper in his bench.
“Sometimes you have to play a couple games to really get a true feel for what works and what doesn't,” Miller said. “We didn't play our bench enough. We didn't recognize the importance of spacing and having another shooter on the court, how that can make the other four guys better offensively.
“I think it was a lesson that we didn't have to sacrifice much defensively. If you look at our defense, it's about the same now as it's been in late November, early December. So I credit those guys, Gabe York, Elliott Pitts, Jordin Mayes, they're the guards that play more now. Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) plays more, and they've done an exceptional job.”
Lots more comments from Miller and UA players on their previous matchup with San Diego State in November and other topics on the full transcript of podium interviews.
On San Diego State’s podium interviews, coach Steve Fisher also talked about the Nov. 14 game, and the Aztecs’ appearance in the 2011 Sweet 16, among other things.