Recapping another April Madness for Wildcats

2013-04-30T15:23:00Z 2013-04-30T15:32:16Z Recapping another April Madness for WildcatsBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 30, 2013 3:23 pm  • 

Well-meaning folks often suggest to me that covering March Madness must be difficult.

Not really. It's fun.

April is Madness.

Despite the fact that UA is a much more stable program now with Sean Miller having been in place for four years, and even though nobody transferred this month, all this unraveled in April 2013:

April 1- A report surfaced that Pac-12 officials coordinator Ed Rush improperly tried to motivate his officials by offering incentives to his referees to watch Sean Miller at the Pac-12 Tournament, comments Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott says were "in jest."

April 2 -- Five-star forward Aaron Gordon picks UA over Washington, Oregon and Kentucky.

April 3 - Gordon becomes MVP of the prestigious McDonalds All-American Game.

April 4 -- Rush resigns after pressure builds all week.

April 5 -- Rush questions both the turnover call and technical foul that led to Sean Miller's postgame actions during UA's March 15 loss to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, and says he tried unsuccessfully to reach Miller.

April 6 -- UA associate head coach James Whitford becomes Ball State's head basketball coach.

April 9 -- The Pac-12 announces it will commission an independent investigation of the officiating and coaching events at the Pac-12 Tournament.

April 10 - Kevin Parrom says he won't apply for a hardship waiver to receive a fifth year, ending his UA career.

April 13 -- Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson play in the Jordan Brand Classic, the second-biggest high school all-star game.

April 15 -- Reports surface that Grant Jerrett is considering turning pro. His high school coach, Eric Cooper, declines comment but tells CBSSports that Jerrett "has no intention of going in the draft at this time."

April 16 -- Cooper's son, Eric Cooper Jr., a guard from the class of 2014, decommits from Arizona.

April 17 -- Jerrett announces he will leave for pro ball. CBSSports says he will sign with Brian Dyke, who is Cooper's brother-in-law.

April 20 -- Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson play for the USA Junior Select team in the Nike Hoop Summit game.

April 21 -- USA Today obtains documents indicating that the UA-Pac-12 rift began in January, when Sean Miller was reprimanded for confronting an official after UA's Jan. 10 loss at Oregon.

April 22 -- Former UA guard Josiah Turner, after playing what would have been his sophomore season in Hungary and Canada, returns to Tucson to spend two days in Pima County Jail after a plea agreement was reached with his extreme DUI case.

 Still to go in May or later: Whitford's spot has yet to be filled -- a former co-worker of Sean Miller's, Mark Phelps, is among the candidates -- and UA has two open scholarships it can fill.

By June, the Pac-12 investigation should be completed while in the NBA Draft, there will be four candidates with UA ties: Solomon Hill, Mark Lyons, Jerrett and Turner.

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And the winner, among your votes on the previous comment thread, as top Pac-12 challenger to Arizona next season? Yes, it's the refs...

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While putting UA at No. 7 in his 2013-14 power rankings, SI's Luke Winn pulled out a key stat from Synergy Sports Technology: In transition, 10.8 percent of Lyons' transition possessions were an assist, compared with the 47.1 percent mark T.J. McConnell had at Duquesne in 2011-12.

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Jeff Goodman has Hill No. 52 on his list of top NBA draft prospects, with Jerrett right behind at No. 53.

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Draft Express says Hill has signed with Chris Emens, the agent who represents former Cal standout Ryan Anderson.

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We had a look at departing UA compliance chief Bill Morgan, a key figure behind the scenes in McKale Center.

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Former OSU big man Joe Burton has signed with Salem of the International Basketball League.

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The Basketball Hall of Fame announced it will hold a high school showcase next season at Grand Canyon, featuring Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman, Oak Hill Academy, Yates of Houston, Santa Ana's Mater Dei and Orange (Calif.) Lutheran.

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Some responses to recent comments:

-- Gary Z asked about the Pac-12's external investigation. I asked about it last week and was told it had not started but that they expect it to be finished when the league presidents meet in June.

-- Gawalt asked about 2016 Eron Gordon. I'm not aware of any big interest in him now, and he didn't mention UA in this story, but it is obviously early.

-- Rule62 asked about the home schedule, and I forgot to mention that Texas Tech will also be coming to McKale as part of the series that began last season in Lubbock.

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