Editor's note: This article was originally published on Sunday, Nov. 13, as a print edition exclusive.
The buildup for Arizona freshman point guard Josiah Turner was such that you almost expected him to have a Mike Bibby-type debut: Bibby scored 22 points in his first college game against - drum roll - North Carolina.
Alas, Turner has seven points in two games and may have difficulty dislodging Jordin Mayes from the lineup. Or not.
"Many times, guys continue to grow in their role," said UA coach Sean Miller. "Sometimes a kid takes on a bigger role as February and March happens and your team gets better."
This is how difficult the transition to college basketball has been for Arizona's top point guards:
• Steve Kerr, one of the best free-throw shooters in school history, shot .692 from the foul line as a freshman.
• Damon Stoudamire, who would go on to become the NBA Rookie of the Year, failed to score in his first game, against Dayton, and played just eight minutes in Game 2, against Hawaii.
• Mustafa Shakur, whose pre-Arizona reputation was as large as any UA guard, averaged 9.4 points as a freshman.
• Jason Terry's first two Arizona games resulted in one free throw.
No one - not Bibby, not Jason Gardner, who scored in double figures 25 times as the nation's top freshman in 1999-2000 - had a getaway like UA point guard Eric Money in 1972-73.
Money scored 53 points in the Fred Snowden-era equivalent of the Red- Blue Game. In his first real game, against Cal State-Bakersfield, Money scored 37 points.
But life as a freshman point guard wasn't that easy, even for Eric Money. In his second UA varsity game he scored nine points and missed 15 of 19 shots.
Patience is advised.
Reed Sizzling in NFL
Rookie Reed unpredictable; did Cats use him properly?
In four starts as a rookie linebacker for the Houston Texans, former UA and Sabino High School football player Brooks Reed has 25 tackles and four sacks. He not only was presented with a solid crystal trophy by the team after being named its defensive Player of the Week, he also got to shake hands with President George W. Bush before last week's two-sack performance against Cleveland.
Reed is on track to be part of the NFL All-Rookie team. He was very good at Arizona, but now, in retrospect, you wonder if Arizona wasn't smart in the way it used him. Shouldn't he have been dominant?
At Arizona, Reed always lined up on the right side of the defensive line, no matter where the tight end lined up. Opponents were therefore able to scheme around Reed. He always had to contend with an offensive tackle and sometimes a tight end and a running back.
The Texans make Reed unpredictable. Sometimes he lines up on the right side, sometimes the left, sometimes with his hand down, sometimes upright.
I'm not saying he would've been another Tedy Bruschi, a sack machine at Arizona, but it makes you wonder.
Pima soccer team next plays Darton's international stars
Pima College begins play for the NJCAA men's soccer championship Thursday night in Phoenix. Coach Dave Cosgrove's team will play No. 1-ranked Darton College, which is 18-1 and has outscored opponents 84-17. The Albany, Ga., club isn't home-grown, as is PCC. The Crusaders have players from Brazil, Bermuda, Greece, Nigeria, Holland and Venezuela. I suspect Daniel Bacon, Eric Glad and the Aztecs (18-6-1) have already beaten the best teams in the nation to get to the finals. … Long-time Mountain View High School and Marana High wrestling coach Bob Newman, now retired, was inducted into the Arizona Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame last week in Tempe. It was well deserved. Newman won 399 matches in his 34-year career, including the 1983 state title. … Rick Glider coached the CDO's girls track and field team to the state title in May and last week led the CDO boys cross country team to a state championship. How's that for a grand year of coaching? The 62-year-old Glider, in his 19th year at CDO, has become an overnight success. He is a 1971 ASU grad from, of all places, the lower east side of Manhattan. His migration west began during his senior year of high school when he ran a five-mile road race around Yankee Stadium. "I froze," Glider remembers. Now he is sizzling in Tucson. … Making a public appearance in Tucson for the first time since she was fired in March 2009, ex-UA women's basketball coach Joan Bonvicini spoke with raw emotions at the UA Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony last week. She represented the late Shawntinice Polk, who died before her senior season six years ago. "Polky was bigger than life," Bonvicini said between tears. "I swear she knew everybody at this school." Bonvicini is in her third season as the head coach at Seattle University. She coached Arizona to seven NCAA tournaments in 17 seasons. … Catalina High girls and boys volleyball coach Heather Moore-Martin completed a terrific 2011 competitive season last week. Her Trojans boys team won the state title, and her Trojans girls team reached the state title game. Overall, Moore-Martin's two volleyball teams went 46-3. Excellent. … Palo Verde grad Bryce Cotton scored 26 points as Providence completed its exhibition season against UMass-Lowell last week. Cotton, a sophomore, averaged 21 points in the Friars' two exhibition games.
More Short Stuff
Lopez lands 2 coveted pitchers as part of likely top-20 class
UA baseball coach Andy Lopez completed what is likely to be ranked among the top 20 recruiting classes on Wednesday. The Wildcats signed 15 players. "We had 11 commitments in July," said UA assistant coach Shaun Cole. "We needed pitching and we got it. This is a very good group." Lopez got coveted Ponder, Texas, pitcher Dalton Brown away from Oklahoma, TCU and Texas. He then went to Salt Lake City to get that state's top prospect, pitcher Brady Lail, in a recruiting chase that included Oregon, ASU and Oregon State. "We went to the wire on Dalton and Lail," Cole said. UA completes its fall practice season this week. … When Cienega and Ironwood Ridge meet Friday night at Tucson High in the state football semifinals, it will be familiar turf for Cienega coach Nemer Hassey. The Bobcats, 77-20 the last eight years, have been on the brink of a state title appearance but have been eliminated in the playoffs in the last six years by CDO and Scottsdale Chaparral three times each. At 12-0, Hassey has a chance to join the exclusive club of nine Tucson football coaches to post unbeaten Class 4A-5A seasons in the last 50 years: Amphi's Vern Friedli, Tucson's John Mallamo and Ollie Mayfield, Palo Verde's Van Howe, Flowing Wells' Larry Hart, Sabino's Jeff Scurran, CDO's Bob Smith and Dusty Peace and Mountain View's Wayne Jones. … It wouldn't be much of a reach to project Canadian golfer Anna Kim as the top signee in the UA's recruiting class of 2012, any sport. UA women's golf coach Laura Ianello was successful in recruiting Kim, winner of three AJGA titles this year. Kim also played in the LPGA Canadian Women's Open this year, with rounds of 77-72. … Before UA freshman running star Lawi Lalang won the NCAA West Regional cross country championships Saturday at Stanford, continuing his undefeated season, the Stanford media relations department misspelled his name "Lawi Lelang" in the meet's official press release. It won't be long before everyone in the running community knows Lalang by one name: winner.
My Two Cents
Parking, gallery, cell phone changes may help Match Play stay
Three months away from Match Play VI at Dove Mountain, executive director Gerald Goodman has made significant changes to enhance the fan experience at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
He has cut considerable time off the commute to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club by eliminating the massive parking lot on west Tangerine Road. If all goes as planned, all golf fans will be able to park on lots immediately adjacent to Dove Mountain Boulevard.
Second, the galleries attending Sunday's semifinal and championship matches will be allowed inside the ropes, on the fairway, walking immediately behind the golfers. "It's called follow the leaders," Goodman said.
It took the approval of the PGA Tour and the PGA Tour players' association to incorporate the "Follow the Leaders" concept. Goodman further gained approval to allow use of cell phones in designated areas.
"What we've learned is you can't take phones away from people," Goodman said.
These changes are unprecedented in the modern history of pro golf. It's the surest sign that the Conquistadores and Goodman's management group are doing whatever possible to extend the contract at Dove Mountain beyond the 2012 event.
The options for moving the Match Play championships elsewhere in late February diminished last week when the Mayakoba Classic, located in Cancún, Mexico, which is played opposite the Match Play event, extended its contract through 2018.