These 12 keep games running smoothly
The statistics crew sits courtside during the first half of Arizona’s game against Stanford on Saturday. The majority of those working on the UA stat crew have been at it for more than a decade. Typically, the pay is two nosebleed tickets per game.
The 12 best seats at McKale Center — “front row!”, as Bob Uecker used to say — belong to those who track every conceivable movement on the court.
They don’t have time to view “Kiss Cam” or watch Sean Miller work the referees.
To get an idea of the value of the Detailed Dozen — Arizona’s statistics crew — check out one of the most useful websites in college sports: statbroadcast.com. It is the college basketball equivalent of an IRS audit.
Every detail, every statistic, from “points per possession” to the exact amount of time Arizona led, trailed or was tied, can be traced to their work.
They are the backup system for the referees as it pertains to clock stoppages, fouls, substitutions and confusing end-game situations, among many other potential controversies.
If you’ve ever wondered who those 12 are and what they do at UA men’s home basketball games, here’s the rundown.
• Jim Markert. Runs the 30-second clock and charts every clock stoppage in the game. Pima County Sports Hall of Fame referee from Rincon High, who worked 19 state championship games.
• Todd Loomis. Runs the game clock. Also has a stopwatch in case of malfunction. Former head basketball coach at Sabino High, now a manager at Raytheon.
• Jim Wilkes. Corporate attorney who came to Arizona on a baseball scholarship from California. He runs the official scorebook and actually works for the Pac-12.
• Jim Walters. Records the shot chart, each shot from the position it was taken, by hand. Works in the glass-window business.
• Steve Kozachik. Keeps statistics manually for one team. Tucson city councilman and head of UA athletic department’s capital projects.
• Chip Plowman. Keeps tracks of fouls, turnovers, substitutions. A Tucson attorney who used to be a caddie on the PGA Tour.
• Chuck Sabalos. Keeps statistics manually for one team. A retired Pima County Superior Judge who was a baseball player of note, a catcher, at Rincon High.
• Tom Duddleston. In charge of technology, monitoring the Internet and how it remains in sync with the statistics. He is the quality control boss. Was the UA’s sports information director for more than two decades.
• Jay Gonzales. He runs the computer; all statistics along the bench feed to him. He knows the code for every statistic from offensive rebound to points in the paint and enters it into the computer. Was the Star’s beat writer for the 1988 UA Final Four team and now runs a small public relations firm.
• Don DeAnda. Runs the scoreboard, keeps track of timeouts and fouls. A referee who works in construction near Sierra Vista.
• Gene Gonzales. The primary spotter, relaying information to others on the bench. He decides what an assist is, or isn’t, among other things. A retired Tucson police office, he is an assistant softball coach at Pima College.
• Nick Duddleston. The timeout coordinator. He is a teacher who is an assistant basketball coach at Sunnyside High School.
The majority of those working on the UA stat crew have been at it for more than a decade. The pay isn’t seductive (typically, it is two nosebleed tickets per game), but being at the center of a big event is an appeal that’s difficult to resist.