Dylan Smith's Senior Day turns bloody, Nico passes JG, and Damon Stoudamire sounds off
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Dylan Smith's Senior Day turns bloody, Nico passes JG, and Damon Stoudamire sounds off

Senior send-off turns bloody

CORRECTS TO WASHINGTON FORWARD ISAIAH STEWART, INSTEAD OF WASHINGTON STATE'S BRANDTON CHATFIELD - Washington forward Isaiah Stewart drives on Arizona guard Dylan Smith (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. Smith broke his nose on the play. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona honored its six seniors before Saturday’s game, a change from its usual postgame tradition.

Kory Jones, Jake DesJardins, Max Hazzard, Chase Jeter, Stone Gettings and Dylan Smith all received large framed jerseys and a few photos. While neither Hazzard (personal reasons) or Jeter (suspension) were available to play, Gettings and Smith started as usual.

Things took an unexpected turn in the first half, when Smith took a hard elbow to the face from Washington’s 6-foot-9-inch, 250-pound Isaiah Stewart.

Smith, from Mobile, Alabama, went to the locker room for a few minutes, but returned to action with nose plugs.


Scoreboard-watching

Before Saturday’s tipoff, the video board in McKale Center showed Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament action between UA and Oregon in Vegas.

The Cats were unable to pull off the upset of the top-seeded Ducks, losing 88-70, which means Arizona will now have to wait until March 16 to find out its NCAA Tournament seeding, where it hopes to have a top 16 seed.


Straight to Vegas

Washington plans to head straight to Las Vegas following Saturday’s game, according to reporter Andy Katz. Because, well, who doesn’t a few extra days in Sin City?

Actually, the Huskies are taking precaution due to the coronavirus — which caused the university to halt all in-person classes and transition courses be online until the end of the quarter later this month.

Arizona will play the Huskies again in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament Wednesday.


More senior stuff

Arizona guard Dylan Smith (3) with his family on senior nights before their game against Washington at McKale Center, March 7, 2020, Tucson, Ariz.

How long is four — or five — years? Consider: Sean Miller’s first recruiting class at Arizona, one that included Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill, didn’t experience its Senior Day until 2013. Parrom and Hill are rarities in modern college basketball. The the only other four-year scholarship players to spend their entire career at the UA under coach Sean Miller are Jordin Mayes, Kaleb Tarczewski, Gabe York, Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

Recently, Arizona’s Senior Day festivities have marked a farewell to players who transferred to Tucson from elsewhere. T.J. McConnell (Duquesne), Matt Korcheck (Cochise College), Ryan Anderson (Boston College), Mark Tollefsen (San Francisco), Kadeem Allen (Hutchinson C.C.), Talbott Denny (Lipscomb), Keanu Pinder (Hutchinson C.C.), Justin Coleman (Samford), Ryan Luther (Pittsburgh), Smith (UNC-Asheville), Gettings (Cornell), Jeter (Duke) and Hazzard (UC Irvine) all transferred to the UA either as undergraduates or graduates.

Senior Day in today’s college basketball world is a “sign of the times,” Miller said.

“When you celebrate Sean Elliott’s great career — when he came in as a youngster and you watched him grow from his freshman to his sophomore, junior, senior year, that’s what Senior Night was at that moment,” Miller said. “It’s not that anymore.”

And next year? Ira Lee is expected to be the only Senior Day participant who started his career at Arizona. He was a part of the 2017 recruiting class that also had Deandre Ayton, Brandon Randolph, Emmanuel Akot and Alex Barcello; Ayton was the top NBA draft pick, while Barcello (BYU) and Akot (Boise State) transferred, and Randolph turned pro following his sophomore season.


Nico Mannion passes Jason Gardner

Arizona guard Nico Mannion (1) pleads his case to one of the game officials during a Wildcat free throw attempt against Washington in the first half of their Pac12 game at McKale Center, March 7, 2020, Tucson, Ariz.

Heading into Saturday, point guard Nico Mannion needed one assist to pass former UA great Jason Gardner (162) for the third-most assists by a freshman. It took Mannion until the second half to record his one dish. Mannion still has a ways to go to catch up to Mike Bibby (178) and Russell Brown (197).


Tweet of the day

Damon Stoudamire is having a remarkable season as the head coach of Pacific, and was recently named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to their first 23-win season in a decade.

Although the week has been one to remember for Stoudamire, a star on Arizona’s 1994 Final Four team, he was reminded on Twitter about the 1995 season — when North Carolina’s Jerry Stackhouse was named the “Sports Illustrated” Player of the Year and was featured on the SI magazine cover.

Stoudamire averaged 22.8 points and 7.3 assists per game, while Stackhouse averaged 19.2 points and 8.2 rebounds in 1995.


The memorable number

5

Saturday marked the five-year anniversary of T.J. McConnell kissing center court at McKale Center, part of a memorable senior day.


He said it

“If you watch ‘Sesame Street’ and you listen to the guys on ‘Sesame Street’, it’s a children’s show. Every bracketology is a children’s show. … You start to go through the bracketology and you start to listen to the ‘Sesame Street’ cartoon guys who need people to click. … When I was in the Atlantic 10, (ESPN’s) Joe Lunardi was my best friend. He used to help me all the time. When I went to Indiana, he needed to crap on Indiana the other day just to get people to watch ‘Sesame Street.’”

— Indiana head coach Archie Miller, brother of Sean Miller, after the Hoosiers’ loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. Archie was making his case for Indiana as an at-large team in the NCAA Tournament.



— Justin Spears and Alec White

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