Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Did Lute Olson Brainwash his Players Before Leaving?

For those who stayed up to watch Arizona play UAB last night (ended at almost 2:00 a.m on the east coast), you witnessed one of the most bizarre endings I've seen in years.

First, after being down 64-53, the Wildcats made a nice comeback to cut the lead to three. Then, freshman Garland Junkins got fouled. He hit the first free throw and missed the second -- but fellow frosh Josh Fogg picked up the loose offensive rebound and laid it back in to tie the game at 71. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Fogg -- for some reason -- decided to foul UAB's Aaron Johnson. Sure, he's just a freshman and may have thought the Wildcats were down one, so maybe we can excuse that one.

Luckily for Fogg, Johnson missed the front end of his one-and-one, giving Arizona the ball in a tie game. Despite having two of the best players in the country in Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, interim head coach Russ Pennell's choice for a last shot was an isolation for Nic Wise, who missed an off-balance jumper with four seconds left.

Paul Delaney III of UAB grabbed the long rebound and started heading up court for a desperation heave from midcourt -- except Arizona's Jamelle Horne decided to intentionally foul Delaney about 60 feet from the basket with just 0.8 seconds left. Yup, you read that right. In a tied game, Horne intentionally fouled a player in his own half of the court with under a second left -- after seeing his teammate do almost the same thing about 25 seconds earlier. Not surprisingly, Delaney hit one of the two free throws to give UAB the win.

I mean, a lot of people thought Arizona would struggle this season after the abrupt departure of Olson in October -- but having two players commit almost equally dumb fouls (I take that back, Horne's was far worse) within 25 seconds of each other took those potential struggles to a whole new level.

Here's video of the ridiculous ending: Arizona-UAB NIT Season Tip-Off Ending

No comments:

Post a Comment