I won't get too excited about Arizona's win over UMKC. I'll bet my 10k medal you had no idea who UMKC was before I tell you right now. University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Kangaroos, were not good to say the least. I was trying to figure what the connection was to UMKC from Arizona's standpoint. All I could come up with was Daniel Dillon is Australian. Anyway, the Wildcats won 81-62.
If they had lost, I'd have more of an opinion. But when you have a bunch of McDonald's All-Americans and your pick of some of the best talent in the country, you better win games like this. These are what Dicky V calls cupcakes. Not to be too nit picky after a 19 point win, but the now unranked Wildcats still have just Chase Budinger and Jerryd Bayless. Bayless put up 20, 9, and 9 so start the one more year chants immediately. Daniel Dillon has 14 points, but he won't shoot 4-4 from the field ever again in his career.
Arizona shot 64 percent from the field and held UMKC to 35 percent from the field. The game was actually closer than the 19 point margin. But judging from the numbers, the margin should have been a lot bigger. Arizona forced just nine turnovers, which used to be one of the staples of the good Arizona teams.
It's still going to be a long season. However, the ASU game was much tougher to watch.
Just the fact that I'm even mentioning ASU basketball means the program is on the rise. When you get rid of a joke (Rob Evans) and hire a real coach (Herb Sendek), then recruit the first All-American since 1989, you'll get some attention. And I was curious to watch them play.
After they got down 20-0, I was a lot less curious. There will be some growing pains. First off, Jamelle McMillan, the son of Nate McMillan is not ready to be a Pac-10 point guard. One day, he'll be a good player, but not this year. Second, the adjustment for most of the guys to Sendek's version of the Princeton offense, will take awhile. Third, Duke transfer Eric Boateng is atrocious. Maybe against Arizona's excuses for big guys, he'll be OK, but not against the beefy Shaun Pruitt of Illinois.
While freshman James Harden is exciting and can play the role of Julius Hodge, the Sun Devils are far from being a good team. Sendek will turn that program around. Just not right away. They lost 77-54 by the way.
Jordan sighting: Jeff Jordan, with father Michael in attendance scored his first career point, on a free throw in Illinois' win over ASU.
Muhlbach sighting: Former Wildcat Beau Muhlbach is averaging 10.5 minutes per game for Texas A&M.
Verdejo sighting: Former Wildcat and proud father Jesus Verdejo is averaging 11 points a game for South Florida.
And then also: Lil Romeo signed to play for USC. He won't make anyone Say Ugh.