Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Win and They're In

greg bryan / arizona daily star

The keys to winning for Arizona this season have been fairly simple.

1. Both Chase Budinger and Jerryd Bayless must play well. Check. (Bayless scored 20 points, all in the second half, and had 22 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while shooting 8-13 from the field in a 65-55 upset win at Washington State.

2. Jordan Hill has to stay out of foul trouble. Check. Hill had 3 fouls and played 38 minutes. Foul trouble was never a concern for Kevin O'Neill in this game.

3. Others have to contribute. Check. Jamelle Horne had a career high 11 rebounds. Zane Johnson and Daniel Dillon each hit a 3-pointer.

One more win and Arizona should be in the tournament. Marques Johnson, with his pregame statements, agrees with me, and since he says Yakka, I'm happy we're on the same page.
The Wildcats have Oregon State still on the schedule, so there should be no problem getting into the dance. More likely the Wildcats go 2-2 in their last four regular season games and end the Pac-10 season at 9-9. The Oregon schools are both potential wins and USC at home is also a possibility. Mark UCLA down as a loss.

Up Next: vs. USC Thursday 6 p.m. PST FSN

The Bestern Conference

The Lakers are 38-17 and in first place in the West. New Orleans is 37-17 and in fifth place. The West is pretty good, huh?
Also, the Clippers are once again the forgotten LA team. It seems like they don't exist until the Lakers have to play them. Those games tend to be blowouts when the Clippers don't really exist and that's the way it should be. I always enjoy the Clippers moving somewhere else discussions. How about the Los Angeles Clippers of Seattle. Think about it Donald Sterling. You can move right in to Bill Gates neighborhood.
About the only negative thing about Saturday's Laker/Clipper game was the moment in the first half when Kobe feel on the ball and got up shaking his right hand like he was doing the hokey pokey. That'll be a on going predicament for the rest of the season. We can title it "Pinkie Watch" and KCAL 9 can do a minute report after every Laker game on the state of Kobe's pinkie.

Bruce Pearl...Joe Namath... Joe Namath... Bruce Pearl
That halftime interview by Erin Andrews with Bruce Pearl had the potential to be a youtube classic. Pearl tried to recreate the way Memphis was guarding his senior star Chris Lofton by grabbing a frightened looking Erin Andrews. I still have to look at the replay, but there appeared to be some inappropriate touching. Andrews had the Suzy Kolber face as well. Hard to blame Pearl though. There's a lot of guys that want to do that to Erin Andrews. Maybe he had a bet going with Joe Namath that he could get further with Andrews than Namath did with Kolber.

How weird is it to see J.P Prince strutting his Tennessee jersey on the front of Weird.

As always, an updated Lakers +/- (through 55 games) Lakers: 38-17 1st in West

Fisher +244
Kobe +430
Turiaf +57
Odom +275
Gasol +132
Mihm -16
Walton +140
Bynum +236
Farmar +152
Radmanovic +225
Brown -44
Vujacic +76
Crittenton -40
Karl -1
Ariza +5
Mbenga +5

Up next: at Seattle Sunday 6 p.m. KCAL

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