NOTE: LINKS ARE IN GRAY
>> AthlonSports.com lists UA linebacker Jake Fischer as the seventh top player in the nation returning from an injury that prevented participation all of the 2011 season. Some of Athlon’s assessment: “Fischer suffered a torn ACL in the spring of 2011 and was forced to miss all 12 contests. With a new scheme (3-3-5 alignment) and the recovery from a knee injury, the junior could start slow in 2012. However, Fischer will be Arizona’s top linebacker this year and needs to stay healthy with very little depth behind him.”
>> Ryan Finley of The Arizona Daily Star reports on what the speed of an athlete means in UA coach Rich Rodriguez’s system. The three most important elements of playing in Rodriguez’s spread-option offense and 3-3-5 defense, as detailed by Finley: 1, It’s better to be consistently quick than occasionally fast; 2, track is nice, but not necessary; and 3, fundamentals matter.
>> Chantel Jennings of ESPN.com manages to take a swipe at Rodriguez in her Big Ten blog detailing how Michigan is trying to improve its brand image globally. In Jennings lede: “There was little doubt that after a three-year stint under Rich Rodriguez that the Michigan football brand was struggling.” Hard to believe that in a three-year stretch, the glory, imagery and tradition of Michigan football was weakened that much by Rodriguez, but why not use him a scapegoat, right?
>> Anthony Gimino of TucsonCitizen.com writes a blog about Arizona wrapping up its hoops exhibition in the Bahamas. Arizona coach Sean Miller said the trip was especially beneficial for Kevin Parrom and Jordin Mayes, both of whom were beset by injuries last season.
>> Bruce Pascoe of The Arizona Daily Star also reports about the UA’s veterans standing out in the Bahamas and touches on the solid play of Xavier transfer Mark Lyons. A void missing from last year’s point guard position was consistent production across the board — scoring, assists, rebounds and leadership. Lyons showed that in the two exhibition games in Nassau making 13 of 19 field goals (68.4 percent) total with 8 of 12 threes in the two games. He also averaged 2.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and only 0.5 turnovers.
>> YayAreasFinest2006 offers a YouTube video on Class of 2013 commit Elliott Pitts, a combo guard from De La Salle (Calif.) High School: