Concussions, injuries receive more attention now because of increased awareness

Art Luppino had his bell rung against Texas Tech in 1954 but kept his cool … and he continued to play

My imitation of Arizona’s no-huddle spread offense, with some quick hits, blog-style …

Greg Hansen of The Arizona Daily Star writes a column that tells it like it is concerning concussions and how they have not changed over the years, only the attention placed on them. Not only are medical screenings of such cases more detailed and cautious than in the 1950s, for example, but so is the reporting of injuries. Arizona no longer has only two newspapers and three local TV stations — who devote less than five minutes daily to sports coverage — reporting Matt Scott’s concussion issues. Social media and the Internet boom have created more exposure and widespread viewpoints of the developments of the Arizona athletic department and the NCAA in general. …

— Hansen’s description of the 1954 UA-Texas Tech game at Arizona Stadium was one of the most interesting developments of a game in UA history. He writes that the “UA’s franchise player, tailback Art Luppino, the Cactus Comet, was punched in the face by Red Raiders’ guard Arlen Wesley. It was later revealed that a Texas Tech assistant coach had created a bounty, offering a suit of clothes to anyone who could knock the Cactus Comet from the game.” A couple of things: That shows how heated the Arizona-Texas Tech rivalry was at that time. Also, Luppino, a sophomore in 1954, was awarded the Swede Nelson Award for sportsmanship that season because he did not retaliate against Wesley. Luppino was selected for the award by a nationwide panel of coaches for his sportsmanship in the 28-14 loss. Instead of retaliating, Luppino, who lost a tooth and bled openly from the mouth, motioned to the restless Arizona Stadium crowd to take a seat and he carried about his business. …

— The most unlucky team in the Pac-12 is Arizona and that’s not because Scott’s immediate future is in doubt because of his concussion. It has all to do about scheduling (see graphic at the end of this blog). With the conference expanding to 12 teams and splitting into two divisions in 2011, that means every team does not play two other conference teams. The beauty of the round-robin format is gone. The Wildcats miss Washington State and Cal, who are two of the worst conference teams according to my power rankings. The Golden Bears (3-7, minus-18 points) and Washington State (2-7, minus-40) combine for minus-58 points in the points system. The luckiest Pac-12 team? Utah. The Utes do not play Oregon (9-0, 41 points) and Stanford (7-2, 19 points), who combine for 60 points. Furthermore, Utah was fortunate to host Cal and Washington State recently in consecutive games to get back on track. …

Solomon Hill’s 13-of-14 free-throw shooting performance against Chico State on Tuesday night had to be the most promising stat in coach Sean Miller’s mind. His 13 conversions would set a personal record and the 14 attempts would have tied his personal high if the game was not an exhibition. He made 12-of-14 free-throw attempts last March in Arizona’s victory over UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals. A senior, he has only five double-digit games in free-throw tries during his career and that includes four last season. Steve Rivera of reported that Hill said his performance was “Derrick Williams-like.” If that holds true, Hill will have more games in double figures, or close to that mark, in free-throw attempts. Williams averaged 8.7 attempts in 2010-11, when the Wildcats advanced to the Sweet 16. …


Team Misses Combined Record Power Points
Arizona California and Washington State 5-14 -58
Oregon State Colorado and USC 7-11 -23
California Arizona and Colorado 6-12 -19
USC Oregon State and Washington State 9-8 -3
Stanford Arizona State and Utah 9-9 -2
Washington Arizona State and UCLA 12-6 16

Team Misses Combined Record Power Points
Utah Oregon and Stanford 16-2 60
UCLA Oregon and Washington 12-6 55
Arizona State Washington and Stanford 12-6 33
Washington State Arizona and USC 11-7 22
Oregon UCLA and Utah 11-7 22
Colorado California and Oregon State 10-8 19

Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner

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