Nothing but the Notes: Though fans ask where is York and Chol, Arizona has succeeded before with eight-man rotation





Arizona fans are increasingly asking why freshman guard Gabe York is not playing

Arizona fans are increasingly asking why freshman guard Gabe York is not playing

The question asked the most Friday was not about why Arizona played poorly against UCLA on Thursday. The question I fielded the most: Why isn’t sophomore forward Angelo Chol and freshman shooting guard Gabe York playing? That question pops up in time of trouble, especially after a loss like Thursday in which UCLA led from start to finish in a resounding 84-73 victory at McKale Center. I don’t recall the question after Arizona dominated ASU in a 71-54 victory last Saturday at Tempe.

York’s lack of playing time is especially a concern for some fans (Chol has played in 15 of 18 games and averages 8.3 minutes in those games). York has played only 50 minutes in eight games. He has not played in the UA’s last five games. His last outing was two minutes against Miami on Dec. 23. Miller addressed York’s minutes during his weekly press conference on Jan. 8. “I’d like to play everybody, especially guys that you believe in,” he was quoted as saying by The Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe. “His future is very bright. Watching him in practice, he’s practicing well. I think he’s improved quite a bit since the beginning of the year. It’s just you can only play so many guys. … Gabe is kind of in that position now where he’s waiting and, like I tell him, he has to be ready to go. But there will come a day when I think he’ll really play a lot for us and play really well.” … Miller has history on his side when it comes to an eight-man rotatioin. Lute Olson played mostly eight players when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 national championship. Moveover, the No. 8 player that year — Eugene Edgerson — averaged less minutes (11.6) than what Jordin Mayes (12.9) is averaging now as the No. 8 player. The significant difference is Olson’s No. 9-11 players that year included two former walk-ons (Jason Lee and John Ash) and Josh Pastner, who wanted to learn how to coach rather than play. Miller’s No. 9-11 players this year are York and Chol (both touted out of high school and recruited by Pac-12 programs) and walk-on Max Wiepking. …

While Miller has benefited from his recruiting classes earning high marks from recruiting services such as Rivals.com and Scout.com, he is also adversely affected from that publicity because a player touted like York (4-star recruit ranked No. 46 nationally at his position by Rivals.com) remains on the bench. Miller experienced the same situation with Daniel Bejarano, who de-committed from Texas and chose Arizona over ASU. He transferred after his freshman season to Colorado State after playing only 30 minutes in eight games during Arizona”s Elite Eight season of 2010-11. Defensive breakdowns in practice kept Bejarano on the bench. The same situation appears to be happening to York. In the Jan. 8 press conference Miller said about Mayes getting most of the minutes as reserve guard: “Jordin is more of an experienced player who helps us a lot on defense. He is a valuable member of our team because he plays the point guard role and if anything were to happen to your starter, you want to make sure that that second guy is ready to go.” … In Arizona’s other Final Four seasons, Olson utilized mostly a nine-player rotation. Harvey Mason (9.9 minutes a game in 28 games) was the No. 9 player in 1987-88. Corey Williams (9.6 minutes a game in 30 games) was the No. 9 player in 1993-94. Lamont Frazier (10.3 minutes a game in 32 games) was the No. 9 player in 2000-01. In Miller’s defense, those numbers are not far off from Chol, this season’s No. 9 player, averaging 8.3 minutes in 15 games. …

Salim Stoudamire is attempting a comeback in Europe but has run into a snag

Salim Stoudamire is attempting a comeback in Europe but has run into a snag

Former Arizona guard Salim Stoudamire is attempting a comeback after not signing with a team overseas last season. After suffering a pulled groin that derailed his attempt to land with an NBA team in 2009, he played in the NBA Developmental League and briefly in Italy in 2010-11. Stoudamire posted on his Facebook wall that he has been in Europe the last 12 days trying out for what he thought was a top-division team. “I’ve been here 12 days and haven’t had 1 (tryout) yet,” Stoudamire writes about his experience. “Not only that, I’m currently a practice player for a division 2 team that has no money and aren’t even looking for new players. People wonder why my career has been the way it is. I’ve been dealing with situations like this since 2005; deceitful people taking advantage of a righteous man out to protect the universe. No longer will I take hits, not speak up and relay the truth. My son and fiancé cannot defend themselves in situations like this. I even released some tears for them yesterday because my mission is to protect them. I know that Jah Ras Tafari will exalt me in the end but someone must take a stand for the salvation of mankind. Peace and blessings to all; don’t ever stop loving yourself.” … Josiah Turner’s saga continues. He has signed with his second Canadian team — the Summerside Storm — after being released because of disciplinary issues by Halifax on Jan. 2. Turner started against Halifax last night and scored seven points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field in 23 minutes. Summerside beat his former team 135-90. The teams play at Halifax on Sunday. …

Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks was the UA's defensive line coach from 1990 to 1992.

Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks was the UA’s defensive line coach from 1990 to 1992.

Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks played a part in the development of Arizona’s Desert Swarm defense. He was the defensive line coach for the Wildcats from 1990 to 1992. In his last season, the Wildcats led the nation in scoring defense (9.8 points allowed a game) and senior nose guard Rob Waldrop was a consensus All-American. Brooks left Arizona for the Chicago Bears in 1993. He coached with Cleveland and Miami before going to Baltimore in 2005. … Peter Hansen, who played basketball for Olson and was a designated kick blocker for Dick Tomey from 1998 to 2001, is an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers. The 6-7 Hansen blocked seven kicks for Arizona. Hansen is the quality control coach for the 49ers. What is that? The quality control coach does the grunt work of the coaching staff. They don’t have a specific position although Hansen concentrates on the defense. He breaks down film of upcoming opponents, creates scouting reports, develops a timeline for training camp and is the time keeper during practice. Quality control coaches must be very organized, detail-oriented and have the ability to multi-task. They are an extension of the head coach. Generally, quality control coaches are new to coaching, but Hansen was on Harbaugh’s staff for three years at Stanford. He was a defensive assistant for 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at Stanford. Quality control coaches have paid their dues to become NFL head coaches, some of them highly successful, such as Mike Holmgren and Jon Gruden. Others include Tony Sparano, Todd Haley, Steve Spagnuolo and Pat Shumer. With the success of the Jim Harbaugh coaching tree, Hansen should evolve into an appealing head coaching candidate at the collegiate and potentially NFL level. …

Courtney Karst is playing professionally in Indonesia until May

Courtney Karst is playing professionally in Indonesia until May

Courtney Karst, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter who played every set as a senior for Arizona in 2011, has signed a contract with a professional volleyball team in Indonesia. Karst departed for Indonesia from her Denver-area home Wednesday. Karst led he Wildcats in kills with 360 and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors as a senior. She has never been to Asia. She received information about Indonesia from one of her former club coaches who played there. “What I’m really looking forward to is learning about a whole new culture and being able to travel the world doing what I love,” Karst told the Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel. Karst will join the professional circuit in Indonesia about halfway through the season, which typically runs from August to May. She would have gone in the fall but was finishing school. … Former UA guard Jason Terry, who slept in his uniform before games at Arizona, is now following the ritual of sleeping in game-worn shorts of NBA opponents the night before games. The shorts can not be store-bought. Terry has needed to call on friends for help to acquire the shorts. If he does not have a connection, he negotiates with a locker room attendant. “I didn’t have any friends on Utah so I managed to weasel a John Stockton jersey from someone who worked there,” Terry told the New York Times. He’d rather have acquired Stockton’s shorts but the jersey was fine. Terry has plenty of Arizona connections in NBA. When Dallas played the Lakers in the past, fellow Wildcat Luke Walton offered his shorts. Obviously, Terry’s opponents do not think the shorts offer him a competitive edge. …

What intrigues potential Class of 2013 recruit Aaron Gordon the most about Miller is the UA coach’s ability to teach shooting. Gordon, a 6-8 versatile forward from San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty, had this to say about Miller when interviewed by Maxpreps.com last week: “Arizona is a shooting program and coach Miller is a really good shooting coach. They are losing two of their really good seniors, Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill. It’s a great place to go to school. I’d be happy there if I were to go there. Miller is a really great coach.” Gordon also mentioned about his other finalists Kentucky and Washington: “(Kentucky’s) a winning organization. Coach (John) Calipari is a winner. It’s a true basketball program” … “Obviously (Lorenzo) Romar is a really great coach also at Washington. They have a really good offense – it’s a 1-4 high, almost like a John Wooden offense. They look to push in the first eight seconds. It’s up-tempo but also very structured. It’s also very basketball-oriented.” You can tell Gordon does his homework and he’s analyzing Arizona, Kentucky and Washington every game of the season. … One of Arizona’s Class of 2013 signees, 6-5 shooting guard Elliott Pitts of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle drew praise recently for not his shooting ability, but his action away from the ball. He had 21 points in a 47-43 loss to Richmond (Calif.) Salesian on Monday. Mitch Stephens on the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Pitts “is very entertaining to watch without the ball. He’s relentless.” Mario Dunn, a 6-foot guard with Salesian told Stephens: “I’ve played with (Pitts) in the summer, but I have a new appreciation for how good he is. He’s really good.” …

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



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