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Friday, November 21, 2003
Basketball Feature PDF's
Team Info

- Men's Hoops -
  • Schedule
  • Player Bios
    - Womens' Hoops -
  • Schedule
  • Player Bios

  • photo Centers' stage

    This time around, its all about the ones in the middle

    Two towering figures stand out amidst the horizon hovering over the Arizona basketball program's path to success.

    A duo unmatched in height, unparalleled in skill, unchallenged in wit.

    They make up a one-two punch with the pure, raw talent to float in the paint like butterflies. A one-two punch that makes its opponents feel like they've got a couple of butterflies swimming in their stomachs. [Read article]

    photo Preview: Wildcats reload for '04 title run

    The question around the Old Pueblo for nearly the past eight months has been, "What kind of team will Lute Olson put on the floor in 2003-04?"

    After losing an all-star caliber team worthy of anyone's top 25 in the last year, Olson's squad begins the task of searching for its own identity this season.

    Jason Gardner, Luke Walton, Rick Anderson, Will Bynum and Dennis Latimore may have departed, but in their place has emerged a squad that is already garnering comparisons to the Wildcats of 1997 - winners of Arizona's only men's basketball National Championship. [Read article]

    photo Preview: Gryzb to lead Wildcats' young guns

    Wheeler, Polk also thrust into McKale limelight

    The Wildcat men aren't the only UA basketball team that will be seeking leadership in the absence of two of last season's top performers.

    Forward Krista Warren and guard Julie Brase graduated from Arizona last season, leaving a lack of experience in the Wildcats' 2003-04 starting lineup, which features just one senior.

    Last season, Warren was third on the team in scoring with 11.9 points per game. She was also second on the team in rebounds and field goal percentage. [Read article]

    photo UA legend Snowden paved way for black coaches

    Before there was a John Thompson or a John Chaney, and before there was Lute Olson at Arizona, there was UA legend Fred Snowden.

    Snowden wasn't just a coach; he was the first black coach in major college basketball.

    "Coach Snowden was the first African-American to coach at a major college, and because of the success he had, it gave other institutions the incentive to maybe go hire some additional African-Americans," said former Wildcat All-American Bob Elliott, who played for Snowden from 1973-77. [Read article]

    photo Changing of the guard

    Is freshman phenom Shakur ready to take the reins at 'Point Guard U'?

    Steve Kerr. Damon Stoudamire. Jason Terry. Jason Gardner. Mustafa Shakur?

    The next great UA point guard may be here.

    No one knows for sure if he's the next, but Shakur, a 6-foot-3 freshman out of Friends Central High School in the Philadelphia area, likes his chances of building his own legacy at the point.

    "We've produced a lot of great guards here. I just wanna contribute," Shakur said. "(The point guard comparison) is a great compliment, but I'd rather be myself out there." [Read article]

    Commentary: 1997 vs. 2004: Eight is enough

    Call me Ishmael. After all, I did say in this year's football preview that you should go to UA football games because every home game is a chance to storm the field (see the Washington game).

    But I think this year's basketball team can make a serious run - despite being as dangerously thin and short as a refugee from, you know, one of those loser countries.

    I may be only a student (so I'm barred from home games during the school year), but after Lute pointed out that the very athletic 2003-04 team was very much like the 1996-97 national championship team, I asked assistant coach Josh Pastner about the two team's similarities, and he noticed them as well. He should know - after all, he was on that team. [Read article]

    photo Men's analysis: UA men's team full of question marks

    Does Arizona have the depth in its lineup to challenge for the Pac-10 title?

    Much has been said this off-season about the lack of depth in the Wildcat lineup.

    If the preseason is any indication, the starting five will eventually consist of Channing Frye, Salim Stoudamire, Andre Iguodala, Hassan Adams and freshman Mustafa Shakur. Coming off the bench to spell the Wildcats down low will be Kirk Walters and Isaiah Fox. Backcourt help will come from Chris Rodgers. [Read article]

    photo Women's analysis: What to expect from the '03-04 UA women

    Does Arizona have the depth in its lineup to challenge for the Pac-10 title?

    Hard to say, especially since the Wildcats' leading passer and free-throw shooter, Julie Brase, and second-best scorer and rebounder, Krista Warren, have departed.

    The outside shooting will be present in the form of starting guards Aimee Grzyb and Dee-Dee Wheeler, and possibly redshirt sophomore Katrina Lindner, who has looked impressive at times coming off the bench in the preseason. [Read article]

    photo Sophomore sensations

    Arizona's season-ending loss to Kansas in the Elite Eight last March might have had a different feel, if it was even played at all, had the Jayhawks had their way back in the fall of 2001.

    High atop Kansas' wish list of high school standouts were two star prep recruits, both aggressively pursued by then-head coach Roy Williams and his staff.

    It was a pair of close friends; one from California, the other from Illinois. [Read article]

    Staff picks

    Men's national champion

    Mr. Bacon does have school spirit! That's right, and I'm going with the Wildcats to win the championship this year. The team seems spookily similar to the national champions of 1997, so why couldn't we cut the nets in March? Andre's determination + Hassan's vertical - Gardner's shooting drought + Mustafa's youth - Channing's cement hands X Salim's quick release / Dunn's two-week notice + Ranne's Homecoming crown = Lute's second ring (and no underage drinking). [Read article]

    photo Q&A: UA hoops legend Bob 'Big Bird' Elliott

    One of the most prominent UA athletes ever, Bob "Big Bird" Elliott was an athletic and academic All-American before playing in the NBA. Now doing color commentary for the Wildcats' games on Fox Sports Net Arizona, Elliott is the UA's second all-time leading scorer and leading rebounder and is the only Arizona player to top 2,000 career points and 1,000 boards.

    Elliott is in the UA sports Hall of Fame and is the only UA athlete in the Academic All-America Hall of Fame. In addition to being a prominent local accountant and owning a newly formed sports and musician management agency, the Ann Arbor, Mich. native has also loaned his voice to the NBA Live and NBA Street video game franchises, produced by EA Sports. Elliott took a break from his busy schedule to talk to the Wildcat about his nickname, UA players in broadcasting and Afro upkeep. [Read article]

    Men's national preview: Preseason Top 25

    1. CONNECTICUT (67)

  • Emeka Okafor and Co. look to put the UConn men (one NCAA title) on same level as Diana Taurasi and UConn's women (four NCAA titles).

    2. DUKE (3)

  • Chris Duhon is back for his final year while Luol Deng could be the impact freshman needed to take the Blue Devils all the way.

    3. MICHIGAN ST. (1)

  • The Spartans should be in San Antonio in April if they can keep the injuries to a minimum and keep the ball in guard Chris Hill's hands. [Read article]

  • divider
    Women's national preview: Preseason Top 25

    The No. 1 Connecticut Huskies will fill their opponents with fear - and not only because they lost just one game last season en route to their third NCAA Championship in four years.

    UConn returns every single one of its players from last season. That includes 2003 National Player of the Year Diana Taurasi, who led the Huskies in points, rebounds, assists and blocks in 2002-03. The senior guard/forward leads a team that outscored its opponents by an average of more than 20 points last year. [Read article]

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