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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Q&A;: The Arizona connection

Mike+Christy+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+Arizona+mens+basketball+team+hosted+the+Oklahoma+Sooners+in+a+college+basketball+game+Sunday%2C+Dec.+5%2C+2010%2C+at+McKale+Center+in+Tucson%2C+Ariz.++The+Wildcats+stormed+to+an+83-60+win.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona men’s basketball team hosted the Oklahoma Sooners in a college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. The Wildcats stormed to an 83-60 win.

TULSA, Okla. — With Arizona Wildcat basketball connections aplenty during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla., the man calling the Wildcats’ games was none other than former UA guard Steve Kerr. After stepping down from his general manager position for the Phoenix Suns last season, Kerr talked with the Daily Wildcat on Monday about his new gig as a college broadcaster and the state of the Arizona program.

Daily Wildcat: How’s life been after going from a GM back to broadcasting?

Kerr: It’s going well, I’m enjoying it. Definitely have a better lifestyle, more time at home with my family. I definitely miss a lot of people in Phoenix, the team, the coaches and stuff. But it’s been a good move for me.

Has your son (Nick Kerr) chosen a college?

 

He’s a senior in high school right now, he’s going to the University of San Diego next year.

I guess you’ve been having enough time to watch him develop?

Yeah, I’ve gotten to see a lot of his games this year, and my younger two kids as well, and all their stuff that they have going on. It’s definitely a family and a personal decision more than career-related. But that said, I really love what I’m doing and really enjoying the broadcasting.

How different is it doing college (broadcasting) than doing NBA stuff?

It’s a lot different because there’s a lot more preparation involved. For the NBA, I’ve been doing it for so long that I know every player before the game starts. And in college, with some of the more obscure teams, I will literally not know anybody on that team, you know, a couple days before the broadcast. It’s almost like back at the U of A cramming for a final. There’s a lot of preparation involved.

Do you think that’s maybe the same reason why there’s so many upsets, because teams don’t play each other? They never see each other until the tournament, does that have a big effect? Like VCU, nobody’s seen them.

I think that’s part of it. Teams aren’t as familiar with each other come tournament time, they run into somebody they haven’t seen. But most of it is just the format. It’s just one game. You don’t have to beat a team four times, you only have to beat them once. There’s a lot of talent out there. Even the smaller schools have good players. Anybody’s capable of pulling off an upset.

For you personally, your broadcast teams, it seems like they always put you with Phoenix in the NBA or the U of A. Do they do that to you on purpose because you know the teams so well, or does it just happen?

It just happened. In fact, I was scheduled to go to Tulsa six weeks ago, way before Arizona ended up being seeded here. So it’s just a coincidence. Same thing with Phoenix. If I do a Phoenix game, it’s just the luck of the draw. There really isn’t any thought that goes into it in terms of whether I know a team or not. It’s just the way it works out.

What do you think of Arizona? Nobody really expected them to upset Texas like that.

It’s just been a phenomenal season. I just think we’re so lucky to have Sean Miller as our coach. The way he’s turned things around so quickly is remarkable. He’s a fantastic basketball coach and exactly the kind of person you want representing our school. We’re really lucky to have him.

What do you think of Derrick (Williams) and his draft stock and what he has to work on? It seems like he could improve a lot in college but then again, when you’re projected that high, what do you do?

He’s got a tough decision ahead of him.

 

He’s going to be a high pick if he comes out. He’s a great player, a great talent. But he, like any college kid, can get a lot better if he stays. Defensively is the biggest area of where he needs to improve, just his weak side awareness, and rotations and recognition.

Problem these days is that everybody is in such a rush to get to the NBA. When I was in school, Sean Elliott was the player of the year in college; he stayed through his senior year and went on, had a brilliant NBA career. That’s what guys did back then. It’s a different era right now. You can’t blame anybody for leaving because there’s a lot of money involved. He’s a great player, a great kid and really proud to have him representing our school.

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