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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Should Senior Day festivities remain after the game?

    PRO: Emotion of day best postgame

    Imagine being Jawann McClellan after Senior Day.

    You’ve just played your last game ever in McKale Center after four up-and-down years before embracing mentor and coach Lute Olson while thinking about how much you miss your father, who died of a heart attack during the summer of 2005.

    Then you hug your family and get presented with your No. 5 jersey and hear the raucous applause from the home crowd for the last time.

    Tears pour down your face as you take in the whole scene.

    Now imagine this happening before the game, when McClellan would have to immediately focus on shutting down UCLA stud guards Josh Shipp and Russell Westbrook after experiencing such an emotional situation. How do you think that would go over?

    Although many schools hold Senior Day before games, including other sports teams at Arizona, McClellan could not imagine having to turn off the emotions and dial in for the No. 4 team in the nation just like that.

    “”You can’t really get as emotional because you have a game to play,”” McClellan said. “”Doing it after the game you don’t have to worry about getting back out there on the court. Especially me, I wasn’t going to be quick. It was an emotional day but a bittersweet memory as well.””

    That’s not to mention how anti-climatic it is to take part in a ceremony celebrating your career when your McKale career hasn’t ended yet.

    Although some would say such a ceremony gives players a lift, it could also serve as a distraction.

    The UA seniors should be concentrating on how to stop Kevin Love and Darren Collison before the contest, not reflecting on their UA careers. By holding Senior Day afterward the Wildcats can put their entire minds into the game and their hearts into the ceremony, just like McClellan did.

    Michael Schwartz, senior writer

    CON: Festivities should take place before game

    When you dedicate four or five years of your life to serving an institution, there’s no question you should be acknowledged toward the end of your tenure.

    But a handshake, a gold pen, a framed jersey – whatever the thank-you gift may be – should be given before the final task. It should be used as motivation to give more than 100 percent in the last hoorah to get the needle in the red zone on the adrenaline-o-meter and to use emotion as the hottest firepower of all.

    Take this memento as a token of our appreciation and lead your squad to victory.

    The Arizona men’s basketball team held its Senior Day festivities after a 68-66 loss to No. 4 UCLA in McKale Center on Sunday. The last thing a senior wants to do is hang around in front of a depleted crowd after a loss – especially if they didn’t even play.

    Bret Brielmaier, Mohamed Tangara and Daniel Dillon were all recognized after they didn’t enter the game. Brielmaier was injured, but the latter two were suited up to play.

    “”I think it would be better to have (the ceremony) before the game so a loss like this doesn’t make it happy and sad and angry,”” Dillon said.

    If you do play, a pregame celebration could help your performance.

    Maybe things would have been different if guard Jawann McClellan had cried and blown a kiss to the sky, where his late father was watching over him, before the game instead of after. Maybe center Kirk Walters would have taken that uncontested shot with five seconds left instead of passing the ball to a triple-covered Jerryd Bayless.

    Maybe if Boyz II Men’s “”Yesterday”” had been played on the videoboard before the UA women’s basketball team’s final home game last year, rather than after it, the Wildcats would have been able to close that 3-point gap against ASU.

    The UA softball team got away with a postgame celebration last May when Chelsie Mesa, Caitlin Lowe and Kristie Fox were honored after an extra-inning, walk-off win to wrap up their regular season, but imagine what it would have been like if the Wildcats lost.

    Nobody wants a consolation prize.

    Lance Madden, assistant sports editor

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