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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Horne gets serious in win

    MIAMI – Described as the “”wild card”” by his teammates, not even those closest to Jamelle Horne can predict his impact on a game.

    Exceptional? Exceptionally awful? Or just non-existent?

    “”We always call him the wild card because you never know what you’re going to get out of him,”” said UA forward Fendi Onobun.

    UA assistant head coach Mike Dunlap was done questioning and wondering if or when the Wildcats would benefit from Horne’s incredible athletic ability.

    Simply, Dunlap thought Horne needed to be a factor if Arizona wanted to win.

    So, in the team’s hotel after the Wildcats beat No. 5-seed Utah on Friday, Dunlap called Horne out in front of his teammates.

    “”(Dunlap) confronted me in front of the group and told me that I really needed to have a look of seriousness on my face and have a mental thought of being serious,”” Horne said. “”It wasn’t the foul trouble that he was disappointed in, it was the energy and effort I gave out on the court.

    “”That hurt me,”” Horne added. “”That stuck with me and made me not want to disappoint the team.””

    Horne, someone who would be voted Team Clown by his peers for his goofy personality, has typically kept things loose with his teammates.

    “”Sometimes I think what holds him back is the fact that he’s trying to be everyone’s friend instead of being a competitor,”” said UA interim head coach Russ Pennell. “”I think it’s just part of maturation. At some point, when you step across the line, your personality’s gotta become a little different.””

    How did the sophomore respond?

    Horne scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in a season-high 38 minutes on Sunday in the Wildcats’ 71-57 win over Cleveland State on Sunday.

    Horne’s teammates noted that he responded to Dunlap with an intense, serious game face.

    “”(The face was) just kind of no-nonsense until that second game is over with,”” Horne said. “”So I’m all smiles now. I think he knew I was serious enough, he just wants to make me understand that I have to be in the games.””

    Horne’s minutes proved crucial down the stretch, especially when UA’s Big Three – Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Nic Wise – got in early foul trouble.

    At one point on the floor, Horne was the biggest player in Pennell’s small guard-heavy lineup of Brendon Lavender, Kyle Fogg, Zane Johnson and Budinger.

    “”He played unbelievable today,”” Johnson said. “”He had tons of energy on the defensive end. Best game he’s played.””

    Overheard in Miami

    “”You’re no Nic Wise, take off the head band,”” an Arizona State University band member yelled out to Syracuse’ Johnny Flynn during the ASU-Syracuse game, which was played before Arizona’s game.

    The weird part: Wise didn’t wear his signature head band Sunday.

    “”Maybe next week,”” Wise said.

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