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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Notes: Arizona’s Fogg recovered, Memphis to run”

Kyle+Fogg
Kyle Fogg

TULSA, Okla. – Coming off a quad strain, Arizona junior Kyle Fogg is on the fast-track to recovery and is expected to return to his role prior to the injury that hampered him during the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament.

“”I’m doing a lot of work with our trainer, Justin (Kokoskie),”” Fogg said. “”But it’s been hard. I’m feeling good right now, got in a couple of practices this week, and I should be 90-to-100 percent tomorrow.””

His defense will be a key against the transition game of the No. 12 Memphis Tigers, who the No. 5 seed Wildcats face Friday at approximately 11:40 a.m. Pacific Time in Tulsa, Okla.’s BOK Center.

Memphis head coach Josh Pastner’s squad likes to push the ball in a free-lance system, and the Wildcats have every reason to stop them in that area.

Having the athletes to run-and-gun isn’t a problem for Pastner, who has brought in top recruiting classes in his two seasons at Memphis. Arizona head coach Sean Miller compared the Tigers to Oregon and Washington, two teams that push the tempo.

“”I think Memphis thrives in the open court,”” Miller said. “”They have a number of players that can make plays in transition. Sometimes it’s off their own defense, but they had played at a fast pace.

“”To me the more transition opportunities, open shots, drives to the basket that they create with their transition game, the harder they are to beat,”” Miller added. “”To me, that’s where it starts with us.””

Home court advantage?

Supposedly a neutral site with a potential Sweet 16 in Ahaheim, Calif., Arizona’s No. 5 seed didn’t look so bad in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament.

But after further review, Tulsa, Okla., will likely not be so friendly of a place.

First, Arizona faces Memphis, which has a fan base more rabid than the local NBA team, the Memphis Grizzlies, that could potentially travel very well to the BOK Center.

“”It’s a six-hour car ride for us and for the fans,”” Pastner said. “”The fan base in Memphis, unless you’re there, you probably don’t understand it. But it’s one of the great fan bases in all of sports. I would say there is no difference between us and the Green Bay Packers in the fan base.””

And if the Wildcats do manage to best the Tigers, they’ll likely have another well-traveling team to face. No. 4 seed Texas, who some might say is under-seeded, play a No. 13 seed Oakland squad in the second round and would then play the winner of the Arizona/Memphis game.

 

Young guns

One of the lesser known and more intriguing match-ups in the Arizona and Memphis game will be the point guards.

Arizona sophomore Momo Jones is fresh off an outing against Washington’s Isaiah Thomas, who torched Arizona — it wasn’t all Jones’ fault — for the game winner to go with 28 points and seven assists in the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament title game. Now, Jones faces another fiery player in freshman guard and Memphis product Joe Jackson.

“”They’re hard core guys,”” Pastner said of the pairing. “”Momo Jones is obviously a terrific athlete. He’s helped them win a lot of games.

“”I don’t think he shoots it as good as (former Wildcat) Matt Muehlebach in the back there (points at Muehlebach) and Steve Kerr … to win a Pac-10 Championship as a starting point guard at Arizona, you’re pretty good.””

 

Quotable

Josh Pastner on the 1996 Arizona media guide saying his favorite show was “”The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air””:

“”That’s definitely been updated. I’ve moved now into the Discovery Channel, and actually my favorite show which is just fascinating to me, and I talked to our guys about this … As you know, I’m a big law enforcement fan and military fan. I watch the Military Channel.

I’ve moved from “”Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”” I’ve grown out of that though. I have longer hair too now from that picture and that time.

 

Fast fact

The Tigers are 16-2 in games decided by single digits and 13-1 in games decided by five points or less.

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