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Shots in the Dark 3

February 3, 2003 Columns No Comments

Shots in the Dark

by Jon Gonzalez

Sweet Little Lies:I have to say, I’m a little confused over this whole Arizona candy stealing situation. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing we know for sure is that Luke Walton, one of the best players in the country, is a terrible lookout.

The mess started when a guest at the hotel the Wildcats were staying at in Lawrence, Kansas, said that he saw a group of men dressed in Arizona gear stealing candy from a hotel vending machine. The man also said he could only recognize Luke Walton, and that Walton was acting as a lookout for his teammates. Of the incident, Walton stated he had no involvement and head coach Lute Olson called the story “a bunch of hogwash.” Two questions: How can this be hogwash if the school is paying the hotel $80 dollars for candy bars and furthermore, how can Luke Walton be denying involvement? Oh yeah, that guy must have seen the other mop headed near seven-footer on the team.

According to the hotel, the situation is null and void since Arizona paid for the candy bars. OK, why is Arizona paying for candy when according to Lute Olson, the story is false? If the story is indeed fictitious, I am sure Arizona wouldn’t be paying a hotel for stolen candy.

While nothing has been proven, this sounds like another story involving college athletes doing something stupid and the college that represents them doing a horrid job of covering it up. If this story is true, there have to be ramifications. No, an athlete wasn’t bought a hummer or paid off by a booster, but knocking over a vending machine is still disturbing enough. This reminds me of players stealing merchandise from stores when in reality, they could have gotten the same gear if they wanted it legally from the school. But this isn’t about doing something for the sake of getting something, it’s about doing something because of the idea that you can get away with it. The mentality is this: I am on the best team in the country, I can knock over a candy machine. This type of behavior has to be punished because it goes on too much.

If true, the most disappointing part of this story is not what happened, but who it happened to and how the person in charge responded. Lute Olson is one of the classiest people in college basketball and he has some of the best student/athletes year in and year out. It would be a shame if Olson couldn’t even admit to wrongdoing committed by his players.

Other Shots

Remember that tirade Craig Esherick threw when he claimed that his star player Mike Sweetney was being treated unfairly? I am surprised he didn’t explode after Seton Hall beat Georgetown after the Pirates used six men against the Hoyas’ five at the end of the game. Good job, refs.

Pull out a pen and pad and write this down: If UNC does not beat Duke this week, UNC will not go the NCAA tournament. How much heat will Heels’ coach Matt Doherty be under if the Heels only go far as the NIT? Think coach D wishes he would have stayed in South Bend?

Up: Georgia Tech. Down: Virginia. The Jackets, despite being crushed by Duke, are playing well of late and could land an at-large bid. The Cavs, on the other hand, are not playing up to their potential and are not impressing the selection committee with their horrid road play.

Speaking of teams that are playing well, how about the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles suffered through a four game slump earlier in the year that included a loss to Northeastern. Of late, BC has beaten the likes of NC State and most recently UCONN. To enjoy continued success, Ryan Sidney and Troy Bell must show up every game.

If there was a statistic that tracked ill-advised three point shots, Duke’s Chris Duhon would be leading the nation. Sure, he’s a good shooter, but would someone tell him that doesn’t give him the right to jack up anything he wants beyond the arc.

How about that move Florida State’s Tim Pickett put on in the ‘Noles win over Duke on Sunday? It had every thing: a couple of spins, fancy dribbling and the all important bucket at the end. That has to be the move of the year in my book.

You know, if I have to hear another LeBron James story I am going to explode. The Hummer, the Hummer hitting an old lady’s car, the jerseys, pay-per-view…enough is enough. I am sure there will be a lot to say about LeBron when his is in the NBA and he owns 50 Hummers. In the meantime, lets just wait for those days to come.

Stud of the Week: Florida State’s Tim Pickett. His fancy move and the fact that he was the main reason FSU beat Duke was enough for this honor, let alone his team high 15 points.

Goat(s) of the Week: Big East referees. I hope they don’t fine me for saying this, but missing a six men on the court call is ridiculous.

That is all. I’m gone.


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