Tag Archives: Brandon Roy

Cats and Dawgs Lives Up to the B1G Hype

Weird basketball game.

I mean, mid-broadcast Walton called it B1G ball which by Pac-12 standards and certainly by Washington-Arizona standards, that’s an insult. Or at least a gross miscalculation of pace and scoring output. But when the play produces an eye tearing .78 points per possession, well, it’s hard to argue with. Do you realize the epic 2005 Adams v Roy Seattle Battle featured 191 total points and a combine 1.06 ppp? Or that in that game four players (Adams and Shakur for AZ, Roy and Williams for UW) combined to outscore both Arizona and Washington last night 113-110?

It was indeed a different brand of basketball which isn’t to say it was an awful thing, just different. Like when your girlfriend moves out but says you’re not breaking up. Not bad, just different. Or something like that

Because the game itself was still competitive. That was defense for good stretches of that game. Yeah, there was utter slop at times and Washington’s final possession – the alley-opp that was ill-advised, errant, poorly executed, mistimed, inappropriate, a bad decision, out of control, ignorant, stupid, abysmal, a clusterbang, GADDDYYY – was about as bad as it gets. Seriously, that was one of the worst final possessions I’ve ever witnessed and that’s considering I watched Arizona dribble out the clock last year in Colorado. Or even how they closed the first half of this game.

Arizona managed to lock down the dynamic scoring threat that is CJ Wilcox. That was impressive. They also managed to yield six of the Huskies’ first ten points to Rain Man Junior in his first start of the season. I always thought Brandon Ashley was a considerate defender.

But my favorite aspect of this game beyond the game itself was that when Arizona needed a player to step up, as Washington was pulling away early and the contest was taking the shape of the UCLA game and the Arizona veterans were giving the ball up like candy on Halloween, Kaleb Tarczewski was the Wildcat. It may not have been pretty but the big NorEaster made plays when it seemed as if no one in a navy top could do anything. He alone went on a 5-0 run when the Cats were down 16-8. Sure the Huskies kept pouring it on but Tarczewski did not shy away from this moment, perhaps heeding my cry from a week ago to get assertive. And he did. And I enjoyed that.

All in all, the game lived up to the Cats and Dawgs hype and HecEd appeared rocking. The Seattle monkey may never get completely off Sean Miller’s back but he no doubt enjoyed getting his first win up there.

Brandon Roy’s Retiring and That’s a Hoops Tragedy

Brandon Roy’s knees are tragically unable to to hold the immense talent that he is and therefore, at the ripe age of 27, he’s retiring from the game he excels at.

He was the 2005-06 Pac-10 Player of the Year, an All-American, the sixth pick in the NBA draft, an NBA All-Star, and one my all-time favorite basketball players. He was smooth and effortless, played with guts and to win.

I’ll always remember Roy’s New Year’s eve, 2005. I was on my family’s annual trip to Mexico, watching the Wildcats take on Roy’s Huskies in Seattle.

The marquee match-up was Hasaan Adams vs. Roy, two dynamic seniors leading teams that would likely finish 1-2 in this year’s Pac. Roy’s Huskies were 11-0 and sitting at #7 in the country. Adams’ Wildcats were 8-2 and had just fallen out of the rankings.

As one might expect, the Huskies jumped out to a big lead and headed to the lockers up 13. Below the border, we were worried: the Cats were getting blown out, the Huskies were clicking on all cylinders, and they’d served us blended Pina Coladas so our immediate bowel health was in a jeopardy.

But when the second half began and the Wildcats got to playing better basketball and we got to table slapping and screaming at a tube television broadcasting a pirated satellite feed 1865 miles from the game, things really got going.

You see, Hasaan Adams wasn’t a great basketball player. He was a great role player on a very good Salim Stoudamire/Channing Frey team in 2004-05 but did not have the skill set to be the lead.

But Adams would set career high with 32 points that night. Roy would set a career high with 35 points and like heavy weights, the two exchanged blows down the stretch – Roy forcing both overtimes well beyond the one minute mark, Adams scoring eight of his career high in bonus ball.

Brandon Roy elevated everyone’s game.

Graceful and powerful, level and easy, it was Roy that elevated Adams that night. A 96-95 overtime thriller can often be a spring board – regardless of what side of the score you fall on. Leadership recognizes opportunity. From that game on, the Wildcats would meekly go 12-10. From that game on, the Huskies would go 16-6, losing in the Sweet Sixteen to UConn in overtime, 96-92, and ending Roy’s college career.

Brandon Roy was a leader.

It was his excellent play, his class and charisma, his leadership that turned the Jailblazers into a respectable, feared, and winning NBA franchise once again. There are few players that can turn around an entire franchise, let alone a beleaguered and beaten one. BRoy did just that.

Down south we knew we’d just seen something special. The Wildcats had won and we were happy, content to set off into a great New Year’s celebration, but we were acutely aware of the fact that Brandon Roys don’t come around too often. We were fortunate to get to see him at his best.

Great anythings performing at their highest level is a beautiful thing to witness. It is to be cherished and celebrated. For that, Brandon Roy’s early retirement is a basketball tragedy. A loss for all basketball fans, from Huskies to Blazers, Wildcats to Lakers.

We’ll miss a phenomenal talent.