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Dick's Tidbits: Don't give up on Arizona

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Oct. 18
Arizona lost a lot of talent from last season's Final Four team. Not too many programs could do well after losing Richard Jefferson, Michael Wright and Gilbert Arenas early to the NBA draft, plus center Loren Woods.

For those who want to write off Lute Olson and company, let me tell you: The Wildcats will be better than most people think.

Jason Gardner made a smart decision to pull his name out of the NBA draft and opt to run the show for the 'Cats. Arizona had a great recruiting class, and I am looking forward to watching Will Bynum, Dennis Lattimore, Isiah Fox and Salim Stoudamire.

Luke Walton also returns and is looking forward to stepping up big time. Also throw into the mix Rick Anderson, who redshirted last season.

Life won't be easy in the Pac-10 against the likes of UCLA, Stanford and USC.

I can't wait to see Arizona in the Coaches vs. Cancer event at the Mecca of college basketball, Madison Square Garden, Nov. 8-9. Oh, what a field with the 'Cats, Maryland, Florida and Temple.


I have to say it once again: It is time to change the NCAA's scholarship limitation rule. Currently it is a five-and-three rule -- you can use just five scholarships in one season, plus three more for a second year for a total of eight in a two-season period.

Come on, guys. This penalizes too many innocent programs. Let's allow coaches the ability to make decisions on how to distribute the scholarships.

Some talk about the integrity of the game and questioning use of scholarships for transfers. If you deal with people the right way, you don't have those problems.

That rule should be wiped out. Period.


Cleveland State coach Rollie Massimino recently announced that his program will help out in light of the recent tragedy in New York City.

The Vikings will donate half of the ticket revenue from the Dec. 1 game between Cleveland State and Siena to two funds, one benefitting the New York firefighters and one helping out Cleveland's firemen.

Massimino's neighbor is a firefighter.


Keep an eye on Tubby Smith's backcourt situation. There is an interesting battle for playing time as Cliff Hawkins and J.P. Blevins compete for the starting nod at the point guard.

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