It's hard to ignore National Signing Day, but we still need to get ready for the big hoops game coming up tomorrow against Arizona. To get us prepped, please welcome the newest SB Nation Pac-10 member, Joe of Arizona Desert Swarm. (Remember, keep your eye out for my Recruiting Dinner Report late tonight.)
Jake, BtD: How is the interim head coach thing working out for you? Kevin Mouton didn't win a game last year for us when he got the interim title after Jay John was ousted. What's your grade of Russ Pennell through the first part of the season, and how would your team be different if Lute Olsen was still the head man?
Joe, ADS: I'd say the interim head coach is working out OK right now. We had a couple of games earlier in the year that could have gone our way and we didn't play with our heads on straight. I would grade Russ Pennell with a C before this 3 game win, and a B- right now. If Lute were at the helm, we would be playing smarter basketball (Jamelle Horne) but I don't think our gameplan would be much different.
BtD: When I look at the games that the Wildcats have played, the only conclusion that I can come up with is that the Sun Devils definitely are not a great team, but there's still a chance that they might not be that bad. They probably have one or two good games left in the tank. What do you think?
ADS :I think that Arizona State was exploited by Washington State last weekend. Great defense on Harden and a big body on Pendergraph will get you a win. I think they have a few good games left in them as well, but it's kind of hard not to when you have James Harden.
BtD: Your season has been following a nice gradual sine curve. Two losses, two wins, three losses, three wins. If the pattern continues, the Wildcats are staring down the barrel of a four game losing streak.
ADS :Don't we play Oregon this weekend? Can you tell me who said this? "Stats are for losers." Link here.
BtD: The Wildcats are 11-2 at the McKale Center, and 0-6 everywhere else. Why is that? What goes wrong on the road?
ADS :I don't know. We should have won at USC. The others, we just don't execute. It's not like we aren't without our stars. Again, home court in the Pac 10 is way underrated. I hope we at least come out of Oregon with a split.
BtD: On a similar note, how can Arizona fix those problems to beat the Beavers on Thursday?
ADS :I think the key to Arizona's success has been Kyle Fogg. He has created a fourth man on the court to be reckoned with and teams are finding it harder to concentrate on Hill, Budinger, and Wise. I hope he stays hot.
BtD: How much do you wish Jerryd Bayless was still playing for you? What kind of team do you think the Cats would be this year with that man on the roster?
ADS :Don't get me started. Why can't he follow suit like Hansborough and stick around? The past is the past. I think we'll be alright.
BtD: How is Budinger's face? Could it possibly sustain another blow?
ADS: That ole' ugly mug? He'll be alright. Got to take one for the team every now and then. I mean, since that time we have been on fire. It was worth it.
Tipoff time is 5:36 tomorrow, on FSN.