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None and done?

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Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:02 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Some folks just have it in for us left-handers.

I’m a southpaw. So is the nation’s top basketball prospect Brandon Jennings. And that’s pretty much where our similarities end.

Jennings, after an early commitment to USC, signed a letter of intent with Arizona last November. But shaky SAT scores plague the 40-inch leaping point guard, who’s threatened to take his haymaker-wallop slam dunks to Europe for a year before repatriating to the NBA’s cash trough.

Like me, Green Fields girls’ hoops coach Tom Danehy ills watching the Wildcats offer tax-subsidized grooming for the NBA, pandering to early draft commits.

“Truly, it’s easy for somebody on the outside to say, ’Aww, the heck with that kid,’ but why would anybody want him?” Danehy said. “I just don’t understand it.”

Be warned. Danehy — a reservoir of court smarts with a stellar coaching record, and a complete skeptic of right-side cerebral dominance — dreams of a Guantanamo-destined lefty roundup.

Danehy poses a valid question of chemistry over biology. Can teams gel around soloists? Bearing Jerryd Bayless in mind, are single-shot recruits the future of Wildcat basketball?

Understanding why “anybody” wants Jennings — holder of practically every national prep basketball award that matters during the last year — is pretty easy: Points. Assists. And lots of both.

But the situation feels forced. It’s like Lute Olson’s pressed to deliver a top-notch scorer after his return from last year’s debacle — driven either by personal standards, testy bosses or booster pressure, you decide.

Regardless, it’s a drag to watch the UA bend over backwards for another one-and-done who shows little love for the school, offering no assurances he’ll attend even if his SAT scores do crawl to shore.

“If he were the absolute No. 1 greatest player in the history of basketball, you still have to be able to tell the kid, ‘You know what? You don’t want to come here, don’t come here,” Danehy said.

Arizona basketball issued no comments to the Explorer about the Jennings Saga.

So with the magnification relaxed from one centerpiece recruit, what message does the scenario send to the rest of Arizona’s athletes? Wildcats athletic director Jim Livengood fielded that one.

“We’re not at all — any of our almost 500 student-athletes — trying to bring somebody in here for the absolute shortest of term and have them not be serious about getting an education,” Livengood said.

“That’s not what we do, that’s not what we’re all about.”

I believe Livengood.

I also believe Jennings should get his passport photos taken and play in Europe, where he can cash a check for his efforts. Frankly, handed the choice to ball in Tucson or the Old World, I’d call Lufthansa on aesthetics alone.

And surely, there’s some talented kid willing to earn his scholarship and devote four full years to the ‘Cats in his place. The Wildcat brass needs to step up and build a squad of teammates — not me-firsts.

Even a righty can see that through tickets, tax dollars, or money spent at athletic boosters’ businesses, we’re polishing the frame on a shining era of entitlement.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

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Swimming (@4 p.m.)

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Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

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CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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