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Nothin' But the Notes

Article written by Wildcat Sports Report's Javier Morales and Anthony Gimino

One of the many encouraging things about Arizona's opening game against the Toledo was the absolute control, the calmness, that quarterback Nick Foles showed. Even when the offense sputtered in the first half, there was absolutely no panic, and first-year quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo said that comes from Foles being a dedicated student of he game in the offseason. "The thing with Nick is that he's knowledgeable," Scelfo said. "He knew what he was doing. He felt comfortable with the game plan. It's like taking a test and knowing the answers. He had a great offseason." One thing Scelfo and head coach Mike Stoops mentioned as an area of improvement is getting to the line and getting the ball snapped fast. "We have a chance to put the defense at a little bit of a disadvantage if we can pick up the tempo a little bit more," Scelfo said. ... Did you know that there are seven former Arizona football assistants who are now head coaches at some level of college football? Probably not. Question is, how many can you name? Answer below. ...

Backup Matt Scott has been earning positive offseason reviews from coaches and media for his improvement over last season. Here is Scelfo on how Scott did against Toledo: "We got the same guy in the game that we have been getting in practice which is what we wanted to see." Scott should get ample time Saturday night against The Citadel (perhaps Bryson Beirne, too, which would be good to see). The thing about Scott is that it looks as if he has a great chance to be more than just a running change-up when he comes in the game, which will keep defenses honest. ... The 36-yard touchdown run against Toledo was vintage Nic Grigsby, using his great change-of-direction kills to cut past defenders on the way to the end zone. He said that run felt a bit like it was in slow motion, as he was able to pick up the defenders and make adjustments to avoid them. "When I first got here, it was going 110 miles an hour," he said. "The next year it slowed down. The next year, it slowed down again. Now, it's like I can feel everything. I can feel guys flowing on the field, and that's just part of experience." ...

Co-defensive coordinator Tim Kish had this to say about how to stop the triple-option, which always starts with taking away the fullback dive. "Disciplined football," Kish said. "Anytime you play option teams, you have to stay disciplined. It's assignment football. It limits the number of things you can do defensively, but, you know what,sometimes that's a good thing." Arizona, which used a lot of nickel and dime coverage against the spread offense of Toledo last week, will have little choice but to stay in its base 4-3 defense against The Citadel. A benefit to playing the triple-option this week: The Wildcats don't have to show next week's opponent, Iowa, anything else about their offseason defensive tweaks. ... There has been speculation about the possibility of ESPN GameDay coming to Tucson next week for the Arizona-Iowa game (which is a night game on ESPN). As of mid-week, the UA hadn’t been contacted about the possibility, although a UA official said that wasn’t a big deal, especially because ESPN now knows the logistics and the local landscape after last year’s appearance in Tucson, which went well. ... Ex-Wildcat Tedy Bruschi, as past of his studio duties on ESPN, this week made his Super Bowl prediction: Dallas vs. Cincinnati, with the Cowboys winning it all. ... Former UA receiver Delashaun Dean, suspended from the team this season before his transfer, helped Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville pull off one of the biggest victories in school history in last week's season-opener. Dean had six catches for 75 yards as the Javelinas defeated No. 1-ranked and defending Division II champion Northwest Missouri State, 16-7. ...

In the last two to three years, former Marana Mountain View basketball player Demetris Morant has moved from Miami to Tallahassee to Tucson and now to Las Vegas. "Hopefully, I will be here until I graduate," Morant, a junior forward at Bishop Gorman High School, said with a laugh Thursday after an individual workout. Morant, a 6-foot-8-inch, 190-pound, lanky forward with a 7-foot wingspan, worked on his footwork and jump hook with a trainer away from his Gorman teammates. The Gaels engaged in drills and a scrimmage together in front of college recruiters, including Memphis coach Josh Pastner, the former UA basketball and assistant coach. Pastner has extended a scholarship offer to Morant. San Diego State has also offered a scholarship. Arizona, ASU, Washington State and Utah are among others giving Morant a look. Morant, whose transfer papers from Mountain View recently cleared, cannot join Gorman's team for workouts until he takes a physical next week. His training session with former UNLV player Warren Rosegreen on Thursday night made it obvious that Morant's focus is working on his post moves. After playing youth football for most of his childhood, Morant did not play organized basketball until he was a freshman in Florida. "It's kind of hard not staying with one team and getting to know my teammates," he said. "My freshman year, it was my first year playing basketball, so I didn't know what I was doing. I hardly played. Last year in Tucson I got better and became one of the best ones on the team. They depended on me. This year, with Gorman, I will have a lot of help." Most of that help will come from the UA-targeted Class of 2012 recruits Shabazz Muhammad, Rosco Allen and Ben Carter, all of whom are destined to be major college basketball players. "The talent level here is way different from our school in Tucson," Morant said. "Basketball is very different because of the competition here. ... Overall, I just like it more here than Tucson. I'm not sure why, but I just do." With a comment like that, is it out of the question to believe Morant will return to Tucson to possibly play for the Wildcats in a couple of years? "No, I mean I like Tucson, but not as much as here right now," he said. "I have friends there. I still have a lot of respect for Arizona and their coaches. They still want me. They are still recruiting me even though I left. They have told me they are looking forward to coming out here to see me practice this year and develop more as a player." Morant averaged 11 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 blocks per game with Mountain View last season. Those numbers figure to decrease because of his reduced playing time competing with much more talent. This season will be important for Morant in terms of how he grasps the fundamentals. His senior year could be a breakout season. ...

Pastner and one of his Memphis assistants -- Jack Murphy, a former UA student manager -- flew from Memphis to Mississippi to Las Vegas in one day to watch various recruits on the first day of the contact period Thursday. They then took a red-eye back to Memphis. Pastner mentioned that "he dreaded leaving home" again with the contact period starting because that means he will be away again from his wife Kerri and 3-month-old daughter Payten Sydney. At least unlike the July evaluation period, Pastner will not be on the road for an extended period of time. Murphy is the father of 18-month-old twin girls Isabelle and Emma. "Josh and I are kind of in the same boat with newborns, practically," Murphy said. "It's tough, very tough to be away from them and my wife (Michelle). Josh and I can relate to how difficult it can be. It's been great to be able to coach along with him." ... Murphy added that Damon Stoudamire, now an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies, visits the Tigers from time to time to say hello to him and Pastner. "(Stoudamire) has been great, very supportive," Murphy said. ... New generation brings clean slate: Mike Krzyzewski and Lute Olson were at odds, especially after Duke complained about the officiating in a loss at McKale Center in 1987. Two of their former players -- Steve Wojciechowski and Pastner -- chatted courtside at Gorman while watching the workout. Pastner, who will turn 33 on Sept. 26, is two years younger than Wojciechowski, a Duke assistant who is bound to lead his own program soon. ...

After observing Allen work out Thursday at Gorman,it is easy to tell that his father has an imprint on how he conducts himself as a player and person. Allen is about as focused that he can be on the court and he plays with effort. His father, however, said his son's greatest need for improvement is "his heart". "You have to remember that I'm his greatest critic," said Daniel Allen, who played professionally in Europe. "He has to show a little more determination and hustle, just like any other kid. You don't let your man beat you back on the next play. Overall, his whole game can improve, and it shall." ... Gorman coach Grant Rice said UA coach Sean Miller has made a concerted effort to reach out to him and other high school coaches in the west after moving from Xavier last year. "He is really working hard to build relationships," Rice said. "He's very professional in how he goes about it. I'm very impressed about what he's doing there already. He's only going to build on that." ... Interesting to see Utah coach Jim Boylen at Gorman scouting players. Boylen's team will join the Pac-10 in 2011-12. He talked for a few minutes with Allen and Muhammad's younger brother Rashaad Muhammad, a freshman who will be a high-profile Class of 2014 prospect. Utah's jump to the Pac-10 from the Mountain West obviously has Boylen setting his sights higher on some prospects. ...

The emergence of Angelo Chol as a potential UA recruit for 2011 is happening because Chol feels comfortable with Miller after getting to know the coach. The San Diego Hoover High School forward was lukewarm about Arizona before the summer because he never talked with Miller. Hoover coach Ollie Goulston said Miller started communicating with Chol after the July evaluation period ended. Now the UA coaches will observe Chol work out next week and potentially set up an in-home visit at that time. Goulston added that Arizona "has a good chance" to host Chol for an official visit this fall despite the fact Chol will sign in the spring. One source close to Chol's recruitment indicated that an official visit during the Red-Blue game Oct. 24-25 is a strong possibility. If Arizona gets a commitment from either Sacramento High School guard Josiah Turner or Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill guard Quinn Cook before that, it could alter the Cats' chances to land Chol because of scholarship restrictions. A player of Chol's ability, however, is worth pursuing despite a lack of scholarships. Chol told us that he likes Arizona because it's close to San Diego. He has official visits lined up with Alabama (this weekend), Kansas (Oct. 15-16) and Washington (in February) -- all further than Arizona from San Diego. ... Trivia answer about former UA assistant coaches: Seven. They are (with years at Arizona in parentheses): Sonny Dykes (2007-09), Louisiana Tech; Rich Ellerson (1992-1995; 1997-2000), Army; Pat Hill (1990-91), Fresno State; Rob Ianello (1993-2002), Akron; Ron McBride (1987-1989), Weber State; Mose Rison (2003), North Carolina Central; Eric Wolford (2004-06), Youngstown State.

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