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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

It's all about the respect

Arizona basketball head coach Lute Olson has been feeling a little like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield this season -- he and his team "can't get no respect." \nIt sure is tough for those Wildcats. Pigeon-holed into the western time zone, those east of the Mighty Mississippi have already set their alarm and tucked themselves into bed before the Wildcats even tip-off. It also doesn't help that most Pac-10 games are shown on the junior-varsity channel of sports television, Fox Sports Net. Olson has complained that the East Coast media snubs covering his team and puts too much of an emphasis on the squads up and down the Atlantic and in the Midwest.\nLute, I'm with you on that one. It's never fun working hard in the cubicle of college basketball only to have your jerk boss (the East Coast teams) get all the credit for it. It's just not fair.\nBut being the studious journalism student I am, I've learned that to gauge the news-worthiness of a story, it must pass a few tests. \nFirst off, the story must have proximity -- meaning the closer the event happened to the publication, the more likely the readers will care about it. Last time I checked, Tucson, Ariz., is a bit of a hike from ... hmm ... I don't know ... every East Coast media outlet. \nI also learned that timeliness is another important factor when deciding whether to run a story or not. Considering their games end after the East Coast papers' deadlines have passed, I don't think anybody really cares about day-old news. \nConflict also draws readers into a story. The more rivalry and discord in a game, the better. Wow, that Arizona-Oregon State game Sunday really had my temperature rising!\nSo Lute, you might not like it, but at least acknowledge the reasoning behind it.\nAnother part of Olson's crusade is to try and convince ESPN Analyst Digger Phelps that he is wrong in his assertion that Duke's J.J. Redick is the nation's best shooter. Olson's senior guard Salim Stoudamire currently leads the nation in three-point shooting at 56 percent compared to Redick's 42 percent. (Note to self: legally change last name to Stoudamire and have a son. He will most assuredly be a star in college and the NBA, allowing me to retire early from my low-paying, mediocre journalism career.)\n"I think I heard Digger say: 'Well, we haven't seen him much,'" Olson recently told The Arizona Republic in regard to Stoudamire. "Well, stats are available. You don't have to see them. If one guy is shooting 55 percent, and the other guy is in the low 40s, the 55-percent guy is probably the better shooter."\nI can buy Olson's argument, but numbers aren't everything. Redick is the definition of clutch. He's hit numerous trey balls when the game has been on the line. But maybe with more Arizona games on ESPN, the analysts might be singing a different song. \nPerhaps instead of whining about all this, Olson should use it to motivate his team like Illini head coach Bruce Weber has. The analysts continue to call North Carolina the best team in the country, and Weber has used this to pump up his squad. \nIn Olson's defense, the Wildcats currently sit atop the Pac-10 with a 23-4 overall record, so he has plenty of room to speak his mind about the team. He might not go about it in the best way possible, but at least he's putting up a fight for his kids. And that's the best you can ask for out of your coach.

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