As I looked around me on Friday, the day between the Stanford and California games last week, I was struck by the amount of medical supplies that were needed to keep this Arizona women’s basketball team on the floor. My goodness, I was looking for Col. Potter, Frank Burns and Hot-Lips. Where was the good old 4077th M*A*S*H* unit when they were most needed! I mean, I hadn’t seen that many braces and bandages since Tanya Harding decided to become the Godfather of figure skating! It was clear to me at this moment that injuries have been a far larger factor during this season then what have been obvious to most fans.
Think of the starters that have missed significant playing time including Polkey, Jessica Arnold and Shannon Hobson. Danielle Adefeso and Ch?© Oh have also spent time out of the line-up. Sounds like a job for Hawkeye and B.J.! And these injuries have not gone away. Jessica Arnold should probably not be playing, but her guts keep her on the hardwood. It’s hard to tell how much these shoulder injuries have affected her, but there has to be some lessening of what she is able to do. Polkey’s knee is so sore that I had to help her down the stairs to the bus after practice. She can’t even jump to get a rebound. Shannon Hobson is not nearly 100 percent, and the loss of Ch?© because of a concussion cost the Cats badly in their loss to the Bears when Polkey and Danielle got into early foul trouble.
None of this is to make excuses. Radar and Klinger, even in a dress, should have beaten California, but there is a lot going on behind the curtain. There is courage being shown by several athletes and there is discouragement that all of the best are seemingly never on the floor at the same time.
So, where does that leave an Arizona team that limps into this week’s home games with the L.A. schools with a conference record of 7-5? It leaves them desperate. The Cats have to win both games, injuries or no injuries, to stay off of the post-season “bubble” list and compete for the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Pac-10 Tournament. UCLA and USC are both ahead of Arizona and then the Cats face Oregon on the road, another team that leads the Wildcats in the standings. My point is this: the season is far from over, but injuries are making it tough.
How tough are the Wildcats? We’ll find out beginning on Thursday night. A win over the Bruins and Trojans could change everything. It would just be nice to have Charles Winchester on the bench! The 4077th seemed to save everyone!
See you on the radio!
*All Wildcat games are broadcast live on AM 1330 KJLL.