Seen and heard in Anaheim

2011-03-24T00:00:00Z 2012-11-30T19:26:54Z Seen and heard in Anaheim Arizona Daily Star
March 24, 2011 12:00 am

Kyrie

Kyrie Irving grew up hearing his name mispronounced, and misspelled, more times than he could count.

It's pronounced "Kie-REE." The name means "Lord, have mercy" in Greek, and was his grandfather's idea.

It was also the name of a "Mr. Mister" rock hit in the '80s, and part of a phrase - "Kyrie eleison" - often used in Catholic Mass.

"I like my name - even though people definitely murdered it," Duke's freshman point guard said. "They would call me Keery, or if you add a 'T' instead of a 'K', Tyrie."

Legends

Compared to his Anaheim counterparts, Sean Miller is a neophyte.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Connecticut's Jim Calhoun and San Diego State's Steve Fisher have a combined 2,167 career wins.

Miller has 165.

"The program that I'm here with, Arizona, is not a newcomer to the Sweet 16," the UA coach said. "This is our 14th Sweet 16 team."

Krzyzewski compared Miller to himself, Calhoun and North Carolina's Roy Williams - "The old guys who got it for the right reasons and love the game a certain way," he said.

At 68, Calhoun is the oldest coach left in the Big Dance.

At 65, Fisher is second.

"My longevity is stubbornness, purely Irish stubbornness," Calhoun said. "I don't know what afflicts Steve, to keep him going, but that's my excuse.

"It's what I do. It's who I am in many ways. I'm many other things - I'm a father, a grandfather. I hope I'm a lot more than just a basketball coach. But when it comes down to it, that becomes yourself."

Fisher said he wouldn't compare SDSU's tournament run to what he had at Michigan during the "Fab Five" years.

"I would say, early on, there were no expectations," he said. "We created the expectations."

Kemba

Arizona players have debated the question all year long. Who's better? Connecticut's Kemba Walker or BYU's Jimmer Fredette?

Calhoun, for one, said San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard is "the guy with maybe the bigger basketball future" than Fredette in the NBA.

Then he said Walker was more valuable.

"I think he's the most special of the three really great players we just talked about," he said. "I think he's more valuable, by the way, too, because the guys around him don't have a lot of experience."

Asked about Fredette, Walker smiled.

"I never got a chance to sit down and watch his game," he said. "But I know he shoots from half-court, and I know he doesn't miss.

"He's just extremely tough to guard. He's getting 50 points. Sometimes it's unreal."

Quotable

"I know they're counting on us to win. Nobody really likes Duke, but the team respects them."

Forward Kevin Parrom, on UA students on campus

The big number

2

Upset NCAA tournament losses by Arizona in the Honda Center - in 1998 to Utah and 2003 to Kansas, both regional finals

The league?

Krzyzewski talked Wednesday about passing up a chance to coach Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers in 2004.

He called it the third time he considered an NBA job seriously - the other two were with Boston and Portland - but said the Lakers job was the only one he "took to a far level" before deciding to stay at Duke.

"I could not give up what I've got, what I have, at Duke," he said. "It just wasn't worth it."

He said he never considered leaving Duke "for another school," and praised the virtue of working hard without worrying about the future.

"I coach every game like it's my first game. My mom and dad, the neighborhood I came from, believed that. The next game, the next thing you do, is the most important thing you do."

Another quotable

"I've been waking early in California, but the thought of him can … Instead of a 5 a.m. wake-up, he's more of a 4 a.m. wake-up."

Calhoun, on San Diego State's Leonard

Patrick Finley

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



AP Top 25


Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site consitutesagreement to it's user agreement & privacy policy.

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...