If you watched Kyle Fogg’s effort against the Washington Huskies in Tucson back on January 28, you saw him trying.
The senior tried so hard. He knew what a win meant and he wanted to win. I maintain it was the single greatest example of trying to do too much I’ve ever seen on a basketball court. He made two of his four shots, all of which were attempted in the first half, grabbed no rebounds, and coughed the ball up five times.
And if you could stand to watch him during the post game press conference, dejected doesn’t even begin to describe how the senior looked. Slumped in his shoulders, mumbled in his responses, blank in his gaze, he looked defeated. As if the toll of four transitional and trying years, an underwhelming 5-4 start, and the weight of Tucson’s collective basketball focus had finally become too much.
It was not.
Since sitting in that small room after the Washington game, Fogg has been the best player in the Pacific-12 Conference. He’s twice won the conference’s Player of the Week award and take a peek at these numbers: 16.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.3 spg.
But here’s the biggest number: seven. The Wildcats are 7-1 since that potentially finishing loss at home and Fogg has been the centerpiece of that. Ensuring that Arizona will not go quietly into the 2012 off-season. That Fogg will not be the first Arizona senior in more than twenty years to play in just two NCAA tournaments.
You realize before he picked this team up on his back they were all but dead? A game over five hundred in arguably the worst major conference ever with two home losses and a pending road trip to the Bay Area? All but dead indeed and he didn’t let that happen, winning the first of his two POW awards during the Bay sweep.
This perfect little run very well could have Fogg and his Wildcats dancing but it’s really just icing on the cake for the least suspecting four-year starter in recent Arizona Basketball history.
When it’s all said and done, Fogg will have started at least the sixth most games in Arizona basketball history. Up there with the likes of Frye, Stoudamire, and Cook. Those aren’t names you’ll soon forget. And you shouldn’t soon forget Kyle Fogg, either.
He never wowed us with skill, often looking the part of a project when this program needed him to be a star. Fogg was lightly recruited to say it nicely and didn’t receive a scholarship offer until the Arizona program was at rock bottom.
The unranked, unoffered, unassuming kid from Brea will now likely be a First Team All-Conference player. One of the hardest, most self-made players to wear an Arizona jersey.
So take yourself back into that room with Fogg. Down – oh so down – but clearly he wasn’t out. Because there were at least nine more games to start. To be remembered as the great Wildcat he is.
He’s won’t stop trying.