From Dan, To San: A Winter Breather
Danny reflects on Arizona’s challenging non-conference schedule, time with family, and new Nike kicks.
Featuring Danny Peters
One of the biggest transitions in life occurs when a person leaves college and looks to build on what he or she has spent years accumulating in academia. In many cases, it’s a substantial shock to the system because of how different it is to negotiate with the world on our (and the world’s) own terms. For former Ohio State guard Danny Peters, his world seems to be in a different place altogether. He’s since left the Buckeye basketball team as the winningest player in the program’s history, while trekking into a career of teaching as an assistant coach for the University of Arizona’s men’s basketball team. Danny has been gracious enough to let me and the rest of the SLAMonline family in on what it means to embark on the daily challenge of becoming a successful college coach, by way of a special “as told to Sandy,” open-letter San Dova Speak-Easy series, dubbed “From Danny, To Sandy.”
I’m reporting live from the Desert! It is beautiful here, 80-degree weather and the sun is shining. Christmas break is here, and I am excited for a little break to get back to Ohio and see loved ones and family members.
We have been in town for a few days after returning from Raleigh, NC and Salt Lake City for our game against NC State and BYU. Definitely not our greatest performance of the season against Jimmer Fredette and BYU, but it is after those types of showings that great teams cannot wait to play their next game and take it out on the opponent. The best teams in the country do it; over the past three years, Duke is 14-2 after a loss with a 16-point average win margin. That is a goal Coach Miller is working to accomplish with our program, home court dominance and road warriors.
In this early season, we have taken some lumps against very good competition in Kansas and BYU. Our guys finished the nonconference schedule 11-2 with wins at Rice and NC State, and home victories over Oklahoma and Robert Morris. These wins are important to the committee in March when seeds are drawn for the NCAA Tournament.
Last week, we chartered to North Carolina with 125 of our Wildcat donors and the higher ups in the athletic department. It was a great opportuinty for our players to involve those that have given almost $50 million to our program. The Wildcat Club Members became part of our team for the weekend and saw the importance of traveling charter across the country which will hopefully help out with the physical fatigue the long season can bring in March. Thank you to all the members for their generous donations to helping our program.
Right now, our guys are home for Christmas break before we get back for the Pac-10 schedule to begin. We are at Oregon on the 30th and Oregon State on the 2nd. Our guys have proven over the course of the first 13 games that we are capable of playing with anyone. If we can carry that over to our conference play, we will be able to have a very special season.
On the kick game, there will never be a bigger sneaker frenzy than there has been for the [Air Jordan 11 Retro] Cool Greys!!! I was on sneaker websites trying to order a pair but the entire site was overloaded and shut down…I remember when they were first released, people were camped out for days and getting in fights at the mall (shaking my head). Anyhow, I saw Nike is releasing the Sean Elliott Arizona Dunks soon. I will definitely have to get a pair of those. Nike’s Director of College Basketball Eric Lauttenbach came to shoot around before our Northern Arizona game. He told our team about how special Arizona is to Nike. He was actually the one that delivered the Pennys (the Nike Air Foamposite One) to Mike Bibby before the National Championship game. Hope to see him and a few other of the Nike guys in Oregon next week.
Stay in touch, Sandman. We will catch up shortly after a few of these Pac-10 games.
You can pick up more bits of Danny’s ride through the recruiting circuit and his thoughts on the game via Twitter (@PetersDanny).
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist, and fitness enthusiast, whose work has been featured in Robert Atwan’s “America Now”, USA Today’s UWire, Yahoo!, and now in Buckets and Playmaker magazines. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook and Twitter.