From Dan, To San: Wildcat Character
“Our players have no excuses to not get better.”
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 upon his graduation, 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 hope all is well man, I planned on getting back in touch with you at the halfway point of Pac-10 play, but it has been busy here in Tucson. There is always another scouting report to write or film to watch! We are back from the Bay and our triple-overtime thriller with Cal. It was a great “character” win for our team since we were without Derrick Williams for any of the extra periods. Other guys stepped up and made plays that will really help our team as we play into March! We leave for Tempe this weekend to play Arizona State, and our guys are very focused on the task at hand with a “one game at a time” mentality!
Currently, we are first place in the Pac-10 and Top 20 in the country. Our athletic department is comparing the heightened interest in our program to that of the Lute Olson days! Our team and staff have done a great job of remaining humble and taking each game one at a time. College basketball is not a race but a marathon, and it is the team that can sustain their focus to small details the longest that wins.
The media has been showing us more and more love with each Derrick Williams dunk, but it is difficult with our Pac-10 television deal to get on ESPN or any form of national coverage. (S. Dova Note: Danny’s right. It’s very difficult to find the Wildcats, especially since I live in the Eastern time zone.) We have only had two games on the “World Wide Leader of Sports” and six others on Fox national broadcasts. Jeff Goodman came out to visit and spoke very highly of Coach (Sean) Miller’s quick turnaround and how we are headed in the right direction. It is always great to hear the support, but with a new television contract in the works, we will be able to reach more viewers on the East Coast and in the Midwest.
We have one more road trip left, and I will have been to every Pac-10 school, and I can easily say that the McKale Center, by far, has the best student section in the conference. Adding to that, our facilities have also improved thanks to generous donations of Cole and Jeannie Davis, and we have been able to provide our team with one of the nicest locker rooms in the country and the best strength and conditioning centers in college basketball! Our players have no excuses to not get better, they are treated as well as anyone in the country, have great support from all of our fans, and have every resource available provided to them, plus, our new Nike Hyper Elite uniforms!
Congratulations to my good friend and Shining Stars AAU Program Director Alex Meacham on his first ever Air Jordan shoe, Air Jordan 5 Retro Bin 23 (SD Note: an exclusive interview with Alex is forthcoming). That is a great accomplishment and hopefully he has many more self-influenced Retros on the way (preferably to my office in a size 13…).
Stay in touch, Sandman. I will be sure to check back in with you after the Pac-10 Tournament in L.A.
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 published by US News, Yahoo!, featured in Robert Atwan’s “America Now,“ and now in Buckets and Playmaker magazines. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook and Twitter.