Fogg & Horne: Forgetting the Unforgettable

Jamelle Horne

Jamelle Horne

It’s been nearly two months since the last minute fouling frenzy that cost Arizona a trip to New York in the NIT Season Tip-Off. This is one of those unforgettable moments that fans don’t forget and can mar a players reputation for the rest of their career. You remember, the one where Fogg tied the game and fouled and without a point being scored Horne fouled again with .8 second remaining.

That was a dark day for Arizona basketball. No, I take that back, it was a gut wrenchingly appalling day. Jamelle Horne and Kyle Fogg were blamed for costing the ‘Cats the game. I remember myself wanting Fogg to be benched for the season only to see David Bagga-like minutes, and I believed that Jamelle Horne had become a nice addition to the dog house of players that don’t belong on a college basketball court.

Fortunately, Russ Pennell wasn’t as flippant as I was, and avoided making the same emotional, gut-reaction statements that I did. Pennell didn’t want to bury his head in his hands and hide from this mistake which would effectively write it off like a skeleton in the closet. He consoled both players immediately following the mistakes. Then later in the week he made the whole team recreate the scenario.

“I was doing it more to exorcise a demon, yet I felt we all came together without even talking. To me, that was a neat deal,” Pennell said. “What I found out about my team was they genuinely care about what was going on, and they had rehearsed it and talked about it.

“The next time we’re in that situation . . . I think we’ll get the right shot and make the right play.”

Pennell had the right approach, and he was dead on, even if it has taken a while. I’m not just talking about making a flippant last-second foul that could have cost the ‘Cats another basketball game, but about how far the ‘Cats have come – Jamelle Horne and Kyle Fogg especially.

Standing on the brink of conference play, Kyle Fogg and Jamelle Horne have grown as players in leaps and bounds since the UAB fiasco. Without their performances Arizona wouldn’t have beaten Gonzaga, Kansas, or even Weber State.

 Over the last three games (UNLV, Kansas, and Weber State) Jamelle Horne has been a monster, posting an average of 13.3 points, 10 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and shooting 46% from the field. There is little argument that those types of figures are All-Conference type of numbers. Kyle Fogg has been equally impressive tallying 10.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 42% from the field.

Stop and think about those figures for a minute. You have two players who were all but shunned from the program by fans just six short weeks ago, who are now accounting for 31% of the Wildcats’ offensive production and claiming 33% of the teams’ rebounds. At that rate, Horne and Fogg will take one of the most devastating 28 seconds in basketball history and make it but a footnote in their lives and in their season.

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