Greg Byrne was introduced yesterday as Arizona’s athletics director, and most of the folks in Tucson seem pretty excited he’s there. The Arizona Daily Star tells the story that y’all know so well about how Byrne wanted to be an AD from a young age. The article also touches on how Byrne and the school came together, with one official saying, “I can tell you this: He didn’t do it for the money. He did it because Arizona is a better job.”
The only hang-up with some people is that Byrne is a “Scum Devil,” as one fan put it – an Arizona State graduate. But even so, Byrne said he grew up admiring the work of former Wildcat basketball coach Lute Olson. Olson was at yesterday’s press conference, and the admiration is mutual.
One more link: The Tuscson Citizen does a nice job breaking down Byrne, noting (among other things) his ability to raise money and his social media savvy. I believe most MSU folks could confirm every word of that story.
• BASEBALL RALLIES PAST MEMPHIS: MSU’s baseball team scored four times in the seventh inning to beat Memphis last night, 5-4. But coach John Cohen wasn’t pleased with the overall performance.
“We just aren’t making the plays in situations and we are putting too much pressure on ourselves, and that is on the coaches,” he said.
MSU (12-9, 0-3 SEC) returns to action this weekend against Georgia in its first SEC home series of the season. Friday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m.
• BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: ESPN.com writer Charlie Creme led off a blog entry yesterday with MSU’s women, who he said have not met preseason expectations – until now. The Lady Bulldogs (21-12) play Sunday in the NCAA’s Sweet 16 round, against No. 3 seed Florida State, which edged St. John’s, 66-65, in the second round
And the winner gets … UConn! Unless, of course, the unbeaten Lady Huskies lose to Iowa State. Riiight. But one ESPN writer picks MSU to reach the Elite Eight.