Arizona has unexpectedly struggled this season, a year after reaching the Elite Eight. The Wildcats are 12-6 (3-2 Pac-12) and last week lost to Oregon and needed overtime to beat 1-5 Oregon State.
Given the Utes' home performances against the Cougars and Huskies earlier this month, a strong showing, or a win, against Arizona, didn't seem out of reach.
Until Jiggy got kicked off.
But Arizona wasn't ready to publicly breathe a sigh of relief after Watkins was dismissed. Instead, assistant coach Book Richardson said, the greater concern now is the unknown of a Utah team without him.
"We worry because if Josh Watkins was an engine, we don't know what goes on now," Richardson said. "You never know."
Watkins becomes the third high-profile player to be kicked off a Pac-12 team this season. UCLA's Ben Howland booted mercurial forward Reeves Nelson in December, and Arizona State's Herb Sendek sent point guard Keala King packing two weeks ago.
• I asked on Twitter a few days ago how much time Craig Robinson could have left as the Oregon State coach given his inability to earn wins with a clearly talented Beaver team. Bud Withers of the Seattle Times breaks down the Beavers' issues, while this RushtheCourt post goes deeper and, theorizes, the Robinson has at least a couple of years left. His coaching flaws, however, aren't going unnoticed.