Looking towards 2012 in Arizona sports

Dec 29, 2011, 4:44 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2012, 4:40 pm

With 2011 all but wrapped up I’m going to look forward
to 2012. No looking back on the year that was.

If you want
to do that we have the Top 25 AZ Sports Stories
that have done a fantastic job sorting
the 2011 sports year for Arizona.

I see a bright future for Arizona in 2012 except when it
comes to the Sun(s) Devils on the hardwood.

Anticipation on the gridiron, anxiousness on the ice and
ambition on the diamond.

My optimism sees a few successful rides in the desert.

Below is what I’m looking forward to in 2012 along with my
expectations with each team.

Arizona State Basketball 

In 2012 we need to see progression to back a 
contract extension to coach Herb Sendek. I 
don't feel like I'm going out on a limb here, 
but the extension didn't make sense to me. 
have to be in the middle of a not very good 
Pac-12. I don't think that's asking a lot. Arizona Basketball 

Arizona lost the league Player of the Year 
and No. 2 overall pick but they brought in a 
good recruiting class and the Pac-12 is a bad 
league. Sean Miller should have his team 
fighting for the league title with freshmen 
playing a big role. They should also have 
higher expectations going into 2012-13 with 
those freshman growing and another great 
class coming in. Arizona Football 

The thinking and expectations are a bowl 
game. Rich Rod inherits a team that went 
bowling three straight years and was on the 
wrong end of a brutal schedule more than 
anything in 2011. 

This isn't a rock bottom rebuilding project 
and it shouldn't be treated like one. Arizona State Football 

Todd Graham, I need two things from you in 
2012. First, a bowl game to build off the 
success in 2011 because I know the talent is 
there. And the second thing would be 
discipline. Straighten these guys out between 
their ears. That's it. Phoenix Coyotes

In the perfect puck world I'd like to see the 
Coyotes not have to play the Red Wings in the 
first round of the playoffs. This team is 
ready to get past the first round of the 
playoffs. It'll be the next step for the town 
that LOVES their winners. Three consecutive 
seasons playing in late April is a good 
foundation for a team that needs a little 
consistent success in its life. Phoenix Suns 

My expectations are low. They were already
low and this week has dropped them even more. 
The biggest thing to see is a vision and 
direction going into 2012-13 with a go-to guy 
down the stretch.

If a team in the strike-shortened season 
thinks they are a veteran away from a playoff 
run then the team needs to move Steve Nash 
and/or Grant Hill. I see a top five pick 
coming and truly a "new" Suns team come next 
October. Arizona Diamondbacks 

I could not be more excited about the 
Diamondbacks. I was driving the Towers train 
when he arrived and I'm still driving... the 
train is getting full (and that's a good 
thing). I'm nervous about 3B and that's about 
it. I expect them to win the NL West again. I 
don't think anyone else in the division 
improved much (the D-backs improved the most 
and they were already the best) and I think 
what we saw last year was what these teams 
are, mediocre at best. Arizona Cardinals

I'm ready to see what this Kevin Kolb guy is 
all about. Seriously. Let's go through the 
entire off-season and go into next season 
with an open mind. The defense will continue 
to improve and I think the offense can get 
another two wins in those late game must-have 
drive situations. That puts them in the 9-10 
win range and a spot in January.

Tyler Bassett

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Looking towards 2012 in Arizona sports