York has come a long way

Gabe York is a different player than he was a year ago at this time. Read on to see how that, his thoughts on the tournament, and more.

The Gabe York that takes the court on Friday in Arizona's opening game of the NCAA Tournament will be much different from the player that sat on the bench and watched the same scenario last season.

"I have come so far as a person and as a player," York said. "Confidence wise, defensively, I feel like I am supposed to be a part of this team and I am doing pretty well.

"I was the number one cheerleader on the sideline for my team. I am never going to be the type of person where if I am not playing I am not happy. Was I upset? Yeah, but at the overall situation, not that I wasn't playing. It's a little different feeling for me this season."

York remembers being a freshman entering the tournament last season and had advice for the freshman experiencing the same this year.

"The lights and cameras and all that, it's a bigger stage, but we are all playing basketball," York said. "Just don't try to hype it up for more than what it is. We're going out there and playing this game like it was our first game at McKale.

"I think they are really poised for being freshmen. They know how big this stage is, but I think they also know that we are going to have to play basketball for the way that we have played for 34 games. I think they will be fine."

This is not the first time this season that Arizona has played at Viejas Arena and York believes it could wind up being an advantage.

"I think it matters, the familiarity that we have.," he said. "Also playing here against the home crowd, this game I would say will be more than 50 percent our fans. I think it will definitely help. It's night and day."

York's challenge will be containing Jeremy Senglin, who has the ability to get hot from behind the arc.

"They shoot the ball really well and come off of three or four different screens every play, so our defense is going to have to be hyped up and ready to run," York said.

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