Arizona’s Red and Blue game was on Saturday and the following are our thoughts on each individual player that will contribute this season.
Craig Victor: We pretty much got what was advertised with Victor. He is not the most skilled player, but his hustle and effort in the paint allowed him to finish with 12 points. Victor is always going to play hard, but is still adjusting to the overall speed of the game, especially defensively. Still, it was a nice glimpse of what is likely to come from Victor.
Rondae Jefferson: The guess here is that it is going to be difficult for some not to overreact to the three-pointer that Hollis-Jefferson hit. That’s actually a good shot for him, as he was wide open and was able to keep his form. Hollis-Jefferson is going to be a better player for a lot of reasons this season, some of which he showed on Saturday. He didn’t do anything out of the norm, which is just fine because he is already one of the best players in the country.
Elliott Pitts: If Pitts can defend and hit the open three, he will be just fine. He’s not a dynamic player and is not going to play a ton of minutes, but he really does not need to. Pitts picked up three fouls because he was a little bit slow on Saturday, but what you see is probably what you get. He is going to shoot three-pointers and the hope is that he is able to draw the defense out, which he should be capable of.
Kaleb Tarczewski: Although his shot was not falling, Tarczewski was easily the best rebounder in the game, finishing with nine. He also added 11 points, seven of which came at the free-throw line.
Tarczewski’s shot is going to fall more than it did Saturday and Miller is consistently saying he believes Tarczewski is one of the most improved players on the team and will have a large impact this season. It’s just a scrimmage, but you can see why Miller would say that.
T.J. McConnell: I bet that McConnell won’t have many games with more than the three turnovers he had in the scrimmage. He finished with 8 points, 6 assists, 3 steals, and a block. In other words, he did a little bit of everything just like he did last season. McConnell is one of those players that you don’t have to worry much about and to be frank, we can’t really get anything from a scrimmage when it comes to a player like him.
Kadeem Allen: Saturday was easily the biggest environment Allen has ever played in and it showed. He took four shots, only making one, and did not do much else. Allen seemed to be a bit hesitant and never really got comfortable. Sources say his offense is ahead of his defense at this point, but he remains a mystery considering we did not see much from him during the game.
Stanley Johnson: This was the first viewing of Johnson in an Arizona uniform and he did not disappoint, finishing with 17 points. Johnson is a nightmare for the opposition and there aren’t going to be many players that can guard him. He is still learning the right time to pass it and some things on defense, but he is a bully on the offensive side of the ball and will continue to be so.
Brandon Ashley: The Red and Blue game was the most competitive basketball Ashley has played in quite a while and at times it looked like it. He was a bit slow reaction wise, but that is to be expected. Ashley finished with seven points and turned the ball over four times, but it is hard to hold anything against him. The real story here is that he is back and seemingly healthy.
Dusan Ristic: We know not to read too much into these games or get too excited, but Ristic was the most impressive player on the court at times. He only missed one of his eight field goal attempts and showed an ability to score in the paint with both hands. Offensively, he is much more advanced than the average post player his age.
Ristic has to get it together defensively, but there is no reason not to think he will improve and is headed in the right direction.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright: The freshman looked nervous in his debut and finished with more turnovers than points. He was able to grab some boards and had a nice defensive play that resulted in a steal, but he looked a bit hesitant. Jackson-Cartwright is only going to get better, but Saturday was a bit rough for him.
Gabe York: It was a rough night for York, who only made one of six shots. Four of those attempts were from three and one of them included an air ball. He did spend some time at the point and finished with three assists to one turnover. Our rule applies to York just like it does anybody else in that we can’t take too much away from his performance, but it could have been much better.