Gardner leads Blue to victory

The Red/Blue scrimmage had its share of highlight moments, but the final outcome was a lopsided 125-78 victory by the Blue team. Jason Gardner led all scorers with 29 points.

The Blue team, made up of the veteran players and freshman Channing Frye, schooled the other freshman almost unmercifully during the first half of the annual Red/Blue contest. The Blues scored the first 11 points of the game, eight by Fry, and raced to a 56-39 at half time lead.

Gardner was the leading scorer with 29 points, Fry added 26 and Luke Walton 20. Freshman Wil Bynum had 19 for the Red team, while another freshman Dennis Latimore added 20 and sophomore Michael Schwertley 13.

"Channing Frye was our best big man," Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson said after the game. "He ran the court, pressured defensively and picked up the driver. He needs to be more aggressive, but he did a very good job tonight."

Bynum was impressive on the offensive end. He hit 4-6 three-pointers and brought the crowd to their feet with one of his patented tomahawk dunks on a break away. However, if Bynum is looking for playing time he'll have to improve his defense and his assist-to-turnover ratio. Bynum had only two turnovers, but had no assists in the game.

Bynum and his freshman sidekick Salim Stoudamire started for the Red team in the backcourt. Gardner and sophomore walk-on Jason Ranne countered for the Blue team. For the most part, Gardner had his way with Bynum and Stoudamire. Neither could guard him as he hit from everywhere on the court and drove into the lane with ease against either defender.

Stoudamire, known for being a prolific shooter hit 4-10 field goals but connected on only 1-4 three-pointers. He also had eight turnovers to go with four assists.

On a lighter note, Stoudamire would get the "Dunk of the Day" award. Midway through the second half, he drove past Gardner, skied over Frye and threw down an "in your face" jam.

Olson said he was pleased with the play of his three junior starters – Ricky Anderson, Walton and Gardner.

Besides scoring a combined 29 points, Walton and Gardner had a combined 20 assists. Walton had 12.

However, the freshmen big men dominated on the boards. Frye led the freshman with eight boards, while Latimore and Stoudmire had five and Isaiah Fox four.

The coaching staff realizes they must to be patient with the freshman, particularly the guards.

The one constant was the play of Gardner. "Right now I know Jason Gardner needs to be in the game 40 minutes," Olson said. "Unless it goes to overtime." Then he'll need to play 45+ minutes!!!


Wildcat Authority Top Stories