It's a reasonably chilly night, for Tucson at least. There is no parking to be found and a looooong line for tickets. One person I spoke with heard that the game was sold out, but there were actually plenty of seats to be had, most up top.
20:00 in the first:
Fellow staffer Nate Ratey spots Bill Frieder behind the Arizona bench. A few minutes later Lute Olson introduces him to the crowd. I actually had the pleasure of watching a UA/UCLA game next to Coach Frieder at Pauley. It was the game where Channing Frye received a lot of contact on a last second shot.
18:40 in the first:
Tangara with a steal on the perimeter and he gets it ahead to Jawann McClellan for a transition dunk. I don't think we'll see a lot of steals beyond the arc for MoTang this year.
17:02 in the first:
The Red is finally on the board. Jordan Hill puts one home that was as much a lay-in as it was a dunk. 6-2 Blue.
16:55 in the first:
Our first three pointer of the game courtesy of one Jawann McClellan. We may know very early this year just how much he was missed by last year's squad.
16:24 in the first:
You can tell it is the preseason. Ivan misses a free throw but they call a lane violation. Ivan then misses the bonus attempt for good measure.
15:23 in the first:
Radenovic and Shakur work the give and go. Ivan with the steal, he gets it ahead to Staf and the point guard gets it right back to the big man for the lay-in.
15:02 in the first:
Shakur gives up the ball again on the break and again the team gets an easy score.
13:22 in the first:
The young Red team does a great job on defense. After an inbounds play, the youngsters force their veteran counterparts into a shot clock violation. I'm not sure the Blue team had any clue the clock was that low.
12:34 in the first:
Another great pass by Prince. He drives and dishes to a wide open Chase Budinger. Unfortunately, Budinger can't bury the shot, costing Prince an assist.
10:50 in the first:
Tangara shows off a very sweet turnaround hook shot. We've never seen that from him before. Perhaps there are some offensive moves to be showcased this year?
10:24 in the first:
Shakur and Radenovic run the break again. These two are really in synch tonight. I tell John Schuster that I think Radenovic is going to have a "monster" year. He shoots back with the fact that I did not put him on my preseason All-Pac-10 team, placing Devon Hardin instead. I mumble something about motivational ploys and turn back to the game.
9:37 in the first:
Lay-ins aren't as "sexy" as dunks, but Prince just executed a shot that can only be classified as a ‘Statue of Liberty' lay-in. He extended his arm straight up in the air, elevated and dropped the ball in the hoop.
8:40 in the first:
Although Hill misses the shot, he showed fantastic athleticism on a lay-in attempt that saw him go up and under, and possibly switch hands. Sweet move. Even more impressive for a 6-9 center.
6:25 in the first:
Ivan and Chase hit back to back threes. It is early, but this appears to be a much better outside shooting team than last year's club.
3:26 in the first:
Nic Wise is at the line and getting an earful from the band. He barely draws iron on his first foul shot and gets serenaded with a chorus of "nice shot buddy". He does drain the second.
9:47 left in halftime:
One of the morning shows has some kind of game going on. It involves two DJ's dressed in sumo outfits, or should I say the lower half of padded sumo outfits. The PA announcer is trying to announce the ‘action' but I am not sure even he knows what is happening. I have never seen the energy level drop at McKale this fast. Seriously, the place is just dead.
19:20 in the second half:
Shakur and Radenovic run the break two more times in a :40 stretch.
18:27 in the second half:
How's this for a quick start to the half. Shakur has a bucket and three assists. All three assists…to Radenovic.
18:04 in the second half:
Radenovic scores again. He now has eight points THIS HALF and we aren't 2:00 in yet.
15:35 in the second half:
Rookie mistake as Budinger steps on the sideline. He looks absolutely disgusted with himself.
10:31 in the second half:
Radenovic nails a three and has now scored 17 points in this half. Monster night for the big senior.
7:33 in the second half:
With a timeout on the floor, a good percentage of the crowd starts to filter out. The team may be a tad rusty, but the fans are in mid-season form.
6:53 in the second half:
Tangara gets out on the break. Wisely, he gives up the ball very quickly.
5:57 in the second half:
Three quick McClellan buckets and suddenly the Blue leads 78-62. McClellan's knee is not 100% but he looks very good.
4:35 in the second half:
The Wildcats will win, David Bagga nails a three. What is funny is that David Bagga is clearly the least talented player on the team but he is better than 90% of the people in the world at the game of basketball. Bring Bagga to almost any pick-up game here in town and odds are that he would dominate.
4:15 in the second half:
We now have our second lane violation of the night. Clearly, Lute Olson will have some fodder for practice the rest of the week.
2:04 in the second half:
Hill tries to drive the lane and loses the handle, but the ball goes right to a streaking Wise for a lay-in.