Red/Blue: another look

Wednesday night was the first official showcase of the 2002-03 Wildcats and they certainly did not disappoint. After a sluggish start to the game with sloppy play and turnovers galore, Jason Gardner's red team took over and won going away 105-87.

Many of the team's question marks had a chance to showcase their skills and aid their cause for playing time. Chris Rodgers was the biggest bright spot. The true freshman took advantage of increased playing time, scored 21 points and was very aggressive. Besides Rodgers there were many players who had impressive games as well.

On the red team it was all about Jason Gardner. He just took over in the second half scoring 15 of his 22, showing why he is a preseason All-American. Gardner scored driving to the hoop and showing off his big time range. He nailed three's all over the court and moved the ball around nicely setting up teammates. This isn't a surprise to anyone as it was typical Gardner and opponents might as well get used to it.

The two other Red stars were Rick Anderson and Andre Igoudala. Igoudala scored 23 points and pulled down five boards. He showed off his incredible athleticism, but today his shooting touch was definitely on. Andre nailed five three's and really made it hard for defenders who always have to respect his drive to the basket. Igoudala also clamped down on defense, always getting in the passing lanes and giving the Blue offense trouble.

Besides Gardner, Igoudala had to be the 2nd most impressive player on the court and showed he deserves big playing time off the bench.

Anderson was the final standout on the Red team scoring 20 points and pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds. All of the talk about him not starting perhaps motivated him and it showed in his game. He was always in the right spot around the hoop for tip shots and rebounding position. With this performance Anderson may have locked up a starting spot, at least for the near future.

Rounding out the red team was Channing Frye who had a quiet game, but finished with 13 points and five rebounds. He was quiet for a lot of the game, but had the occasional nice baseline move or jump shot from 12 feet. He didn't get many touches but people should not be too worried about Frye as he looks to be fine.

For the Blue side it was not as pretty. Will Bynum was the other point guard and had an off game to say the least. He seemed lost a lot of the time and dribbled into trouble on several occasions. He did finish with 12 points on some nice moves, but had way too many turnovers to be a steady backup point guard. Hopefully it was just an off game as in other scrimmages Bynum has usually played very well.

The main player on the blue team was Luke Walton (big surprise!!). Luke displayed his all-around game that those in Tucson have already become accustomed to. He was not flashy but finished with 23 points and ten rebounds. He moved the ball around nicely, setting up his teammates like he usually does. As with Jason Gardner, Walton had a typical game and is already in midseason form.

Isaiah Fox was the first half star for the Blue. He was physical on the boards and was finishing down low. Then in the second half he played less and was basically invisible as he grabbed five rebounds, with four coming in the final minute of the game. He ended though with an impressive 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Hassan Adams was the second half star for the Blue as he showed that leaping ability that was bottled up in the first half. He grabbed some garbage points on offensive rebounds but also showed off his left hand on drives and hit a few from long range. Adams and Igoudala are going to be big contributors off the bench this year and there biggest contributions could be on the defense end. Adams seemed to show freshmen jitters in the beginning of the game with some air balls but calmed down in the end to record a good game.

Dennis Latimore rounded out the Blue team and he had a quiet seven points and eight rebounds. He definitely looks better than last year but is still a work in progress. There will be some games most likely where Latimore is just not effective. He is tough under the glass but his post-up game could be improved. He has all the physical skills but still seems to be a little raw. His defense was also a little sketchy as Anderson handled him pretty well.

Chris Dunn played for both rosters and finished with six points and four rebounds. He was a non-factor in the game but showed the glimmer of talent that Arizona coaches think can come out with some work in the weight room.

Overall the game was entertaining but not as spectacular as some of the other scrimmages. The press was not used in tonight's game but one can tell that the press against opponents is going to be dynamite. The team is scary deep and showed that all almost all players can have explosive offensive games. The shooting was much better in the second half as the first half was very sloppy.

The biggest surprise was Chris Rodgers, and it is very evident that Isaiah Fox is pushing Channing Frye for minutes. Those who haven't seen Fox this year will not recognize him as he is a new player. Salim Stoudamire did not play tonight due to an aggravation of his ankle last weekend but should be ready to go next Tuesday in an exhibition against the EA Sports All-Stars.

Notes: The winner in the "Name the Student Section" contest came up with the name of "ZonaZoo". That is what the student section will be called next year.

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