Blues down Whites 102-100

The Wildcats held on open scrimmage Saturday afternoon, worked on pressure defense and some offensive sets and entertained a small group of fans who chose to show at McKale while the Wildcat football team was playing Cal. The fans were not disappointed. <FONT color=red> UPDATED WITH PHOTOS </FONT>

Dennis Latimore hit a put-back basket off a Jason Gardner missed lay-up to give the Blue team a hard fought 102-100 win over the White team. But it didn't come without some controversy.

With just over :37 left in the game and the Blues leading 100-99, Luke Walton, playing for the White team, went up to block a lay-up but fouled Will Bynum. Bynum missed first free throw before hitting the second to tie the game at 100.

The White team came down and Chris Rodgers looked for an entry pass but double teamed at the top of the key. Rodgers worked his way out of the pressure and drove into the land. When the defense came over to stop the penetration, Rodgers passed to Channing Frye but the ball went off Frye's finger tips and out of bounds with :7.2 left.

I doubt that anyone I attendance, or the White team defenders, expected anyone but Gardner to take the last shot.

Gardner quickly brought the ball up court, was cut off at the top of key but executed a spin move to get to the basket. His lay-up fell off the rim, but Latimore was in position for put back. The ending seemed very much in question as the horn sounded as the ball left Latecomer's hand. The referees called the basket good, but most everyone in the crowd agreed time had expired. The White team protested, but to no avail.

Game over.

Walton played almost the entire scrimmage and showed little effects from the his finger injury that kept him out of the first exhibition game. On the other hand, Salim Stoudamire was in street clothes and wearing an ankle boot. He did shoot at halftime just to stay loose, but there's no way he'll play in next Wednesday night's exhibition game against Nike Elite.

Isaiah Fox and Frye are still battling for the starting center's position, but neither has gained much of an edge. Frye got scolded by head coach Lute Olson for not being more physical when making himself available for the input pass.

"Do you even want to score," Olson asked. From that point on Frye played with more passion, but for the most part his play against Fox was a draw.

Frye wasn't the only player catching the wrath of Olson today. He was getting on everyone.

Andre Iguodala and Hassan Adams were asked, "Do you want to run the lanes, or would you rather sit down."

Chris Rodgers and even Jason Gardner were scolded for not pushing the ball up court fast enough.

Olson was not happy with the defensive effort, nor was he pleased with the way the wing players ran the break and filled the lanes during the EA Sports game. He also said the team needed to get into better shape. Iguodala and Adams were both winded near the end of that game.

Today's practice and scrimmage was intense, and Olson clearly intends to push them harder before Western Kentucky comes to McKale Nov. 23. Wednesday's game against Nike Elite will be another measuring stick to evaluate the teams' progress, but they are looking very, very good.

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