The first half ended and Arizona was only up one. You could feel the tension at McKale as the majority of the people watching the game were disappointed in the effort of the UA.
The disappointment was certainly justified, as the defensive effort was "pathetic" as interim coach Russ Pennell said. However, it is difficult to get down on the defense too much considering that it is the first competitive game these players have played in a long time.
Players like Garland Judkins, Brendon Lavender, Kyle Fogg, and others have never seen competition like this and Thursday was only an exhibition game. It was the first time playing in a competitive environment in McKale and it is understandable that there was a bit of a slow start.
This may seem like one giant excuse, and in a sense it is. Arizona did not really play all that bad and even a loss would have meant absolutely nothing. Chalk this game up to one game, the first of many, and move forward.
There were many positives to take away from the game, most of which revolved around Jordan Hill. Yes, he should have dominated the competition but you can often say that and find yourself disappointed. Instead, Hill did exactly what he was supposed to do.
In addition, Judkins looked decent in the point guard role. We do not believe he is strictly a point guard, but he did a good enough job that it may not be as big of a worry as it was before. Then again, like we stated earlier, this was just one game.
At the end of the night, one of the forgotten thoughts is that it is nice to see these kids having fun again. They have been through quite a bit as of late, but it was all forgotten on the basketball court, and rightfully so.
Now that the team is having fun, it is time for the fans too as well. With that being said, both will have fun the same way- by winning. Thursday was hopefully the first of many for all parties involved.
Arizona's effort fine for first game
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