Oct. 22, 2010
Sean Collins, Arizona Athletics Media Relations
TUCSON - With the upcoming Arizona Wildcat men's basketball annual Red-Blue Game, sophomore Solomon Hill and junior Brendon Lavender spoke with the local media on Friday. They also shared their thoughts on the first week of practice.
Under the direction of second year head coach Sean Miller, the Wildcats will host their preseason scrimmage at 1 p.m. MST, Sun., Oct. 24, in McKale Center. Sunday's contest marks the first of two exhibition opportunities before the UA opens the regular season on Nov. 14 vs. Idaho State.
"Practices have been competitive, they've been great," Hill said. "A lot easier than last year because everybody knows where Coach Miller is trying to go, especially with a year under our belts. Practice feels a lot better, as far as pre-season workouts, everything has been going smoothly."
The Cats are challenged by replacing senior Nic Wise who graduated after the 2009-10 season but have plenty of options available. Junior Jesse Perry, the NJCAA All-American, and freshmen Daniel Bejarano and Jordin Mayes, both two-time state champions in their respective states, have all caught the eyes of their elder teammates in the first week of practice.
"They are all willing to work hard and learn," Lavender said of his newest teammates. "It's good to see these guys come in here, willing to work hard and listen to everything coach tells them. We all have the same goals and we all want to win. It's going to be more competitive (than last year) since we've been with each other for the last year. We don't see the Red-Blue game as `Midnight Madness'. This is real; it's going to be game simulated so we'll be getting after it."
The Red-Blue Game's greatest benefit for the squad will be watching the film after the game with Miller, something the newcomers have not experienced yet.
"The film after the scrimmage will be just like a game," Hill said. "If you mess up on the court, you might have to do some running. The film after the game will be the most important part."
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and fans in attendance will have the opportunity to pick up the 2010-11 Arizona men's basketball schedule poster, schedule card and schedule magnet while supplies last. The Arizona Adaptive Athletics wheelchair basketball team members will scrimmage on Lute and Bobbi Olson Court. The first half will start at noon and the second half will be played during halftime of the Red-Blue Game. A portion of each ticket sold goes to support Arizona Adaptive Athletics.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for youth (high school age and younger) in advance and $10/$5 at the door and can be purchased by calling the McKale Ticket Center at 520-621-CATS.