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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona men’s basketball will hold its annual Red-Blue game Sunday

On Sunday at approximately 2 p.m. in the McKale Center, the start of men’s basketball Red-Blue game officially christens the 2012-2013 season.

The Arizona men’s basketball season doesn’t officially begin for a few weeks, but on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the McKale Center, the Red-Blue intrasquad scrimmage will christen the 2012-13 season.

The regular season won’t begin until the Wildcats’ season opener against Charleston Southern — three weeks after the Red-Blue exhibition — but on Sunday a sold-out arena of 14,538 fans will watch No. 11 Arizona in its annual scrimmage.

For the first time, the general public will get see the talents of Arizona’s four highly-touted recruits and transfer point guard Mark Lyons. There will also be a dunk contest, along with the induction of former Wildcat forward Andre Iguodala into the Ring of Honor. Iguodala won’t be in attendance, though, as he has a preseason game with his new team, the Denver Nuggets, after playing his entire NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The game isn’t just a tool to recruit future players or an event to excite the fan base. As head coach Sean Miller said, it’s also a great way to honor Arizona’s illustrious past.

In addition to inducting Iguodala into the Ring of Honor for earning a gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 1987-88 basketball team will be on hand to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its trip to the Final Four.

Biggest question mark: The play of the frontcourt

Five-star freshmen Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett and Kaleb Tarczewski all came to Tucson with high expectations, but the learning curve for a young big man is always iffy – just look at the erstwhile Kyryl Natyazhko. It’ll be interesting to see how they do in their first real action in front of Arizona fans.

Player I’m most excited to see: Kevin Parrom

It’s unusual to be excited to see a senior, but after the season Parrom went through last year, it’ll be intriguing to see how the newly rebranded sharp-shooter performs after a year of recovery.

Leading scorer: Mark Lyons

Once the season starts, Lyons will try and become more of a pure point guard, but in his first game in front of Arizona fans, the prolific scorer could put on a show.

Dunk contest winner: Gabe York

Guard Nick Johnson said he’s been helping York game plan for the dunk contest, but York hardly needs it. If you haven’t seen the video of his high school dunk against Dana Hills High School, check it out, like now.

Member of the 1987-88 team I want to meet:

Meeting coach Lute Olson, Sean Elliott or Steve Kerr would be great, but I selfishly want to meet one of my childhood heroes — Kenny Lofton. Lofton’s success in baseball overshadowed his point guard play as a Wildcat, but he left Arizona as the program;s all-time leader in steals.

Kyle Johnson is a journalism junior. He can be reached at
sports@wildcat.arizona.edu or via Twitter @KyleJohnsonUA

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