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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Changes keep coming for men’s hoops

    Arizona mens basketball players stretch before Wednesdays practice in Bear Down Gym. The Wildcats, who are still adapting to multiple changes this season, will play their Red/Blue intrasquad scrimmage Saturday in McKale Center at 4 p.m.
    Arizona men’s basketball players stretch before Wednesday’s practice in Bear Down Gym. The Wildcats, who are still adapting to multiple changes this season, will play their Red/Blue intrasquad scrimmage Saturday in McKale Center at 4 p.m.

    The UA men’s basketball team and all of its followers have seen plenty of changes already this year.

    But despite interim head coach Russ Pennell’s attempts at “”normalcy,”” more changes are on the way. The annual Red/Blue intrasquad scrimmage will be held Saturday at 4 p.m. in McKale Center. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for youth 18 and under. Student admission is free with a ZonaZoo pass.

    “”It’s going to be different than what they’ve seen in the past, because (of) what we are going to do,”” said Pennell, who took over the reins of the team in place of Lute Olson last Friday.

    The scrimmage will consist of one less player, as Jeff Withey has decided to transfer from Arizona. The departure of the 6-foot-10 freshman, who was projected to eat up a lot of minutes on the court, will create a push from other players trying to get into the starting lineup with forwards Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and guard Nic Wise.

    Saturday night will give Pennell a chance to decide who could possibly fill Withey’s spot in the starting lineup.

    “”We could maybe play one quarter with what I would consider my starting five, which I still don’t have my mind totally made up in that,”” Pennell said, adding that he may have some players flip-flop between teams. “”I just may want to see some different combinations. I think everyone will get a chance to see how we’re going to play. I think we’ll get to see the fact that we do have some good players.””

    Pennell said he will most likely have associate head coach Mike Dunlap coach one team and assistant coach Reggie Geary coach the other team, giving the interim coach a chance to assess all angles of the game.

    Unlike running a straight, free-flowing game, Pennell said there will be breaks where TV timeouts would normally be. He said he may even stop game play to make a correction.

    “”As far as me just sitting back and trying to enjoy the game, that’s not gonna happen,”” Pennell said. “”It’s going to be more of a teaching opportunity.””

    With one less player available, the Wildcats will be open to as much teaching possible before the season-opener on Nov. 17 against Florida Atlantic, and then prove to the world that they can bounce back from the immense amount of change the program has endured.

    “”We have to sell the University of Arizona,”” Pennell said. “”This is still a big-time basketball university program.””

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