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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


More than fanfare

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcats mens basketball team held its annual Red-Blue scrimmage Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, in McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team held its annual Red-Blue scrimmage Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, in McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.

Maybe a glorified scrimmage can be telling after all.

Following a dunk contest won by Brendon Lavender, Sean Miller publicly debuted his 2010-11 basketball team with two 12-minute halves of basketball in front of a McKale Center crowd of nearly 11,000 for the annual Red/Blue scrimmage.

In the end, it was a perfect mix of fun for the fans and a never-take-a-day-off attitude for the team as the Arizona Red team eeked out a 39-38 victory over the Arizona Blue team.

“”We played a lot harder this year,”” sophomore Derrick Williams said, comparing it to his freshman year’s scrimmage.

“”It was more of a business.””

In an intrasquad basketball practice catering toward the fans, the 2010 Red/Blue game hinted that Arizona basketball is growing up.

Per their team slogan — some players wore undershirts with the word “”Attack”” across the back — the scrimmage opened with a fast, aggressive pace.

“”I think we’re attacking at the beginning of our practices,”” Williams said. “”We’re attacking practice a lot better.””

Big men going at it

Again expected to be the best player on the team, Williams asserted himself on both ends. He finished with 15 points and four rebounds.

His three blocks and three steals were products of his activity on the defensive end.

“”I’d say probably just going to the camps that I went to this summer and playing with different players (helped me get better),”” Williams said.. “”Just playing against center Kyryl (Natyazhko) everyday, we go at each other a lot. I think just going at each other every day helps us out.””

Williams kept the taller Natyazhko in check, forcing him into a 3-for-12 game. Two of those shots were from at least 15 feet.

“”Kyryl (Natyazhko) is having a hard time finishing close to the basket, and yet he’s making strong moves to get there,”” Miller said. “”The way he’ll play for us is he can be a great screener and free his teammates. Some of the shots that he made from the perimeter might be a sign of things to come.””

Newcomers making their mark

Junior college transfer Jesse Perry and senior forward Jamelle Horne were matched up for the majority of the game.

Energy is the name of the game for each — both finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

Perry grabbed seven boards in the first 12 minutes, often taking the ball to the rim and hitting the offensive glass.

“”He didn’t finish some shots,”” Miller said. “”He’s a very aggressive player.””

Meanwhile, Miller’s two freshmen guards showed promise.

Point guard Jordin Mayes showed a quick, unconscious trigger, hitting his first two shots — both 3-pointers — which came 19 seconds apart. He also impressed with his command and team play.

“”(Mayes) dished the ball a lot,”” Williams said. “”A lot of passes he made … I didn’t know he could make them.””

Swingman Daniel Bejarano finished with three points.

Parrom and Jacobson recovering

Sophomore Kevin Parrom and junior Alex Jacobson sat out of the scrimmage due to injuries.

Miller said Parrom suffered a concussion a week ago and Jacobson had trouble with back spasms.

Both are expected to return to practice this week.

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