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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New faces dominate McDonald’s Red-Blue Game


Parker Jackson-Cartwright (0) dribbles the ball downfield followed by Jacob Hazzard (50) at the Red-Blue game on Saturday, Oct. 17. 

Arizona men’s basketball is back. In front of a sellout crowd in McKale Center, the Wildcats unofficially kicked off their season at the annual McDonald’s Red-Blue Game as the red team defeated the blue team 49-41.

“This day is for you, the greatest fans in college basketball,” the PA announcer said prior to the start.

The dunk competition included Justin Simon, Ray Smith, Mark Tollefsen and Chance Comanche. Mark Tollefsen, who caught a reverse layup in the air and dunked the ball between his legs, scored straight 10’s from the judges to win the dunk contest.

Stanley Johnson and Channing Frye were both inducted into the Arizona Ring of Honor at halftime. Accepting the award on behalf of Frye was former Arizona head coach Lute Olson, as Stanley Johnson Sr. accepted the award on behalf of his son.

“I would ride or die for the Wildcats,” Frye said via video. “Thank you to all those Wildcats fans; take pride in wearing that uniform.”

Dusan Ristic, Mark Tollefsen and Ryan Anderson were the top performers in the game. Ristic led the red team with 14 points and five rebounds. Adding to that was Tollefsen with 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

“I think we have very high hopes from this group because their heart is in the right place,” Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller said. 

Anderson led the blue team with 15 points on 4-8 shooting from the field. He also added eight rebounds and two assists. Gabe York added 10 points on 4-11 shooting.

“We have so many versatile guys and we have such a team that when you put us all together against somebody else, it’s going to be tough to beat us,” Anderson said. 

The competitive environment was one of the key factors in drawing Tollefsen to the program. 

“For me in the past, I’ve played in environments like this, but it’s always been against me,” Tollefsen said. “It was nice to have a crowd that was for me. It was a great experience.” 

The red team shot 20-341 (42.9%) from the floor, whereas the blue team shot 15-35 (48.8%) from the floor. 

It was an overall solid day for the Wildcats, starting out positive as Arizona picked up their first recruit in the 2016 class in five-star forward from Finland Lauri Markkanen, who verbally committed to the Wildcats Saturday morning. 

Markkanen was in attendance at the game, along with five-star guard Troy Brown. Overall, six recruits were in attendance.

Tweets of the Day

TJ McConnell: “Wish I could be in Tucson to see my boys during the red blue game! Going to be a special season in front of the best fans in college bball!”

Dusan Ristic: “It’s great to be back in McKale and playing in front of the best fans in college basketball!

Drew Mellon: “Get buckets @JacobHazzard @TreyBall3 #WalkOnNation #RedBlue

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