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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona men’s basketball Red-Blue breakdown

Larry Hogan / Arizona Daily Wildcat

For the second consecutive year, Arizona fans came in throngs to a sold-out McKale Center for the annual McDonald’s Red-Blue basketball scrimmage. After a dunk contest and the introduction of this year’s team, in addition to honoring the 1988 Final Four team, the Red took a halftime lead of 28-24 and defeated Blue, 62-58. Here’s a look at the highlights and best moments from Sunday.

Check out our photo slideshow of it here

Top performers:

Kevin Parrom

Senior guard/forward Kevin Parrom is finally feeling 100 percent after a tumultuous junior season in which he was shot in the leg, which he later broke, ending his season. Sunday, the senior led the Red team in scoring, with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting and six rebounds.

“I’m speechless,” Parrom said. “I went out last year and was just happy to run out and support my team. I’m 100 percent. I feel solid mentally. I’m back to where I was my sophomore year.”

Nick Johnson

For the second year in a row, Johnson led the team in scoring and participated in the dunk contest, which he lost to high-flying freshman guard Gabe York. Johnson scored 20 points, and was 4-of-8 from the three-point line, a testament to his summer, when he said he put up 20,000 jump shots to become more consistent.

“I definitely worked on my shot this summer to get more consistent and knock down open shots,” Johnson said. “We were on the 20,000 shot workout plan all summer.”

Other notables:

Senior Mark Lyons

13 points, four assists, one steal

Freshman Grant Jerrett

14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, one block

Senior Solomon Hill

14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block

Play of the day:

In the second half, Kevin Parrom stole the ball from Solomon Hill near the sideline, kept his balance while spinning away from him.

Running to the basket was freshman forward Brandon Ashley on defense, who felt the wrath of Parrom’s dunk to end the play.

Press conference notes:

– The UA’s heralded recruiting class played well, but pregame butterflies did not spare the freshman foursome. In the first half, the four players combined for just 15 points, including zero from center Kaleb Tarczewski and guard Gabe York. In the second half, York made his only shot of the game, a three-pointer, but Tarczewski made his impact felt, scoring 10 points.

“All of the guys were a little nervous,” Miller said. “They were all here last year, though, just watching, so they had a pretty good feel for what’s to come.”

– Arizona needed a point guard before the season started, plain and simple. Enter Mark Lyons. Lyons scored the first points of the game for the Red team, had multiple drives and finishes to the basket and a step-back three-pointer with a hand in his face.

Lyons looks to be the experienced leader the Wildcats lacked prior to him transferring, and according to UA basketball head coach, Sean Miller, is “…one of many important parts of what we’re doing this year.”


@Channing_Frye (Channing Frye): I was so moved by the applause from the Uofa crowd it’s a home to be a part of something so awesome. Thank you so much #wildcatforlife

@Air_Zona13 (Nick Johnson): Thanks to everyone that came out today! The RED/BLUE was a success. Can’t wait to get this season started. Shout out to all the 87-88 team!!

@SteveKerrTNT (Steve Kerr): UofA sports have never been in a better place!RichRod and Sean Miller building great programs, baseball champs, new facilities..Bear Down!

Quote of the day:

“I gave them the same message I do to kids I coach, whether it’s third grade or eighth grade. I’ve always felt like chemistry isn’t always a must, but that it keeps things together when things are going poorly. At the end of the game, you have to be able to look your teammates in the eye and say ‘I gave it my everything.’ If you have that, then you have good chemistry.”

— Tom Tolbert, member of the 1988 Final Four team

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