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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    McKale Madness called off

    After falling in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season, the Arizona men’s basketball team has experienced enough madness for a while.

    McKale Madness – formerly known as Midnight Madness – will not be held in McKale Center this year.

    The decision to skip the event, which celebrates the first day NCAA teams can hold full-length practices, was made several weeks ago, said Josh Pastner, assistant men’s basketball coach.

    “”It was a great event for the fans, there’s no question about that,”” he said. “”But we have to get ready for the upcoming season, so we can’t miss an opportunity on a day of practice. I think the fans will understand that.””

    The team will get right to work with a closed practice at 7 p.m. Oct. 12. The Wildcats will practice the next day, take Sunday off, then get on a regular Monday through Saturday practice schedule, Pastner added.

    We want to get right into the heat of the battle right away with a business-like attitude.

    Josh Pastner, UA assistant men’s basketball coach

    “”We’ve got five freshmen, and so we want to be able to utilize our practice times right away and get the young kids into the swing of things,”” he said. “”We want to get right into the heat of the battle right away with a business-like attitude.””

    The event was skipped in 1999-2000 and 2003-2004 – held at midnight those years – because the coaching staff did not like how the players were affected the next day.

    The Madness has featured 3-point shooting and dunk contests, intrasquad scrimmages, and UA wheelchair basketball scrimmages.

    The UA men’s basketball team is not the only squad skipping the Madness. The women’s team, which usually participates in the festivities as well, will also go straight into practice as soon as allowed.

    “”We’re OK with it,”” said women’s basketball head coach Joan Bonvicini. “”Midnight Madness has always been a fun thing, but I think right now we’re going to have our first practice and take it from there.””

    Allowed by NCAA rules, the men’s team had its first abbreviated full-team workouts for the first time Saturday.

    “”It went well,”” Pastner said of the workouts. “”The guys worked hard and played hard. They were in very good condition. It was the first time we could have everyone together in terms of five-on-five with the coaches there.””

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