By Monty Phan
Arizona Daily Widcat
It's not quite Midnight Madness, but it'll do.
Arizona's version of the basketball season kick-off ─ besides the student lottery/ticket scramble ─comes a bit after some other schools', but the effect is still the same. In a nutshell: here's your 1994-95 Arizona Wildcats, folks.
Arizona plays its annual Red-Blue scrimmage tonight, the appetizer before the main course of the regular season, if you will. In addition to holding the ever-increasing hoops-hungry fans over until Nov. 19, the Wildcats' first exhibition, the game also provides both coaches and fans with a look at what to expect.
Wearing the red jerseys will be guards Reggie Geary, Miles Simon, Joe McLean and Jason Richey, forwards Jarvis Kelley and Donell Harris, and center Joseph Blair. For the Blue team, Damon Stoudamire and Kevin Eafon will suit up at guard, Corey Wiliams, Ray Owes, Michael Dickerson, and Marty Barmentloo at forward, and Ben Davis at center. Due to Davis' ineligibility, this will be Tucson's only look at the junior transfer until he is able to return around mid-December.
Game time is set for 7:30, and the game will be televised by KTTU (Channel 18 in Tucson).
As much as the scrimmage is fun for the fans, it's also a chance for coaches to get a look at their players. On paper, the teams look even, with two freshmen per team and a fair division of starters. Coach Lute Olson will not manage either team. Instead, assistants Jim Rosborough will head the Red team and Jessie Evans the Blue team.
"What we tried to do is to balance it to give it as hopefully as competitive a game as possible," Olson said. "We try to weigh everything in as closely as we can. I would think it should be an opportunity to see them (the players) do whatever they do against probably the best guy at their position."
"It's more for the coaches," Geary said. "The guys are going to be taking it seriously tomorrow so it'll give the coaches a good idea who'll be able to perform with a little bit of pressure on them."
The most important factor of the scrimmage, and perhaps the whole reason for the event, will be the crowd. Though the team has competed against each other in practice, the added "distractions" of fans and media will make the game conditions as close to real as you can get.
"The coaches get a chance to look at us and how we react in front of a big crowd," Owes said. "They get to see us play each other every day but it's kind of different when you've got the crowd out here. I think everybody will probably step it up, when you have all these people watching you everybody wants to do their best."
"You get some of the kinks out playing in front of a crowd," Geary said. "I'm not sure a lot of guys ─even some of the veterans ─ are used to playing in front of so many people, so it's good to get some of those little fears out."
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