The annual Red/Blue scrimmage has always been one of the most exciting days of the year for Arizona fans, as it marks the beginning of the 2009-10 basketball season. However, the anticipation for this year's event is the highest it has been in years.
New head coach Sean Miller has yet to coach a game for Arizona, but his history of success at Xavier combined with his early recruiting efforts in Tucson have already made his short time at UA a success.
On Sunday at 1:00pm at McKale Center, Wildcats fans will watch Miller in action for the first time, along with a team filled with fresh faces.
That, combined with the fact that Arizona's most important recruit of the 2010 class - Detroit Country Day point guard Ray McCallum - will be in attendance, makes this an event that UA fans in Tucson don't have much of an excuse for missing.
"Our annual Red/Blue game this weekend will always be one of the biggest and most important events of our season," Miller told GOAZCATS.com. "The atmosphere and size of our crowd reflects the passion Wildcat fans have for our program and its future. I hope to see everyone on Sunday afternoon."
Senior Nic Wise's status for the scrimmage is up in the air due to a sprained ankle, but considering fans already know what to expect from the point guard, whether he plays or not, there will still be plenty of storylines to follow.
How much has junior forward Jamelle Horne improved from last season? The former five-star recruit will be extremely important to this year's team and fans will be watching to see how he's expanded his game in the past year.
Sophomore wings Kyle Fogg and Brendon Lavender figure to be key components to this year's squad and both will be counted on this season. Lavender has been one of the team's most improved players in practice and is vying for a starting spot. A good effort on Sunday will help him make a case that he deserves to start.
That's not to mention Arizona's five-man class, all of which should end up having successful careers at UA.
Big men Kyryl Natyazhko and Derrick Williams both have high upsides and should get plenty of time as freshmen.
Combo guard Lamont Jones has already endeared himself to UA fans with his love for the school and competitive fire, while wings Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom should both be mainstays in the UA lineup in the coming seasons.
With so many unknowns heading into the season, UA fans should be patient with the Wildcats' young roster as it learns Miller's system. However, the future of the UA program is as bright as its been in years, and UA fans will be able to see that during Sunday's scrimmage.
McKale Center doors open at 11:30am and tickets cost $6 for adults and $3 for youth.
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