Basketball notes: Red-blue sells out in minutes
This weekend, Arizona men’s basketball fans snatched up tickets for the Wildcats’ annual McDonald’s Red-Blue intra-squad scrimmage in 90 minutes.
On Saturday, tickets for the Red-Blue Game went on sale at 10 a.m. and sold out in an hour and a half. It was the third year in a row that the Wildcats sold out the scrimmage.
Due to $30 million renovations of McKale Center, capacity is limited to about 10,000 students rather than the 14,545 of last year.Student reservations will be available on Oct. 12 for ZonaZoo members with red passes. The student section capacity will be 500. The Red-Blue Game will be on Oct. 18. The Red-Blue game features a slam dunk contest and intra-squad scrimmage.
“We get more people at our Red-Blue game than I think any conference opponent gets for their biggest games,” said head coach Sean Miller at last year’s Red-Blue Game.
Spectators cheer during the Arizona men's basketball Red-Blue game on Oct. 12, 2013 in McKale Center. This year's Red-Blue game sold out general admission tickets in 90 minutes.
The highest road attendance the Wildcats played in 2013-14, when they were No. 1 for eight weeks, was 14,266 students at Utah.
With the capacity capped at around 10,000 students, the Wildcats will still top many Pac-12 schools’ regular season games.
Last season, UCLA’s attendance for its home game against Oakland was 4,771 students, USC only had 2,316 people go to its West Alabama home game and Washington State’s attendance for its home date with the Trojans was 2,113 students.
Two former Wildcats from different eras will be teaming up in Houston.
On Sunday, the Sacramento Kings traded former UA guard Jason Terry to the Houston Rockets. Terry joins former Arizona guard Nick Johnson in Houston’s backcourt.
Terry will make $5.4 million this season. The Rockets signed Johnson, whom they selected with the 42nd overall pick in the NBA Draft, to a guaranteed three-year deal.
Terry played at Arizona from 1995-96 to 1998-99 and Johnson from 2011-12 to 2013-14. Terry won National Player of the Year in 1999 and NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2009.
Johnson’s 2013-14 Arizona teammate and fellow 2014 draftee Aaron Gordon visited Tucson this weekend and was featured on the Jumbotron during the football team’s 58-13 win over UNLV. The Orlando Magic selected Gordon with the fourth pick.
Meanwhile, Kyryl Natyazhko, another former teammate of Johnson’s, is competing at the FIBA World Cup for the Ukraine. Natyazhko played at Arizona from 2009-10 to 2011-12.
Natyazhko is averaging four points with 3.5 rebounds in 30 total minutes of action. The Ukrainians opened with a 72-62 win over the Dominican Republic but lost 81-76 to Finland in their second game. They face Team USA on Thursday in the final game of group play.
Arizona commit Justin Simon recently announced he will transfer to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire to prepare for the UA.
Simon is from Temecula, Calif., and is a senior in high school.
“My family and I thought it was a great idea to get away for my senior year to become more independent and be challenged as a basketball player and a young man,” Simon said to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, “[and] to develop in practice and game situations at a level I never had before.”
Fellow Arizona commit Allonzo Trier of Rockville, Md., also transferred for his senior year to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.
Arizona freshman forward Craig Victor, junior forward Brandon Ashley and Johnson went to Findlay Prep.
—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520