Jeter and Lee highlight standout players from Red-Blue game
The day many sports fans in Tucson have been looking forward to since March finally came, as the Arizona men’s basketball team officially kicked off its season Sunday with the annual Red-Blue game.
While the game itself is just a scrimmage, it offers the fans a first look at what is to come for the season ahead. These are the players who stood out to me the most during the game:
Lee came to the game looking slimmed down from last season, and it paid dividends early. He went 6-10 from the field, while leading all scorers with 12 points. Lee also looked more confident on offense, showing off his improved jump shot as well by knocking down two mid-range jumpers on back-to-back possessions.
"I'm confident in it," Lee said. "It's a shot I'll definitely take a lot this year."
Lee's ability to defend multiple players on defense combined with that consistent jump shot could mean major contributions from the sophomore in an expanded role this season.
Jeter sat out last season as a transfer from Duke, and playing against DeAndre Ayton and Dušan Ristić every practice seems to have paid off. Jeter finished with 9 points on 4-7 shooting but had a game-high 14 rebounds. He was active on the glass all game and showcased a nice set of post moves around the rim.
"I don't think you can judge Chase on one thing," head coach Sean Miller said. "He does a lot of different things. Very good on defense, rebounding is one of his strengths, and there will be times we depend on him to score."
Jeter has shown he is ready to be a leader as he was named a team captain, and his play today was a sign he will be counted on by UA going forward.
A graduate transfer from Pittsburgh, Luther demonstrated he will be one of the leading shooters on the team this season. The 6-foot-9 forward shot 4-7 from the floor and 2-5 from beyond the arc to finish with 10 points.
"When he looks to score, he's only going to make good decisions," Miller said of Luther.
Interchangeable at the power forward or center position, depending on if Miller wants to go small, Luther will be key in the pick and pop game with the guards. If he can be a consistent threat from three-point range, it expands the offense that much more.
Doutrive did not get as much publicity when he signed as Brandon Williams did, but the four-star shooting guard out of California made sure fans knew who he was quickly, showcasing a couple of highlight dunks during the dunk contest.
Once the game started, Doutrive was in attack mode, finishing 4-5 with 9 points.
"Once he learns how to go downhill, he's going to be unstoppable," Williams said of Doutrive.
The 6-foot-5 guard has the potential to earn minutes off the bench as a shooting guard and potentially the wing if Arizona decides to play small, and his ability to get into the lane and finish could provide a huge spark for Arizona and the second unit.
The next time these players will be back in action is Oct. 30 for the home exhibition game against Western New Mexico.
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