Notebook: On a 20-minute rim delay, Jeter's big debut and new uniform look
College basketball is finally in full swing and Arizona began its season with a 90-60 win over Houston Baptist on Wednesday in McKale Center. Here’s a rundown of the most important topics in the first win of the year.
Before a game could be played, the season began with a 20-minute delay in order to fix a rim malfunction on the south side of the court. The rim appeared to be off balance after Houston Baptist finished their pregame warmups, and the malfunction wasn’t noticed until player introductions were about to commence.
Luckily, the rim and net were replaced without much issue.
Jeter’s impressive debut
Chase Jeter’s first game as an Arizona Wildcat turned out to be an impressive one as the junior center collected a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds). He was an efficient 4-5 from the floor, and nine of his rebounds came on the defensive glass.
“The best is yet to come. I don’t think he’s scratched the surface,” head coach Sean Miller said.
Jeter missed Arizona’s first exhibition game with an injury and struggled on the court when he returned in the second game.
“I think now the injury is finally leaving him, and I think we are all anxious for him to experience a good stretch of health,” Miller said.
Perhaps the biggest twist of the night came in the form of a new uniform look. The Wildcats ditched the gray gradient design on the shoulders and legs of their uniform, opting for a clean red look.
The move appeared to be well received on social media.
These jerseys and shorts are expected to be used as the “alternates” for the team this season, replacing the white and gold uniform that’s been worn infrequently the last two years. So yes, the gradient look hasn’t yet been fully replaced.
Strong second half
In the middle of the first half the Wildcats had more turnovers (seven) that made field goals (four). The Wildcats went into the break leading by only nine points against a 346th-ranked team out of 351 in terms of Rating Power Index.
Miller said early game jitters, turnovers and missed shots on offense led to the less-than-optimal start.
“We had ten turnovers in the first half, and anytime that’s the case, there’s a lot of bad things happening for both your offense and defense,” Miller said. “We are a group of guys who are playing together for the first time, and I think our hope is that as we continue to work, practice, and go through experiences, we will improve.”
Adjustments were made at halftime and the Wildcats came out a different team, outscoring Houston Baptist 57-36 in the last 20 minutes of play.
“We were attacking the second half,” sophomore guard Alex Barcello said. “We got the nerves out.”
Arizona is back in action Sunday, when it takes on Cal Poly at 3 p.m. in McKale Center.
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