This evening's contest between the Arizona Wildcats and the UCLA Bruins should be exciting for several reasons. First, the Wildcats will be debuting their new uniforms. As an Arizona fan, I can't tell you how ready I am to say good-bye to the old duct tape shoulder uniforms. Take a look at some detailed drawings of the uniforms here, and a good photo of them here. Nike claims that the shorts, in particular, are much improved from the old uniforms. They have stated that the shorts are 66% lighter than NBA shorts, and dry 30 percent faster. The shorts also feature laser-perforated ventilation, a side vent, and a fuller hemline.
Perhaps a more appropriate reason to be excited about the game tonight, is the contest itself. A battle between two former Pac-10 powerhouses, that are scratching and clawing for second place in the conference. It will be no easy game for either team. Arizona will have to account for 6'10, 305 lb. Joshua Smith. No typical big man, he flashes true athleticism, and has hands that Arizona coach Sean Miller and UCLA coach Ben Howland have described as 'special' and 'phenomenal'. "They do a phenomenal job of getting him the ball in scoring position, and he just catches everything," Said coach Miller. "His statistics don't really reveal the true impact he has on the game." "Phenomenal hands. When he gets his hands on the ball, he goes right back up with it and scores." It will certainly be interesting to see him matched up with Arizona's Derrick Williams, who will be giving up 2 inches and over 60 lbs.
Something that I'll be paying attention to throughout the game though, might surprise you. The Zona Zoo. Coach Miller spent some time with the students to emphasize the importance of a rowdy home crowd. Said coach Miller "You are the heartbeat of the arena," "The louder, more organized, and the more energy the Zona Zoo has, the rest of the arena will follow. Over Christmas, you could tell that you weren't here." While plying the students with pizza, coach Miller went through some organized chants with the students. For more on this, check out 'Miller gives Zona Zoo fans tips on being loud, rowdy' in the links after the jump.
So get ready, Arizona Wildcats Basketball fans, you've got a great game coming up featuring snazzy new uniforms, two former powers attempting to re-assert themselves, and (hopefully) a rowdy student section.
Bear Down, Arizona! Beat the Bruins!
Check out the links after the jump, and join in the conversation! Comment on the game, the players, the uniforms, and anything else you need to get off of your chest.