Red-Blue Game: Arizona Wildcats showcase size, pieces to puzzle

Kevork Djansezian

Arizona's Red team defeated the Blue squad 62-58 on Sunday at McKale Center, and the analysis is more important than the numbers.

The numbers will probably be released later this evening (here's the official box score), but nobody needs them to know what the Arizona Wildcats will bring to the table coming into the 2012-13 season. Simply put, the team showcased its size and skill at Sunday's Red-Blue scrimmage that attracted 14,365 to McKale Center.

Scrimmages aren't really a place to take much good or bad from a team standpoint. They do, however, provide the chance to see what each player is individually capable of bringing to the table.

Blue team

Jordin Mayes, Nick Johnson, Solomon Hill, Brandon Ashley, Angelo Chol, Matt Korcheck, Jacob Hazzard, Drew Mellon

Red team

Mark Lyons, Gabe York, Kevin Parrom, Grant Jerrett, Kaleb Tarczewski, T.J. McConnell, Max Wiepking, Quinton Crawford

The size up front

We knew it based on the roster. The Wildcats would have size and versatility. The Red-Blue Game got off to a slow start, but it the lack of scoring should also be credited to the defense flexing its muscle. Arizona's front line is going to cause problems for other teams.

Kaleb Tarczewski had an early hook shot in the lane blocked by Angelo Chol, and he looked like freshman big man that has the farthest to go. That said, Tarczewski also looked more mobile and coordinated than he did just this summer in the Nike Hoops Summit.

Brandon Ashley wasn't a big surprise in his production but he was, as expected, very productive. He was the most active rebounder of the young bigs, especially in scoring off offensive rebounds.

Meanwhile, Grant Jerrett perhaps had the most eye-opening game. He showed versatility from scoring off hooks shots, to blocking shots, to launching three-pointers as a trailer on the fast break.

Solomon Hill's size

The point forward wasn't just noticeably more trim compared to his past three years -- he was strikingly more fit. While Hill's shooting numbers will probably be pretty poor on the day, he looked much more agile on both ends of the floor. He moved well, scoring on an off-ball screen from 17-feet with a more natural shooting strong and quicker trigger than we've seen the past few seasons. He once pulled up for a three-pointer in transition that perhaps could allude to more confidence in his shooting stroke.

Three-point shooting

Nick Johnson (4-for-8) and Kevin Parrom (4-for-7) each got hot from beyond the arc on Sunday, but the that means two different things for two different players. For Johnson, it means he's extended his range and added something to his mid-range game. Johnson also showed a nice jump-stop floater, something that with his athleticism could very, very useful when big men cut off his dribble-drives to the hoop.

As for Parrom, the confidence and consistent hits from outside were signs that he's in a groove and has shaken off the rust from injury problems throughout his time at Arizona.

Lyons' athleticism

At Xavier, Mark Lyons already proved he can be a capable scorer in Division I hoops. But on Sunday, he showed a very impressive ability in his acceleration and explosiveness from a stand-still. That helped him get to the bucket, where he was able to finish with ease.

The point guard's court vision was on display in some cases, though the obvious question of him running an offense against a non-scrimmage-like defense has yet to be proven.

Statistical leaders

Points: Johnson (20), Parrom (17), Solomon Hill (14), Lyons (13), Ashley (11), Kaleb Tarczewski (10)

Rebounds: Jerrett (8), Hill (7), Parrom (6)

Assists: Johnson (4), Jerrett (4), Lyons (4)

Blocks: Chol (2)

Quote of the day

‎"If those guys play team ball .. there will be hell to pay when people come into this building." - Sean Elliott

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