Arizona Wildcats open exhibition season against Humboldt State

Stephen Dunn

Sean Miller's club opens the exhibition season with a bout with Humboldt State. Will it go better than last year's exhibition opener?

Viewing

The game will air at 6:30 p.m. MST and can be viewed at the Pac-12 website by clicking here.

The game was about to not be broadcast on television or digitally on the Pac-12 website. Bruce Pascoe looked into the matter and said that the Pac-12 has all media rights for online streaming. The conference will work with schools to self-produce games, but that is done only if they meet certain standards and stipulations which we imagine are for quality purposes.

Reading between the lines, this means the Pac-12 label on such a contest as tonight's wouldn't air if slapped on a fuzzy, grainy video feed with poor audio. If the athletic department doesn't have the tools to broadcast it soundly, then the Pac-12 won't broadcast it at all.

The context

The Arizona Wildcats open the exhibition slate against Humboldt State, a California Collegiate Athletic Association squad that won the conference last season. The Division II Lumberjacks opened their exhibition season last Thursday, winning 87-45 against Pacific Union.

The meaning

So what's to gain from Arizona's end? The Wildcats lost to Seattle Pacific in last season's exhibition opener, then went on to beat Steve Kinder's Humboldt State team 60-51 in underwhelming fashion. Though the Lumberjacks, like the Wildcats, have seen a bit of roster turnover from last season, they do have talent.

Even if the Wildcats play poorly, the score might be more important than you'd think. A blowout would show that the talent-level is there. If the Wildcats are truly a top-15 team, this one shouldn't be close. If it's similar to last year's game at McKale Center, then there's more work to be done that we might think.

The talent

In June, Kinder added San Diego State transfer Alec Williams to his roster. The 6-foot-7, 250 pound bruiser averaged 4.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10.8 minutes of play an outing for the Aztecs in his junior season. Outside of Williams, the roster is riddled with JC and small-college transfers with some high school recruits mixed into the fray.

On Arizona's end, here's the apparent starting lineup:

Considering the versatility of Grant Jerrett, none of this is surprising. Arguably, Kaleb Tarczewski's place in the starting lineup is a good sign that he's living up to the hype. At the least, Miller throwing him with the starters means that he's willing to invest in the center through mistakes.

It doesn't necessarily mean he'll be there at the end of the game, but like Josiah Turner last year, Miller will choose one or two players who have the most upside and deal with their mistakes.

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