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What to watch for in Arizona Athletics in August

arizona-wildcats-schedule-athletics-august-2023-football-mens-basketball-soccer-volleyball-big12 Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

You’ve almost made it, Wildcat Nation. While it’s still ridiculously hot in and around Tucson, at least you know that Arizona sports teams are very close to returning to the field for the 2023-24 season.

To get you prepared for what’s on tap this month, here’s a breakdown of the most notable events of August:

Football training camp begins

Arizona players and coaches are meeting with local media on Tuesday to preview the 2023 season, as well as training camp, which officially opens Wednesday and runs through Aug. 19. After that, the Wildcats will go into ‘game week’ mode for two weeks ahead of their season opener against NAU on Sept. 2 at Arizona Stadium.

Unlike the previous two years, when all practices were open to the public, only five workouts (including two scrimmages) will be viewable by fans.

Arizona was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-12 by the league’s media, and eight Wildcats were named to the preseason all-conference team.

Men’s basketball headed overseas

Several members of the 2023-24 men’s basketball squad have been representing their countries in international competition, with incoming freshman Conrad Martinez helping Spain win a silver medal in the FIBA U18 European Championships on Sunday. The entire squad has finally been able to get together this week for the first time, and while they’ll be using those workouts to get to know each other they also have to prepare for a collective overseas trip.

Arizona is scheduled to play exhibition games in Israel and Abu Dhabi between Aug. 10-20. It will be the program’s first international trip since 2017, when it went to Spain.

Meanwhile, here’s a pic of coach Tommy Lloyd’s superb pickleball court, as well as a pretty nice view of a monsoon-tinged sunset.

Soccer, volleyball openers

Arizona’s soccer team will be the first to face another team on Aug. 10 when it heads to Malibu, Calif. for an exhibition against Pepperdine. A week later, on Aug.17, the Wildcats will be in Ames, Iowa to face Iowa State in the 2023 season opener.

The UA opens its home slate on Aug. 24 against Grand Canyon, the first of nine matches at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium. This will be the third season under Becca Moros, who last year got the Wildcats to 8-7-3 overall and 5-5-1 in Pac-12 play, just missing out on an NCAA Tournament bid.

The UA volleyball team, under the guidance of new coach Charita Stubbs, holds its annual Red/Blue scrimmage on Aug. 19 at McKale Center before opening the 2023 slate by hosting the Cactus Classic Aug. 25-26. The Wildcats will face UC-Davis and North Carolina on Aug. 25 and Pacific on Aug. 26.

Goodbye Pac-12, hello Big 12?

There had been a whole lot of nothing going on in the college realignment world until Colorado bolted for the Big 12 Conference last week, setting in motion the possibility of Arizona leaving the Pac-12 after 45 years.

Will that happen? Who knows. Same goes for when such a decision would be made.

The Pac-12’s CEO Group, as well as the conference’s athletic directors, are meeting Tuesday morning and commissioner George Kliavkoff is supposedly going to finally present numbers for a proposed media rights deal. The complete lack of one (to replace the deal with ESPN and Fox that expires next year) led to Colorado’s departure.

There’s also an Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Tuesday afternoon that may or may not be related ...