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Arizona basketball Red-Blue game: Time, TV and what to watch

Arizona basketball tips the 2014-15 season with a No. 2 ranking in the coaches poll.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats will fill a renovated McKale Center with a sold out crowd and big expectations for the annual Red-Blue scrimmage. Drake probably won't make an appearance, but on to the more important things.


Live: 3 p.m. MST


7:30 p.m. MST on Pac-12 Networks (tape delay)

What to watch

Brandon Ashley's big return: Putting your money on who will receive the biggest ovation should be pretty easy. Ashley is apparently healthy and ready to go. The team has the same expectations as last year but there's a few reasons for a more wild look in the Wildcats' eyes. While T.J. McConnell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Kaleb Tarczewski return after tasting bitter defeat at the hands of Wisconsin, Ashley defines the tinge of anxiousness and urgency that should give this team an extra edge compared to last year's squad.

Who makes a case for rotation minutes?: Arizona will likely good deep into its bench for a while, but it's never to early to begin guessing who might stick in the rotation come tournament time. The five best players are clear, and Gabe York should see heavy minutes, if not start himself. But will a healthy Elliott Pitts' deadly shooting and capable defensive abilities push him ahead of junior college transfer Kadeem Allen? Is Parker Jackson-Cartwright a change of pace point guard who can run circles around second units? Will Dusan Ristic be more than a viable backup center?

Those jumpers: No, not the leapers. The leapers' jump shots. The Wildcats' starting lineup last season was odd in how few players could stretch the floor. It was the case even though Sean Miller rarely played Aaron Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson together for long stretches, despite the duo being a terror on defense and in transition. The assumed starting lineup this year includes Stanley Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson, but that may be less than a given if neither can hit jumpers consistently. Johnson, by all accounts, has a decent enough shot, but his consistency and Hollis-Jefferson's improvements could go a long way in making the assumption the true likelihood.

The recruiting impact: Arizona is well on its way for the 2015 recruiting class with four commitments already -- Bruce Pascoe reports Justin Simon and Ray Smith will be in Tucson for the Red-Blue game -- but the game has the obvious importance beyond this year and even next. Pascoe reports that 2016 five-star forward T.J. Leaf will be in attendance.

Anderson is out: Ryan Anderson, a transfer from Boston College, won't be playing in the scrimmage. He's still recovering from a shoulder surgery and won't be eligible to play this season anyhow.


Red: T.J. McConnell, Elliott Pitts, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Craig Victor, Kaleb Tarczewski Kadeem Allen, Jacob Hazzard, Drew Mellon

Blue: Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Brandon Ashley, Stanley Johnson, Gabe York, Dusan Ristic, Matt Korcheck

Who's dunking?