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Arizona basketball: Wildcats start season with exhibition vs. Chico State

Basketball season is upon us

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

It's November, which means it's time for the Arizona Wildcats to, once again, take the court in competitive games that matter.

The team opens with an exhibition against Chico State on Sunday evening in McKale Center. Here's how you can watch, and some things you should know before the game:

How to Watch

Time: 6 PM MST

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Announcers: JB Long and Steve Lavin (!)

Streaming: or the Pac-12 App on iOS and Android

What to Watch

You can throw the records out when these two teams get together.

Alright, there are no records. Arizona has never played Chico State before in a game that counted. Chico State was in Tucson in 2012 for an exhibition, a game that the Wildcats won 98-60.

- Arizona perspective

The biggest thing to keep an eye on from an Arizona perspective is the various lineups Sean Miller throws out there, and which ones work best. I would imagine that everyone on the roster will get minutes on Sunday, but who will those minutes come alongside? That's the biggest question heading into the season.

Arizona has the capability of going with a three-guard lineup, or running four guys out there that are 6-9+ at the same time. There really are a ton of options available. This will be everyone's first chance to see which of those options gel together the best in these early stages.

I still feel the most interesting position competition is at point guard. Kadeem Allen was impressive during the Red-Blue Game, and out-played Parker Jackson-Cartwright the entire time. Now we'll get to see what PJC does against someone who's not as defensively initmidating as Allen, and we'll get to see what Allen does against a taller defender.

- Chico State perspective

The Chico State Wildcats are an accomplished group coming in. Last year, they went 22-8 overall, 18-4 in their conference, and won their second conference title in the last four years. They eventually went to the D2 Tournament as a six-seed in the 32 team field, where they were dropped in the first round by Cal Baptist, 67-61.

These Wildcats return three starters from last year's team: Robert Duncan, Tanner Giddings and Drew Kitchens. Duncan was the team's leading scorer, pouring in 13.9 points per contest. He scored 20+ points six times, including a career-high 23 against Cal State Dominguez Hills. He matched that number later in the year against Cal State Stanislaus. Duncan was also second on the team in rebounds on his way to being named first-team all-conference.

Tanner Giddings is a 6-10 senior that would presumably go up against Kaleb Tarczewski and Dusan Ristic. Giddings played two seasons at Fresno State before transferring to Chico State. He was third on the team in scoring last year, and was a second-team all-conference selection.

There's a redshirt freshman on this team that needs to be brought to everyone's attention, and that's Joseph Lynch. And it's only because he looks like this:

joseph lynch

Also, according to his bio, he always plays with a dime in his shoe. New favorite player right here.

It'll be interesting to see this Arizona team play against someone besides themselves, and Chico State seems to be at the higher end of Division-2, so this could be a decent test to get this team feeling good about themselves before games start to count next week.

Just don't pull a St. John's.