McConnell brings 'Steal City' rep to Old Pueblo - Tucson News Now

McConnell brings 'Steal City' rep to Old Pueblo

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Arizona Basketball is back on the practice floor today for the second phase of what head coach Sean Miller is calling Fall mini-camps.

Division I basketball team were allowed to begin practice last Friday September 28 almost two weeks earlier than in the past.

The Cats are taking advantage of this extra time to practice in phases. Teams are being permitted to conduct 30 sessions over the 42 days leading up to the start of the 2013-14 season.

Arizona will practice four days on and two days off leading into their public debut, the annual Red-Blue game which will take place Saturday, October 12 at McKale Center. The event is sold out.

It'll be our first chance to see UA's new floor leader, transfer point guard T.J. McConnell from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. McConnell sat out last season but practiced with the Wildcats. Miller says he anticipates that the junior will impact Arizona at both ends of the floor.

McConnell who is from the Steel City, was among the best in the nation at taking away the basketball during his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Dukes. He had 91 steals in 2010-11 and followed that up with 86 in 2011-12.

The 91 steals his freshman year were 5th most in the nation.

The Cats have not been a very good defending team at the point during Miller's tenure in Tucson and McConnell along side junior Nick Johnson gives the Wildcats two starters in the front court who can defend at a high level.

Tucson has always been known as the Old Pueblo but if Johnson and McConnell can excel at making life miserable for guards throughout UA's schedule, Tucson may soon have a new nickname, Steal City.

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