U of A exhibition game draws hoops faithful - Tucson News Now

U of A exhibition game draws hoops faithful

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Inside McKale Center, Wildcats say basketball is the season they anticipate.

"I'm a basketball fan at heart," said U of A junior Reid Sisson, who sat in the stands while wearing a Wildcat cap with drawstrings that dangled about his face.

"We go to all the football games but I am a basketball fan," said U of A fan and graduate Ann Poyas.

Even in an exhibition game, students and fans get to see what they have to look forward to this year. 

"I always love our guards but this year I want to see how our forwards and how our centers, how the big guys are going to play, what they look like," Poyas said.

"I'm going to be watching for, basically T.J. McConnell, and how he performs, our new guys.  Aaron Gordon, I'm excited for him.  Rondea (Hollis-Jefferson).  My best friend is Gabe York.  I've known that guy, like, my whole life," Sisson said. 

Outside McKale, in Main Gate Square, a basketball exhibition game between Arizona and Division Two Augustana competed with professional football and the World Series on big screen televisions. 

"Football's the number one sport right now, but once the U of A basketball season gets rolling, I'll be following it pretty closely," said U of A senior John Stellini as he sat on the patio at Frog and Firkin. 

"It becomes very difficult when you got people, you got your factions out there and everybody wants to pick their own game, like, 'No!  Don't change that!  I'm watching the--' 'No!  Don't change that!  I'm watching football!' 'Hey!  Can I get the basketball game on?' So, it's a constant juggle to try to make everyone happy, which, hey, we'll take it.  That's great for business, that's great for the university area, so, we're excited," said Frog and Firkin general manager Jonathan Graham. 

Those in the stands at McKale were up close and personal with the game already, and were prepared to catch basketball fever for another season. 

"Bear down, all the way.  You know?  I'll be that guy.  But I'll wear this every game," Sisson said, as the drawstrings swung around his face.

Arizona will play its first game of the season that counts when the team faces Cal Poly in less than two weeks.

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