U of A exhibition game draws hoops faithful

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Inside McKale Center, Wildcats say basketball is the seasonthey anticipate.

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

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

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

"I always love our guards but this year I want to seehow our forwards and how our centers, how the big guys are going to play, whatthey 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 excitedfor him.  Rondea (Hollis-Jefferson).  My best friend is GabeYork.  I've known that guy, like, my whole life," Sisson said.

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

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

"It becomes very difficult when you got people, you gotyour factions out there and everybody wants to pick their own game, like,'No!  Don't change that!  I'm watching the--' 'No!  Don't changethat!  I'm watching football!' 'Hey!  Can I get the basketball gameon?' 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 universityarea, so, we're excited," said Frog and Firkin general manager JonathanGraham.

Those in the stands at McKale were up close and personalwith the game already, and were prepared to catch basketball fever for anotherseason.

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

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

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