The Arizona Wildcats delivered an afternoon of hoopla and basketball to about 14,000 fans at McKale Center today.
The Red team beat the Blue team 67-54 in the annual Red-Blue intrasquad scrimmage, behind 20 points from senior forward Jesse Perry on a day marked by several tributes to former players. Before the game, UA placed Derrick Williams and Chase Budinger into the McKale Ring of Honor while UA honored former Wildcat Jason Terry for winning the NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks at halftime.
UA also had several key recruiting targets in attendance, including 2012 big man Kaleb Tarczewski.
"The atmosphere was everything you could have ever hoped for," UA coach Sean Miller said afterward. "You have so many former players coming back. That's when you know a program is special. That and the fact we had 14,000 people is just incredible.
"I'd like to thank all our fans from coming here and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can feel the impact."
During the second half of the game, which the Red led only 27-26 at halftime, Perry hit 3 of 4 three-pointers.
In the first half, freshman guard Nick Johnson leading all scorers with 10 points for the Blue team.
Johnson, who finished with 17 points, also showed off his athleticism first by winning the pregame dunk contest and then by making an early tip in dunk that gave his blue team a 4-2 lead.
Starters for the red team were Kyle Fogg, Kyryl Natyazhko, Perry, Brendon Lavender and Josiah Turner.
On the blue team were Nick Johnson, Sidiki Johnson, Solomon Hill, Jordin Mayes and Angelo Chol.
Kyle Fogg and Brendon Lavender each had 15 points for the Red team while Sidki Johnson had 18 for the Blue.
Forward Kevin Parrom, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to his right leg, took a few warmups but did not play. He received a warm greeting during UA player introductions.
Miller said afterward that Parrom would likely not redshirt this season but it remains uncertain when he might return. Miller said at the earliest, Parrom would return by mid-November.
"He's going to miss part of the season unless something changes," Miller said.
Before the game,Chase Budinger and Derrick Williams were honored for going into the McKale Center "Ring of Honor," with video tributes to both players.
After the players were introduced, Miller took the microphone to address the fans:
"The identity of our program is a player's program," Miller said. "If there's ever an event that can capture that, it's today's event. You welcome back our former players. We have our future here. And of course our current team. Thank you so much."
Former UA players on hand included: Michael Dickerson, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, Jerryd Bayless, Derrick Williams, Andre Iguodala, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, and Jason Terry.