• G Josiah Turner (6-3 freshman)
• G Kyle Fogg (6-3, senior)
• F Solomon Hill (6-6, junior)
• F Jesse Perry (6-7, senior)
• C Kyryl Natyazhko (6-11, junior)
• G Matt Kenney (6-4 junior)
• G Will Bogan (6-1 junior)
• G Erik Buggs (5-11 junior)
• F Kevin Van Wijk (6-8 junior)
• F Ryan Broekhoff (6-7 junior)
Father knows best
Valparaiso usually fills its roster with a mix of Midwestern and international players, but the Crusaders did recruit against Arizona once. Sort of. That was when Bryce Drew told Detroit prep star Ray McCallum how special it was to play for his father. Drew had done so at Valparaiso under Homer Drew and a family friend of the Drews, Tony Bennett, played for his father, Dick, at Wisconsin-Green Bay. McCallum eventually chose to play for his father, also named Ray, at Valparaiso's Horizon League rival, Detroit - instead of choosing Arizona or UCLA.
2K Sports Classic
Tonight's opener is also the first round of the 2K Sports Classic, which is not a true tournament but something known as a "hybrid multi-team event." Four high-major teams host two games against mid- or low-major teams, then the four high-majors go to New York to play each other in a two-day unfixed bracket - regardless of whether they won their two home games. The format allows the high-majors to play four games that count as only three against the NCAA maximum. Arizona will face St. John's on Nov. 17 in New York in the 2K Classic semifinals and Texas A&M or Mississippi State in the consolation or final on Nov. 18.
Miller keeps perspective
So here it goes: The third season officially begins for Arizona coach Sean Miller. Except it may not seem dramatically different to him, considering the blitz of recruiting, coaching, communicating and every other duty he's had since being hired here in April 2009. "It's the next day," Miller said, smiling.
HOW THEY MATCH UP
• The series: Arizona is 2-0 against the Crusaders, winning 90-51 in the first round of the 1996 NCAA tournament at Tempe and squeaking by 74-70 in the final of the 2001-02 Fiesta Bowl Classic at McKale Center thanks to a late four-point play by Jason Gardner.
• Valparaiso overview: Of the Crusaders' 52 shots taken in their last exhibition game, 25 were three-pointers - and they went in at a 44 percent rate. Good shooting could help the Crusaders overcome the loss of 60.5 percent of their scoring and more than 40 percent of their rebounding from a team that finished one game out of first place in the Horizon League last season. Defensively, Valpo runs about 90 percent man-to-man defense, with a 2-3 zone sprinkled in. First-year coach Bryce Drew does have two starters returning: big shooter Ryan Broekhoff on the wing and a steady point guard Erik Buggs. Drew also gets some shooting help from Mississippi transfer Will Bogan. Big man Kevin Van Wijk has shown progress inside, too. The Crusaders were picked to finish fifth in the Horizon League's official preseason poll.
• Who's out: Arizona: F Kevin Parrom (leg wound) and C Alex Jacobson (back) will not play. Valparaiso: F Vashil Fernandez is out because of NCAA clearinghouse issues. F Kevin Van Wijk is expected to play after being hit in the jaw against Augustana (Ill.) on Thursday.
The Australian was a difficult target on the wing last season, hitting 44.8 percent from three-point range, but he'll receive more defensive attention this time around. He prepared for it by averaging 10.9 points for Australia in the World University Games.
On a team suddenly without a go-to leader or go-to scorer, Fogg is being counted on to provide at least some of both. While his defense is steady, the senior guard made only 3 of 13 field-goal attempts over two exhibition games.
HE SAID IT
"(Valpo) can play a lineup with shooters at every position. It'll be a challenge for us defensively when they play that lineup. The big thing for us is defending the three."
UA associate head coach James Whitford