• G Mark Lyons (6-1 senior)
• G Nick Johnson (6-3 sophomore)
• F Solomon Hill (6-7 senior)
• F Brandon Ashley (6-8 freshman)
• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0 freshman)
East Tennessee State
• G Jarvis Jones (6-2 senior)
• G Rashawn Rembert (6-3 soph.)
• F Lester Wilson (6-4 freshman)
• F Hunter Harris (6-7 junior)
• C Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (6-5 jr.)
Been there before
While the Wildcats are making their first appearance on Oahu under Sean Miller, both Miller and UA guard Mark Lyons are veterans of Honolulu-based tournaments. Lyons played with Xavier in last season's event, and Miller played with Pittsburgh in the 1990 Rainbow Classic, then the island's top holiday tournament. Pittsburgh finished second in the 1990 Rainbow Classic, losing to host Hawaii 84-82 in the championship game.
"We got matched up against a good Hawaii team," Miller said. "It was a great home crowd that night."
Worth the wait for Wilson
In the instant gratification culture of today's college basketball, East Tennessee State's Lester Wilson is something of a dinosaur: He opted to redshirt last season as a true freshmen, as UA forward Matt Korcheck is doing this season as a junior.
For Wilson, it's a decision that is paying off already. Wilson faced limited opportunity on a deep and experienced team last season but is now the Buccaneers' leading scorer as a redshirt freshman.
ETSU coach Murry Bartow just needed to convince Wilson that sitting out was OK.
"At first I was thinking that when you redshirted that meant you weren't good enough," Wilson said. "But he actually cleared that up. He said, 'You don't redshirt people that you don't think aren't good. You redshirt people you feel are going to help you and need that extra time to develop.' So that helped me."
Wilson gained strength, now with 205 pounds on his 6-foot-4-inch frame, and practiced with the Buccaneers last season.
"I just lifted every day and, basically, our practice was my game," Wilson said. "I just worked on me, and that gave me time to find out how the system works and find out what they needed."
Sticking with the same lineup
UA freshman Grant Jerrett played well against Florida last week and put up a season-best 15 points against Oral Roberts on Tuesday. The Wildcats are also looking at facing a front line that is 6-foot-4, 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-5 in ETSU. But Miller said Friday he would likely stick with the same lineup featuring Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski inside. Miller has used that lineup for the past seven games.
HOW THEY MATCH UP
• The series: East Tennessee State shocked the Wildcats with an 87-80 first-round NCAA tournament win in 1992. In the teams' only other meeting, the Buccaneers lost to the Wildcats a season earlier at McKale Center, 88-79, in the Preseason NIT.
• East Tennessee State overview: The Buccaneers lost over half of their scoring from last season - three starters who totaled over 3,000 points in their careers - and that's when things were looking OK. Then ETSU's top two returning scorers, guards Sheldon Cooley and Marcus Dubose, were dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules and policies. And forward Lukas Poderis, a good post defender who was one of only two other returning players with significant minutes, was lost for the season with a foot injury. However, ETSU has plugged away with talented redshirt freshman Lester Wilson, while juco transfer Hunter Harris has played a key role as an active shot blocker and rebounder. Under the basket, there's 250-pound Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard, who can be more active than his weight suggests. The most experienced returnee, senior Jarvis Jones, is logging 36.5 minutes per game but has made only 2 of 15 three-pointers.
East Tennessee State
Named one of the nation's Top 25 freshmen this season by ESPN, Wilson is a much-needed scoring machine for the Bucs. He's averaging over three made three-pointers a game and is comfortable around the rim, leading the team in free throws taken.
The Wildcats' freshman guard has slipped out of Arizona' shrinking playing rotation, but coach Sean Miller is praising his attitude and saying his time will come. If UA is up early tonight, York might be on the floor more while the Wildcats rest their starters.
Different ETSU lineups in nine games this season
Nine NCAA tournament appearances by ETSU, including four since 2003
Percent of field goals made by UA opponents in the month of December.
He said it
"It's the first game of the tournament, and we want to play well. Physically we have an advantage with our depth and size, but we have to utilize that advantage and play a smooth first game. If we're fortunate enough to win, sometimes your first day's performance can lead to the next day."
UA coach Sean Miller
East Tennessee State (2-7) vs. No. 4 Arizona (9-0) • Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu. • 8:30 p.m., today • ESPN • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM