It all felt a little odd to Damon Stoudamire.

The former UA guard had never - ever - watched a Wildcats game from the stands before.

"Very strange," he said.

"I'm used to being out there on the floor."

On Saturday, the Memphis Grizzlies assistant spent his NBA All-Star break in a courtside seat.

Former UA greats Tedy Bruschi and Jason Terry, who were expected at different times this week to be at McKale Center on Saturday, did not attend the game.

A white-clad Stoudamire praised UA coach Sean Miller's team, saying it was one of the few in the nation that has improved, steadily, with each game.

"They've gotten better from Day One," he said. "I see improvement in the team as well as individuals."

He said players "understand the philosophy and what (Miller) is trying to instill" in the team.

"Sean's always been a great coach," Stoudamire said.


With a white T-shirt over his dress shirt and khaki pants, UA athletic director Greg Byrne joked that he harassed fans that weren't wearing white before the game.

It was hard to find any, really.

"I've never seen a white-out where everyone wore white," UA coach Sean Miller said. "Usually a few people don't care. If it was 14,500, we had 14,500 in white. It was the most amazing thing.

"We might have to do a red-out at the end to kinda wrinkle it up here."

A glance around McKale Center showed a sea of white, save for a few purple Washington T-shirts and blue security guard shirts.

"I liked it," forward Derrick Williams said, smiling. "Hopefully we can have a couple more white-outs, or red-outs."

Everyone played along.

UA pompom squad wore the special-occasion white T-shirts and high white athletic socks.

Cheerleaders wore white long-sleeved outfits.

Zona Zoo traded in red shirts for white ones, and the pep band donned the same.

The Wildcats wore long-sleeved Nike Dri-Fit shirts to warm up instead of their regular navy shooting shirts and warm-ups.

Miller called the "awesome" home crowd the best he'd even been a part of.

"Our crowd, it's why we all came to Arizona, to be part of something special like this," Miller said.

New heads

Byrne thought it would be cool for Zona Zoo to have giant cardboard heads of Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes, ESPN's team that called Saturday's game.

So he e-mailed the head of Zona Zoo around 1 a.m., after he held a fundraiser for the UA north end zone project at his home.

"Well, maybe it was closer to midnight," the UA athletic director said, smiling.

Zona Zoo made one.

The resulting giant heads earned a thumbs-up from Nessler, the Chuck Woolery doppelganger, about 10 minutes before tipoff.

Zona Zoo also created heads of Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat after adding those of the UA's bench players on Thursday.


"I thought our game against Cal was as good as it gets, and this one was its equal."

Sean Miller, on Saturday's game

The big number


Blocks by UW center Matthew Bryan-Amaning in the first half

Everywhere a sign

Members of Zona Zoo found creative ways to spell out ESPN's initials. A few of our favorite signs:

"dErrick, Stay and Play aNother year"

"dErrick williamS is the best Player in the Nation"

Two more featured video-game slang; to "pwn" someone is one step better than to "own" them, and "noobs" are newcomers:

"dErrick dunkS, Pwns Noobs"

"Every Saturday Pwning Noobz"

He said it

"It was two teams playing hard and being very competitive, with a lot at stake, not wanting to give the other an inch."

UW coach Lorenzo Romar

Patrick Finley

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