VIP visitors

Arizona signee Brandon Ashley brought along a friend to Wednesday's game, and the Wildcats are hoping he just might decide to make it his college home, too.

That's because the friend is Italian point guard Amedeo Della Valle, a teammate of Ashley's at Nevada's Findlay Prep and a 2012 prospect whose recruitment has gained considerable momentum this fall. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard averaged 15.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists for Italy during the European Under-18 Championships last summer.

Arizona does not have a scholarship available for the class of 2012, after it signed Ashley, Grant Jerrett, Kaleb Tarczewski and Gabe York during the fall signing period. But the Wildcats could have an opening if Sidiki Johnson transfers or if there are other roster moves by next spring.

Johnson was not on the UA bench Wednesday and has not been with the team since it played in New York last week. He was suspended Monday for what UA termed "violations of team policy."

All smiles

Arizona's senior football players were invited to McKale Center at halftime to watch video highlights of themselves beating ASU for the Territorial Cup last weekend. Then they reached out and grabbed the cup, passing it around during a ceremony and showing it off in front of a standing ovation at McKale Center.

Interim head coach Tim Kish led the group during the ceremony.

Another shot

Arizona coach Sean Miller, the runner-up in last season's charity "Shots from the Heart" free-throw competition among coaches, will enter again this season.

This time, his opening round competition is familiar: NAU's Mike Adras.

"I want to beat Sean," Adras said in an NAU statement. "We have a lot of tough matchups in the season. I am sure he is looking at it to raise awareness. It is not about who we go against as long as we are promoting it in a positive manner."

The event benefits a foundation in the name of former Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser, and the American Heart Association, in an effort to create awareness of heart disease.

Dual-sport power

So who says you have to be either a football or a basketball school? San Diego State has an argument of being both.

Since the 2010 football season began, SDSU has the most combined victories between football and basketball in the country (through Monday's games). They are a combined 55-12 during that time in football and basketball, five games ahead of second-place Alabama (50-16).

The basketball Aztecs won a school-record 34 games last season and entered Wednesday's game at 5-1.

Aloha again

The Wildcats and Aztecs will take a break from their nearly annual series next season but they just might meet in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, a Christmastime tournament.

Joining Arizona and SDSU for the fourth year of the event in 2012-13 will be Hawaii, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi, San Francisco, Texas Tech and another team to be named. The eight-team event is scheduled to be a true tournament played over three days. It will be shown on the ESPN networks.

McKale Magic

The team that went undefeated last season at McKale Center leaped out to a 16-2 start Wednesday, like nothing had changed.

We're talking about San Diego State, of course.

The Aztecs won both of their McKale Center games in last season's NCAA tournament, against Northern Colorado and Temple, advancing to the NCAA tournament West Regional semifinal where they ended their season with a loss to Connecticut.

Bruce Pascoe