The Arizona Wildcats honored one of their most successful former athletes of all time at halftime. UA president Robert Shelton and athletic director Greg Byrne presented PGA Player of the Year Jim Furyk with a President's Club certificate. The President's Club is a way the UA Foundation thanks and recognizes donors.
Furyk is in Tucson for today's annual UA golf program fundraiser. The FedEx Cup winner played golf with his parents, who live in Southern Arizona, on Thursday before going to McKale Center.
Furyk, who sat courtside across from the UA bench, said it had been "a few years" since he'd been to a game.
"Defense looks good, and rebounding, too," he said at halftime. "We're killing them on the boards."
Beside seeing his family and UA coach Rick LaRose, Furyk said he typically tries to get to Mi Nidito, his favorite Mexican food restaurant.
"Growing up in Pennsylvania, I didn't know a lot about Mexican food," he said.
The spelling of UA athletic director Greg Byrne's name on the scoreboard at halftime.
On the other side of the same sideline, across from the New Mexico State bench, sat UA alum Ricky Barnes, who has made $1.83 million on the PGA Tour this year.
"I was a Wildcat and will always be a Wildcat," he said. "It makes it a little bit easier to see family, too."
That's because his brother Andy is an assistant coach on the UA men's golf team. His sister-in-law, Erika Barnes, is an athletic department fundraiser.
"We're young," Ricky Barnes said at halftime. "I think we need to work on outside shooting. We're still raw. I think we'll be hit or miss throughout the season.
"We'll be exciting to watch."
Ryan Hansen is back on the air.
The UA fundraiser, who served as the Arizona Wildcats full-time radio game analyst from 2004 to 2009, did his second game Thursday as the radio pre-game announcer.
Hansen is replacing David Kelly, who was let go last month. Hansen, who began calling only road games in 1997, had never done pre-game until Sunday.
"I've never had to worry about time before," he said. "In radio, with commercials, everything's down to the minute."
The first week of December, the UA will receive a shipment of eight LED screens to put around the court. They will replace the two video boards at center court and the "paper scroll" rotating advertisements that currently surround the court.
Although none will serve as a full-time scoreboard, ads and some statistics will rotate on them.
The Wildcats hope to debut the boards Dec. 8 against Cal State-Fullerton.
The big number
Times the two schools have met, the fourth-highest total in UA history.
Want to watch the UA play Santa Clara, but can't be near a TV? IBN Sports, the sponsor of next week's Las Vegas Invitational, will broadcast six of the eight games online live at www.ibnsports.com/liv.aspx.
The Nov. 26 Kansas-Ohio game will appear online on tape delay. IBN Sports won't air the Nov. 27 Kansas-UA game because it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
The eight teams in the event are Santa Clara, Ohio, Northern Colorado, Kansas, Bethune-Cookman, Valparaiso, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the UA.