The Arizona Wildcats' new pregame video made its regular-season debut Monday night.
Former players touting the UA's basketball résumé included Andre Iguodala, Jud Buechler, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, Derrick Williams, Jason Terry and Miles Simon. Those who reminded fans, "This is … Arizona basketball" included Jerryd Bayless, Chase Budinger, Chris Mills, Lute Olson and coach Sean Miller.
During introductions, the video board that runs between the two teams' benches posted one of the UA's new slogans: "A Player's Program."
"Katholieke Scholengemeenschap Hoofddorp"
The 39-character prep school of Valpo forward Kevin Van Wijk - translated, it means Hoofddorp Catholic School. Hoofddorp, Netherlands, is his hometown.
More new stuff
Fans attending their first game of the season Monday saw a few small changes.
Williams, Budinger and former volleyball star Kim Glass now have names that hang from the rafters.
The team's Sweet 16 berth is commemorated, alongside the 2009 appearance, on a red banner. And University of Arizona Medical Center is the new on-court sponsor.
"The reason we were close in those exhibition games is because I wasn't performing."
- UA guard Kyle Fogg, who finished with 16 points.
Monday's game was a regional of the 2K Sports Classic, which has signed a deal to continue playing its championship rounds at New York's Madison Square Garden through the 2020-21 season. The event has been at the Garden for the past 13 years.
It figures, then, that the tournament would chart the number of New York City kids participating. This year's event features 13 players who grew up in New York, including the Wildcats' Sidiki Johnson and Kevin Parrom. St. John's and University of the District of Columbia lead the field with three New Yorkers apiece.
While his former teammates were making their season debuts Monday night, Williams was preparing for some basketball. No, not the NBA. It's still locked out.
Williams and three of his Under Armour shoe-deal stable-mates, Brandon Jennings, Kemba Walker and Greivis Vasquez, will scrimmage some of the Northwest's best basketball teams. Wednesday, the Under Armour team will play a free game against Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The big number
The only other time Valpo started its season so early was Nov. 7, 1998.
Bryce Drew became the third member of his immediate family to make his Valparaiso head coaching debut.
And the third to lose it.
His father, Homer, lost the Nov. 25, 1988, matchup to Butler, 83-53. Scott Drew lost to future NCAA champion Syracuse, 81-66, on Nov. 24, 2002, before leaving to coach Baylor the next season.
Bryce Drew spent the last five seasons at Valpo as the associate head coach under Homer, who came back when Scott went to Baylor.
Arizona fans still having flashbacks to one of the program's most notorious defeats might have done a double-take Monday night.
Roger Powell Jr., a first-year Valpo assistant coach, started every single game for the 2004-05 Illinois basketball team that defeated Wildcats in the NCAA tournament.
Powell scored 16 points in that game, a 90-89 Illinois Elite Eight win that saw the UA blow a 15-point lead with about 4:00 left in regulation.