McKale North

Solomon Hill has a nickname for Wells Fargo Arena.

“That’s what everybody calls it — McKale North,” he said.

The UA senior will graduate having won three of four games in Tempe, dating to Kevin Parrom’s “No Easy Buckets” showing when the two were freshmen.

Hill guessed that Arizona Wildcats fans made up about 40 percent of the crowd of 10,900, ASU’s largest since the 2009-10 rivalry game.

“I love the atmosphere,” Hill said. “It did feel like McKale North out there today. I love the fan support.”

So does Nick Johnson.

“This is my home, too,” the Phoenix native said. “It was definitely good to hear the crowd.”

At the end, UA fans chanted a claim: “This Is Our House.”


Chris Colvin, the Sun Devils’ backup point guard, did not play Saturday after being suspended for violating an unnamed team rule.

“He disappointed us, he did, as a teammate,” ASU guard Jahii Carson said. “I think he could step up for us, big-time, if he woulda played today.

“But I always forgive my teammate. He’s my guy. I’m not going to be too hard on him.”

The Sun Devils needed Colvin when Carson picked up his fourth personal foul with 9:50 to play.

ASU coach Herb Sendek said he didn’t know why Colvin — who has been suspended at least three times in his college career — keeps getting in trouble.

“Chris plays a really important role for us,” Sendek said. “We rely on his defensive toughness. We rely on his ball-handling and playmaking. He’s having a really good senior year for us.”

The big number

54 — ASU’s season-low point total Saturday, one point fewer than the Sun Devils scored earlier this month against Utah


“Everybody’s saying that we needed that Oregon loss. I believe it 100 percent. Just getting back to what we do — playing hard every single possession, playing defense — that’s who we are. We’re going to go the farthest by playing that way.”

— UA guard Nick Johnson, on the Wildcats’ modest two-game win streak.

Two baskets?

Sendek bemoaned that his post players made only field goals. Jordan Bachysnki, Ruslan Pateev and Eric Jacobsen combined to go 2 for 8 from the field.

“We did not get a lot of baskets inside,” Sendek said. “I can remember Jordan got one on a roll on a pick and roll. Ruslan had one jump hook in the first half, and I think that’s it.”


Giant cardboard heads aren’t original anymore. But ASU’s student section brought an unusual smattering of heads, from actors to athletes to comics, Saturday: actor Will Ferrell, late newsman Walter Cronkite, late night host Jimmy Kimmel, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, former “Full House” star Bob Saget and Comedy Central host Daniel Tosh.


About 5 minutes into the second half, UA guard T.J. McConnell was shown on television yakking with angry ASU fans from the Wildcats bench. McConnell, a Duquesne transfer, is redshirting this year.

“T.J.’s very animated,” Hill said. “We love it. We’ve got T.J.’s back regardless.”


“Manti’s girl is still better-looking than any UA girl.”

— An ASU student’s sign, referencing Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s claim of being duped by a make-believe online girlfriend

Tweets of the Day

“Time to go home with that win. ASU thought they were loud … Wait ‘til we show up in McKale.”

— UA redshirt forward Matt Korcheck (@mkorcheck_31)

“Three words: Bear. Down. Arizona.”

— Former Wildcats great Steve Kerr (@SteveKerrTNT)

“I can hear UofA chants all the way out here in Sweden !!! Yeeeea”

— Former UA wing Brendon Lavender (@BrendonLavender)

Celeb watch

Former UA great Channing Frye sat in the front row behind the Wildcats bench Saturday, dressed in a red shirt and matching Arizona cap. Near him was former forward Ben Davis.

The Sun Devils countered with Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, an ASU grad, and former point guard Derek Glasser.

Frye is sitting out this season from the Phoenix Suns after learning last summer he had an enlarged heart.