A big, heavy turkey-and-all-the-trimmings meal might be just the thing for most Americans on Thanksgiving, but not for the Arizona Wildcats.
After all, pregame meals are about gaining energy. Not inducing sleep and/or laziness.
“You don’t want turkey and stuffing before a game,” said Ryan Reynolds, UA’s director of basketball operations.
So the Wildcats instead had their big meal Wednesday evening after arriving in Las Vegas, then stuck with the usual pasta-and-chicken pregame buffet Thursday.
“I would say it was a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” Reynolds said of Wednesday’s spread. “Turkey, ham at a carving station, stuffing, sweet potatoes, all the usual things.”
The Wildcats’ “move” of Thanksgiving is becoming a nearly annual thing. The NCAA now allows teams to play in multi-team events every year and many of them are clustered over Thanksgiving week. Teams are attracted to the “MTEs” because most give them a free game toward the NCAA scheduling maximum.
Last year, the Wildcats held “Thanksgiving” on Wednesday before playing in Fullerton, Calif., and they’ll probably do some sort of adjustment next season while playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis (if they even want to celebrate Thanksgiving, since it isn’t an official holiday in the Bahamas).