You had to figure the 10 full practices Arizona held before going to Spain were going to be more competitive than the games themselves.
The Wildcats destroyed an assembled group of players known as “Combinado Valenciano” 113-44 on Sunday in what was their biggest recorded foreign exhibition win ever, bigger even then that 136-76 win over the “Real Deal Shockers” during their 2012 Bahamas exhibition trip.
Freshman guard Brandon Randolph led the Wildcats in scoring with 21 points, while Dusan Ristic had 14 rebounds and Allonzo Trier added 16.
In addition, Dylan Smith had 14 points, while both Rawle Alkins and DeAndre Ayton had 10 points each.
Some observations from watching the FloHoops.com streaming coverage:
• The announcers kept referring to Arizona's opponent as Valencia's ACB champion team. If that were true, it would have been a much different game. The ACB players are now scattered because it is the offseason. This was a collection of players assembled to face them, and they probably haven't practiced much together, either.
• The host team appeared to really tire after the middle of the third quarter and almost quit playing defense. UA led 53-27 at halftime and 86-32 at the end of the third quarter.
• All that's not to take away from Arizona’s impressive performance. The Wildcats moved the ball well, mostly took smart shots and defended at a pretty high level considering it was only an exhibition game in August.
• Randolph looked like a strong contender to be UA’s sixth man, scoring in a variety of ways.
• The starting lineup was exactly the same one that everybody expects on opening night: Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Trier, Alkins, Ayton and Ristic. In a pregame video, Trier can be heard leading the huddle.
• Alex Barcello mostly served as backup point guard, and made some typically aggressive drives to the rim.
• Dylan Smith, who will also be fighting for minutes in the backcourt, hit some long-range shots and made some well-executed passes.
• Emmanuel Akot looks physically ready, even as he was supposed to be entering his senior year of high school, scoring on a 3-pointer and spin move to the basket.
• Ayton didn’t have the ball a whole lot but did some impressive things when he did. He made a rebound basket appear almost effortless, and mixed in dunks with face-up jumpers.
• The Wildcats actually might have scored more points if a couple of drives for dunks weren't waved off because of travel calls. The game was played and officiated under FIBA rules.
• UA coach Sean Miller played the redshirting Chase Jeter and three walk-ons, though he did not play Talbott Denny, who tore his ACL a year ago.
• Looked like there were about 60 or so UA fans who made the trip to see the Wildcats, while maybe a handful of locals showed up, though only one side of the stands was visible on the stream.
Arizona’s next game is on Wednesday at 10:10 a.m. against the "Mataro All-Stars" in Mataro, about 30 minutes up the coast from Barcelona.
The Wildcats will leave for Barcelona on Monday. They are scheduled to take a Segway tour of Barcelona and visit the 1992 Olympic venues on Tuesday.