Red-Blue Game

Zeke Nnaji (22) holds the ball tight after grabbing a rebound Friday night. He was 0 for 3 from the field, but grabbed six rebounds after playing the national anthem on a keyboard.

In the long gulf of closed practices between the Red-Blue Game and Arizona's exhibition game, there isn't often much publicly to judge the Wildcats on. 

UA will face St. Mary's on Saturday in Phoenix but that scrimmage is closed and the Wildcats won't be on full display until their Nov. 1 exhibition against Chico State.

But the program announced Monday that freshman forward Zeke Nnaji has taken the gold jersey from Devonaire Doutrive, who wore it for the previous two weeks.

The gold jersey is given to the player who accumulates the most overall practice points in a wide variety of measures. Most stats are counted as one point but here's a rundown of some examples (courtesy of Ryan Reynolds, UA operations director):

-- Two-point shot made is +2, a two-point missed is -1.

-- 3-pointers made are +3, a 3-point missed is -1.

-- Assists are +2, turnovers are -2.

-- Charges taken are +2.5, fouls are -1.

Doutrive didn't wear the gold jersey at all last season and it's not common for a freshman to wear it, so Nnaji's emergence is a positive sign for the Wildcats' frontcourt.


Arizona's Nico Mannion was left off the Naismith's Bob Cousy watch list of top point guards, though the Pac-12 had three representatives: Payton Pritchard of Oregon, McKinley Wright of Colorado and Remy Martin of ASU.

FWIW, I was asked to vote for this one and did include Mannion. Here's the ballot I submitted:

Cassius Winston, MSU

Markus Howard, Marquette

Tre Jones, Duke

Nico Mannion, Arizona

Cole Anthony, UNC

Kihei Clark, Virginia

Andrew Nembhard, Florida

McKinley Wright, Colorado

Devon Dotson, Kansas

Laquincy Rideau, South Florida

James Akinjo, Georgetown

Quade Green, Washington

Anthony Cowan, Maryland

KJ Feagin, San Diego State

Daejon Davis, Stanford

Zavier Simpson, Michigan

Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois

Jordan Ford, St Mary’s

Ashton Hagans, Kentucky

Payton Pritchard, Oregon


Rivals says four-star 2020 forward Dawson Garcia is down to Indiana, Marquette, Memphis and Minnesota, so Arizona appears to be eliminated (the Wildcats were among his top 7).