Arizona Basketball: McDonald’s Red and Blue Game was one to remember

Mar 16, 2016; Providence , RI, USA; Arizona head coach Sean Miller smiles during a news conference a day before the first round of the NCAA men
Mar 16, 2016; Providence , RI, USA; Arizona head coach Sean Miller smiles during a news conference a day before the first round of the NCAA men /

The highly anticipated Arizona Basketball McDonald’s Red and Blue game is now in the books, and the freshman class of 2016 did not disappoint fans, we have some observations.

McKale Center was packed to the brim for the Arizona Basketball annual preseason McDonald’s Red and Blue Game scrimmage. Most fans were excited to see the Wildcats freshman class but were pleasantly surprised by a few other takeaways.


Red Shirt Senior Kadeem Allen is a new daddy, but along with dad responsibilities, Allen is absolutely healthy. Allen looked refreshed, and his game was solid, he made a lot of plays look easy, and that’s what you expect from a senior.

Stats from his Red and Blue Game appearance include two steals and fourteen points. Expect Allen to get a lot of playing time this season.


Parker Jackson-Cartwright has grown both in maturity and in size over the summer. PJC was obviously directing traffic on the court, helping his young superstars learn Miller’s system. He accumulated the most assists in the game with seven, and most importantly, turning the ball over zero times!

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Dusan Ristic, now adorned with the low voice chant, ‘Dooooooos,’ has become more aggressive, and his sky hooks and floaters are back folks!

Last season Ristic started out strong in his shooting, but it seemed to have trailed off throughout the season.  He scored a team-high 16 points (tied with Zo) and made four rebounds in the game.

This season, with his renewed confidence and increased toughness inside, stay tuned for more scoring by Tucson Dusan. His defense will still be under Miller’s watch however.

Keanu Pinder put himself in a position to garner a lot of minutes in the Red and Blue game. Out of Australia, Pinder missed some baskets, but he was fantastic on defense.

Pinder appears to be a bit raw but should have a nice defensive presence on this team. With his size, strength, and love of the game, he will be an excellent addition to this squad. Plus, he can dunk with some authority!


Center Chance Comanche is a beast on defense, and he also has put on about 30 pounds of muscle which seems to have helped quite a bit. The Chief went at Dusan, and his increased confidence was clearly evident.

Comanche finished with six points, blocking two shots and stealing the ball once. He also had no issues taking on Dusan under the basket, and it was so fun to watch.

The Chief has a lot more to give this season. He still has plenty of room for growth as a player, and seems to be more relaxed, and is having much more fun this season playing the game he loves.

Dusan Ristic (14) shoots the ball as Missouri Tigers forward Russell Woods (25) defends during the second half at McKale Center. Arizona won 88-52. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports /

Allonzo Trier showed why Sean Miller is so giddy that he decided to come back. Clearly, the summer has benefitted him as he scored a team-high 16 points and three assists. Trier seems to be playing better than ever, and we hope everything works out for him to play this season.

Dylan Smith got six minutes and Paulo Cruz got one minute on the court respectively. It would have been nice to see these two play a bit more in a scrimmage game.


Forward Ray Smith is back! Smith’s shot is sweet, and he scores with ease. Smith didn’t hold back throughout the game physically and is playing with confidence. Sean Miller told the media that he is the strongest on the team.

Smith finished the game with 10 points, grabbing five rebounds on top of his one assist and one steal. Better yet, Smith still isn’t at his best, and could easily be one of Arizona’s best players by season’s end.

Lauri (Lawry) Markkanen looked everybody bit as good as advertised. Scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the game. At 7 feet tall, he is easily one of the most exciting pieces of this years’ team.

Additionally, the ‘Finnish Freak’ can score from the outside, hitting two of three three-pointers! When is the last time a big man at Arizona was found outside the three-point line shooting like that? More to come on this baller.

Kobi Simmons looked every bit like a freshman at times but was sure fun to watch. His energy is off the charts! He seems to be the glue that bonds the team.

Who was first to run over to Alkins to congratulate him on the Dunk? Kobi! And the fans seem to have a new, favorite chant in which Lakers fans had first perfected, ‘Kob-i, Kob-i, Kob-i.”

Fans could tell that this Wildcat is at Arizona to make a difference. Plus, Miller had said he has tasked Simmons into playing two positions, which may have been why he struggled with scoring.

Jake DesJardins was given a couple minutes to play, we would love to see more.

Related Story: Getting to know Commit Jake DesJardins

Highlights and Dunk Contest

Dunk Contest winner Rawle Alkins blew up Twitter with ESPN SportsCenter rated his dunk over his head coach Sean Miller at No. 5. Alkins not only made his coach uncomfortable a bit, but he also scored the dunk with all 10’s, ultimate winning the contest. The crowd went wild and two of the judges, Miles Simon and Mike Bibby, were seen grinning from ear to ear.

Highlights from the game:

Here are Sean Miller’s postgame comments including how agreeing to hold the ball for the Rawle Dunk:

Must Read: Arizona Basketball: Rawle Alkins dunk, Leads to Sports Center Highlight

It’s almost basketball season!!!! BearDown!