Kevin T. Abblitt
From the gridiron of Arizona Stadium through the halls of the McKale Center, Wildcat fans and Zona Zoo student section alike lead their annual migration across campus, turning their attention toward the hype surrounding the basketball team. The excitement is immeasurable.
From the classrooms to the Tucson City limits, the noise is deafening and for good reason. Lofty expectations hover over the McKale Center after the Wildcats’ success exploded onto the scene during last year’s March Madness heroics. Following the stellar Elite Eight run last season, people everywhere began to board the UA-train. With endless possibilities to create mismatches for opponents, the 2011-2012 team is looking for a one way trip all the way to the ship!
There is no stopping the train this year, as Sean Miller has added some fresh faces to an already explosive line-up. With three returning starters and four new highly touted recruits, the season is poised for greatness. The staff brought in 4 top 100 recruits in Angelo Chol, Nick Johnson, Sidiki Johnson and Josiah Turner.
The weight remains on the shoulders of these four young men, in hopes to fulfill the shoes of both Derrick Williams and Momo Jones, in hopes to become household names. Pressure? I think not. Tip off is just weeks away, and although the faces on the court may have changed, the mentality and preparation for a National Championship have remained unchanged.
The challenge for the team this year will not refer to a lack of character or hustle, rather it will come down to the defining moments, where boys become men, and individuals coalesce to form a team.
Still not believing the hype? On January 28th, 2012, the McKale Center will play host to Rece Davis and the ESPN Gameday crew, just the second time since their existence that they will travel to the desert. If you haven’t bought in yet, no worries, ESPN already did! Now it is your turn! Take the first plunge and be a part of the potential this season has to offer, and come support your 2011-2012 Wildcats, as they play their annual Red vs. Blue game this Saturday, October 22nd. The time is now!