October 15, 2007

UA chose practice over recruiting

As everyone is aware of by now, instead of having a McKale Madness celebration this past weekend, the UA chose to have a closed-door full practice session instead.

Ever since the beginning of the 2001-02 season, the UA has annually had some sort of an event to celebrate the kickoff of basketball practice. The reasons for these events have been twofold.

One, after several months of not seeing the Wildcats in person, it allows anxious local fans to be introduced to the current team in a laidback (and often boring) atmosphere. Two, and more importantly, the event has given coaches a reason and opportunity to bring in several recruits to campus for unofficial visits.

In 2001, future Wildcats Andre Iguodala, Chris Rodgers and Hassan Adams all took visits to the Arizona campus for McKale Madness. In 2002, Kirk Walters was the only UA recruit to take a visit that weekend and it wasn't long before he committed to Arizona.

There was no official McKale Madness in 2003 and the UA coaches opted for a Saturday scrimmage instead. The event was attended by UA senior Jawann McClellan and Shaun Livingston, who committed to Duke before going pro.

Several recruits visited in 2004, including Chase Budinger, James Keefe, Alex Stepheson, Quincy Pondexter and Josh Lomers.

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