Since last season ended, the only time UA’s players have been on a road trip together was an exhibition trip to the Bahamas, where they lounged at a gigantic resort and slid down some pretty impressive waterslides.
Oh, and they played a couple of exhibition games, too.
“I know that’s nowhere near playing in a hostile arena,” Sean Miller said.
Tonight’s game is reality. Texas Tech is largely unproven, having gone 4-0 so far against weak competition, but the Red Raiders are hosting the Wildcats.
It’s one of two true nonconference road games UA will play this season, the other scheduled for Dec. 8 at Clemson.
“As you can see, there’s almost mind tricks being played in college basketball where there’s a lot of teams playing away from home but very few playing on the road,” Miller said. “Neutral site has become the new hot topic and I do believe playing at neutral venues represents tournament play.
"But to play someone on their true home court, to me, that’s meaningful and for us to go play at Clemson, at Texas Tech, those are going to be two hard fought games and you do develop character. You only have each other.
“You build towards conference play because the one thing about conference play is you can’t play anyone (just) on your homecourt anymore. When you’re home you want to take advantage of it and when you’re on the road you want to be ready knowing how hard it to win on the road. So part of the nonconference season is to develop a mindset and hopefully some confidence on the road and that comes through winning.”
Some previews of tonight’s game:
-- But the game will be a major conflict for Texas Tech with its annual Christmas event going on at the same time.
Arizona put all its remaining single game tickets on sale today. They're already limited for the Dec. 15 Florida and Jan. 24 UCLA games.
Arrested on a marijuana charge, Clemson forward Milton Jennings is expected to return for the Tigers' Dec. 8 game with Arizona.
Memphis has decided to close practices and post-game locker room access to the media. (The same policy has been in place for years at Arizona, except during the 2007-08 Kevin O'Neill season).
After the Beavers lost at Kansas, Oregon State's Joe Burton said he was impressed with the progress Jeff Withey has made since the two played high school ball in Southern California.
Craig Robinson said he always felt the Beavers could play with a team like Kansas.
Larry Scott says the Pac-12 has no plans to expand, despite the frenzied pace of the current realignment.
Dexter Kernich-Drew is taking advantage of an opportunity at WSU with DeVonte Lacy out.
Onetime UA recruiting target Keith Frazier took in an SMU game.
San Diego State will face UCLA at Anaheim tonight at 8 p.m., on ESPNU right after the UA-Texas Tech game.
Other Pac-12 games today:
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Oregon, 4:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
Sacramento State at ASU, 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
Portland at WSU, 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
Colorado at Wyoming, 8 p.m. (ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain) The Buffs will open a difficult stretch with the Cowboys, who shocked them in Boulder last season.