Arizona Basketball

Analyzing Arizona Wildcats’ foreign trips with Spain tour in August

The Arizona Wildcats basketball program will travel to Barcelona and Valencia in Spain Aug. 11-19 for a foreign tour, including three exhibition games.

It is the second time under Sean Miller that Arizona will play exhibition games on foreign soil. The Wildcats won their two games in the Bahamas in 2012.

These type of trips started during the Lute Olson era. Arizona is 43-17 during its foreign trips to Australia (three times), Europe (twice), Canada and the Bahamas.

Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright are two seniors who get a chance to tour Spain before finishing their Arizona careers (Arizona media relations photo)

Do the tours pay dividends for the Wildcats in their ensuing season? There is no definitive answer to that question. After these tours, Arizona has ended its season in a Final Four, Elite Eight, Sweet 16 (twice) and first round (three times) of the NCAA tournament.

Arizona has played in Spain before, five times in 1989 with Jud Buechler, Sean Rooks and Matt Muehlebach leading the way. That was part of a nine-game European tour. The Wildcats went 4-1 in Spain with the lone loss against the Spanish National Team in Zaragosa.

A head’s up to the current Wildcats: The 1989-90 team voted that their best place to visit in that European tour (including stops in Germany and France) was Spain. Why? An Arizona Daily Star report indicated the team believed the women in Spain were “very attractive.”

Miller beware — Olson was livid about the officiating in Spain, especially in the 22-point loss to the Spanish National Team in which the Wildcats yielded 99 points to the Spaniards.

“The trouble with the officiating here,” Olson told the Star, “is that these officials will never see us again. They don’t care. Yet they will live with the Spanish National Team. It’s a difficult situation.”

Arizona will play Combinado Valenciano on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. local time (10 a.m. Tucson time) at the Pabellon Municipal Fuente de San Luis in Valencia in the first game of the trip.

The trip’s second exhibition features Arizona and the Mataro All-Stars on Aug. 16 at 7:10 p.m. (10:10 a.m. Tucson time) in Barcelona inside the Pavello Municipal Teresa Maria Roca prior to the final exhibition two days later against Mataro Parc Boet in the same arena.

All three of the exhibitions will be streamed online by with a subscription required.

The Wildcats will also do some sightseeing, including visits to Camp Nou Stadium, 1992 Olympic Games sites, prestigious buildings designed by Spain’s famous Antoni Gaudi and Old Valencia among other places.

The following are the results of Arizona’s foreign exhibition tours with how the Wildcats did the following season (source is Arizona’s media relations department):

Bahamas Tour
Won 2, Lost 0
Coach: Sean Miller
Aug. 11 Real Deal Shockers W 136-76
Aug. 13 Bahamas All-Stars W 99-57
2012-13 Arizona record: 27-8, lost in Sweet 16 to Ohio State

Canadian Tour
Won 5, Lost 0
Coach: Lute Olson
Sept. 2 Univ. of Saskatchewan W 76-61
Sept. 2 Univ. of British Columbia W 73-59
Sept. 3 Vancouver All-Stars W 106-78
Sept. 3 Simon Fraser University W 73-45
Sept. 4 Univ. of British Columbia W 87-76
2006-07 Arizona record: 20-11, lost in NCAA tournament first round to Purdue (Olson’s last game as active Arizona coach)

Australian Tour
Won 8, Lost 2
Coach: Lute Olson
May 14 Canberra All-Stars W 101-99
May 16 Sturt Sabres W 109-98
May 20 Dandenong Rangers W 107-89
May 22 Knox Raiders L 95-97
May 23 Sydney Kings W 113-84
May 24 Sydney Kings L 116-123
May 26 Brisbane Bullets W 98-90
May 29 Kuiyam Pride W 95-84
May 30 Cairns Marlins W 114-96
June 1 Sydney Kings (ot) W 115-113
2002-03 Arizona record: 28-4, lost in Sweet 16 to Kansas

Australian Tour
Won 5, Lost 4
Coach: Lute Olson
May 18 Sydney Kings at Sydney Opera House W 33-30
May 19 Australian U-22 at Gosford L 85-86
May 20 Australian U-22 at Newcastle L 76-96
May 21 Australian U-22 at Sydney W 79-75
May 24 Melbourne Tigers L 114-118
May 26 CBA All-Stars at Frankston W 89-82
May 27 Adelaide 36ers W 83-81
May 30 Perth Wildcats W 113-111
June 3 Cairns Marlins W 96-89
June 7 Melbourne Magic L 96-120
1997-98 Arizona record: 30-5, lost in Elite Eight to Utah

Australian Tour
Won 9, Lost 1
Coach: Lute Olson
May 17 Caltex Stars @ Auckland, NZ W 137-106
May 19 Bendigo Braves W 107-77
May 20 N.B.L. All-Stars @ Melbourne W 132-105
May 22 S.E. Melbourne Magic L 104-109
May 23 N. Melbourne Giants W 126-124
May 25 Adelaide 36ers W 75-69
May 26 Perth Wildcats W 120-107
May 29 Brisbane Bullets W 109-100
June 1 W. Sydney Slammers W 135-121
June 3 Cairns Marlins W 114-84
1993-94 Arizona record: 29-6, lost in Final Four to Arkansas

European Tour
Won 6, Lost 3
Coach: Lute Olson
May 16 Villeurbane, France W 105-96
May 18 Limoges, France L 86-89
May 20 West German National Team at Limburg W 91-89
May 22 West German National Team at Sindelfingen L 83-85
May 24 Estudiantes at Madrid W 99-95
May 27 Caja Canarias at Santa Cruz W 99-84
May 29 Caja Canarias at Santa Cruz W 99-73
May 31 Cran Canaria at Las Palmas W 99-74
June 4 Spanish National Team at Zaragosa L 77-99
1989-90 Arizona record: 25-7, lost in first round to Alabama

European Tour
Won 8, Lost 7
Coach: Lute Olson
May 21 Novi Sad (Yugoslavia) L 85-89
May 23 Novi Sad (Yugoslavia) W 94-90
Dieppe (France) International Tournament
May 24 Dieppe (France) W 52-49
May 25 USSR National Team L 50-70
May 25 Challans (France) W 55-37
May 25 Barcelona (Spain) W 53-52
May 26 Adidas Select (USA) L 50-52
May 26 Netherlands National Team W 79-76
May 28 Netherlands National Team W 105-91
May 29 Netherlands National Team W 104-93
May 30 Netherlands National Team L 104-109
May 31 Netherlands National Team L 91-108
Perugia (Italy) Tournament
June 3 Siena (Italy) W 109-78
June 4 Adidas Select (USA) L 80-110
June 5 Perugia (Italy) L 109-110
1985-86 record: 23-9, lost to Auburn in first round

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.


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