Game Day Preview: Arizona Wildcats


University of Arizona (Public – Research Institution)
Mascot: Wildcats
Location: Tucson, AZ
Enrollment: 38,000

Current Record: 14-7 (5-3 in Pac-12 Conference)
RPI: 75        SOS: 71

Coach: Sean Miller (3rd year)

First Thought: Arizona has similar issues this season as Washington. Lots of talent, poor team chemistry, lack of quality leadership, roller-coaster of a season, etc. This game has lots of hype (College Game Day) and it could be a fun showcase of talent and skill or it could get ugly.

Best Win: 81-72 over St. John’s (RPI 148)
Worst Loss: 58-65 at UCLA (RPI 127)

Last Game: 85-61 over Washington State (RPI 133)

Synopsis: It’s not turning out to be the year that Sean Miller had imagined with one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. He found out that much of his young talent wasn’t ready for the college game yet and his point guard, Josiah Turner, wasn’t ready for college period. Since the beginning of the season, some of the talent has adjusted to the college game but yet can still be a little shaky at times.

Miller has another big recruiting class knocking at the door and a good run in the Pac-12 and the NCAA would help close out that class and make a strong push for 2013.

As far as this season goes, the Wildcats have lost all the games they should have lost and even lost a few they shouldn’t have. And they haven’t been able to get that “staple win” on their resume yet. St. John’s and New Mexico State are the only two teams they have beaten that could help their resume come tournament time, I emphasize COULD.

My analysis: The Wildcats are not short on talent. They have one of the most talented teams in the Pac-12 especially if you look at potential of players. While they don’t always play like a talented team the talent is there.

Solomon Hill- is listed as a player of the year candidate in the Pac-12 and he already has a player of the week under his belt. If he has a good game against UW he could win another POW. He averages almost 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists a game. He is a seasoned senior and usually plays like on on the court.

Jesse Perry- is averaging 11.5 points a game and his field goal percentage in over 50% on the season. He also brings down 7 rebounds a game and a very productive big man (even though he is only about 6’7).

Kyle Fogg- is the deep threat on the team. He has made 40 three point shots at a 44% rate from behind the arch. He leads the team in PPG at 12.2, he also has an average of 3 rebounds and 2 assists a game.

Nick Johnson- is the better of the two freshman even though many projected Turner to be better. Johnson has made an impact on this team from the early stages of this season. He averages 9.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists a game.

Josiah Turner- was projected to be the best point guard in the conference and possibly the best in the country amongst freshmen. However, college life took some adapting for him and he is still working through some of his off-court and on-court battles. He has a ton of talent and a ton of potential, he could go off at any given moment. But that is yet to be seen this season. He averages 7.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists a game.

Jordin Mayes, Kevin Parrom, and Angelo Chol are also very talented players and could be a factor in this game.

My Prediction: UW 70 Arizona 68

This prediction is primarily based around the fact that UW is looking like they have figured out some of their issues and are stringing together wins. Arizona is still up and down depending on the night. However, if Arizona gets hot they could easily win this game (and the same can be said about Washington). All-in-all, it’s a toss up.