Game info: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Edmundson Pavilion
TV/Radio: FSN/KJR-950 AM
Record: 15-3, 4-1 Pac-10. RPI rank: 53.
Previous game: Beat Arizona State 65-61.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Prediction: Picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in a media poll.
Coach: Sean Miller is 31-18 in his second season with the Wildcats and 151-65 in seven years.
Series: Arizona leads 43-24 in a series that began in 1964. Washington has won six of the last eight meetings, including the past three games. Miller is 1-1 against UW and coach Lorenzo Romar is 9-9 vs. Arizona. The Wildcats split last season’s series.
Last meeting: Washington won 81-75 on Feb. 4, 2010 at Hec Ed. Former UW star Quincy Pondexter finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds, both game-highs. Scott Suggs added 13 points and Venoy Overton had 12. Kyle Fogg led Arizona with 13 points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Sophomore forward Derrick Williams (above) scored 31 points in his previous outing and won the Pac-10 Player of the Week award on Monday for the second time this season. He’s developed into an explosive offensive player who can score from anywhere on the court. He’s able to dribble drive to the basket. He can post up in the paint. And he’s recently added a three-point shot to his vast array of skills. Williams also does an outstanding job of drawing fouls. He’s attempted 174 free throws, which is 74 more than the next player in the Pac-10. In conference play, he’s averaging 13 FTs per game and is shooting 67.7 percent at the line. And defensively, Williams isn’t a slouch. He averages 7.3 rebounds and has blocked 19 shots.
— Sophomore forward Solomon Hill is a returning starter whose averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in the past three games, while shooting 53.8 percent from the field. He’s also taking a cue from Williams and is getting to the line with greater frequency. During that span, Hill is averaging 6.0 FT attempts, which is nearly double his 3.4 average for the season.
— Junior guard Kyle Fogg’s scoring has dipped from last season when averaged 11.1 points per game. This season he’s averaging 7.8 partly because his role has changed a little bit. Fogg leads Arizona with 47 assists and he’s being asked to do more defensively. Miller on Fogg: “At times (he) struggled as a sophomore guarding the other team’s perimeter players. He’s really gotten bigger and stronger and he’s a better defender. He’s improved.”
— The Wildcats jumped into the top 25 of the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll on Monday for the first time this season. They’re ranked No. 25.
— Arizona returns four starters from a team that compiled a 16-15 record last season and finished fourth in the Pac-10 at 10-8. The other returning starter is junior forward Jesse Perry.
— Lamont Jones has the difficult task of replacing former UA star Nic Wise at point guard and it’s been tough sledding at times. Jones is a scoring guard who capable of scoring 20 points, however, the Wildcats need him to direct the offense and take care of the basketball which has been a problem in a few games. Jones has 40 turnovers and just 44 assists. He’s been splitting time with freshman Jordin Mayes and lately they’ve been more efficient. In the past three games, they’ve contributed 14 assists and just five turnovers.
— Arizona has a great record, but the Wildcats are similar to the Huskies in that they’ve lost two big nonconference big games against ranked teams. Arizona fell 87-79 to No. 6 Kansas and were blown out by No. 18 BYU in an 87-65 defeat.
— Arizona has not beaten a top 50 team, which explains why it is No. 53 in the RPI rankings.
— The Wildcats suffered a shocking upset loss three weeks ago at Oregon State. The 76-75 defeat to the Beavers snapped a four-game winning streak.
— Arizona is a very deep team. Miller runs a 10-man rotation and nobody averages fewer than 12 minutes per game. In conference play, Miller relies heavily on Williams who averages nearly 32 minutes.
— The Wildcats are athletic, but they’re not very tall. Williams, 6 foot 8, is the tallest starter. Sophomore center Kyryl Natyazhko is 6-11, however, he’s at the bottom of the rotation.
— Arizona averages 76.1 points on the road.
F – Derrick Williams, 6-8, 241, So., 19.7 ppg., 7.3 rpg.
F – Jesse Perry, 6-7, 210, Jr., 5.8, 3.9
F – Solomon Hill, 6-6, 226, So., 8.5, 4.7
G – Kyle Fogg, 6-3, 180, Jr., 7.8, 2.6 apg.
G – Lamont Jones, 6-0, 196, So., 7.6, 2.4 apg.
— Perhaps UW reserve forward Darnell Gant put it best when describing Williams when he said: All good players find a way to do something against you so you can’t really shut down one player out of the whole game. But you can take some things away. Limit his touches on the block. Limit his touches on the elbow. If a shot goes up, box him out and try to keep him off the boards as best you can. Try to limit him and slow him down. Don’t let him get started early.”