Just landed in Los Angeles for Pac-12 media day Friday and felt compelled to put up a post about the big shocker in the conference tonight.
No. 16 Arizona is the first team in the conference to play an exhibition game and the Wildcats’ 69-68 defeat to Division II Seattle Pacific may spell long-term trouble for the defending league champions.
It was their first exhibition defeat since 1984. It was also the first time the Wildcats loss at home in 19 games. However, UA’s winning streak is technically still alive because it was an exhibition.
Still the Falcon’s big win should serve notice to the Huskies. Washington faces SPU in its first exhibition 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at Edmundson Pavilion.
The Falcons aren’t your average tuneup opponent. They’re ranked No. 24 in preseason Division II rankings, and last year beat Division I teams Eastern Washington and Nevada on the road in exhibitions.
SPU finished 20-10 last season and advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament for the seventh straight season a year ago. Three starters return including 6-11 junior center Andy Poling, a transfer from Gonzaga and 6-2 sophomore point guard David Downs, the GNAC Freshman of the Year in 2010-11.
Poling and Downs each scored 14 points against Arizona while newcomer Jobi Wall tallied a game-high 24. The 6-6 junior guard connected on 4 for 8 three-pointers.
Here’s the box score and video of Wildcats coach Sean Miller’s postgame interview.
“We’re not a very good basketball team right now,” he said. “But the one good thing that I feel about tonight is we really got better. It’s going to give us a good chance to learn about our team and put the best players on the court.”
Freshman Nick Johnson, who came off the bench and scored a team-high 18 points, looks like he has star potential.
Miller said Arizona misses junior guard Kevin Parrom, who is recovering from gunshot wounds. He also said, UA needs a better answer at center where junior Kyryl Natyazhko and freshman Sidiki Johnson were battling for the starting spot. Miller said freshman Angelo Chol may get a chance.
Here’s a look at pregame notes for SPU and Arizona.