Scouting report: Arizona
Game info: Noon Saturday at Edmundson Pavilion (10,000 capacity).
TV: FSN (Kevin Calabro and Marques Johnson.
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Record: 14-7, 5-3.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Click here.
Coach: Sean Miller is 65-31 in his third season with the Wildcats. He is 185-78 overall in eight seasons. Miller compiled a 120-47 record during a five-year run with Xavier.
Prediction: Picked to finish third the Pac-12 by the media.
Series: Arizona leads 44-27 in a series that began Jan. 8, 1965 while Washington has won four of the last five games. The Huskies are 17-16 in Seattle and winners of the last four contests. Lorenzo Romar is 12-10 against the Arizona and Miller is 2-4 against Washington.
Last meeting: Washington overcame an electric sold-out, dressed-in-white, rowdy McKale Center crowd (above) and held off a late comeback to capture a dramatic 69-67 victory. Like the previous two meetings, between the teams, the outcome was decided on the final play. This time Tony Wroten Jr. capped a thrill ride of a game when he blocked a last-second layup by Josiah Turner that would have forced overtime. Nick Johnson recovered the putback and sank a putback, but time had already expired and the Huskies escaped with just their sixth win at Arizona in the last 33 attempts. Wroten had a team-high 17 points and five rebounds and four assists. Terrence Ross added 16 points and seven rebounds. C.J. Wilcox (below right) had 15 points and five rebounds. Aziz N’Diaye chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds. Washington led by 10 points with 4:02 left when Arizona used a 17-7 run to tie the score with eight seconds left. Wilcox put the Huskies ahead and scored the game’s final points – two free throws – with five seconds left on the clock.
Last outing: Arizona won 76-72 at Washington State on Thursday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Senior Kyle Fogg (near right) may not go down in the annals as one of great Arizona guards, but statistically he’s among the elite. He’s appeared in 131 games, which ranks fifth all-time at Arizona. He’s among the school leaders in three-point field goals (178/8th), three-point percentage (.404/7th) and games started (111/7th). Not surprisingly Fogg takes more three-point shots than any other Wildcat. He has 125 attempts and averages five per game. He also shoots 45.6 percent behind the arc, which is second in the Pac-12. Fogg leads Arizona with a 12.9 scoring average. He was given the Pac-12 Player of the Week award on Feb. 6,
— Junior forward Solomon Hill was sensational the last time he played Washington. He only missed two shots and finished with a career-high 28 points on 9-for-10 shooting from the field, 2 for 2 on three-pointers and 8 for 9 at the free throw line. Hill scored 19 points in the second half and also collected 11 rebounds in 37 minutes. In every way, he was the best player on the court that day and looked as if he truly ascended to fill the leadership void created when Pac-10 MVP Derrick Williams left early for the NBA. Expecting Hill to take the reins of the team may be asking a lot, but he’s shown glimpses of greatness this season. Hill is one of two players in the conference to claim two Pac-12 Player of the Week awards and he’s likely a shoe-in for all-league honors. He’s second in the conference with an 8.1 rebounding average and leads Arizona in assists (2.8) and field goal percentage (.507). He’s also second on the tema in scoring (12.4). Hill has notched nine double doubles this season.
— Jesse Perry finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the last meeting with Washington, but he has a miserable shooting performance. He missed 11 of 14 shots, which was his worst performance this season. Perry made amends for the poor marksmanship from the field with 7-for-10 shooting on free throws. He’s a tough, high-energy player with nine double doubles. At 6-7 and 217 pounds, he’s often shorter than opposing big men, but he overcomes is lack of size with tremendous effort.
— Since its loss to Washington, Arizona has a five game-winning streak.
— Coach Lorenzo Romar on the Wildcats: “They’ve become more of a team. Out of necessity, they’ve shortened their rotation. They’re playing machine-like right now, something we aspire to be doing. We haven’t done that yet. They are playing with a lot of chemistry. Angelo Chol has helped them defensively. Their guards are in a nice rhythm. They play off each other very well and they’re always going to guard you.”
— Junior guard Kevin Parrom broke his foot during the Washington game and is out for the year.
— Jordin Mayes, a reserve sophomore point guard, has missed the past four games due to a stress reaction in his right foot. He’s unlikely to play today.
— Due to the injuries, Miller has been forced to shorten the rotation to seven players. Chol, a 6-9 freshman forward who visited Washington as a recruit, has played well recently. He played 18 minutes and equaled his career-best eight points Thursday against Washington State.
— Senior Brendan Lavender is the other notable reserve. He’s a three-point specialist who leads the Pac-12 with a 53.3 shooting percentage behind the arc.
— Johnson is a candidate for the conference’s all-freshman team. He’s tremendously athletic, but was held to two points on 1-for-4 shooting by Washington. Johnson is the nephew of former Sonics great and Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson.
— Freshman guard Josiah Turner was ranked the No. 10 prospect in the country and No. 2 point guard by Rivals.com. He’s struggled making the transition to big-time college basketball. He started the season-opener, but was benched for 13 games before returning to the starting lineup Jan. 5.
— Over the last four games, Arizona has limited opponents to an average of 58.8 points. No team has scored more than 64. This season UA opponents are averaging 61.9 points. It’s been 27 years since a UA team has allowed fewer points.
— Arizona has the stingiest defense in the Pac-12 in conference games. The Wildcats allow a league-low 60.4 points per game and opponents are shooting 39.8 percent against them, which is second in the Pac-12. Arizona’s three-point defense is also best in the conference allowing teams to shoot 27.7 percent.
— Arizona has used five starting lineups this season. The group (below) has started the past seven games and has a 9-4 record.
F – Jesse Perry, 6-7, 217, Sr., 12.0 ppg., 7.3 rpg., 1.4 apg.
F – Solomon Hill, 6-6, 226, Jr., 12.4, 8.1, 2.8
G – Josiah Turner, 6-3, 192, Fr, 6.7, 3.0, 2.4
G – Nick Johnson 6-2, 198, Fr., 9.2, 3.2, 2.4
G – Kyle Fogg, 6-3, 188, Sr., 12.9, 3.1, 2.3
— Got to believe the Huskies wouldn’t mind duplicating the game plan that worked so well in the previous meeting. They were never let Arizona’s guards get comfortable or get into any type of shooting rhythm while defending Hill with single coverage. It’s OK if he scores 28 points again as long as he doesn’t have any assists and no one else gets going offensively. Still it will be interesting to see if Washington devises any new schemes to slow down Hill because Desmond Simmons and Darnell Gant didn’t have many answers last time.