We’re counting down the end of the Pac-12 season with a daily look at each of the postseason awards. Today: All-Defensive team ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Jordan Bachynski, Sr. Arizona State: The 7-2 center has turned shot blocking into an art form. He leads the nation with 123 blocks (4.2 pg). In the first three seasons of his…More
Topic: Nick Johnson
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
The Pac-12 reached the midpoint of the conference season and if the first half is any indication, the final five weeks of the regular season is going to be filled with surprises. Arizona has a comfortable lead at the top of the standings, but there’s as many as 10 teams that still have NCAA tournament hopes….More
After leading No. 2 Arizona to the NIT Season-Tip Off championship and a pair of wins including a victory over then-No. 6 Duke, Arizona’s Nick Johnson won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award. It’s the second award in a span of three days for the junior guard who won Most Outstanding Player honors…More
Here’s post-game quotes from the 12th-ranked Arizona Wildcats following their 70-52 win over Washington. COACH SEAN MILLER: (On defense leading to offense) “We got to where we are as a team. We are all the same in college basketball. There are certain things we do well and other things that maybe we don’t. But if we don’t…More
Video credit: Pac-12 Networks
Scouting report: No. 12 Arizona
Game info: 8 p.m. Wednesday at McKale Center (14, 538 capacity).
TV: ESPN2 (Dave Pasch and Bill Walton).
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Sean Miller is 90-39 (.698) in his fourth season with the Wildcats and 210-86 (.709) in nine years a Division I head coach. Prior to joining Arizona on April 6, 2009, he spent five seasons at Xavier where he had four 20-win seasons and made four NCAA tournament appearances. Miller was 120-47 (.719) with the Muskateers.
Prediction: Picked to finish first in a preseason poll in the Pac-12 by media who cover the conference.
Series: Arizona leads 45-28 in a series that began Dec. 29, 1964. Washington is 7-27 in Tucson, Ariz. UW coach Lorenzo Romar is 13-11 against the Wildcats. Miller is 3-5 against the Huskies.
Last meeting: Bizarre finish for Washington. The Huskies did a great job defensively holding Arizona to 35.1 percent shooting. Washington led by a point in the final three minutes, but faded in the final minutes of a 57-53 defeat. Ahead 51-50 with 2:31 left, Washington was outscored 7-2 the rest of the way. C.J. Wilcox missed his first six shots and sat out for long stretches due to foul trouble. He finished with 11 points. Washington shot 36.8 percent from the field and committed 17 turnovers. The offensive problems were highlighted in the final minute when Abdul Gaddy threw a poor pass that sailed above Wilcox, who got behind the defense for what would have been an uncontested alley-oop finish. The game ended with center Aziz N’Diaye missing badly on his first three-point attempt.
Previous game: Won 68-64 at Utah on Sunday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Nick Johnson (near right) did the best job of anyone shutting down Wilcox, the Pac-12′s fifth-leading scorer. Arizona’s sophomore guard hounded the UW sharp shooter and forced him to miss his first six shots. Wilcox finished 4 of 16 and 1 for 5 on three-pointers.
Johnson finished with 15 points, six rebounds, four steals, three blocks and three assists to offset three turnovers.
At 6-3, he’s exceptionally quick and explosive. He reportedly has a 45-inch vertical leap. [By comparison NBA slam dunk champion Terrence Ross has a 37.5 inch vertical leap.] No surprise Johnson won the Red and Blue dunk contest as a freshman.
On most teams, Johnson would be the top star. At Arizona, he’s the third offensive option who averages 11.8 points on 45.2 percent shooting from the floor and 35.0 percent on three-pointers. His forte is slashing to the basket. It’s noteworthy that he’s taken more free attempts (93) than three-point tries (80).
Johnson is also a defensive menace who is second in the Pac-12 with 54 steals.
—Forward Solomon Hill has had big games against Washington. In last year’s game at McKale Center, he finished with 28 points on 9-for-10 shooting. He made 8 of 9 free throws and collected 11 rebounds in 37 minutes. However, Washington won 69-67.
Hill, a 6-7 senior, began the season as a Pac-12 MVP candidate and was named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason top 50. It hasn’t been a big statistical year for him. He’s averaging 13.7 points. It’s a slight increase from last season when he averaged 13.0 and his rebounding average is down 5.5 from 7.7. However, Hill has had to adjust to changing roles, a new position and new teammates. Last season, he played power forward, but this season he’s moved to the wing position.
In his last meeting against the Huskies, he finished with 10 points on 5-for-12 shooting and three rebounds.
— Mark Lyons, the Xavier transfer, has made immediate dividends during his first (and only) year with Arizona. The senior point guard has made big plays in crucial moments for the Wildcats. Perhaps none was bigger than a go-ahead layup with seven seconds left in a 65-64 win over Florida. Lyons, 6-1 and 200 pounds, isn’t a prototypical point guard. He’s first and foremost a scorer, who averages 15.3 points and leads Arizona with 286 field goal attempts. Secondly, he’s a mediocre playmaker who has 79 assists and 72 turnovers.More
Here’s video (above) of Arizona sophomore Nick Johnson who scored a game-high 15 points to lead the eighth-ranked Wildcats to a 57-53 win over Washington. Johnson also head C.J. Wilcox to 11 points on 4-for-16 shooting. (On getting the win) “Coming in here, we knew that Coach Miller had never won here. They have a great atmosphere,…More