Every season has it’s ups-and-downs. The Wildcats are currently in a down period. After a quick 4-0 start, the Cats have dropped the last two games. The most recent loss was against San Diego St. at McKale to snap their 22-game regular season homecourt winning streak. The team will try and bounce back tonight as they travel to Las Cruces to face New Mexico St.
The point of this weekly blog is to find a positive in the past week and award that “positive” as my ‘Stamp of Approval’. Well, an ugly 33% shooting effort in the 61-57 loss at home to the Aztecs is making my job very difficult this week.
I mean come on, am I really supposed to be positive about a team that hasn’t led a game at any point since beating St. John’s on Nov. 17 in New York? Not to mention, this skid has dropped the Wildcats out of the Top 25 polls for the first time since the middle of last season.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to just take the easy way out by saying, “Sorry, there is no Stamp of Approval this week.” I’m also not going to just give it to someone like Solomon Hill simply because he led the Cats in scoring against the Aztecs with 14 points. Hill doesn’t deserve it…the leadership wasn’t there and he was 4 of 12 from the field (including a dismal 1 of 6 from three-point range).
My SOA for the week goes to the voters of the AP and ESPN/Coaches Top 25 Polls for not including Arizona in the rankings. Confused? Here’s the thing: the Cats were certainly not the 16th best team in the country coming into the season and they are still not a Top 25 team. I believe the high ranking got to the players heads and also put unnecessary pressure on them, especially the freshman. These players need to understand that if they want to be one of the top teams in the country that they have to work hard and earn it. It will not just be given out like free candy. It is a great thing that Arizona is now unranked and out of the spotlight. The team does not have to worry about living up to some ranking. Instead, They can focus on what matters and that is working hard to become a better team! I do predict that this team will finish the season in the Top 25 but I think it is good that they dropped out of the most recent poll and will need to work to get back in it.
Thanks for Reading!