Pac 12 Opener Preview of Arizona and Arizona State Rivalry


After two very convincing wins at home against two mediocre opponents, the wildcats look like they’ll be taking care of business in the game tomorrow; the wildcard is that it is against their rivals: ASU. ASU’s coach Herb Sendek has a respectable record as of late in Tucson, going 3-2 against the wildcats. This game is always a rough battle between the two schools, and today’s New Year’s Eve special won’t be any different.  Take a look inside Miller’s Chalkboard for a few key points on how the Wildcats can get their last W in the 2011 year.

GET THE CROWD INTO THE GAME: Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner, I’m talking to you two young studs. Your chemistry is great and entertains the spectators consistently throughout the game. What I want to see more of is after you throw down a highlight dunk, give a no look pass for an easy lay-up, or make a sensational play is to throw up your hands at the crowd to get them on their feet. Let’s face it: the older crowd in Tucson needs some motivation and you can easily accomplish this by telling them to stand up and cheer!

FEED THE BEASTS: A small front-court for Arizona has been the focal point for a lot of bigger teams to try and take advantage of, but really the only successors were the Zags. Jesse Perry and Solomon Hill are two undersized big men, but are very crafty around the basket and continue to play well on both sides of the ball. SO FEED THE BEASTS! They will not disappoint.

PLAY UNDER CONTROL: Sean Miller said earlier this week how he wanted to push the tempo even more. We have the athletes and depth to do so, but the players must play under control and not make silly turnovers. Josiah has been a lot better as of late with this, but we can not afford to give the opponents easy basekts. Like KP showed these Devils last year, NO EASY BUCKETS!

SCUM DEVILS TO WATCH: The only player not on the court, Freshman PG Jahi Carson. Carson is an in-state talent recruited by both U of A and ASU, but pledged to ASU shortly after Nick Johnson gave his commitment to U of A. Jahi was ruled academically ineligible this season, so I guess we can say U of A won that battle too. Junior Guard Trent Locket averages 13.8 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game, while Sohpomore Guard Keala King averages 14.2 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 3.3 assists per contest. Look for these two guards to carry the load for the ASU squad.

PREDICTIONS: Wildcats need to start the PAC 12 season off right, especially against their arched enemy. They will take care of business. CATS WIN 84-70.

Tags: Arizona State Sun Devils Arizona Wildcats College Basketball Jesse Perry Josiah Turner Kevin Parrom Nick Johnson Sean Miller Solomon Hill