Against Charleston Southern, Arizona had trouble using their size to their advantage, as Charleston Southern’s pesky zone defense kept the big guys at bay and forced the guards to jack up over 30 three point attempts. Last night against UTEP, Arizona rebounded from this problem (both literally and figuratively–Arizona outrebounded the Miners 35-14) in a 72-51 victory. Here are some observations and thoughts from last night’s game:
1. Arizona’s Defense
Boy was it nasty. The Wildcats limited UTEP to 36.4% from the floor and caused 15 turnovers (UTEP had only 7 against Oral Roberts). Not one Miner scored more than 11 points and only three of their players could muster double digits. Most impressively, UTEP’s star player John Bohannon (6’10″ Junior Center) could not handle Arizona’s size and was essentially useless. He was 0-4 from the field, grabbed one rebound and fouled out.
It’s refreshing to see that Miller has the talent available to give nine different players a substantial amount of time (Gabe York is the only newcomer who is getting limited minutes–he had four last night). Solomon Hill was the only player to get more than 25 minutes, while the other eight received double digit minutes. Though Kevin Parrom and Brandon Ashley are coming off of the bench, they are getting about as many minutes as a starter (Parrom had 18 and Ashley had 20). The Wildcats had 23 points from their bench.
3. Big Men
Arizona’s big men (Tarczewski, Jerrett, Chol, Ashley) could only put together 21 points (12 of those came from Ashley) and 15 rebounds combined against Charleston Southern. Against UTEP, they improved with 30 points and and 20 rebounds.
It is good to see Arizona use their size after seeing it limited in the season opener. Arizona took less low percentage shots, limiting their three point attempts to 18 instead of the 32 they jacked up against Charleston Southern. The three point attempts they did take were a much better selection, and it showed–they were 50% from downtown.
4. Player of the game
Lyons led the way again with 17 points, but the player of the game goes to Solomon Hill. He had 10 points (2-3 from three point range), 6 rebounds and 4 assists.