Size had been an issue with the Arizona Wildcats basketball team ever since Sean Miller took over the program four years ago. Although Miller accomplished some pretty amazing stuff with undersized players, he knew he wouldn’t be able to reach the success that he expects without bringing size and strength back to Arizona Basketball! Coach Miller went to work and put together one of the best recruiting classes in the nation for the 2012/2013 season which included three highly touted players with size, Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett.
The excitement turned to concern after game one when Arizona was out-rebounded and out-muscled by a smaller Charleston Southern team. The team quickly silenced the doubters by bouncing back in a big way against UTEP on Thursday night. My Stamp of Approval for the 21-point win against the Miners goes to team rebounding. The Wildcats showed that strength and size that fans have been anxiously waiting for. They were able to control the game with their dominating performance on the boards, out-rebounding UTEP 35-15!
“The one thing I liked about this game was the rebounding margin. When you beat a team 35 to 15 on the glass I think that is the single difference in the game,” said Coach Miller after the win.
Individual players did step up throughout the game but in the end it was the impressive team rebounding that helped the Cats get to 2-0 and bring the hype and excitement back to the air in Tucson.
The Wildcats will look to continue to use their size and strength to their advantage against Long Beach State on Monday night at the McKale Center. I predict that Soloman Hill is the impact player in a win against the 49ers.