Where: Littleton, CLemson
When: 6:00PM (Mountain)
Radio: 1290AM 107.5 FM
The #8 Arizona Wildcats (6-0,0-0) find themselves in a tough stretch as they are coming off a hard fought win at home against Southern Miss as they head across the country to play a hot Clemson (5-2,0-0) team during finals week. Clemson just came off a route of rival South Carolina and is shooting the ball well; almost 45% from the field and 34% from long range. During the wildcats’ last road game, a “white out” in Lubbock, it looked more like a red out as there were so many empty seats. Clemson looks to fill the majority of their 10,000 seat arena and will be a much more hostile environment to play in. Hopefully, the cats can overcome this and pull out their 7th straight victory. Here’s a look inside Miller’s Chalkboard for the upcoming matchup between the Wildcats and the Tigers:
Players To Watch: The Clemson Tigers are lead by three players averaging in double figures for points. The first is senior big man Devin Booker, who puts up 11.9 points per game 7.6 rebounds per game. Last year when these two met in Tucson, Booker had 9 points and 5 boards, look for him to be trouble for the young Arizona big men. Next is forward K.J. McDaniels who is averaging 11.9 points a contest and 5.0 rebounds a game. McDaniels is a versatile player who seniors Parrom and Hill will have to contain. Lastly, is Clemson’s other big man, Milton Jennings. He does a little bit of everything as he scores 10.8 points a game along with 5.6 and 2.2 rebounds and assists per game respectively. If Arizona were to contain one or two of these players to single- digit points and keep them off the boards, the cats will earn a victory.
Turnovers: 28! Really? The cats looked awful in their game against the 2-3 zone on Tuesday night and coughed up the ball a total of 28 times. If the cats turn the ball over half as many times as that on the road they will be scrambling to get a win. The most upsetting stat of the turnovers was that most of the turnovers came from veterans (Parrom-5, Johnson-6, and Hill-4). That is just inexcusable from a group of veteran players, expect them to bounce back and take care of the ball much better come Saturday.
Veterans: The veterans will also need to step up, as this will be their true road test after the Texas Tech massacre. Nick Johnson and Kevin Parrom did a phenomenal job last game at home keeping us in the game, but Solomon Hill disappeared. For a pre-season all-Pac12 player, he has been sub-par at best. He had 9 points, all on three-pointers, yes I realize he’s shooting much better this season from behind the arc (50%), but still! He is finally playing his true position (SF) and needs to exploit his defenders with his strong moves to the basket and strength overall. He needs to be more involved Saturday and take the ball to the hoop, get an easy bucket or get fouled. Point Guard Mark Lyons had arguably his worse game as a cat Tuesday. He missed all of his shots, only made 4 out of 6 free throws, and had a poor 2-3 assist to turnover ratio. I have full confidence this hard-nosed guy will be the hardest on his performance and will bounce back Saturday. Look for Lyons to have a big game and be the leader he has been all season.
Predictions: The Wildcats will have their first true road test, but prevail. Cats win 80-68.