Where: Corvallis, Oregon
When: 6:00PM (Mountain)
Radio: Wildcat Radio
The #4 Arizona Wildcats (14-1, 2-1) will look to avenge Thursday’s night loss on Saturday when they take on the Oregon Sate Beavers. The Beavers (10-5,0-2) are looking for their first Pac 12 victory as they have loss to Oregon and ASU thus far. Oregon State has always been a tough opponent for the cats recently, as the cats haven’t won in Gill Coliseum since 2009. Let’s take a look inside Miller’s Chalkboard to make sure the Wildcats avoid their second loss of the season:
Beavers To Watch: Roberto Nelson, known for his three pointers made with only one shoe on last year, leads the Beavers this year in scoring at 15.5 a game. He has a nice touch on the perimeter and is crafty when he gets into the lane. The other Oregon State players to be on the look out for are Devon Collier and Eric Moreland. Collier has always given the cats trouble as he can shoot a nice 15 foot jumper and scraps for boards down low. Moreland has improved tremendously from last season doubling his rebounds a game from 5.5 to 11.1 this year, good for first on his team, and second in the Pac 12.
Freshman Need To Step Up: Sean Miller worked so hard to get the #3 recruiting class in the nation and what does he get in return? A soft Zeus, and two inconsistent PFs in Ashley and Jerrett. I know they are freshman, but we need some better production out of these 5 star recruits. Zeus gets the ball down low and can’t even back his guy down two feet, settles for a turn around, which we all know is not likely to go in. Brandon Ashley has the “take it to the hole mentality”, but goes out of control at times and when he’s having a bad offensive night he tends to just pass. Jerrett is timid and is also a non-factor unless he gets into his groove early. We need at least one of these freshman to support the team offensively, otherwise I see us losing a few more Pac 12 games and not dancing very far into March.
Consistency: Almost every game it seems we go through the same roller coaster ride, play good in the beginning, let up for the middle third and dig us a hole, and then somehow come out on top. Well that lasted up until Thursday night, when we were faced with the same scenario, but failed to climb out of the hole as we were in a hostile environment and not at home or a neutral court for once. Instead of having these dramatic changes in our gameplay where we play like crap, we find a little consistency to last through the opponents runs, we will be in much better shape, and not down 10-15 points. Then we will go on our usual second half run and be ahead and won’t have to play catch up the whole second half. I think this loss can either be a good thing and wake us up, or it is the start to a very bad stretch of games. Hopefully the cats beardown and split the series in Oregon.
Predictions: The Wildcats find a way to win Saturday, 77-71.