A few days after being featured in Sports Illustrated for his major comeback this season, Kevin Parrom took his national spotlight to heart and led the Arizona Wildcats past Washington State 73-56 this afternoon at McKale Center (if you do not know what I’m referring to by “major comeback”, please come out of your cave now). Parrom had 19 points and 7 rebounds, including five three pointers and only one missed shot.
Much like their game against Washington, Arizona was lights out, hitting 56% of their shots from the field and 50% from three point range. Though Washington State’s shooting was not bad (45%), their free throw shooting was awful (14-28) and Brock Motum was their only player who could muster any consistency (20 points)–not a new problem for Washington State.
Arizona’s recent success can be attributed a lot to the improvement of their big men. Simply put, when Arizona’s big men do well down low, it opens up things for their shooters. Kaleb Tarczewski–who has averaged over 10 points per game in the last three games–had 12 points and 6 rebounds. Zeus is beginning to look much more comfortable around the basket, an upgrade that has the potential to do beautiful things for the Cats during this part of the season. Brandon Ashley is also beginning to look more consistent, averaging 9 points in the last three games.
In addition to Parrom’s success, other shooters had a nice afternoon as well. Nick Johnson had 8 points, 6 assists, a block and a steal. Mark Lyons, who is beginning to look more like a point guard (averaging over 4 assists a game in the last 6 games), had 12 points and 4 assists.
Arizona is beginning to click at the right time. If Stanford can beat Oregon on the road tonight, Arizona will be in sole possession of first place as they head into a hard road series this week against USC and UCLA.