Where: Tucson, Arizona
When: 2:30PM (Mountain)
Radio: Wildcat Radio
What a better way to end the regular season than this Saturday. Weather is expected to be dark, gloomy, and rainy just like the recent months of the the #18 Arizona Wildcats (23-6, 11-6) play. They will play their in-state rival Arizona State Sun Devils at home on Senior day. Both teams are coming back from the Los Angeles trip a little woozy after having gotten swept. ASU (20-10,9-8) is still looking for their first “big” win this year, having a weak non-conference schedule and losing to all of the top teams in conference. Both teams are looking for a huge win against their rival to start a little momentum coming into the Pac 12 tournament next week. Sean Miller hopes his cats are ready to claw Saturday afternoon- let’s look inside Miller’s Chalkboard for the key factors of the game:
Scum Devils To Watch: Jahii Carson is a ASU’s freshman sensation this year. He is their go to guy in any situation and leads the team in both points (17.8) and assists (5.0) per game. As shown throughout this season he is hard to contain, but if the cats can trouble him early they will benefit later. Jahii doesn’t recieve much help from his teamates, especially as of late. Carrick Felix and Evan Gordon are two players who can score, but have been on cold streaks the past few games. Look for them to contribute double figures in the points column Saturday. Carrick also leads the team in rebounds at 8.4 a contest.
Home Court: Remember the Arizona in the Lute years? I feel like they would never lose at home because of the atmosphere McKale is. McKale hasn’t changed Tucsonans still fill the seats and cheer as loud as ever. So why have the cats dropped 2 at home this year? I can think of a number of reasons, but that’s neither here nor there. The cats must use the hostile crowd to their advantage. Yes the kids are on Spring Break, but that won’t keep the expected sold-out crowd to get rowdy. Not to mention it will be the last time the OO AHH man inspires the crowd during his ritual second half cheer. BEARDOWN!
Discipline: Arizona has played very poor as of late and their is no excuse. I blame it on the discipline of the players. They have to run Miller’s offense the way it is designed. Ball movement, back-door screens, find the open man. Too many times players are settling for a three pointer or long jumper early in the shot clock. If they were to run the real offense, they can easily get lay-ups or short jumpers. On the defensive side, players aren’t communicating enough and are getting lost on screens. They aren’t closing out shooters in the correct manner and are getting beat in almost all aspects on this side of the ball. The results have shown it too. The cats need to dig deep and find it in them to start another winning streak starting on Senior day to get confidence in themselves. The Seniors need to put it all out on the court as it will be last time they play at McKale.
Prediction: The Wildcats are ready to put the past behind them and win Saturday, 78-71.