A Problematic Weekend for the Arizona Wildcats


Jan 5, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller directs his players during the second half against the Utah Utes at McKale Center. The Wildcats beat the Utes 60-57. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

It was an interesting, thrilling, and saddening weekend for the Wildcats of Arizona.

The biggest news of the weekend broke a couple of days ago when Sophomore Running Back Ka’Deem Carey had a restraining order placed against him via is now ex-girlfriend (and mother of his child).  As if it could get any worse, Tucson Prosecutors decided to file domestic abuse charges against Carey.  As the Arizona Daily Star wrote, “Mr. Carey has been contacted and advised that he is going to be charged and is going to be showing up to City Court voluntarily later this week to face his charges,” Widmer said.

Even though everyone will want to talk about the football implications of this story, it is not appropriate.  This is not a football issue, this is a society issue.  This is an issue, if the report is true, of men believing they have the right to push women around.  I personally will reserve judgment until the case has concluded and regardless of the ruling, I hope both members get the proper help they need.

Here at ZonaZealots we urge you to visit http://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1-800-799-7233, if you have ever been abused domestically or otherwise, or have concerns in your relationship, .  This is a serious matter and abuse of any level should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

Now we venture into less important matters, but nonetheless entertaining ones.

By just reading the box score, the Arizona Wildcats (14-0 (2-0)) basketball squad went undefeated over their home stand.  If one were to stop there it would be a jolly day.  However, there is much more to the game than the box score.

Let’s first begin with the Colorado game.  Was this game fun or what?!  Well, it was more head shaking, heart pounding, and finally shock and awe.  In other words, Cardiac Cats were back in action.

We all know the story line: UA was off for nine days, they had their highest ranking in many, many years and the student section was non existent.  Arizona then came out and proceeded to play like a group of 1st graders.  Colorado on the other hand came out thinking the basket was the size of the Pacific Ocean and it showed.  Arizona depressingly shot the ball poorly and played even poorer defense.  They did not play as if they wanted to be there or subsequently thought Colorado would lie down because UA was ranked #3.

What I will give the Wildcats credit for is their 17 point comeback to force overtime.  And then we have the ever so fateful replay of the final shot.  I thought he might have gotten it off, but when looking at all the different replays, the hand and ball were too blurry to make an educated decision.  Once they waved the shot off, Arizona had the momentum and was not going to relent.

The game should have never come down to a last second shot.  I would be shocked if anyone actually believes Colorado is a better team than Arizona.  They surely played better, but UA has better players and better athletes.  However, UA definitely needs to right the ship. (You will notice this theme.)

Everyone talks about how good Arizona can be by the end of the season, (potential this, potential that) but if they keep playing laid back, the end of the season will be upon us before we know it (and without anything to speak of).  This team needs a kick in the rear end and I hope Sean Miller is doing just that this week as the Oregon schools will not go quietly.

Now Colorado is a good team, do not get me wrong,  but they do not have the talent UA has.  Utah on the other hand, well, the three point win was quite embarrassing, and AP writers did the right thing by dropping them to number four behind Louisville.

In the Utah game, Arizona played well and then did not play so well.  I know that is a simple representation of the game, but at this point, all the words have been used about how frustrating this team is. UA let two of their players score 17 points, while shooting 4-6 behind the arc.  That might not sound overwhelming but only one other player had double figures on the team.  One would assume figurative alarms would go off saying “Don’t let him shoot, he’s hot” and “Make someone else shoot the ball.”

The recipe for success might be there, but Arizona is playing with the wrong ingredients at the time.

Bruce Pascoe touched on the topic of three point shooting defense over the weekend and UA really has sunk to a new low.  Sean Miller’s teams have always prided themselves on defense past the three point line, but lately the philosophy has taken a hit.  Luckily Miller acknowledges it in the below quote taken from Pascoe’s post.

“The three-point defense again has kind of eroded,” UA coach Sean Miller said. “You give up 17 threes on a weekend and it’s hard to win. It really is. So we’re going to keep working on that and we have to have a couple of players step up and do what they’re supposed to. That’s what this is about, accountability.”

Against both Colorado and Utah, Arizona gave up a higher percentage on three-pointers than overall field goals (47.6 to 47.5) and (43.8 to 42.9) respectively.

Maybe against these teams one can win while giving up three’s, but if the goal is to reach the Final Four and win a National Championship, Arizona will be run out of the building if they continue the status quo.

Going forward, Arizona needs to play a game where the final differential is over 15.  I would like UA to be on the winning side, but a blowout loss might have bigger implications which will help the team in the long run.

The Wildcats have problems, we all agree on that.  The true measure of how great they can be will be seen if they have it in them to fix those problems and become the team many believe they are.

As Rachel Dawes said in Batman Begins, “…It’s what you ‘do’ that defines you.”

Now is the time for the Arizona Wildcats to ‘do.’