MBB Preview: Colorado Buffaloes @ #10/#9 Arizona Wildcats


Game Information: Colorado Buffaloes (9-6, 2-1 in Pac-12) @ #10/#9 Arizona Wildcats (14-2, 2-1 in Pac-12)

Date/Time: Thursday January 15, 2015 @ 7:00 p.m (MST)

Arizona: 14-2, 2-1 in Pac-12 (9-0 at home)

Opponent: Colorado Buffaloes (0-4 away)

All-Time Series: Series tied, 11-11

TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Bill Walton, and Jay Bilas)

Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Jefferies and Hansen)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 91, XM 91

Live Stats: arizonalivestats.com

Tickets: Available Here

Twitter: @APlayersProgram

More from Wildcats Basketball

Arizona Probable Starters

G: T.J. McConnell

F: Stanley Johnson

F: Brandon Ashley

F: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

C: Kaleb Tarczewski

Colorado Probable Starters

G: Jaron Hopkins

G: Dustin Thomas or Tre’Shaun Fletcher

G: Askia Booker

F: Tory Miller

F: Wesley Gordon

* Lineups based on last game and could change due to injury or coaches decision (especially with Sean Miller)

*Colorado will be without two starters

The Wildcats return home to face the Colorado Buffaloes in a key game for both teams. Arizona is coming off an upset loss in their last game, while the Buffs are returning to the court for the first time since a blow out loss on January 7.

Last Time Out:

The Wildcats concluded their quick two game road trip with a 58-56 upset loss to the Oregon State Beavers. It was an awful performance by the players, and coaches, and it was too much to overcome. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led Arizona with 14 points and six rebounds, while TJ McConnell chipped in with 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists. It was a poor performance all around and the Wildcats need to rebound quickly in order to avoid another upset.

The Buffs got blown out of Salt Lake City, in their last game, on January 7th. The Utes got up by 10 at the half and never looked back, defeating Colorado 74-49. Askia Booker and Jaron Hopkins led the Buffs with 12 points a piece and Booker also grabbed seven boards in the loss. Colorado is going to be well rested for this one, after the eight-day hiatus, but will be without a key player, Xavier Johnson, who is expected to miss this game with a high-ankle sprain.

Scouting the Wildcats:

The Wildcats are 9-0 at McKale this season and have won 30 straight home games dating back to the 2012-2013 season when they lost to Cal. Freshman Stanley Johnson leads the Wildcats with 13.9 ppg, is tied for the team lead with 6.6 rpg and is third on the team in assists, averaging 1.7. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is second on the team with 11.6 ppg and he is also tied for the team lead in rebounds, averaging 6.6 per game. Brandon Ashley is third on the team with 11.3 ppg and he also chips in with 5.1 rpg. The Wildcats play a seven-man rotation with all seven players averaging at least 14 minutes per game. .

The Wildcats average 75.1 ppg (third in the conference) and give up only 59.6 ppg (third in the conference) for a +15.5 scoring margin (second in the conference). The Wildcats are shooting 49.3% from the field (second in the conference) and hold opponents to 39.3% shooting (sixth in the conference).

Dec 10, 2014; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes guard Askia Booker (0) reacts to his three point past in the second half against the Colorado State Rams at the Coors Events Center. The Rams defeated the Buffaloes 62-60. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting the Buffaloes:

The conference’s fifth leading scorer, Askia Booker, who averages 15.5 ppg, leads the Buffaloes this season. He also averages 3.1 assists, which is good for 11th in the Pac-12.Wesley Gordon, the Pac-12’s tenth best rebounder, averages 7.1 rpg and 7.4 ppg The Buffs will be without Josh Scott, the seventh best rebounder in the Pac-12, who averages 7.2 rpg, to go along with his 13.8 ppg, and will also be without Xavier Johnson, the teams third leading scorer. The Buffs have a nine-man rotation with each player averaging at least 14 minutes per game.

Colorado averages 67.8 ppg (tenth in the conference) and give up only 61.7 ppg (fourth in the conference) for a +6.1 scoring margin (eighth in the conference). The Buffs shoot 45.1% (fifth in the conference) and hold opponents to 39.2% from the field (fifth in the conference).


Arizona: 78

Colorado: 54

A Look Ahead

The game of the year, in the Pac-12, will take place on Saturday, when the #8/#8 Utah Utes come to McKale for a Saturday showdown.