Arizona Wildcats Basketball: Cats travel to Palo Alto to take on Stanford

Mar 7, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Gabe York (1) dribbles around Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) during the first half at McKale Center. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Gabe York (1) dribbles around Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) during the first half at McKale Center. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports /

On Thursday Night, the Arizona Wildcats Basketball team will do battle with the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, California.

Thursday night, you want to be sitting in front of the television, computer, or app-controlled device as the No. 12 Arizona Wildcats and the Stanford Cardinal clash. Both teams are coming off of great wins.

Stanford finished off a pesky Cal team 77-71 to move to 3-2 in conference play. The Cats picked off 90 points from a struggling Washington State team and managed 66 points off of The Arizona Wildcats Basketball defensive effort. They too also moved to 3-2 to create a log jam with Oregon, Colorado, and Stanford for second place in the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Standings.

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There is some history between these two teams who will slug it out Thursday night. According to Go Stanford, the Cardinal’s website, Arizona has a pretty comfortable lead in the series.

"Arizona holds a 59-29 advantage in the all-time series with Stanford. The Wildcats have captured the last 11 games in the series. The last two games played at Maples Pavilion have been decided by a total of 10 points."

The Arizona Wildcats are looking to extend their winning streak against a hated foe in Stanford. During his press conference, Sean Miller was giving the Stanford team props. Arizona Daily Star Sports columnist Bruce Pascoe captured Millers pre-game sentiment during his press conference.

"Jan 24, 2015; Berkeley, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright (0) calls out a play in the second half of their NCAA basketball game against the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports“The two things they do well wouldn’t have been strengths in the last six years and that is, they get to the foul line as well as any team that we’ve played against,” Miller said, “They do it by driving at four positions, and sometimes five positions, when Michael Humphrey is at the five. They do a great job with their spacing … and they also are a very good free throw shooting team.”“Defensively, although they’re not a pressing team, they force more turnovers than any team we play in our conference. When you think of Stanford, that’s not what jumps out at you, but I think Johnny and his coaching staff have their team playing really together both on offense and on defense, and they’re playing with tremendous effort. They play the game really hard, they’re flying around the court, getting a lot of steals, deflections”“When they play a 2-3 zone, it’s as active as we’ve faced and a lot of their turnovers and steals happen when they’re in the zone. Those are two things that are much different about Stanford. In the years past its been more of a physical game. Now it’s about really taking care of the basketball and not fouling the drivers.”"

Bruce Pascoe also highlighted the two things that make Stanford a tough opponent, ‘The Cardinal has reinvented itself by shooting threes and driving to the basket.’

Miller had praised both Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Kaleb Tarczewski after the Huskies game. Jackson-Cartwright dished 18 assists to 3 turnovers last week against Washington and Washington state; he has stepped up his game.

Zeus is currently ranked No. 4 in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage playing in conference games (87.0 percent) and is averaging 12.4 points, and 10.0 rebounds. He is only ten victories away from becoming the program’s all-time leader in wins, he is at 100, and the top of the leader board as Matt Muehlebach is No. 1 winning 109 games.

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Miller has established a special workout schedule for Zeus where he lightly practices on Mondays and it seems to be working.

This game could be one for the ages. An improved Stanford team and a defensively impressive Arizona team is why Maples Pavilion is the perfect battleground for a “War in the Bay Area.”

Not only is a possible first place tie on the line if USC and U-Dub both lose, but Arizona could also vault themselves into the Top 10 with a sweep of the Bay Area schools gaining national respect after the two previous road losses.

Prediction: Arizona is on a roll, they almost won the two games on the road in Southern California. They will have more success in Northern California, and Maples could be empty like every other arena in the Pac-12.

Arizona 89  Stanford 79

Teams: Arizona (15-3, 3-2) vs. Stanford (10-6, 3-2)

Conference Standings: Stanford and Arizona both are 3-2 in the Pac-12 and tied with Oregon and Colorado for third place in the conference standings, USC is No. 1 and Washington is No. 2

When: Thursday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. PST, 9 p.m. MST

Where: Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto

TV: The game will be televised the Pac-12 Channel

Radio: TuneIn Radio, IMG Sports Network Arizona Brian Jeffries calls the action.  Sirius 119, XM 198

Line: Arizona -5.5

Series: Arizona holds a 59-29 advantage in the all-time series with Stanford, In Stanford: Arizona leads 22-18

Starters – Stanford  (ppg-Points per game, rgp – Rebounds per game)

Starters – Arizona (ppg-Points per game, rpg – Rebounds per game, apg – Assists per game)

  • 5    Kadeem Allen G Jr. 6-3 200, 8.7 ppg 3.4 rpg 3.8 apg
  • 1    Gabe York G Sr. 6-3 190, 13.6 ppg 3.4 rpg 2.7 apg
  • 23 Mark Tollefsen F Sr. 6-9 205, 8.8 ppg 3.4 rpg 1.0 apg
  • 12 Ryan Anderson F Sr. 6-9 235, 14.8 ppg 10.2 rpg 0.8 apg
  • 35 Kaleb Tarczewski C Sr. 7-0 250, 10.5 ppg 8.6 rpg 0.6 apg

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