Arizona Basketball has faced adversity before and they are in the midst of facing it again, but this program has shown they know how to overcome it.
Facing adversity is nothing new for Arizona Basketball. Since ESPN falsely broke the story about Sean Miller and Deandre Ayton, this program has been impacted on many levels. Fast forward to this season. The Wildcats started out strong, including winning the Wooden Legacy Tournament, but after losing the last 4 of 5 games (with two of those being against the No.1 and No.2 team in the country as of now), some are starting to doubt they are good as advertised. Never count out this program, they know how to bear down!
Back in 1996-97 when the Wildcats won the national championship, they finished with an overall record of 25-9 and 5th in the Pac-12. Heading into the tournament as the 5th seed and having to beat 3 No.1 seeds, talk about facing some adversity. Then during the 2017-18 season, the Wildcats faced adversity once again. That didn’t stop them though from winning the Pac-12 regular season and Pac-12 tournament.
This season, they are currently at 1-2 in the Pac-12 and were predicted to finish 4th in the conference during Media Day. Sounds like some adversity to me, considering the talent they have this year! At an overall record of 11-5, they are on pace to have a similar record to the 1996-97 team. So losing five games isn’t that bad (considering those were close losses minus the 17 point defeat to the Beavers). Plus, their so much basketball games to be played, and plenty of time for this team to overcome a slow start to conference play.
Some of the players from this year’s roster, that were part of last season’s team, faced adversity all season long. They understand what it’s like to play under those conditions . It’s important for them to step up and be the leaders for the younger players on the team.
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Right now, more then ever, the Wildcats freshman’s confidence is a look shook with these loses. The seniors on the team with experience playing at Arizona, Chase Jeter and Dylan Smith, need to demonstrate and display that passion and energy. This will help the team find their identity.
Overall, the Wildcats are way too talented of a deep to play like they have. They need to play how they did in the beginning of the season and they’ll be fine.
After starting the season ranked, the Wildcats have now fallen out of the Top 25. They have yet to have a top quality win or a Quad 1 for that matter. But there is not reason to worry at all just yet.
All they need to do is win the next two games against Utah and Colorado at home, get their swag back and before you know it this team will be right back where they belong. Take that pile of adversity and throw it out the window!
The last time Utah played in McKale, Wildcats won a thriller 84-81 in overtime!
At Zona Zealots, we’ve seen this program and it’s fan base become stronger because of the adversity over the years. Sometimes in life, all it takes is for people to begin to doubt one’s or a group’s ability to accomplish. Arizona Basketball knows how to handle that outside doubt, one way and one way only…to Bear Down!