PULLMAN, WA – Just a week after throttling both Colorado and Utah, No. 8 Arizona Basketball (12-3, 3-1) faces a tough road challenge at Wazzu (11-5, 2-3).
After a week off, No. 8 Arizona Basketball finally resumes Pac-12 play as they travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on host Washington State.
Looking to continue its winning ways after a dominant week last week, the Wildcats will have a tough test against the Cougars in this one.
Wazzu is a competitive team, and while Arizona is considered the favorite in this one, winning on the road in conference play is never easy, and we expect this one to be a bit of a challenge.
Hopefully, we will see our Wildcats continue its dominant ways and put together another solid performance like witnessed last weekend. Should Arizona take care of business like they are expected to, I see them having no problems against the Cougars!
Getting to know the details about Arizona Basketball’s opponent, the Washington State Cougars.
Team: Utah Utes
Conference: Pac-12 Conference
Current Record: 11–5 (2–3)
Head Coach: Kyle Smith. Entering his 14th season as a head coach (5th with Washington State), Coach Smith is currently 80–66 (37–45) with the Cougars with two NIT appearances.
Before he arrived in Pullman, Kyle made stops at Columbia from 2010-16 and San Francisco from 2016-19. Overall, he is 244–188 as a head coach with six postseason tournament berths.
2022-23 Record: Finishing the 2022-23 season with a 17–17 (11–9) record, the Cougars ended their year with a first-round NIT loss to Eastern Washington.
So, as Arizona Basketball takes on Wazzu, here is how you can watch and follow our Wildcats!
Arizona Basketball vs Washington State Information and Details:
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2024
Time: 4:00 P.M. MST / 3:00 P.M. PST
Television: Pac-12 Network
Location: Beasley Coliseum – Pullman, WA (12,000)
Overall Series Record: 68-18 Arizona. This is a head-to-head series that has gone on for quite some time, and the Wildcats have dominated, winning 17 of the last 19 matchups.
Last Meeting: Despite losing to Washington State last January in Tucson, Arizona earned the win in Pullman just a few weeks later, beating the host Cougars by a narrow 63-58 final.
Arizona Basketball Game Preview:
Getting back on track with dominant wins over Colorado and Utah last week, Arizona will have another tough matchup this weekend as they travel to Pullman to take on the host Cougars.
Coming in, Wazzu should be riding high after beating the USC Trojans in Southern California and are winners in two of its last three games.
Even with Arizona being the superior team, the Wildcats still cannot afford to overlook the Cougars, as this is a skilled Wazzu team that is tough defensively, holding teams to an average of 65.8 points per game and just 39.9 percent shooting.
Offensively, the Cougars do slow down the game a bit, and Coach Kyle Smith is known to use some elements of the “Princeton” offense, relying on a lot of ball screen action, backdoor cuts, etc.
As a result, his team is averaging 74.8 points per game, and they are shooting an impressive 47.3 percent from the field, including 33.7 percent from three.
Overall, their offense runs through forwards Isaac Jones and Andrej Jakimovski who are averaging 14.8 points and 10.4 points, respectively. They are also active on the glass and should challenge Arizona.
Beyond that, Myles Rice is their do-it-all freshman guard who is having a terrific start to the 2023-24 season. So far through 16 games, Rice is averaging 14.4 points and 3.3 assists per game.
While Arizona should have the advantage overall, we expect this one to be a fight from the Cougars, and as we stated before winning on the road in conference play is never easy.
Hopefully, the Wildcats will be ready to go in this one and will continue their winning ways against Wazzu. Tip-off for Saturday's game against the Cougars is at 4:00 P.M. Tucson time, and the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.