Previewing Arizona

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 26: Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats drives in front of Marc Trasolini #15 of the Santa Clara Broncos during the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational at The Orleans Arena November 26 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan / 2011 Scouting Report / 2011 Game Plan
2011 Stats (pdf)
2011 Roster
2011 Schedule

Arizona Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.1 112
Turnover Rate 20.2 157
Off Reb Rate 29.3 284
FTA/FGA 44.3 44
Arizona Offense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 56.7 11
Turnover Rate 20.3 123
Off Reb Rate 39.9 16
FTA/FGA 42.7 96

 

 

 

 

 

I hope Tim Floyd is on Sean Miller's Christmas card list this holiday season, because without Floyd, the Wildcats probably wouldn't be where they are now.  Floyd resigned from Southern Cal in 2009 amidst allegations that he had provided improper benefits to one of O.J. Mayo's handlers; as a result, the recruiting class he had assembled fell apart.  Three members of that class--Derrick Williams, MoMo Jones, and Solomon Hill--decided to enroll at Arizona.  All three factored heavily into Arizona's thin rotation last season, much moreso than the other freshmen Miller brought in.  Williams established himself as an efficient go-to scorer right from the start, and Arizona finished the year with a winning record in Pac-10 play.

What could have been a difficult multi-year rebuilding project for Miller appears now to be a program ahead of schedule.  Some guys have all the luck.  Jones and Hill remain solid contributors, while Williams, who was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2010, has only gotten better.  Those three have started every game this season. 

For the third game in a row, we've run into a team that has increased its three-point attempts significantly over the previous year.  Just about everyone in Arizona's rotation has displayed some willingness to shoot the three; six guys have attempted 20 or more, four guys have attempted 30 or more.  As a team, Arizona is shooting 39% from outside, which ranks in the top 40.  They've been even better inside the arc and at the line.  That production has come against a weak slate of defenses, so they aren't quite as scary as they look.  But they're certainly better at scoring the ball than they were a year ago.

Starters

Kyle Fogg (6-3, 180) -- Fogg is an excellent outside shooter off to a slow start: 38% in '09, 42% last year, 30% this season.  His workload has increased each season, to the point where his proportion of the team's shots is second only to Williams.  That may have something to do with the slide, but it's a good bet his three-point shooting will come around.

MoMo Jones (6-0, 196) --Jones is also struggling with his outside shot, and unlike Fogg he doesn't have a history of good shooting out there.  But he's made 50% of his twos, and that's where most of his attempts come from, anyway.  Turnovers have been an issue for him this year.

Solomon Hill (6-6, 226) --Playing really well as a role player.  He's a good offensive rebounder, gets to the line often where he shoots a good percentage, and he's hit almost 57% of his twos.  He takes just enough threes to force the defense to respect his range.

Jamelle Horne (6-7, 224) -- A deadly three-point shooter who will spend most of his time lingering around the arc, though he's not bad inside either.  Decent defensive rebounder and shot blocker.

Derrick Williams (6-8, 241) -- Averaging 19 and 7 this season, and doing so in really impressive fashion.  He's shooting 61% inside, 75% (!) outside, and 80% at the line.  He's feasting on offensive boards and partially as a result of that gets to the line often.  He proved last season that he could take on a lot of work and still be an efficient player, but this is something else entirely.  Despite using nearly 29% of the possessions, his offensive rating is over 130.  That's big time.  If there is a concern, it's his tendency to commit a lot of fouls--4.4 per 40 minutes.  Foul trouble is about the only thing that could limit his impact on Sunday.

Bench

Kevin Parrom (6-6, 205), Jordin Mayes (6-2, 185), Jesse Perry (6-7, 210), Brendon Lavender (6-5, 215), Kyryl Natyazhko (6-11, 264).  Parrom has been outstanding in a secondary role off the bench.  He's shooting well, rebounding well at both ends, and his assist rate is very good.  Perry is a brilliant offensive rebounder but hasn't been much of a scorer to this point.  Mayes and Lavender are frequent and effective three-point shooters.

 

Arizona Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 48.7 156
Turnover Rate 18.3 282
Off Reb Rate 31.2 102
FTA/FGA 38.3 192
Arizona Defense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.5 135
Turnover Rate 22.2 112
Off Reb Rate 28.3 48
FTA/FGA 38.2 176

 

 

 

 

 

Miller's biggest success last season may have come at this end of the floor, where he transformed an indifferent Arizona D into one that could actually get some stops here and there.  The keys to that improvement were perimeter defense and defensive rebounding.  On that count, so far so good this season.  Interior defense looks like a question mark again, so it could be those other factors that carry them, for better or for worse.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes Arizona by 4.

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