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Previewing Arizona

2009 Scouting Report2009 Game Plan / 2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan
2010 Stats (pdf)
2010 Roster
2010 Schedule


Arizona Offense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 53.0 39
Turnover Rate 19.3 104
Off Reb Rate 35.6 76
FTA/FGA 37.5 149
Arizona Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.1 135
Turnover Rate 20.3 137
Off Reb Rate 27.0 314
FTA/FGA 43.4 67







Back when I was living in Tucson, I always hoped the Wolfpack would make this road trip, even though defeat would've been a near-certainty.  Instead all I got was a couple of lousy games against Eddie House's Sun Devils.  Oh well.

Sean Miller's challenge at Arizona is similar to Sidney Lowe's at NC State; there are only seven holdovers from last year's Wildcats team.  There are two upperclassmen on the roster, and only one of those two (point guard Nic Wise) is healthy.  No surprise, then, that this is Wise's club.  The third option a year ago behind Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, Wise has emerged as Arizona's leader and go-to guy. 

Wise ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG%
2009 112.5 23.5 22.9 53.6
2010 110.5 26.4 28.4 49.5


Wise and freshman forward Derrick Williams are leading the charge and they've been effective, but they aren't getting a lot of support right now, and the overall drop off in offensive production is considerable.  Last year's Cats were above average in every category, one of the country's ten most efficient offenses.  This year they're hitting fewer shots, they rarely grab their misses, and they're turning it over more often.  That's amounted to about 19 fewer points scored per 100 possessions.  But the news isn't all bad.  Miller has at least gotten this group to give a damn about defense, which is a significant step in the right direction.


Nic Wise (5-10, 180) -- Impressive assist and turnover rates.  Does a decent job getting to the line, where he's money.  Excellent and frequent outside shooter.  Expect him to break down our defense off the dribble and give us all sorts of problems.

Kyle Fogg (6-3, 185) -- Off to a 16-25 start from beyond the arc but is just 6-26 from two.

Solomon Hill (6-6, 230) -- Not much of a rebounder and he's been incredibly turnover prone, but he's produced efficiently from the free throw line and in the paint.

Derrick Williams (6-8, 235) -- The secondary option behind Wise and a god-send.  Scores effectively, rebounds pretty well at both ends, rarely turns the ball over, blocks shots, draws tons of fouls.  He's gonna be big time.

Kyryl Natyazhko (6-10, 255) -- Kyryl (pronounced "Kffffft") Natyazhko (pronounced "Jones"), a freshman from Dnipropetrovsk (pronounced "headache"), Ukraine, was forced into the lineup when Jamelle Horne got hurt on December 12th. Horne isn't expected back in time for Wednesday's game and may be out until February. Start or no start, Natyazhko probably won't see a lot of minutes and shouldn't be very involved offensively.  That's a good thing for Arizona.


Lamont Jones (6-0, 200), Brendon Lavender (6-5, 205), and Alex Jacobson (7-0, 245) each saw double-digit minutes against Lipscomb, so my best guess is they'll provide the bulk of the bench minutes again.  Jones, who is taking 22.5% of the shots when he's on the floor, should be the most involved of the three.  He's made 45% of his twos and 26.9% of his threes.  The other two guys are essentially placeholders.  Jacobson has a turnover rate north of 50% (small sample sizes are fun).

Arizona Defense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.9 253
Turnover Rate 18.0 304
Off Reb Rate 34.0 225
FTA/FGA 25.1 6
Arizona Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 46.7 115
Turnover Rate 17.9 302
Off Reb Rate 31.6 124
FTA/FGA 33.4 107







The '09 Wildcats could have been frightening if they'd cared even the slightest bit about playing defense.  Three hundred and fourth in turnover percentage, sixth in free throw rate--that is some world-class indifference right there.  They've made strides under Miller, strides that probably aren't just a function of their early-season schedule.  But they still aren't disruptive, and there is one particularly large red flag: opponents have made just 27.9% of their three point attempts.  It's hard to imagine that's going to stay where it is.  Especially with Scott Wood doppin' bombs on them suckers (5-7 from outside, 23 points total; I had a vision). 

The Pomeroy Predictor says this game is a toss up based on the two teams' respective performances to date, but I don't have to tell you that without the Macrowave, odds are rather slight that we blow them all to hell.  Dennis and Javi are going to have to play brilliantly, and it would really help if C.J. Williams emerged from his early-season coma.