Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight Washington takes a trip to play the Arizona Wildcats, ranked in the top 20 by both RPI and the AP Poll. We take a quick look at Arizona
Last time the Huskies and Wildcats met the result was a low-scoring, poor-shooting, turnover-filled affair. The two teams combined to shoot 36% and turn the ball over 34 times. Even Abdul Gaddy had six turnovers, believe it or not (believe it).
Since then, Arizona has gone 3-2, winning against Utah, Stanford and Washington State while falling to the likes of Colorado and Cal. Despite the recent "struggles," Arizona comes into the game against UW favored by 12.5, or, a lot.
Arizona has a mix of experience and youth leading them, being led by seniors Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons. Hill is one of the top five players in the conference, and is really able to do anything head coach Sean Miller asks him to do, whether it be rebounding, scoring, defending or cheerleading. Hill was the most efficient offensive player for Arizona when the two teams last met, shooting and incredible 42%. He was actually very effective from inside the arc, as he went 0-5 from deep uncharacteristically -- he shoots a shade under 40% on the season, and 37% for his career.
Lyons is a mercurial point guard Miller recruited to Xavier, and now runs the Arizona attack. Lyons is more of a scoring point guard than a floor general; his shooting tendency is shown by having the second-highest shot% in conference play (shot% of team's shots taken while on the floor). Shabazz Muhammad leads the conference.
Brandon Ashley is another player to watch out for. The former Washington target may cause problems for Shawn Kemp Jr. down low, as well as rebounding. Kemp is not a particularly strong defensive rebounder, he has not garnered enough rebounds to be ranked within StatSheet. His offensive rebounding, in an admittedly small sample, is very strong. Ashley is not as strong as Kemp, but still grabs boards at a good rate. It will be a matchup to watch down low.
The main man in the middle for UofA is freshman Kaleb Tarczewski. He is an amazing offensive rebounder, second in the conference in OReb%. His defensive rebounding isn't nearly as strong, but is still respectably in the top 25 in the conference.
Nick Johnson guarded C.J. Wilcox last time, and will likely be tasked with the unenviable task once again. Johnson is a strong all-around guard, with good assist, rebounding and scoring numbers.
The PAC-12 Network's preview video is embedded below for your viewing pleasure.