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COLUMBIA, Mo. \u2014 More than half the 15,061 seats inside Mizzou Arena went untouched Saturday, reflecting a fanbase still skeptical of their team\u2019s multi-year rebuild.

\u201cIt\u2019s like I said,\u201d Missouri coach Kim Anderson said, \u201cIt\u2019s the Show-Me State.\u201d

So the fact that Arizona was playing its first true road game of the season in a 79-60 win over Missouri on Saturday was irrelevant, really. Of the estimated 7,500 fans in the building, about 1,000 of them were wearing UA red or blue colors, and the porous Missouri student \u201cZou\u201d section wasn\u2019t quite the Zona Zoo, or any sort of zoo at all.

But a challenge it was, anyway. The Wildcats, as we know well by now, are pretty good at creating adversity all by themselves.

Down as usual to just seven scholarship players and having to play at 10 a.m. on their body clocks, the Wildcats flirted with serious foul trouble, especially to leading scorer Lauri Markkanen.

They also didn\u2019t even have the support of the presently ineligible Allonzo Trier and their three injured players, all of whom remained in Tucson to better get through fall semester finals.

So even though UA took quick leads of 13-3 and 25-8, the Wildcats started seeing trouble midway through the first half. Markkanen picked up two fouls early then fouled out with just 21 minutes played, scoring in single digits (eight points) for the first time of his college career. Three other guys had four fouls each, even reserve forward Keanu Pinder, who joined Rawle Alkins in collecting a team-high nine rebounds.

The Wildcats led by only five at halftime. They led by only four with 16:15 left in the game, and by seven just after Markkanen picked up his third foul two minutes later.

The momentum wasn\u2019t turning in their favor, but the Wildcats didn't appear to care. The team\u2019s three designated interviewees\u2014Rawle Alkins, Kobi Simmons and Markkanen \u2013 all said they remained confident.

\u201cWe just trust each other so much we knew we were gonna get the job done,\u201d Markkanen said.

Mostly, the Wildcats took care of things from the perimeter, making a season-high 13 3-pointers on 24 attempts. Alkins and senior guard Kadeem Allen had four each, while Simmons made three and even Markkanen popped in a couple before his day ended early, on a foul-out with 2:53 left.

All that blew a hole through a Tigers defense that entered the game holding its mostly midmajor nonconference opponents to just 23.7 percent.

\u201cThey really mixed their defenses \u2026 1-3-1 zone. \u2026 3-2 zone. Man to man. Press dropping to zone,\u201d Miller said. \u201cI think the thing they wanted us to do is dare us to take some 3s and test us. We passed the test.\u201d

Anderson\u2019s strategy was understandable. The Wildcats entered Saturday\u2019s game shooting 36.6 percent from 3-point range, having shot 27 percent or less in four different games. Last Saturday at Gonzaga, they were just 1 for 8.

So why not dare them?

\u201cI don't think they\u2019ve shot that well all year,\u201d Anderson said. \u201cWe did OK early but they figured it out. We tried to junk it up a lot. We played three, four, five different defenses\u2026 some of it was good, but they shot the ball so well.\u201d

So, different defenses, foul trouble, early tip time, short bench... whatever.

UA kept going.

\u201cIt was just staying very confident and sticking to what we do, no matter who we have or the circumstance,\u201d Simmons said. \u201cThat\u2019s what we did.\u201d

Arizona wound up letting its lead shrink to no fewer than four points, 45-41 with 16:15 left, later using a 21-0 run to put the game away and negate all that foul trouble.

It\u2019s possible that Missouri, the fifth-youngest team in Division I, didn\u2019t realize what was coming.

\u201cWe\u2019ve got to understand that once you catch up, the other team keeps playing,\u201d Anderson said. \u201cThey don\u2019t just take time off. You can\u2019t get (the deficit) to five and take a deep breath and say \u2018Oh yeah, we\u2019re back now. We can cruise for five or 10 minutes and then we\u2019re gonna put the hammer on them.\u2019

\u201cYou can\u2019t do that against Arizona.\u201d

Anderson knew that much first hand. UA beat Missouri 72-53 in the 2014 Maui Invitational during Anderson\u2019s first season, then clobbered the Tigers 88-52 last season at McKale center.

That puts UA\u2019s average victory margin over Anderson\u2019s Tigers in those three games at 24.6 points.

It easy to see why, to Miller, Saturday\u2019s game was likely the most satisfying of the three.

Trier, the UA's top returning scorer, is out with his NCAA eligibility issue. Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright is out with a high ankle sprain, and two other guys have long since suffered season-ending ACL tears (Ray Smith, Talbott Denny).

Yet UA won easily, improving to 8-2 and ensuring their streak of 83 straight appearances in the Associated Press Top 25 poll will turn to 84 on Monday.

After the game, Miller tried to explain it all to an assembled group of media that was predominantly covering the Tigers, alluding to the possibility of adding Trier to the floor soon.

\u201cWe\u2019re going through a lot right now,\u201d Miller said. \u201cArguably our best or second-best player hasn\u2019t played and our starting point guard is out. I think it\u2019s been well-documented we have a couple other guys with season-ending injuries.

\u201cIn short time, I\u2019m hopeful we can get some guys back. But in the meantime this was a meaningful game, our first true road game of the year. I\u2019m proud of our guys\u2019 effort and approach because it wasn\u2019t a smooth from start to finish game for us.\u201d

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When Arizona offered Austin Faoliu a scholarship in late September, the defensive lineman couldn\u2019t believe it.

At the time, Faoliu was a two-star recruit without a Power Five conference scholarship offer.\u00a0

Then Arizona came calling, specifically defensive line coach Vince Amey and recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary, and it all changed.

Not only were they offering him a scholarship, but immediate playing time, too.

\u201cI almost started crying,\u201d Faoliu said. \u201cThey were telling me that I could be starting as a freshman and that I\u2019d have a spot ready for me at the U of A. That\u2019s what opened my eyes and I thought, \u2018nothing gets better than that.'\"

Faoliu committed on the spot, sight unseen.

\u201cThen,\u201d he said, \u201call these other schools started coming.\u201d

The 6-foot-4-inch 285 pound defensive tackle has since garnered offers from Arizona State, Illinois, UTSA and Washington State, with the Cougars pursuing him the hardest. Faavae Faavae, a linebacker commit for Washington State and Faoliu\u2019s teammate at Santa Ana, California's powerhouse Mater Dei High School, is pushing his best friend to join him in Pullman next season.

Faoliu took his first official visit to UA this weekend, and plans to visit Washington State and other schools too.

The tears of joy are gone. Things have changed.

\u201cI\u2019m like kinda in the middle,\u201d Faoliu said of his UA commitment. \"I still like Arizona, I still want to go there, but I\u2019m open to other colleges too if they haven\u2019t spoke to me \u2026 since my freshman year I\u2019ve been working to try and get some offers and now I can finally choose. Well, I chose Arizona, but I can finally see what other choices I have.\u201d

That's recruiting in 2016. A verbal commitment is closer to a passing conversation than a binding contract.

Faoliu is not the only one of Arizona\u2019s 25-person recruiting class considering his options. Garden City Community College linebacker visited Illinois and Syracuse last weekend, but said \u201cit\u2019s going to be hard to top\u201d Arizona.

Here\u2019s a closer look at where some of Arizona\u2019s other 25 commits stand less than two months before National Signing Day.

Decommitment candidates

Arizona was the first school to offer Matt Leo (3 stars) in May, and he committed before the season. Since, he\u2019s added offers from seven schools, with Oklahoma and Iowa State at or near the top of his list. He\u2019s a raw prospect \u2014 the Australian just started playing football last year \u2014 but has the physical tools (6-foot-7, 275 pounds) teams look for in a D-tackle.\u00a0Rhedi Short\u00a0(3 stars) took an official visit to Illinois late in the season and had a close relationship with Dont\u00e9 Williams, who left for Nebraska.\u00a0Bryce Brand (3 stars) took an official visit to Maryland last week, and 247sports.com projects him to flip to the Terrapins. Brand was on campus this weekend for an official visit.

Keep an eye on\u2026

Delshawn Phillips (3 star) is still strong with the Wildcats, and Arizona badly needs him. Phillips is a junior-college linebacker who helped Garden CC win an NJCAA title. He would help a severe depth issue at that position for the Wildcats, who lose four senior contributors from last year\u2019s team.\u00a0Darrian McNeal (3 stars) was as enthusiastic a commit as Arizona had recently, then Oregon went and hired former South Florida coach Willie Taggart to replace Mark Helfrich. Taggart promptly offered McNeal. It begs watching now.\u00a0Warren Jackson (3 stars) would bring some much-needed height \u2014 he's 6-5 \u2014 to Arizona\u2019s receiver corps, but told Scout.com he\u2019ll visit Washington State, Oregon State and Colorado State. The Cougars are pushing hard. Scott Young (3 stars) had a good relationship with Williams, and plans to visit San Diego State and UNLV, but he\u2019ll still likely wind up at Arizona. Jalen Harris (3 stars) is a legacy recruit \u2014 his father, Sean, was a linebacker in the Desert Swarm years \u2014 so he seems unlikely to flip, but he visited Colorado and might still check out Illinois and Louisville.\u00a0Kurtis Brown (3 stars) has been receiving interest from Washington State, who visited him at home recently, but he\u2019s still solid for Arizona.

Receiving attention

By virtue of being Arizona\u2019s two highest-rated recruits, other schools will certainly try to flip Nathan Tilford and Braxton Burmeister,\u00a0both of whom are four-star recruits. Both appear still solid on their commitment and set to become Wildcats. Williams was involved in Tilford\u2019s recruitment, but not much \u2014 the running back is closest with running backs coach Calvin Magee and staff analyst Miguel Reveles.

Burmeister's relationship with quarterbacks coach Rod Smith is so strong that he\u2019s unlikely to leave unless Smith were to leave Arizona. Burmeister plans to enroll at the UA in January, so in the event something did change, that would likely happen before the New Year.

Still solid

Kylan Wilborn (Sherman Oaks, California)

Rhett Rodriguez (Catalina Foothills)

Bryce Wolma (Saline, Michigan)

Tony Fields (Las Vegas)

Drew Dixon (Sabino)

Edgar Burrola (Las Vegas)

Brian Casteel (Covina, California)

Joshua Brown (Long Beach, California)

Bryce Gilbert (Gilbert, Arizona)

Xavier Bell (Santa Ana, California)

Cody Shear (Eugene, Oregon)

Troy Young (Mobile, Alabama)

There have been no indications that anyone in this group has any non-Arizona plans. The only names to keep an eye on would be Troy Young (3 stars), who might change his mind if Alabama were to come in with an offer, which seems unlikely. Joshua Brown (3 stars) and Brian Casteel (3 stars) had relationships with Williams, but he wasn\u2019t either of their lead recruiter. Edgar Burrola (3 stars) didn\u2019t have any offers when he committed to Arizona, but has since added Louisville and UNLV offers.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. \u2013 Arizona nailed a season-high 13 3-point shots and went on a 21-0 second half run to bury Missouri 79-69 today despite suffering nearly team-wide foul trouble.

UA forward Lauri Markkanen and guard Kobi Simmons had four fouls and two others had three, straining the limits of the Wildcats\u2019 seven-man roster, but the Wildcats hung on with efficient offense and a defense that help keep the Tigers to just 32.7 percent from the field.

Simmons and Alkins led UA with 19 points each, with Alkins hitting 4 of 7 3-pointers and Simmons going 3 for 6. Kadeem Allen added 4 of 8 3-point shooting while totaling 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Alkins and Keanu Pinder each had nine rebounds to lead the Wildcats on the glass.

Arizona shot 47.4 percent overall and was 13 of 24 from 3-point range, while Missouri made just 4 of 18 3-pointers.

Leading by five at halftime, Arizona managed to expand its lead to 53-45 with 13:08 left thanks to 3-pointers from Allen and Alkins. It was 71-45 by the time Allen made a layup with 7:31, and at that point foul trouble was nearly irrelevant.

But it didn\u2019t look that way at halftime. UA took a 41-36 halftime lead but went into the locker room without momentum because of foul trouble and Missouri\u2019s late scoring.

Four of the Wildcats' seven available scholarship players picked up two fouls in the first half, including Markkanen, while Arizona let leads of up to 17 points shrivel down to just five at halftime.

Arizona kept Missouri to just 1 of 9 field goals at the start of the game but Missouri recovered to shoot 37.9 percent for the half. As it turned out, it was offense that kept the Wildcats going more than defense: UA hit 7 of 14 3-pointers, with Alkins, Markkanen and Allen each making two.

Alkins led the Wildcats in first-half scoring with 11 points, while Pinder had seven rebounds.

Arizona raced off to early leads of 13-3 and 25-8, its only early misstep coming when Markkanen picked up his second foul with 12:59 left. Markkanen sat out for four minutes before returning with 8:54 left.

Arizona was playing for its 10th game without guard Allonzo Trier, who has been dealing with an unspecified eligibility issue.

Trier and Arizona's three injured players -- Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Ray Smith and Talbott Denny \u2013 did not make the trip to Missouri they dealt with final exams and, in the injured player's cases, avoided the possibility of swelling during the long airplane flight.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Arizona guard Allonzo Trier did not make the Wildcats' trip to Missouri for today's game, meaning he'll sit out a 10th game with an unspecified eligibility issue.

Trier and Arizona's three injured players -- Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Ray Smith and Talbott Denny -- did not travel to Missouri. UA officials said all players who would not dress for today's game were kept behind while they dealt with final exams and, in the injured player's cases, avoided the possibility of swelling during the long airplane flight.

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SCOTTSDALE\u2014 It was a homecoming for DeAndre Ayton when he flew out to Bahamas for a tournament, which began Nov. 18.

Ayton, an Arizona signee and the top-rated player in the 2017 class, helped Hillcrest Prep win both of its games in Nassau, where Ayton lived for most of his life before moving stateside five years ago.

\"For the first few days when we had games it was great,\" Ayton told the Star on Friday night at the Hoophall West tournament at Chaparral High School. \"We went 2-0, everybody on the team was showing me a lot of love until the little issue happened.

\"Then\u2026it\u2019s all bad.\"

Ayton's visa was flagged at the Nassau airport as he and his teammates prepared to return to Arizona. \u00a0Ayton's team flew back home, while their star remained in the Bahamas with his father for 2 1/2 \u00a0weeks while waiting to renew his visa, which had expired. \u00a0Ayton flew back Tuesday.\u00a0

\"The embassy doesn\u2019t play around,\" Ayton said. \"I was like, yo, I forgot. I was supposed to come down here (in Arizona) and get that stuff sorted with...it wasn't scary. It happens.\"

In his first game back on Friday night against Westbury (Texas) Christian, Ayton managed 20 points, 18 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Hillcrest plays again on Sunday.

\"I couldn\u2019t wait to see my teammates, to be honest,\" Ayton said. \"I couldn\u2019t wait to see my team practice and get back on the court.\"

Check Tucson.com and tomorrow's Daily Star print edition for more about Ayton and fellow Arizona signee Alex Barcello, both of whom played on day one of Hoophall West on Friday.\u00a0

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COLUMBIA, Mo. \u2013 Arizona\u2019s three leading scorers might be freshmen, but Missouri is even more reliant on young players this season.

How do we know this? KenPom.com, of course.

Kenpom has an \u201cexperience\u201d calculation of the average years of college experience a team\u2019s roster has, factoring in the minutes played by each player and his experience. (It's the second item explained in this post).

Thus Arizona, which plays Lauri Markkanen 32.7 minutes a game while Kobi Simmons (28.3) and Rawle Alkins (29.1) average in the high 20s, is ranked No. 326 in experience out of 351 Division I teams.

Then there\u2019s Missouri, which starts three sophomores and has a leading scorer who is a true freshmen.

The Tigers are 346, the sixth youngest team in America.

\u201cWe\u2019re a young group,\u201d Missouri coach Kim Anderson says, noting that he just heard about the stat, \u201cand we have our moments where you can tell we\u2019re young.\u201d

The full ranking of teams is sorted here by the experience calculation.


There\u2019s more optimistic-sounding prose posted to Allonzo Trier\u2019s Twitter page.

Among other things, it says \"There is still time for you to put things to where you want them to be. To seize the things you've been reaching out for.\"

Trier has missed nine games because of an NCAA eligibility issue that appears to be under appeal. He was cleared by the NCAA to begin traveling last week, however, and has been practicing while ineligible.


Not only are DeAndre Ayton and Alex Barcello playing in the Hoophall West event in Scottsdale this weekend -- Zack Rosenblatt will have coverage of that event posted this weekend -- but Ayton and his Hillcrest Prep team will also play Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Duel in the Desert event at Bella Vista College Prep in Scottsdale.

There will also be games at Bella Vista today featuring California's Prolific Prep and three other teams. The full schedule for that event is attached as a photo. (click on the arrow at the top of the Frankie Hughes photo in order to see it).

Barcello's Corona Del Sol team will play again Saturday at 4:30 against Christ the King at Scottsdale Chaparral High School. The Hoophall West schedule is here.


Here's the school-produced notes from Arizona\u00a0and Missouri.


Our preview story on Missouri's rebuilding job, and the role Terrence Phillips is playing in it, is attached to this post. The scouting report is also.


Xavier is having a Pac-12 kind of week. After a loss at Boulder, the Musketeers are returning home to face Utah on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (FOX).


UCLA will host Michigan in the other big game involving Pac-12 teams Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN2). So far, it's been good times for Bryce Alford.

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There are times Terrence Phillips\u2019 Twitter feed reads like a promotional blitz for Missouri basketball.

Some examples from just the past few days:

The push is understandable for two reasons. One is that Phillips, the younger brother of former UA signee Brandon Jennings, is a born leader who has already taken over the Tigers as a sophomore.

His Twitter handler, after all, is @FloorGeneral03.

The other reason: Missouri needs all the promotion it can get. The Tigers won only 19 games over the first two years of coach Kim Anderson\u2019s rebuilding job, and were drummed out of McKale Center 88-52 last season.

Not only did that game stick in Phillips\u2019 mind, but so did the crowd, further igniting his passion for promotion.

\u201cIt\u2019s not something new. I\u2019ve always been pushing to get our students at the game,\u201d Phillips said. \u201cThe love and support means a lot. I remember walking into Arizona and seeing the students go ballistic. They were great.\u201d

Winning helps, of course. That\u2019s the problem at Missouri. The Tigers averaged just 6,295 fans last season at 15,061-seat Mizzou Arena while winning 10 games, down from the half-full scene (8,064) they averaged in 2014-15 while winning nine.

For five nonconference home games so far this season, they\u2019re averaging 4,166 fans.

It doesn\u2019t help in the short run that Missouri plays in the SEC, nor that the Tigers are running into Arizona for the third straight season.

Nor does it help that five more guys transferred out of the Tigers program last spring, giving Anderson a roster flushed out with solely his own recruits but also precious little experience.

\u201cIt\u2019s a great group of guys, but we\u2019ve had a complete roster flip,\u201d Anderson said. \u201cWe have no one who was here when I got here two years ago. So we have our growing pains and moments where we\u2019re not so good. We\u2019re getting ready to face up against one of the best teams in the country and when we\u2019ve played them the last couple of years we haven\u2019t been that competitive.\u201d

UA coach Sean Miller can relate.

In a different way, he had to rebuild the Wildcats for the better part of four seasons \u2014 if you consider UA\u2019s 2011 Elite Eight season an exception due in part to Derrick Williams\u2019 surprise stardom \u2014 and he watched former aide James Whitford break through with 21 wins at Ball State last season after he won 11 combined in his first two seasons.

\u201cYou sign up for that rebuild and not everybody\u2019s going to stick around to rebuild,\u201d Miller said. \u201cIt\u2019s so hard right now and at every level, too. It\u2019s not like you recruit a class, then they come back as sophomores, then you recruit again and you have your team.

\u201cWell, a lot of times those guys leave and there\u2019s unexpected things. At (Whitford\u2019s) level, a player might transfer up. It\u2019s so much of a one year at a time deal.\u201d

In Anderson\u2019s case, the Tigers lost players he inherited and recruits who had been recruited by previous coach Frank Haith but then signed with Anderson without either party knowing each other well.

It\u2019s not unlike the way the UA suffered transfers such as Zane Johnson, who signed with previous staff, and then lost players such as Josiah Turner, and Daniel Bejarano, who signed with Miller despite not having a long relationship.

Also somewhat like Miller, Anderson has suffered some unexpected losses that appeared at least in part due to outside influences. UA lost Craig Victor to LSU in January 2014, despite having said a month earlier about his limited playing time that \u201cI know I\u2019m getting better; that\u2019s all that matters.\u201d

Anderson says he\u2019s found things change over spring breaks, too.

\u201cThey\u2019ll say \u2018We\u2019ll be back, coach. We\u2019ll be back,\u2019\u201d Anderson said. \u201cThen they go home for spring, and they\u2019re transferring. What happened? \u2018Ah, well, I talked to my parents.\u2019\u201d

Sometimes they talk to others, too. Anderson, a former Missouri standout player who was a longtime assistant for the Tigers under Norm Stewart, said not only do today\u2019s players more often seek instant playing time, with a goal of reaching the NBA, but they now have bigger circles of family members and other advisors.

\u201cI think a lot of times young men have more people in their ear than 15, 20 years ago,\u201d Anderson said. \u201cI came from Division II, and you didn\u2019t have that many people who were helping a young man through the recruiting process.\u201d

The good news for Anderson is that this season, finally, he has a roster full of players he recruited entirely. He said he went out seeking players who would buy into his vision of \u201chard-nosed, fundamental basketball.\u201d

Phillips was among the first he found, a star high school quarterback from Orange County that had no real aspirations of trying to follow his brother into the NBA.

\u201cI really didn\u2019t think I\u2019d ever be at Missouri playing basketball,\u201d Phillips said. \u201cI thought I\u2019d be playing football somewhere in the Pac-12.\u201d

Phillips said he received some good recruiting attention in football, including from Pac-12 schools, and was projected to move from quarterback to running back in college. But instead, he opted to play basketball at Oak Hill Academy.

There, Phillips was only a three-star recruit, but he caught Anderson\u2019s eye and, during the middle of Anderson\u2019s tough first year, committed to the Tigers.

While Anderson had about a year to get to know Phillips before he signed, there was no waiting period when he arrived. Anderson had to immediately put him to work.

\u201cHe\u2019s had to be a leader at a young age and take on a little more responsibility than a freshman normally has to take,\u201d Anderson said. \u201cWe\u2019ve played him a lot. He\u2019s made some really good decisions and some that him and I have had to discuss. But he\u2019s a great kid.\u201d

Now, finally, Anderson has a whole team of guys he knows well, that he\u2019s developing, that he\u2019s hoping will help turn the Tigers around.

They\u2019re on the same page now, even if it appears a bit tattered at times.

\u201cThis is a great group that we recruited, and I know them a lot better,\u201d Anderson said. \u201cWe\u2019ve been able to develop a relationship with them and they kind of know what we expect. The next step is playing better.\u201d

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Less than two months remain until Feb. 1 National Signing Day, and the Arizona Wildcats have a lot of work to do.

Rich Rodriguez and his staff will try to add to a recruiting class that\u2019s already among the conference\u2019s best.

The Wildcats have no shortage of targets with the clock ticking down. Here\u2019s a look at some players Arizona might still try to bring into the fold. All ratings are according to Scout.com.

High-Priority Targets

Thomas Graham (4 stars) has been a top target since the moment Rodriguez revamped his defensive coaching staff after last season. Arizona\u2019s chances dipped slightly when Dont\u00e9 Williams left for Nebraska this week, but the UA is still in pursuit. Expect Graham to choose between Arizona, Nebraska and Notre Dame. The Wildcats have been pushing for Antjuan Simmons since the season, even after he committed to Ohio State. Simmons has since reopened his recruitment, and is visiting Arizona\u2019s campus this weekend. The linebacker would be a huge get. Arizona will have to stave off Michigan State. Patrick Macon (3 stars) is a big (6-3, 235 pounds) hard-hitting inside linebacker \u2014 a junior college transfer who can play right away at a position of need. He\u2019s visiting this weekend too, and is also considering Oklahoma State; Adrian Ealy (4 stars) has offers from just about everyone, yet visited Kansas recently and is in Arizona this weekend. Hard to get a read on his situation, but Arizona needs offensive linemen; O\u2019Maury Samuels (4 stars) is a Michigan commit who visited the Wildcats during the season. Arizona badly needs future depth at running back.

On the board

Arizona is targeting a lot of offensive and defensive linemen to fill out its 2017 class. The Wildcats desperately need interior strength and size, which Sione Taufahema (6-2, 310, 2 stars) brings from College of the Canyons, a junior college in Santa Clarita, California. He\u2019s visiting this weekend and could commit; Isiah Moore is committed to Boise State, but Arizona offered recently and persuaded him to visit this weekend. Arizona has been pursuing quite a few junior college players recently, and Desmond Bland was a part of that wave; Orlando Umana (3 stars) visited last weekend, and Washington is believed to be the favorite for him but Umana told Scout.com that he enjoyed his visit to Tucson; Nick Ford (3 stars) was offered in October and had said he planned to visit the Wildcats.

Still chasing

Austin Jackson (5 stars) is the top-rated recruit in Arizona, and the Wildcats are still trying for him, but they\u2019ve long been a longshot; Jaylon Redd (4 stars) committed to Oregon\u2019s previous staff, and Marcel Yates visited with him recently, but a flip to UA is still unlikely; Arizona was Odua Isibor\u2019s (3 stars) first offer, but since he\u2019s blown up as a recruit and has seemingly pushed the Wildcats aside. Arizona offered Jax Wacaser (3 stars) a scholarship late in the season, and he\u2019s added quite a few Pac-12 offers. The Wildcats seem unlikely to land him.

Other names to remember: DT Malik Young (Eastern Arizona), DE Jonathan Lolohea (Los Angeles Valley College), LB Isaac Slade-Matautia (Honolulu, Hawaii), RB Miles Reed (Corona, California), DE Ali Gaye (Edmonds, Washington), OL Tucker Robertson (Simi Valley, California), K Spencer Evans (Tarrant County College)

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LINCOLN, Neb. \u2014 Arizona Wildcats coach Dave Rubio called timeout, shook his head, and rubbed his temples.

It was that kind of day Friday as the UA volleyball season ended in a 25-15, 25-22, 25-18 loss to Washington in the NCAA tournament\u2019s regional semifinals.

It was Arizona\u2019s 12th straight loss to Washington.

\u201cIt\u2019s like a bad dream that keeps happening,\u201d senior setter Penina Snuka said. \u201cYou\u2019ve got to give it to Washington. They played clean volleyball and we weren\u2019t able to match that.\u201d

Rubio warned of Washington\u2019s high-efficiency offense before the match, and fears were realized in the first set. Washington used a 9-1 run to break open a previous tight match. It finished the set with two errors while Arizona (20-15) had 11. Washington finished the match with nine errors and a .292 hitting percentage.

\u201cI\u2019m a very talented guy and one of my talents is clairvoyance,\u201d Rubio cracked.

Rubio said his team came out flat, much to his surprise.

\u201cWe\u2019re not good enough to beat this level of a team unless we\u2019re connected, and we weren\u2019t connected,\u201d Rubio said. \u201cI was like, \u2018Where is our emotion?\u2019\u201d

Arizona fared better early in the second set. A kill from Katarina Pilepic put the Wildcats ahead 14-11, but the momentum didn\u2019t last. Washington tied it at 17 on Tia Scambray\u2019s kill, and took a 19-17 lead on Kara Bajema\u2019s kill. Rubio burned both of his timeouts in the 8-3 Washington run. Arizona libero Laura Larson said her team passed much better in the second set, except during the critical stretch.

\u201cWe made too many errors,\u201d Larson said.

Arizona rallied to tie three times, the last at 22, but the Pac-12 champion Huskies (29-4) won the final three points to take the set.

The third set was more of the same with an unwanted addition. The Wildcats twice committed a pre-serve rotation error \u2014 the volleyball equivalent of lining up offside \u2014 costing them two points.

Scambray, Crissy Jones, and Courtney Schwan each had 11 kills for Washington.

\u201cI know these guys are going to be tired because (Arizona) makes you work for everything,\u201d Washington coach Keegan Cook said. \u201cThey fought off a really good serving team. They had three aces, but they could have had a lot more.\u201d

Washington had 15 blocks to Arizona\u2019s two. The Huskies finished with 42 blocks in three wins this season against Arizona.

\u201cThey just keep pressure on you,\u201d Rubio said. \u201cEverything they did was something we knew they were going to do.\u201d

Kendra Dahlke had 14 kills to lead Arizona.

Arizona opened the season with three straight losses, and were up-and-down in conference play, losing to California (9-21), Oregon State (13-18), and Arizona State (12-20) while beating Oregon (21-10) and Stanford (23-7), and twice defeating UCLA (26-6). The Wildcats\u2019 biggest coup was a road win at Michigan State last week that put Arizona into the regional semifinals for the first time since 2005.

\u201cIt\u2019s hard to have perspective when you lose, but as time passes by and as we distance ourselves from this particular match, we\u2019ll all look fondly back at this year,\u201d Rubio said.

Friday marked the end of the road for two of the program\u2019s best \u2014 Snuka and Larson. Larson finished with a school-record 136 matches played, one more than second-place Snuka. Larson ends up fifth in career digs with (1,228) while Snuka is second in digs (1,610) and assists (5,212).

\u201cThere\u2019s a lot of love that goes with them,\u201d Rubio said.

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The Arizona Wildcats' run through the NCAA volleyball tournament ended Friday at the hands of a familiar foe.\u00a0

Eighth-ranked Washington beat the UA 25-15, 25-22, 25-18 in the Lincoln (Neb.) regional semifinals. The Huskies will play host Nebraska Saturday with a chance to advance to the final four.\u00a0

The UA ends its season 20-15 overall. A senior class that includes outside hitter Kalei Mau and setter Penina Snuka will finish with the most total wins in program history.\u00a0

Read more later on Tucson.com, and in Saturday's Arizona Daily Star.

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