Slideshow: 'Great challenge' awaits Cats on tough Los Angeles road trip

The Arizona Wildcats are taking their first Pac-12 road swing this weekend, and you might say they couldn’t be more ready following big success on the road and at neutral courts during the nonconference slate. However - this isn't your regular road trip, this is the Los Angeles tilt that has given Sean Miller and company the most trouble. Find all the details in our slideshow, and catch the game at 7 p.m. Tucson time on ESPN, 1290-AM/107.5-FM or via's IMG feed.

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  • The Arizona Wildcats are taking their first Pac-12 road swing this weekend, and you might say they couldn’t be more ready.

    The Wildcats are led by a nervy, veteran backcourt and are powered inside by a precocious bunch of freshmen and sophomores.

    They won two true road games over well-regarded opponents in hostile environments, at San Diego State and at Michigan, while also sweeping neutral site games with Drexel and Duke in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

    And, factoring in their stiffer quality of competition they have faced away from McKale Center, their statistical production has been almost comparable across the board.

    Just the way UA coach Sean Miller likes it.

    “All coaches feel this way: You want to do the things you do well, whether you’re at home or on the road,” he said. “You don’t want to be a different team when you’re not playing at home. To this point, this year, we’ve had that. That doesn’t mean it’s going to continue, but it’s the key to us playing on the road.”

    But that trend will be subject this weekend to what has been the Wildcats’ roughest road swing of the Pac-12 under Miller: They’re heading to Los Angeles.

    UA hasn’t won at UCLA since Miller’s first season of 2009-10, even losing 65-58 to the Bruins in Anaheim, Calif., when UCLA was temporarily displaced during the Pauley Pavilion renovations in 2011-12.

    “The trip in and of itself has historically been difficult,” Miller said. “So for us, we’re looking at it as a great challenge, starting against UCLA.”

    While USC is rebuilding this season under first-year coach Andy Enfield, the Trojans haven’t been an easy out over the years at the Galen Center, either. The Wildcats were 1-2 against former UA interim coach Kevin O’Neill at USC and also lost to the Trojans last season under interim USC coach Bob Cantu.

    However, that Feb. 27 loss to USC preceded a five-point loss at UCLA on March 2 that, even despite the final score, was cited as a turning point toward the Wildcats’ late-season finish. UA went on to defeat ASU by 15 points at McKale Center, then reached the Pac-12 tournament semifinals and eventually the NCAA Sweet 16.

    The USC game “was a tough loss,” center Kaleb Tarczewski said. “We really knew that we needed to play our best basketball the rest of the season to get where we wanted to go. From there, we knew what we had to do. We definitely played better after that trip.”

  • Arizona's history in Los Angeles games under Sean Miller

    ResultOpponent (* denotes Pac-12 tournament game)Score
    Lat USC56-50
    Wat UCLA77-63
    Lvs UCLA*75-69
    Lat USC65-57
    Lat UCLA71-49
    Wvs Oregon State*78-69
    Wvs USC*67-62
    Lvs Washington77-75*
    Lat UCLA65-58
    Wat USC57-46
    Wvs UCLA*66-58
    Wvs Oregon State*72-61
    Lvs Colorado*53-51
    Lat USC89-78
    Lat UCLA74-69
    Record breakdown
    Pac-12 tournament4-3
  • Arizona's road records between 2009-2013


    Arizona's road records in Pac-12 play between 2009-2013

    DestinationUA record
    Bay Area (Cal, Stanford)5-1
    Washington (Wash., WSU)4-4
    Oregon (Ore., OSU)3-3
    Mountains (Utah, Colo.)2-2
    Los Angeles (USC, UCLA)2-6
  • The top 5 Pac-12 teams in overall road games between 2009-2013


    The top 5 teams in Pac-12-only road games between 2009-2013

  • Arizona's statistical production in its first nine home, two road and two neutral court games this season

    3FG percentage defense.261.429.265
    FG percentage defense.384.429.395
    Points allowed per game51.565.064.0
    3FG percentage.392.304.300
    FG percentage.502.444.430
    Rebounding margin+12.8+12.0+8.5
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