Arizona basketball: Bruins show they're ready to face UA after crushing USC

2014-01-06T00:00:00Z Arizona basketball: Bruins show they're ready to face UA after crushing USCBy Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 06, 2014 12:00 am  • 

During halftime of Sunday’s UCLA-USC game, Fox analyst Marques Johnson suggested that Oregon had a better chance to beat No. 1-ranked Arizona than Colorado this year because of an influx of veteran transfers.

Then the broadcast shifted back to Pauley Pavilion, where UCLA was throwing its hat into that who-can-beat-Arizona ring.

The Bruins, who defeated Arizona three times last season, dismantled the Trojans 107-73. That may have sent a statement to USC coach Andy Enfield, who was quoted as telling his players during a preseason practice “if you want to play slow, go to UCLA.”

It also may have sent a warning to Arizona, which will visit Pauley on Thursday. The game will be expected to be tougher than Arizona’s 71-62 victory over Washington on Saturday, a tense McKale Center contest that changed leads nine times.

Then again, the Wildcats continue to prove themselves on the road.

They won at San Diego State and Michigan already this season and entered Pac-12 play this season in a tie for the second-most road wins in conference play (19) since coach Sean Miller arrived in 2009-10.

Among other things, the Wildcats also have a junior leader in Nick Johnson, who Miller said was accustomed to the pressure of conference play after he scored 24 points against Washington on Saturday.

They also have a more dominant frontcourt than they did when the Bruins beat them up last season and a precocious freshman forward in Aaron Gordon who says he’s ready for conference play.

“It took me a little bit to adjust in the preseason and now I understand the aspects of college basketball, what it takes, how hard you have to play, how physical it is,” Gordon said after the Washington game. “And now it’s just like any other college basketball game to me.”

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 2 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 3 1 0 0.750
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 2 1 0 0.667
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 2 1 0 0.667
USC 0 0 0 0.000 2 2 0 0.500
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 1 2 0 0.333

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Colorado at
Wyoming
11/22 33-56
Duke at
Stanford
11/22 33-56
@Penn State, @USC 11/23 33-56
Long Beach State at
UCLA
11/23 8:00 pm
Missouri at
Arizona
11/24 3:00 pm
@Arizona State, @Maryland 11/24 5:00 pm
@Oklahoma State, @Oregon State 11/24 6:30 pm
@Michigan, @Oregon 11/24 7:30 pm
Cal State-Fullerton at
USC
11/25 9:00 pm
Delaware at
Stanford
11/25 9:00 pm
Texas-Pan American at
Utah
11/26 6:00 pm
Cal Poly at
California
11/26 8:00 pm
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