UA BASKETBALL

Arizona basketball: Cats slip two notches to No. 8 after loss

2013-01-29T00:00:00Z 2013-02-04T10:43:22Z Arizona basketball: Cats slip two notches to No. 8 after lossBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Thanks possibly to their nonconference opponents, the Arizona Wildcats did not slide significantly in the Top 25 polls and power ratings after losing to UCLA last week.

The Wildcats (17-2, 5-2) dropped Monday only from No. 6 to No. 8 in both The Associated Press Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today coaches polls, and are No. 4 in RPI. They are even still projected to earn a No. 1 NCAA tournament seed in the latest CBS Sports projection.

Part of the reason: Arizona now has a 3-0 record against teams in the Sagarin Top 25 power ratings, which neither Oregon nor UCLA is a part of. The Wildcats are also 3-1 against Top 25 teams in the RPI, which includes Oregon and Colorado but not UCLA or San Diego State.

What's more, two of UA's December wins keep looking better and better.

Miami (Fla.) has won seven straight games since leaving Honolulu, where the Hurricanes lost 69-50 to Arizona in the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic.

Miami, which grabbed national attention last week when it blew out Duke by 27 points, is now rated No. 14 in the AP poll and has an RPI of 3.

Florida, meanwhile, is 10-1 since losing 65-64 to Arizona on Dec. 15 at McKale Center. The Gators are ranked No. 3 in the AP poll, their highest ranking since winning the 2007 SEC tournament, and are No. 1 in the Sagarin power rankings.

The Pac-12's other ranked team, Oregon (18-2, 7-0) moved from No. 16 to No. 10 in the AP poll after sweeping the Washington schools at home. The Ducks' ranking meant the Pac-12 had two teams in the Top 10 for the first time since the final regular-season poll in 2008, which had UCLA third and Stanford 10th.

LA wing offered scholarship

Namon Wright, a 6-5 junior wing from Los Angeles' Pacific Hills School, announced on Twitter on Monday that Arizona has offered him a scholarship.

Wright's tweets are protected, but Southern California-based Scout analyst Josh Gershon quoted him saying on Twitter: "Yessir! University of Arizona just offered!!!!! ayyy lol"

Wright is not in ESPN's list of the top 60 players of the class of 2014 but is rated No. 52 by Scout, and Gershon said he's a multidimensional player who has greatly improved this season.

"He was always a player who pretty much did everything on the court, but he just progressed to where he's doing things at almost dominant levels at times," Gershon said.

Gershon said it was a wise move for UA to offer Wright a scholarship now before USC has a new staff in place. Wright has offers from the Trojans and a number of other West Coast schools, including Oregon and Washington.

Bullish on Hill

Draft Express, which has UA senior forward Solomon Hill projected as the No. 46 overall pick in the June NBA Draft, published an optimistic projection of his future Monday.

Noting Hill's "strong frame, high basketball IQ, and much-improved perimeter shooting ability," Draft Express' Matt Kamalsky said Hill lacks "elite athleticism" but has benefited from his off-season conditioning work and shown improvement in a number of areas.

"Hill may not be a flashy prospect for the next level," Kamalsky wrote, "but he's a mature player who has consistently improved his game throughout his college career and offers some intriguing value as a role-player."

Rim shots

• Television analyst Bill Walton will speak on Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. in UA's Bio Sciences West room 301, as part of his Pac-12 bus tour. Admission is free and open to the public. Walton is scheduled to work the Stanford-Arizona game that evening.

• Arizona's game at Washington on Thursday will be televised at 7 p.m. on ESPN, its second of three ESPN games this season. The game had been scheduled to be carried on either ESPN or ESPN2.

• ASU's Carrick Felix was named the Pac-12's Player of the Week for the third time this season, after leading the Sun Devils to wins over USC and UCLA.

Up next

• What: No. 8 Arizona at Washington

• When: 7 p.m. Thursday

• TV: ESPN

• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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