Arizona basketball: Scouting report

2013-02-02T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:24:39Z Arizona basketball: Scouting reportBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Projected Starters

Arizona

• G Mark Lyons (6-1, senior)

• G Nick Johnson (6-3, sophomore)

• F Solomon Hill (6-7, senior)

• F Brandon Ashley (6-8, freshman)

• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, freshman)

Washington State

• G Mike Ladd (6-5, senior)

• G Royce Woolridge (6-3, sophomore)

• F DaVonte Lacy (6-3, sophomore)

• F Brock Motum (6-10, senior)

• C D.J. Shelton (6-10, junior)

Sidelines

Good week so far

The week has been good so far for the Wildcats, who not only beat Washington on Thursday for the first time at Seattle in four seasons, but also watched Oregon and UCLA lose. That meant UA pulled a game behind the first-place Ducks.

UA enters today tied for second place with ASU, whom the Wildcats have beaten and will play again on March 9.

"You want to make up ground any time you can," forward Solomon Hill said. "Every game is something we want to attack and get."

But UA coach Sean Miller said he isn't looking too much around at other teams.

"What you hope is that you can control your timeframe all the way to the end and obviously (Thursday's) road win was a big step in that direction," Miller said.

Scheduling Gonzaga

For the third year in a row, Gonzaga coach Mark Few has given the Wildcats the keys to the Martin Centre for practice, allowing UA to stay in Spokane and just travel to Pullman the afternoon of their WSU game.

And even though the Bulldogs used to have trouble enticing elite teams to play them in Spokane, there were no strings attached to Few's offer.

As it turns out, Miller is willing to play the Zags anyway. Arizona and Gonzaga are scheduling a two-year, home-and-home series beginning in 2014-15, meaning the Wildcats will play their first-ever game at Gonzaga.

"Nonconference scheduling is more competitive and playing good teams doesn't necessarily hurt you. They only help," Miller said.

Ex-Cat Gardner honored

Jason Gardner, the highest-scoring guard in Arizona basketball history, was named UA's representative to enter the Pac-12's Hall of Honor this week. It's the latest in a long line of honors for the guard from Indiana, who played for the Wildcats from 1999-2003. Gardner was the national freshman of the year in 2000, and earned the 2003 Frances Pomeroy Naismith player of the year award (given to the top player who is six feet tall or shorter).

Gardner played seven years professionally in Europe and is now in his second year as an assistant coach at Loyola University Chicago.

HOW THEY MATCH UP

• The series: Arizona has beaten the Cougars four straight times, though by an average of only three points during the past two games in Pullman, Wash. The Wildcats and Cougars had 11 ties and 11 lead changes in last season's game at Beasley Coliseum, where UA pulled out a 76-72 win with four different players in double-figure scoring. Arizona leads the alltime series 55-16.

• Washington State overview: The Cougars are struggling to stay afloat in the Pac-12 race, beating only bottom-feeders Utah and Oregon State so far, though they haven't been blown out in any conference game and lost to ASU on Thursday only 63-59. Since Reggie Moore was dismissed from the Cougars in September, the Cougars have been going without a true point guard, but they have a versatile fill-in with scoring-minded Mike Ladd while Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge is also handling some of the ballhandling duties. The best plan is to simply get the ball to forward Brock Motum, who can score in a variety of ways.

KEY PLAYERS

Brandon Ashley

Arizona

The talented, rangy Wildcats power forward has improved significantly on defense. He'll be one of many Arizona players assigned to guard Motum, though Solomon Hill, Grant Jerrett and maybe Kevin Parrom can help. It could be a busy night.

Brock Motum

Washington State

Motum is on pace to repeat as a first-team all Pac-12 player, with a well-rounded game that is troublesome for opponents. The big Aussie can shoot threes, drive inside and outmaneuver bigger men inside. He also makes 75 percent of his free throws.

Numbers game

5

Straight losses to ranked teams by Washington State, including Kansas, Gonzaga and Oregon this season.

7

Years since Arizona swept the Washington-WSU road swing.

17

Road wins in 31 Pac-12 games for Arizona under Sean Miller, the best road record in the conference over that time.

He said it

"Brock Motum has got to be one of the best players in the conference. Motum is really versatile. He can shoot threes, can score in the post and he's a terrific driver. Ladd has made a huge difference in their team. He averages three offensive rebounds a game (in conference play) from that position, and he's really strong. They have three different defenses - a matchup zone, a man-to-man and a switching ball screen defense from 1-5 (all positions)."

UA assistant coach Book Richardson, who scouted the Cougars

No. 8 Arizona (18-2, 6-2) at Washington State (11-10, 2-6) • Pullman, Wash. • 8 p.m. today • Pac-12 Arizona • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 12 0 0 1.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 10 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 10 1 0 0.909
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 8 2 0 0.800
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 8 3 0 0.727
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 8 4 0 0.667
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
USC 0 0 0 0.000 7 4 0 0.636
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 6 5 0 0.545
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 6 3 0 0.667
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 6 3 0 0.667
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 4 6 0 0.400

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Delaware State at
Oregon
12/20 70-83
UCLA at
Kentucky
12/20 42-83
Lehigh at
Arizona State
12/20 84-81
Oklahoma at
Washington
12/20 67-69
USC at
Boston College
12/21 75-71
DePaul at
Colorado
12/22 2:30 pm
Wisconsin at
California
12/22 7:00 pm
UC-Santa Barbara at
Oregon
12/22 7:00 pm
Tulane at
Washington
12/22 9:00 pm
Detroit at
Arizona State
12/23 1:00 pm
Stanford at
Texas
12/23 5:00 pm
South Dakota State at
Utah
12/23 7:00 pm
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