Compiled by Bruce Pascoe

Projected Starters


• G Mark Lyons (6-1 senior)

• G Nick Johnson (6-3 sophomore)

• F Solomon Hill (6-7 junior)

• F Brandon Ashley (6-8 freshman)

• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0 freshman)

Southern Miss

• G Dwayne Davis (6-5 senior)

• G Jerrold Brooks (6-0 junior)

• F Rashard McGill (6-5 senior)

• F Michael Craig (6-5 junior)

• C Jonathan Mills (6-6 senior)


Cats move to No. 8, highest since '07

Arizona moved Monday to its highest spot in the major polls since Lute Olson coached the Wildcats.

Rated No. 8 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today coaches polls, the Wildcats haven't been that high since Jan. 1, 2007, when both polls put UA at No. 7 during Olson's final season.

UA finished that season unranked and wasn't ranked again in the AP poll until midway through the 2010-11 season, though the Cats did finish at No. 23 in the ESPN poll after their 2009 Sweet 16 appearance.

Golden Eagles impress Miller

Southern Miss may not resemble last year's NCAA tournament team in many forms, but the Golden Eagles are 6-1 and have the respect of UA coach Sean Miller, who invited them for a one-time guarantee game.

"We were looking for a real quality opponent we could play at home," Miller said.

The game is sandwiched between UA's road games at Texas Tech and Clemson, part of a busier December schedule that includes the Diamond Head Classic over Christmas.

"When you have that Christmas tournament, it makes November a little bit more practice heavy and in December it kind of ramps up," Miller said.

"We're anxious to play games. We've played five and we'll be at seven before you know it."

Broadcaster has UA ties

California-based broadcaster Roxy Bernstein was happy when ESPN assigned him to work the ESPNU telecast of the Texas Tech-UA game last Saturday: He happens to be a friend and brother-in-law of UA assistant coach Joe Pasternack, and Bernstein's wife graduated from Arizona.

"I always watch all the Pac-12 teams pretty closely, but now I watch Arizona a little bit more closely because of Joe and my sister," Bernstein said. "I watch them all the time."

Bernstein, who also serves as Cal's play-by-play radio broadcaster, said he is also scheduled to work alongside former Wildcat Miles Simon for Thursday night Pac-12 games to be carried on ESPNU, and will call at least the first two of UA's games in the Diamond Head Classic later this month.


• The series: Arizona and Southern Miss haven't met in almost 50 years. The Wildcats won games in 1950-51 in Tucson and in 1954-55 at Hattiesburg, Miss.

• Southern Miss overview: The Golden Eagles are 6-1, but they hardly resemble the team that won 25 games and went to the NCAA tournament under former coach Larry Eustachy last season. Southern Miss returns only four players from that team and went from a fulltime man-to-man defense under Eustachy to a zone under new coach Donnie Tyndall. But two of the Eagles' returnees - do-everything guard Dwayne Davis and power forward Jonathan Mills - have been their top contributors so far. Point guard Neil Watson, the Conference USA's newcomer of the year in 2011-12, has been coming off the bench after suffering a thigh injury earlier this season. Davis can play any position on the perimeter, while Mills is a strong and crafty, if undersized, offensive rebounder. The Golden Eagles will run on steals and missed shots but mostly run offensive sets to isolate their best players. Defensively, they are holding teams to 38.1 percent shooting so far.


Dwayne Davis

Southern Mississippi

The Golden Eagles' tough, versatile senior can play either guard spot or small forward, serving as the point when Neil Watson is out of the game. He's a strong shooter who has made half his 18 three-point attempts, and can drive the ball or post up.

Grant Jerrett


The Wildcats are aiming to use their size advantage again tonight, and the 6-foot-10-inch freshman could help wear the Golden Eagles down and maybe hit a three-pointer over them (Jerrett is 5 of 11 in threes so far this season).

Numbers game


straight games UA has shot better than 50 percent from the field, raising its season average to 52.3 percent.


Field goals taken by UA's Kaleb Tarczewski, the eighth-most of the Wildcats so far this season, though he leads the team in field-goal percentage (57.9 percent)


Percentage of free throws both UA and Southern Miss are making as a team this season.

He said it

"(The Golden Eagles) play very, very hard. They are simple but execute very well. They are very good in their offense and … defensively they press and go back into a zone. They extend out in it and are aggressive. The key for us is executing our offense against their zone and really defending them."

UA assistant coach Joe Pasternack, who scouted Southern Miss

Southern Miss (6-1) at No. 8 Arizona (5-0) • McKale Center • 7:30 p.m. today • Pac-12 Networks • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)