Arizona scouting report

2013-01-26T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:24:32Z Arizona scouting reportBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

HOW THEY MATCH UP

• The series: Arizona has won three straight games over USC and is 5-2 against the Trojans under coach Sean Miller. USC has not won in Tucson since former Trojan coach Kevin O'Neill was serving as UA's interim head coach in 2007-08.

• USC overview: The Trojans are at a higher-scoring pace under interim coach Bob Cantu but also allowing more points. Cantu has made some tweaks that include running more zone defense, but USC still mostly uses a man-to-man defense that features good perimeter pressure and 7-footers Omar Oraby and Dewayne Dedmon around to clean up any defensive mistakes by blocking or altering shots inside. On the wing, J.T. Terrell has taken advantage of more offensive freedom by averaging 17.7 points under Cantu so far while power forward Eric Wise is a dependable scorer with some range.

KEY PLAYERS

Eric Wise

USC

The transfer from UC-Irvine had some work to do before his upward transfer to USC, melting off 35 pounds from his 6-6 frame to reach about 240, and it has paid dividends. He's been a steady presence for USC, its scoring leader and second-leading rebounder.

Mark Lyons

Arizona

A clutch performer in many of Arizona's close games this season, Lyons had no assists and five turnovers while missing 4 of 5 layups in the first half against UCLA on Thursday. That memory could motivate him today.

Numbers game

4

Games UA has shot below 40 percent from the field (vs. Clemson, San Diego State, Utah and UCLA)

9

Of USC's last 10 games decided by eight or fewer points

11

Of 21 layups missed by Arizona against UCLA on Thursday

He said it

On Thursday at ASU, "they played a lot more zone, so we need to be definitely ready for that. … It's difficult to change who you are in midseason, but they're playing a little bit faster, getting a little more in transition. Offensively, Terrell has emerged, and Eric Wise has been their rock."

UA assistant coach Book Richardson, who scouted the Trojans

Projected Starters

USC

• G Jio Fontan (6-0, senior)

• G J.T. Terrell (6-3, junior)

• F Byron Wesley (6-5, sophomore)

• F Eric Wise (6-6, senior)

• C Omar Oraby (7-2, junior)

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)

Sidelines

Hill gives perspective

The Wildcats may be two games behind Oregon in the Pac-12 race after an 11-point home-court loss to UCLA on Thursday, but forward Solomon Hill tried to put it into perspective.

"This is a hard loss in front of our home crowd, but we still have to understand we're 16-2, and there's a lot of basketball left," Hill said. "UCLA's a great team, and they got us. We have to just get to the next game. It's too early to just get down on ourselves."

"A lot of love for KO"

Jio Fontan, a transfer from Fordham who arrived at USC during Kevin O'Neill's first season with the Trojans, said he has mixed feelings about the firing of O'Neill and the installation of Bob Cantu as interim coach.

"Coach Cantu is doing a great job but to say I'm not hurt by (O'Neill's firing) would be a lie," Fontan said. "I've got a lot of love for KO."

Fontan never had a chance to play a full season for O'Neill, a former UA assistant and interim head coach. Fontan sat out parts of 2009-10 and 2010-11 as a redshirt transfer, then missed last season after he blew out his knee during a preseason trip.

Ex-Cat knows interim intimately

Jamal Boddie is only four years removed from getting his UA degree, but he's already a grizzled veteran when it comes to dealing with interim situations. Boddie, who arrived from Memphis along with guard J.P. Prince in 2005 to become a UA student manager, worked under Lute Olson for two seasons and then spent 2007-08 under O'Neill and 2008-09 under interim coach Russ Pennell.

After a year working in Fresno State's ticket office, Boddie rejoined O'Neill on the USC staff, where he now is the Trojans' assistant director of basketball operations.

Boddie has plenty of contacts in the business already, but no assurance of employment next season.

"Just taking it day-by-day," he said.

USC (8-12, 3-4) at No. 6 Arizona (16-2, 4-2) • McKale Center • 5 p.m. today • ESPNU • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)

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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 4 0 0 1.000
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 0 1.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 3 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 3 0 0.400
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 1 2 0 0.333

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Long Beach State at
UCLA
11/23 63-77
Missouri at
Arizona
11/24 53-72
@Arizona State, @Maryland 11/24 53-72
@Oklahoma State, @Oregon State 11/24 53-72
@Michigan, @Oregon 11/24 7:30 pm
Delaware at
Stanford
11/25 9:00 pm
Cal State-Fullerton at
USC
11/25 9:00 pm
Texas-Pan American at
Utah
11/26 6:00 pm
Cal Poly at
California
11/26 8:00 pm
San Jose State at
Washington
11/27 9:00 pm
UC-Santa Barbara at
Washington State
11/27 10:00 pm
North Dakota at
Utah
11/28 6:00 pm
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