UA basketball: Big men need to step up big time

2012-01-03T00:00:00Z 2014-07-24T10:34:58Z UA basketball: Big men need to step up big timeBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 03, 2012 12:00 am  • 

In 60 career games before Saturday's loss at Arizona, ASU 7-footer Ruslan Pateev averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds.

He never scored more than 10 points in a game and went scoreless in his start against the Wildcats at McKale Center last year.

On Saturday, in a 68-51 loss to Arizona, Pateev had 12 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot. The Wildcats, meanwhile, had a rebound each and no points from backup centers Kyryl Natyazhko and Angelo Chol.

That doesn't bode well for an Arizona team that will travel to face some of the Pac-12's more ominous big men this weekend against UCLA and USC.

"Guys gotta come in and make a contribution," UA forward Solomon Hill said after the ASU game. "We need better things from Kyryl and from Angelo. We gotta come in and play (better), especially with this trip coming up ahead."

UA coach Sean Miller wound up playing Natyazhko just five minutes and Chol seven minutes against ASU, which also received five points and two rebounds from another 7-footer, Jordan Bachynski.

"I thought ASU was really doing a good job with their press," Miller said, about why he limited the bench play. The Devils were hitting some threes, and a 16-point lead "can become 10 very quickly," he said.

"We wanted to make sure and we wanted to get experience for our players who play the most in those situations," Miller added. "We played it all the way to the buzzer to be the best team that we could be."

Even though UCLA has dismissed Reeves Nelson, who torched Arizona for 25.5 points and 13.0 rebounds on average last season, there's a pretty good chance the Wildcats will need more up front to be the best it can be this weekend.

Here's a look at some of the big men Arizona will be facing this weekend at UCLA and USC.

UCLA (Thursday at 9 p.m. at Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.)

• Who: Josh Smith

• Year: Sophomore

• Size: 6-10, 305

• Stats: 9.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 54.5 fg percentage

• Good game: 12 points, 5 rebounds vs. Michigan

• Bad game: Fouled out in 13 minutes vs. Kansas

• Notable: Smith was named to the preseason Wooden and Naismith award watch lists but his numbers have trailed last season's so far.

• Who: David Wear

• Year: Sophomore

• Size: 6-10, 225

• Stats: 8.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 84.0 ft percentage

• Good game: l7 points, 7 rebounds at California

• Bad game: 1 for 8 from field against Stanford

• Notable: Wear and his brother, Travis, both in their first year of eligibility since transferring from North Carolina, have had more responsibilities with the absence of Nelson.

USC (Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Galen Center, Los Angeles)

• Who: Dewayne Dedmon

• Year: Sophomore

• Size: 7-0, 255

• Stats: 7.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 bpg

• Good game: 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals vs. TCU

• Bad game: Fouled out in five minutes against UNLV

• Notable: Hand and foot injuries have limited Dedmon, who didn't play basketball until his senior year of high school because of religious reasons. But he was called a future first-round NBA pick by USC coach Kevin O'Neill before the season.

• Who: James Blasczyk

• Year: Junior

• Size: 7-1, 260

• Stats: 2.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 77.8 ft percentage

• Good game: 4 points, 5 rebounds at California

• Bad game: 0 points, 0 rebounds against Cal Poly

• Notable: The Texas A&M transfer averages 15.1 minutes a game off the bench, providing a bigger look or helping when the short-handed Trojans have foul trouble.

Rim shots

• Arizona's Jan. 14 game with Oregon at McKale Center has been set at 1:30 p.m. and will be televised by CBS.

• Washington's Tony Wroten was named the Pac-12's Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in the Huskies' sweep of the Oregon schools. It's the first time a freshman has earned the honor since USC's O.J. Mayo and Arizona's Jerryd Bayless in February 2008.

Up next

• What: Arizona at UCLA

• When: 9 p.m. Thursday

• TV: FSAZ

• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

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


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 11 0 0 1.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 9 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 9 1 0 0.900
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 8 3 0 0.727
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 7 2 0 0.778
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 7 2 0 0.778
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 6 4 0 0.600
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 6 2 0 0.750
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 6 3 0 0.667
USC 0 0 0 0.000 6 4 0 0.600
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 4 6 0 0.400

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Loyola Marymount at
Stanford
12/17 58-67
Grambling at
Washington
12/17 38-86
DePaul at
Oregon State
12/18 8:00 pm
Eastern Washington at
California
12/19 8:00 pm
Arizona at
UTEP
12/19 9:00 pm
Delaware State at
Oregon
12/20 1:00 pm
Lehigh at
Arizona State
12/20 7:00 pm
Oklahoma at
Washington
12/20 7:00 pm
USC at
Boston College
12/21 2:00 pm
DePaul at
Colorado
12/22 2:30 pm
UC-Santa Barbara at
Oregon
12/22 7:00 pm
Tulane at
Washington
12/22 9:00 pm
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