Arizona basketball: From dominant to dreadful on D

UA's Grant Jerrett, left, and Jordin Mayes try to stop USC's Jio Fontan during Wednesday's game. The Trojans shot 61.1 percent in upsetting the No. 11-ranked Wildcats 89-78, dropping Arizona to 11-5 in Pac-12 play.


Kyle Fogg isn't listed among the Pac-12's top-15 leaders in steals. Nor is he on the list of top shot-blockers.

You won't find him among the top defensive rebounders, either.

But when the Pac-12's five-man all-defensive team is announced early next week, there's a decent chance the Arizona senior guard makes the cut, in addition to being named to the 10-man all-conference team.

California coach Mike Montgomery said he already voted for Fogg to make the all-defensive team, while USC coach Kevin O'Neill said he's "a huge Kyle Fogg fan" because of Fogg's play on both ends of the court.

Where Fogg makes his mark is not easily seen in the box scores, unless you look at the other team's top perimeter player. That's the guy Fogg is usually assigned to guard, regardless of size.

Among other defensive performances during the conference season, Fogg helped hold Cal's Allen Crabbe to 4-for-12 shooting from the field, Stanford's Chasson Randle to 4 of 16 and, most recently, UCLA's Lazeric Jones to 1-for-12 shooting last Saturday in UA's 65-63 win over the Bruins.

"Kyle Fogg's defensive effort on Lazeric Jones can't be lost on this game," UA coach Sean Miller said after the UCLA game. "Kyle has improved as a defensive player as much as any I've coached, and (with) his wherewithal, intelligence and his quickness and intensity ... he really deserves to be on any all-defensive team that's voted on. Because from a perimeter perspective, he's done it every game we've played. Minus just a few blips on the screen, he's been sensational on defense."

When Pac-12 coaches were asked on this week's teleconference call to name the top defenders, some did not mention Fogg. But of those who did, here's what they said:

• Tad Boyle, Colorado: "I'd put (Colorado guard) Nate Tomlinson in the same category as I would Kyle Fogg, in that a lot of times he's assigned the best perimeter defender on the other team. He may not get the steals or put up the numbers that a lot of people look at, but he's always in the right position and he's asked to guard the best perimeter player on the other team."

• Kevin O'Neill, USC: "I just think (Fogg) is tough and hard-nosed. I really do. The guy has had a great year on both ends of the court. He does a lot for their team. I think he's really stabilized that young backcourt by coming up big in a whole lot of games."

• Mike Montgomery, California: "We thought Kyle did a really good job against us, particularly guarding Allen Crabbe. … He's got some size. Obviously he's a senior, a veteran, so he's gained some strength over time. Initially, he wasn't very strong and wasn't able (guard as well), but defense as much as anything is just the desire to do it. And he seems to have the willingness and desire to try to be a good defender and take on a challenge."

• Ben Howland, UCLA: "I thought Fogg did a great job on Lazeric. … (Cal's Jorge Gutierrez and Fogg) are so good at trailing screens. They're just very dogged. They're seniors, they're strong, they're quick. They've got great motors."

On StarNet: Read Bruce Pascoe's blog on UA basketball to keep up with all the team news at:

Top stoppers

Some top Pac-12 defenders, as cited by the league's coaches, and their stats in league games:

• Jorge Gutierrez, Cal: 1.4 steals, 4.5 defensive rebounds

• Aziz N'Diaye, Washington: 0.8 blocks

• Kyle Fogg, Arizona: 1.0 steals

• Andre Roberson, Colorado: 8.6 defensive rebounds, 2.4 blocks

• Eric Moreland, OSU: 1.8 blocks

• Tony Woods, Oregon: 1.8 blocks

• Jared Cunningham, OSU: 2.3 steals

• Jarrett Mann, Stanford: 0.4 steals

• Travis Wear, UCLA: 0.9 blocks

Fogg on offense

Where Arizona's Kyle Fogg ranks offensively among Pac-12 players, per conference game:

4th: Three-pointers made (2.2)

5th: Free-throw percentage (83.3)

6th: Three-point percentage (43.2)

8th: Points scored (14.0)

Up next

• Who: Arizona at Arizona State

• When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday


• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM