Arizona center Chase Jeter is the Wildcats' third leading scorer with 11.8 points per game as a junior this season.

It's easy to see what Chase Jeter has added to Arizona this season: He’s the Wildcats’ leading rebounder, third top scorer, a 59.5 percent shooter and their co-captain.

But the subtraction of Jeter, both literally and figuratively, during UA's current five-game losing streak might suggest he has an even stronger value.

Consider:

  • Jeter didn’t play against USC or UCLA because of a sore back, and the Wildcats lost by more than 20 points in each game.
  • Jeter returned at ASU, but was just 1 of 5 from the field while battling lingering stiffness, and the Wildcats lost in overtime.
  • Jeter returned to full health against Washington but, playing against the Huskies’ swarming zone defense, he managed to take only six field goals and fouled out after 26 minutes. The UA lost, 67-60.
  • Against Washington State’s man-to-man defense, which uniquely defended him, Jeter went scoreless while taking four shots and getting to the free throw line only once. UA lost that game, too, 69-55.

That’s five straight losses, all featuring some sort of compromised role by Jeter.

Even if that makes him an X-factor of sorts, Jeter said he doesn't feel any additional pressure now of having to be the guy leading the Wildcats out of their slump. The Wildcats (14-10, 5-6) will play at Utah on Thursday night. 

“I wouldn’t say it’s pressure; it’s kind of something you have to work through,” Jeter said. “I had an injury couple weeks ago. Not the first or last time I’m going be injured in my career and my teammates have dealt with that as well. It’s kind of the game within the game.”


Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at 573-4146 or bpascoe@tucson.com. On Twitter @brucepascoe