Arizona Basketball

Nick Johnson enters Arizona Wildcats’ 1,000-point club in victory over ASU


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WHAT IS PRODUCTIVITY RATING?:
PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
MIN: Minutes played overall
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)

ARIZONA 91, ASU 68
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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ArizonaLogo ASUlogo

Fitting that in top-ranked Arizona’s most productive performance in the Pac-12 to this point — Thursday night’s 91-68 win over visiting ASU — Nick Johnson topped the list of contributors.

Johnson was one of the three Wildcats to achieve at least an .800 productivity rating against the Sun Devils. He led the Wildcats with an .852 rating. Judging from the list of Arizona players who have won the conference player of the year award, an .800 rating is the standard for that kind of elite level.

Kaleb Tarczewski (.840) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (.826) were the others. T.J. McConnell (.792) came very close to the .800 mark after posting an .833 rating at USC last Sunday.

Arizona featured seven players in double-figure scoring, a feat that was last accomplished in 2004. Incredibly, the Wildcats lost in that game 99-90 against USC.

LONGEST WINNING STREAK
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Ten years later, Arizona showed it can score in the 90’s but keep an opponent, such as ASU, to only 68.

Again in fitting fashion, Johnson led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points on an evening he eclipsed the 1,000-point mark. He passed Matt Muehlebach (1,006 points from 1988-91) and is 46th on the Arizona career scoring chart.

“I think they were in a zone and they closed out on me a little short so I took it with confidence,” said Johnson, who improved to 4-1 against ASU and boyhood friend and rival Jahii Carson. “T.J. was kind of mad. He wanted to assist me on my 1,000th point, but it feels good to be part of that group here at Arizona.”

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CAREER POINTS SCORED
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Arizona has not tasted defeat since the Wildcats started practice in late September. Wait a minute, you ask, but the games did not start since two months ago in November?

Arizona has not felt defeated in what the Wildcats set as objectives since Sean Miller gathered them together before that first practice 113 days ago. Miller has their ear without any dissension. The one player who could complain about playing time, only because he is a senior, Jordin Mayes, has stayed within the team concept.

“We just need to honor the process every day, work hard in practice and get better and take it one step at a time,” said Tarczewski, echoing similar words spoken by McConnell after Sunday’s victory at USC.

TOP FIVE ARIZONA REBOUNDING TEAMS
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Arizona played against an ASU team that lacked offensive firepower without injured guard Jermaine Marshall, the Sun Devils’ second-leading scorer. The Wildcats will next face a crestfallen Colorado team Thursday that lost its star Spencer Dinwiddie for the season with an ACL tear. Arizona started the Pac-12 season facing a Washington State team without its leading scorer DaVonte Lacy, who had an emergency appendectomy the previous weekend.

Despite these unfortunate circumstances for opponents, Arizona is far from lucky. The Wildcats’ diligence and unselfishness gives them an upper-hand no matter who is next on the schedule. The process, as Tarczewski calls it, is more important than the team on the other side of the court.

PAC-12 STANDINGS
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ARIZONA BEST STARTS
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ARIZONA OVERALL PRODUCTIVITY RATING
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ARIZONA PAC-10/12
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
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ARIZONA AS NO. 1 TEAM
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ARIZONA SCHEDULE/PRODUCTIVITY RESULTS
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WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.

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