Arizona Basketball

Tarczewski makes Arizona Wildcats history with free-throw shooting performance at Cal


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Kaleb Tarczewski showed Saturday night that he can do much more than dunk the ball (YouTube video capture)

Kaleb Tarczewski showed Saturday night that he can do much more than dunk the ball (YouTube video capture)

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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)

CALIFORNIA 60, ARIZONA 58
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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ArizonaLogo logo.Cal2

Pick your stat for the most outrageous in Arizona’s first loss of the season, a 60-58 setback at Cal, last night:

Nick Johnson shooting 1-of-14 from the field with five turnovers?

T.J. McConnell not listed for an assist in 35 minutes but also only recording one turnover on a questionable charging call late in the game (he had only one turnover in 70 minutes in the Bay area)?

Aaron Gordon leading the Arizona Wildcats with six of their nine assists?

ARIZONA PLAYERS AT LEAST 12-12
FROM THE FREE-THROW LINE

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— The Wildcats making all 16 of their free-throw attempts? Arizona was shooting only 66.2 percent from the line entering the game.

— Or Kaleb Tarczewski’s 12-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line?

Tarczewski becomes the first Arizona center to record such a performance. On 10 different occasions in Arizona history, a 12-for-12 performance was accomplished, and eight were achieved by guards and one by forward Derrick Williams against Washington State in 2011.

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TOP FIVE ARIZONA REBOUNDING TEAMS
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Of course, no numbers in the world can add up to be greater than what the loss of forward Brandon Ashley will mean to Arizona. If Ashley’s right foot is broken, maybe it will heal in time for the NCAA tournament, which was the case for Richard Jefferson in 2000.

Jefferson broke his foot at Stanford on Jan. 8, 2000, only three minutes into the game, similar to Ashley leaving after only two minutes against Cal. Jefferson had a month more to heal than Ashley will.

“I really got worried when he first went out and I saw him on crutches, because we only go about eight deep,” Loren Woods was quoted as saying by Sports Illustrated. “At halftime, I told Jason (Gardner), ‘It’s your game to take over. It’s your show to run.’ There was a sense of urgency that went across us at halftime.”

Mike Montgomery once again beat a No. 1-ranked Arizona team last night

Mike Montgomery once again beat a No. 1-ranked Arizona team last night

The Wildcats upset No. 1 Stanford and coach Mike Montgomery 68-65 that night. Montgomery was on the other side again last night as Cal’s coach. He beat the No. 1 Wildcats this time.

Montgomery is 8-5 against Arizona in the last 13 games dating to his Stanford years.

The Sean ElliottSteve Kerr No. 1-ranked Wildcats started 7-0 in the Pac-10 in 1987-88, and they suffered their first loss against — you guessed it — Montgomery and Stanford at Palo Alto, Calif., on Feb. 4, 1988. That was Arizona’s fourth straight loss at Stanford.

Woods’ statement that Arizona went only seven deep (without Jefferson) in 2000 is similar to how Sean Miller has utilized his lineup this season. Arizona basically goes six deep now based on minutes played — Nick Johnson, T.J. McConnell, Aaron Gordon, Kaleb Tarczewski, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Gabe York.

Until others, such as power forward Matt Korcheck, can develop confidence with additional playing time, Arizona will walk a fine line if any of the Wildcats get in foul trouble.

Ashley was also Arizona’s second-most productive player (based on this site’s productivity rating) entering the Cal game. That kind of production will be difficult to replicate, at least over the next couple of weeks. It takes that long for a team to adjust. Ask Colorado, which shook off uncertainty and managed to beat a good Utah team yesterday in an overtime thriller without Spencer Dinwiddie.

PAC-12 STANDINGS
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Before facing Utah yesterday, Colorado was 1-4 since Dinwiddie went down with a season-ending knee injury at Washington on Jan. 12.

Encouraging for Sean Miller is that Arizona did not crumble with Ashley’s absence and pressed on against Cal. The fact that the Wildcats managed to keep the game competitive is amazing, especially with how they shot the ball while three Golden Bears (Richard Solomon, Tyrone Wallace and Justin Cobbs) became hot at different times.

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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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“Obviously if you get hurt in the game you don’t necessarily have time to adapt and reinvent, you have to do it on the fly,” Miller said about the adjustment without Ashley. “I thought our guys went in there and played with great effort and we came up short.

“We are 21-1 and 8-1 at the break (midway point) of the Pac-12 (season). Losing Brandon is certainly a blow to us but we have to come back together and finish strong.”

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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 and Lindy’s College Sports.

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