Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats vs. Missouri in Maui: Top three storylines



[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

Top three storylines for Monday’s game:

1. Missouri freshmen account for substantial minutes

Stanley Johnson is fifth on Arizona's roster with 25.3 minutes a game

Stanley Johnson is fifth on Arizona’s roster with 25.3 minutes a game

The Tigers utilize four freshmen who each average nearly more than 10 minutes a game. Montaque Gill-Caesar’s 31.3 minutes per game is third-most on the team behind senior Keith Shamburger’s 34.3 and sophomore guard
Wes Clark’s 33 minutes per game.

The other freshmen with substantial minutes include forward D’Angelo Allen (14 minutes a game), guard
Tramaine Isabell (10.7) and guard Namon Wright (9.7).

By contrast, Arizona freshman sensation Stanley Johnson is fifth among Wildcats with 25.3 minutes a game. The rest of Arizona’s freshman class averages less than 10 minutes a game: Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright (9.7), power forward Craig Victor (7) and post player Dusan Ristic (6).

Only 22 percent of Missouri’s scoring and 13 percent of its three-point shooting production returns from a 23-12 season a year ago under former coach Frank Haith, who left for Tulsa.

Gone is the SEC’s leading scorer, Jabari Brown, who left early for the NBA. He transferred from Oregon and played with Nick Johnson as an AAU player with the Oakland Soldiers. Missouri also lost NBA draft pick Jordan Clarkson and versatile wing Earnest Ross, who all combined to average more than 51 points per game last year.

The Tigers have eight newcomers, including the four heavy-utilized freshmen and two transfers — Deuce Bello from Baylor and Keith Shamburger from Hawaii by way of San Jose State. One of their top incoming players, freshman power forward Jakeenan Gant, is out while his eligibility is being reviewed. Notre Dame transfer Cameron Biedscheid, a sophomore guard, is not eligible until the spring semester.

2. First-year Missouri coach Kim Anderson has unique background against Arizona.

As an assistant coach under Missouri coach Norm Stewart in two different stints with that role, Anderson coached against Arizona. Both times were at different levels of development for the Wildcats under Lute Olson.

Anderson helped coach Missouri to a 76-73 win over Arizona in Olson’s second season with Arizona in the championship game of the Hawaii-Pacific Tournament at Pearl Harbor. Olson was 19-20 at Arizona after that loss. The Wildcats won 11 of their next 14 games that season and the Olson dominance came to life.

After six years as an assistant at Baylor, Anderson returned to Missouri as a Stewart aide in 1991-92. Two seasons later, Anderson encountered Arizona again in the Elite Eight at Los Angeles. The Wildcats, behind current assistant Damon Stoudamire and grad assistant Joseph Blair, beat Missouri 92-72 to advance to the 1994 Final Four.


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]

Maui Invitational
Tip Time: 3 p.m. MST
TV: ESPN2 (Jon Sciambi/Miles Simon)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Tied, 1-1 (both neutral sites)
Sean Miller vs. Missouri: 1-0


Perfect gift for any Arizona or college hoops fan this holiday season: A complete rundown of the Arizona basketball program as we might not know it put together by longtime Tucson sportswriters Steve Rivera and Anthony Gimino. Please e-mail Rivera, Gimino or for ordering details.

CLICK HERE to read Javier Morales’ review


Don’t forget to vote. Championship matchup of the Arizona Wildcats Best Play Bracket:


For mobile devices,
PLEASE CLICK HERE to access poll.

[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

Anderson, a Missouri alum, is back with the program after coaching Central Missouri to the NCAA Division II championship last year. That capped his 12 years of coaching Central Missouri.

Four games into his tenure with Missouri, Anderson faces the Wildcats once again with Sean Miller trying to take the program to the heights Olson took them. Anderson wants to duplicate the success of Stewart, his mentor.

Anderson is 59, 13 years older than Miller.

“I’m the oldest rookie in this field,” said Anderson in the Maui Invitational press conference Sunday. “I’ve had the chance to coach Division II basketball for the last 12 years, and I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity.”

3. Missouri vs. Arizona three straight years

Missouri and Arizona begin a home-and-home arrangement next year at McKale Center with a return trip to Columbia, Mo., in 2016.

As part of the agreement, Missouri will travel to Tucson to play on Sun., Dec. 13, 2015, and Arizona will play the Tigers at Mizzou Arena on Sat., Dec. 10, 2016.

By the time the teams meet next year (and especially in 2016) Arizona’s roster will likely look vastly different. Miller might lose four players prematurely to the NBA after this season — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Johnson — and senior point guard T.J. McConnell will be gone.

In 2016-17, who knows who will still be around from the Class of 2015 freshman class and in general. One- or two-player recruiting classes are a thing of the past.

Miller and Haith agreed to the home-and-home arrangement two years ago after Haith was named the 2011-12 national coach of the year. Haith surprisingly bolted from the Tigers’ program after last season for Tulsa.


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]

[table “” not found /]

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)

[table “” not found /]


[table “” not found /] 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.

To Top