Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: Class of 2014 shines in blowout win



Freshman center Dusan Ristic led the Wildcats in productivity in last night's rout over Utah Valley (Pac-12 Networks video screen shot, click on photo to access video)

Freshman center Dusan Ristic led the Wildcats in productivity in last night’s rout over Utah Valley (Pac-12 Networks video screen shot, click on photo to access video)

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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)


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Present RPI ranking of Arizona’s non-conference opponents. Arizona is No. 13 with a strength-of-schedule ranking of No. 109.
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Last night’s rout of Utah Valley was one for the recruiting class of 2014, which features only one five-star prospect and three four-star players Sean Miller can build the future around.

The word only is italicized because Miller has made it a practice lately to recruit multiple five-star players, such as the Class of 2015 that includes three and may have at least four when next season starts.

The consensus Top-5-rated five-man Class of 2014 group includes five-star player (Stanley Johnson) and four-star talents (Craig Victor, Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright). Kadeem Allen, the reigning junior college player of the year, is redshirting.

Ristic, Johnson and Victor were the three most productive players in last night’s game according to this site’s productivity rating.

They combined for 61 productivity points in 51 minutes, a phenomenal productivity rating of 1.196 for the trio. Jackson-Cartwright finished with a respectable 12 productivity points in a season-high 24 minutes. Overall, the freshman point guard has amazed with his season productivity rating of .713, which ranks third on the team behind Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (.874) and Johnson (.743).

Starting point guard T.J. McConnell, who has 50 assists with only 17 turnovers, has proven to be a positive influence on Jackson-Cartwright, who has 23 assists to go with only four turnovers. Miller, a former point guard at Pitt, knows the importance of McConnell and Jackson-Cartwright combining for 73 assists with only 21 turnovers (a hard-to-beat 3.4-to-1 ratio).

“(Jackson-Cartwright) complements what T.J. does very well,” Miller said in the postgame press conference last night. “T.J. deserves a lot of credit and Parker will be the first to tell you that T.J. really pushes Parker and I think some of his improvement stems from that competitive balance that he experiences every day.”

Indicative of how appreciative Miller is of Parker-Cartwright’s impact on Arizona’s flow, he played the freshman the most minutes last night.

Ten players logged double-digit minutes. Eight players, including Parker-Cartwright, are averaging at least 11 minutes a game this season. Ristic (7.8) and Victor (7.6) are next. Miller and his staff are assured their team has depth that can be productive when called upon.

The productivity rating of Arizona’s top bench players (Hollis-Jefferson, Parker-Cartwright, Ristic, Victor and Elliott Pitts) is a combined .672. Arizona’s starters (McConnell, Johnson, Gabe York, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski) have a productivity rating of .555.


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The discrepancy can be related to the starters logging 1,222 minutes compared to 577 for the top reserves.

The numbers indicate, however, that when Miller utilizes his top reserves he is getting quality minutes. That depth can be Arizona’s great equalizer well into the Pac-12 season and into March if players get into foul trouble, have a cold shooting night or need a breather. It is a luxury most other Pac-12 programs and teams throughout the nation do not have.

Moreover, Arizona’s top reserves are so young — no juniors and seniors among them — that they are bound to get better as the season progresses.

Ristic, who led Arizona with a productivity rating of 1.278 in last night’s win, is a prime example of that improvement. Miller commented that his freshman center works hard in the weight room and on the court daily.

“He’s very easy to coach, a pleasure to be around and somebody who everybody in our program pulls for because we all recognize how much he wants it and how hard he works at it,” Miller said.

Think of the productivity numbers this way:
.700 or above: Pac-12 player of the year worthy, with a rating of .800 or better as elite.
.600 to .700: Pac-12 honors worthy
.500 to .600: Significant contributor
Under .500: Like under the Mendoza line, needs work.


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[table “” not found /] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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