Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: Zeus yields power to open offensive flow



Michigan did not have an answer for Kaleb Tarczewski inside (Pac-12 Networks screen shot, click on photo to access video)

Michigan did not have an answer for Kaleb Tarczewski inside (Pac-12 Networks 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. 10 with a strength-of-schedule ranking of No. 84.
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Amy Miller, wife of Arizona coach Sean Miller, posted a photo on her Twitter account last night of two glasses of red wine by a fireplace with a warm fire burning in the background.

“Celebrating a W!” is what the caption says.

Chances are Sean Miller was not thinking about what Stanley Johnson and Kaleb Tarczewski meant to creating that moment, in an 83-50 rout of Michigan earlier in the day, but he can certainly thank them for resting easy last night.

In a post-game interview with KCUB (1290-AM) play-by-play announcer Brian Jeffries, Miller went so far as to say Johnson played his best defensive game “by far” and that “this was Tarczewski’s best game of the season”.

Their numbers reflect supreme performances, the kind that will make Arizona difficult to defeat this season.

Both produced individual season-high productivity ratings. Johnson led the Wildcats with a 1.148 rating while Tarczewski finished at 1.037.


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“We’re getting a little more effective at going inside to Kaleb Tarczewski and having more ball movement and a lot of Stanley Johnson’s plays are happening more through the confines of team play,” Miller said in the post-game press conference.

“You expect a freshman to continue to grow and understand what we’re doing here and implement himself into it. That’s a credit to Stanley for learning and working and he’s doing both right now. We leave here feeling very good about today’s victory.”

It’s fitting that Tarczewski’s nickname is Zeus because he has the power to impact the production of his teammates.

If the Wildcats are successful getting the ball to him and he finishes, that opens the flow for the entire offense.

“Me and Brandon (Ashley) really owe it all to the guards,” Tarczewski told Ryan Hansen of KCUB. “They did a great job again of getting the ball in scoring positions. I think that was the best we’ve done all year.

“When we start scoring inside, they have to double team on the post and we get open three’s and it makes things a lot easier.”

Tarczewski was too much for Michigan redshirt freshman Mark Donnal (who is three inches shorter than Tarczewski at 6’9″). Ashley, who had a solid game with a .667 productivity rating, was a chore for 6’7″ and 210-pound freshman “power forward” Kameron Chatman.

Michigan coach John Beilein went to another freshman big man, Ricky Doyle, to try to stop Arizona’s potent inside game. That proved futile as Arizona’s wave of interior talent — Tarczewski, Ashley, Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — each had at least six rebounds and made 22 of 28 field-goal attempts.

Michigan was too young and underdeveloped to contend with Arizona from the opening tip on the offensive end as well. The Wolverines could not master Arizona’s man-to-man defense that shut down the paint. The Wolverines shot only 35.2 percent from the field and a season-low 26.9 percent from three-point range.

Michigan had only six offensive rebounds. It’s first put-back did not happen until 7:56 remained on a Doyle follow. Arizona built a 69-40 lead by that time.

Beilein told the Michigan Daily afterward that Arizona’s knockout 9-0 run to open the second half “was just a flurry that was hard to stop”.

“There’s just a little bit more strength, a little bit more speed,” said Beilein, who in the last two seasons has coached Michigan to the title game and Elite Eight. “You’re trying to get an open shot, but it’s not the same open shot that you were getting even against (Villanova or Oregon).”

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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