Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: Other than Kentucky, rotation second to none

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Freshman center Dusan Ristic led the Wildcats in productivity in last night's rout over Oregon (Pac-12 Networks video screen shot)

Freshman center Dusan Ristic led the Wildcats in productivity in last night’s rout over Oregon (Pac-12 Networks video screen shot)

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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 90, OREGON 56
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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PAC-12 RPI RATING
Present RPI ranking of the Pac-12.
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ARIZONA 90, OREGON 56

Arizona proved again last night that from players No. 1 to 8 in the rotation nobody is better, except Kentucky.

From Stanley Johnson to Dusan Ristic, Arizona coach Sean Miller has options and capable players to fill different scenarios and needs.

Ristic, a reserve post man who played 13 minutes last night, led the Wildcats in productivity with a 1.385 rating in what was Arizona’s most productive game in the Pac-12 season to this point.

In the Wildcats’ top four productivity games, in which they had a rating of .700 or better this season, it was against inferior competition. They posted a season-high .835 against Oakland, followed by .745 against Gardner-Webb, last night’s .715 mark against Oregon and .710 against Utah Valley.

In those four games, a freshman reserve led the Wildcats in productivity — the since-departed Craig Victor against Oakland, Parker Jackson-Cartwright against Gardner-Webb and Ristic against Oregon and Utah Valley.

What does that mean?

Arizona is not top heavy. It does not depend on two or three players to take control of every game, which is the case for most of the Pac-12 teams. This team, for example, is a far cry from Stanford’s in which Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown do everything. And the Cardinal is an NCAA tournament team.

It also indicates that Miller’s recruiting is paying off. When called upon in situations they can excel, Arizona’s freshmen have done just that. The scouting and time and effort put in to making these young players compete at a high level shows Miller’s system is working.

Johnson leads the Wildcats with a productivity rating of .789.

The Class of 2014 — Johnson, Ristic, Jackson-Cartwright and Victor — has combined for a productivity rating of .623, which is much higher than the overall team rating of .571.

College athletics is a results-driven, rankings-based business. The RPI in college basketball is like none other in sports. Nobody cares about a power-rating system in the NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball. All that matters there is a team’s standing in the conference.

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HOW ARE THEY DOING?
Present RPI ranking of Arizona’s non-conference opponents.
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College football finally caught on this year with the weekly College Football Playoff ranking, but a selection committee determined that ranking. It was more of a poll. College hoops is filled with scrutiny daily with computerized standings such as the RPI. It heats up come late February with ESPN’s Bracketology.

When the pressure is on for Miller and other college basketball coaches to produce favorable results, how players No. 6 through 8 perform is equally as important as the starting five.

If Ristic and Jackson-Cartwright continue to provide valuable minutes and Gabe York and Elliott Pitts find consistency, positive results will certainly happen. Arizona will be very difficult to beat.

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SEASON PRODUCTIVITY RATING
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ARIZONA PAC-10/12
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
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ARIZONA SCHEDULE/PRODUCTIVITY RESULTS
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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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