Arizona Basketball

Top three storylines Stanford Cardinal vs. Arizona Wildcats

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Transfers

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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 SEASON PRODUCTIVITY RATING
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STANFORD (18-11, 9-8) AT NO. 5 ARIZONA (27-3, 15-2)
Tip Time: 2:06 p.m. MST
TV: CBS (Spero Dedes/Mike Gminski)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
National Radio: Westwood One (John Sadak/P.J. Carlesimo)
THE SERIES
Overall: Arizona leads, 58-29
In Tucson: Arizona leads, 32-8
Current Streak: Arizona won 10
Last Meeting: Arizona won, 89-82, on Jan. 22, 2015
Sean Miller vs. Stanford: 9-0

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Top three storylines for tonight’s game:

1. Is T.J. McConnell Arizona’s best transfer from a four-year school?

I posed that question on Facebook last week and a majority of respondents in the informal poll took McConnell, a transfer from Duquesne, by a landslide.

The rest, in order, are Brian Williams (Maryland), Chris Mills (Kentucky), Loren Woods (Wake Forest), Mark Lyons (Xavier) and Ben Davis (Florida/Kansas).

“This is a tough one,” fan Peter Graham wrote. “Although I wouldn’t say McConnell is the most talented transfer of the bunch I’d argue that he might be the most impactful to his respective team.

“The on-court leadership void left by NJ (Nick Johnson) IMO (in my opinion) is partly to blame for the bizarre road losses this year. T.J is the one stepping up with that “(we) will not to lose” down the stretch…but I think I will reserve my final opinion until after the tourney.”

Veteran sportswriter Steve Rivera of FoxSportsArizona.com mentioned: “It is without question Brian Williams”.

Each have impacted Arizona’s program in their own way:

— The late Williams, who later changed his name to Bison Dele, is Arizona’s first impact transfer from a four-year school in the program’s history. He was automatic around the basket. He holds the school’s Pac-10/12 record with a 93.3 percent field-goal shooting mark, making 14 of 15 shots against UCLA on Feb. 10, 1991.

— Mills, the 1992-93 Pac-10 Player of the Year, played only 94 games in three seasons at Arizona yet ranks No. 13 on the record charts with 1,619 points. The 12 players ahead of him averaged 123.7 games in their careers.

— Davis, who came to Arizona from Hutchison (Kan.) Junior College but was on scholarship previously at Kansas and Florida, led Arizona in scoring (14.2 points a game) and rebounding (9.5) in 1995-96.

— Woods recorded two triple-doubles with Arizona, both with blocked shots as a factor. He recorded 186 blocked shots in his two years with Arizona, including a school-record 102 in 1999-2000.

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SHUTTING DOWN OPPONENT
How Arizona has fared against top scorers of Pac-12 teams this season (scoring average is current mark) (source: AllSportsTucson.com):
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— Lyons is the program’s first one-year transfer (Ryan Anderson from Boston College is another redshirting this season) and he proved valuable for Sean Miller on the perimeter. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.

— McConnell, leader extraordinaire, has a 3.07 assist-to-turnover ratio in 68 games at Arizona, which ranks No. 1 ahead of Steve Kerr’s 2.64 mark.

2. Chasson Randle next defensive target for Arizona.

Arizona has faced the opposing 11 top scorers among Pac-12 teams 17 times leading up to today’s game with Stanford. Of those 17 games, Arizona has kept the leading scorer below his current average 13 times (76.4 percent).

The only players who have eclipsed their average are Colorado’s Askia Booker (30 points in first meeting), Washington State’s DaVonte Lacy (18 points in only meeting), Utah’s Delon Wright (17 points in second meeting) and Stanford’s Randle (29 points in first meeting).

The Wildcats won all four of those games.

What that signals is many of the Pac-12 teams do not have quality second or third options that on most occasions were good enough to beat Arizona. Either the top scorer was relied on too much or the other variables did not factor into the equation.

A significant factor is many of the league’s top scorers are perimeter players and the league has not exhibited much better defenders than Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or McConnell.

3. Second-longest McKale winning streak on the line.

If Arizona beats Stanford, the Wildcats would earn their 38th consecutive victory at McKale Center, which would tie the second-longest such mark since the arena opened in 1973.

The record is still at least a couple of seasons away, at 71, achieved from 1988-91 under Lute Olson.

The three longest marks could belong to the best coaches (Olson, Fred Snowden and Miller, in the program’s history (since Fred Enke Sr.’s run in the 1940’s and 1950’s). Snowden’s teams compiled a 38-game win streak at McKale from 1975 to 1977.

Enke’s teams won 81 straight at Bear Down Gym from 1945 to 1951.

The Wildcats will try for their 12th undefeated season at McKale Center today.

Of course, none of this matters to some unless Arizona wins it all, but to secure the home court is a significant reason for getting that far.

LONGEST McKALE WIN STREAKS
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PAC-12 RPI RATING
Present RPI ranking of the Pac-12.
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HOW ARE THEY DOING?
Present RPI ranking of Arizona’s non-conference opponents.
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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 also has published articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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