Arizona Basketball

Notes and Numbers: Arizona Wildcats at Utah

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Anthony Gimino’s above stat is the stat of the week, perhaps the stat of the year, even decade. Arizona has lost its six games this season by a total of 21 points for an average margin of defeat of only 3.5 points. The Wildcats have not lost a game by double digits in its last 17 losses going back to its 89-78 loss at USC on Feb. 27, 2013, a span of the 111 games Gimino mentioned. In the Wildcats’ four road losses this season, their combined loss margin is only nine points. They had a chance to win or tie the game to the last second in each of those four losses. …

— Listening to the Utah feed the other night on Sirius/XM in its game against ASU the Utes broadcasters mentioned multiple times about the concern about playing Arizona less than 40 hours after the conclusion of that 81-46 rout over the Sun Devils. Never mind that the game was practically over when Utah took 15-0 and 30-2 leads in the first 10 minutes and the Utes’ starters rested practically the entire second half. … Other themes that were talked about during the game and during the postgame interviews: The need for a sellout against the Wildcats and the desire — very strong desire — to finally beat Utah. No question the mental aspect of today’s game is important. With how much energy Utah is spending on the peripheral elements of the game, the Wildcats could improve their chances immensely today coming out strong and being aggressive. I expect the Utes to come out tight and wired, maybe too wired. …

— The matchup against Utah All-American candidate center Jakob Poeltl is a strong concern for Arizona because of the way Colorado’s Josh Scott, a lesser overall talent, scorched the Wildcats with 25 points. Primarily because of Poeltl, Utah is outscoring opponents in the paint by a margin of 1048-768 this season. The Utes average 36.1 points in the paint per game, while the opposition is recording just 26.5, a difference of plus-9.6. … Important for Arizona in this aspect is the Wildcats staying out of foul trouble in the interior with Kaleb Tarczewski and Ryan Anderson. A significant reason why Scott went off against Arizona was Tarczewski’s early foul trouble and Tarczewski playing timid afterward. Scott gained the mental edge from the start. That can’t happen against Poeltl. In Arizona’s sweep of Utah last year, Poeltl was a non-factor in both games because of early foul trouble. He never gained a mental edge against Tarczewski and Co. …

— The last time Utah defeated Arizona in Salt Lake City was on Dec. 21, 1985, a 76-68 victory for the Utes. The Wildcats, who have a 12-game winning streak over Utah overall, have won their last six games at the Huntsman Center in the 31-year span. Time capsule: In that 1985 game, the year Arizona won its first Pac-12 title (then the Pac-10), freshman Sean Elliott led the Wildcats with 19 points. Manny Hendrix was the Utes’ leading scorer with 24 points. The Wildcats fell to 5-4 after that game. Lute Olson’s team went 18-3 over the next 21 games. …

— Judging from his stats against Arizona, senior forward Jordan Loveridge does not love playing the Wildcats. Loveridge appears ready to break out of his doldrums against Arizona after posting a sixth straight double-digit scoring effort on Thursday against ASU, recording 14 points against ASU. Loveridge’s 15points per game average over the past six games trails only Poeltl’s 18.7 points per game average. Loveridge has posted 15 double-figure scoring efforts on the season and 82 for his career. … He was 6 of 15 from the field with 22 points in the games last years against the Wildcats. He was 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, however, but that means he was only 1 of 5 inside it. Conclusion: Loveridge is mostly a three-point shooter and not much else. If he burns Arizona today, shame on the Wildcats, because they know his strength. …

— Anderson has recorded a double-double in 14 of his 27 appearances this season and is averaging 16 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He is one of only 13 players in the nation to average at least 16 points and 10 rebounds a game as of Thursday morning while being one of four from a Power 5 conference, according to Arizona’s media relations department. Anderson has 34 double-doubles in his career. …

— Utah’s floor general is undoubtedly senior point guard Brandon Taylor, who ranks No. 26 all-time in the Utes’ record book with 1,189 career points. He moved into the No. 6 spot last week for assists. He is seven assists shy from moving into fifth for all-time assists. He has played in 126 games in his career. … On the other hand, who is Arizona’s floor general? Former Arizona basketball player Jawann McClellan now a high school assistant coach and AAU coach in the Houston area mentioned this morning on the KCUB (1290-AM) pregame show that his only concern with Arizona is the indecision of whether Kadeem Allen or Parker Jackson-Cartwright is the main guy at the point. “As a player, you want to know who that guy is going to be,” he said. “We had that the last couple of years with T.J. (McConnell).” … Jackson-Cartwright has started the last four games. Allen has 23 starts. The Pac-12 tournament and NCAA tournament beckons. The time for a floor general to develop is reaching the end. …

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NO. 9 ARIZONA (22-6, 10-5)
AT NO. 22 UTAH (22-7, 11-5)

Tip Time: 12:05 p.m. MST
TV: ESPN (Roxy Bernstein/Bill Walton)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Jeff Dean)

THE SERIES
Overall: Arizona leads 30-28
In Salt Lake City: Utah leads 19-10
Current Streak: Arizona won 12
Last Meeting: Arizona won, 63-57 in Salt Lake City (2-28-15)
Sean Miller vs. Utah: 9-0

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)

SEASON PRODUCTIVITY RATING
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PRODUCTIVITY REPORT
ARIZONA PAC-10/12
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
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Previous game:
COLORADO 75, ARIZONA 72
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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— With their careers winding down, the records watch of Tarczewski and York increases. With a win today, Tarczewski will be all alone in second place in the Arizona career charts with 108 victories, trailing Matt Muehlebach’s record mark of 109. Tarczewski is also slated to make his 126th career start today. Only four other players have reached that plateau at Arizona — Jason Gardner (135), Sean Elliott (133), Mustafa Shakur (129) and Solomon Hill (129). … Tarczewski is only the third Arizona player in history to be ranked in the top 40 in career scoring (1,130 points) and top 10 in rebounding (815) and blocked shots (106). Anthony Cook and Channing Frye are the others. …

HOW ARE THEY DOING?
Present power ranking of non-conference opponents Arizona has played according to KenPom.com.
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PAC-12 POMEROY RATINGS
Present RPI ranking of Pac-12 teams according to KenPom.com.
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ARIZONA’S 1,000-POINT SCORERS
Overall
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Before Arizona
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1987-88 (by end of that season)
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Before Arizona
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ARIZONA’S TOP SCORING CENTERS
Rank: Overall school ranking.
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MOST CAREER REBOUNDS
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MOST CAREER VICTORIES IN GAMES PLAYED
Note: Gabe York is at 102 wins.
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MOST CAREER STARTS
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THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS CAREER
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THREE-POINT GOALS SEASON
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ARIZONA SCHEDULE/PRODUCTIVITY RESULTS
*-John Wooden Legacy in Fullerton/Anaheim (Calif.)
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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