Arizona Basketball

Notes and Numbers: Colorado vs. Arizona Wildcats

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Sean Miller likely hopes the Pac-12 officiating crew and coordinator Bob Dibler had a meeting this morning in which they all agreed to tone down the foul calls here at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. As the above tweet indicates, an abundance of fouls were called yesterday in the first day of the Pac-12 tournament. The 167 fouls called equates to more than one every minute (1.04 to be exact). Colorado center Josh Scott was able to go off for a season-high 26 points against Arizona two weeks ago in Boulder, Colo., in part because Kaleb Tarczewski picked up two quick fouls and was not as fierce defensively after that. If either big man gets in foul trouble that could set the tone for either team today. …

— Speaking of fouls, opponents have now fouled out 34 times against Arizona this season. That’s four shy of the record of 38 set by the 1974-75 team of Bob Elliott and Al Fleming. The reason for the high amount of foul outs for opponents this season (by the way, Arizona has only eight)? The attacking style of Allonzo Trier off the dribble and the strength and tenacity inside of Tarczewski and Ryan Anderson. Trier, Tarczewski and Anderson combined for 426 of Arizona’s 779 free throw attempts (54.7 percent). … Kadeem Allen and Dusan Ristic have the next most with 80 each. That number should be much higher for Allen, who must show the same characteristics of a no-holds-barred. yet under control, style at Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College. In his sophomore season there in 2013-14, Allen attempted 371 free throws in 33 games (yes, 371) and made 276 for a percentage of 74.4. Just another example that Allen must break out of his shell and become more of a fierce leader at point guard …

— While catching up with the Voice of the Wildcats, Brian Jeffries of the Arizona IMG Network, yesterday, the conversation turned to Arizona’s point guards. Jeffries mentioned an important element of Arizona’s success this postseason will be the play of Allen and Parker Jackson-Cartwright. Jeffries has watched every minute of every game and described the tendencies of every player. He knows. Miller has fluctuated between Allen and Jackson-Cartwright as of late with the starting lineup, an indication neither has stepped forward to the level the Arizona coaching staff wants. They have combined for 223 assists with 103 turnovers, a slightly better than 2-to-1 ratio. T.J. McConnell last year had more assists (238) and less turnovers (83) overall. …

— This will be Scott’s third Pac-12 tournament game against Arizona. In the previous two games following the 2012-13 and 2013-14 regular seasons — both losses for the Buffaloes — he combined for only six points and five rebounds while making only 3 of 10 shots from the field in 56 minutes. In other words, he was a non-factor to the extreme in both games combined. After Colorado’s 80-56 win over Washington State yesterday, Scott made the comment that Arizona’s defense “is not like my sophomore year (in 2013-14) when they had (Aaron) Gordon, but they have always had great defensive teams.” …

— Arizona can’t rely on wearing down Colorado and Scott as the Wildcats have done in the past because of the Buffaloes’ much improved bench play under Tad Boyle this season. The Buffaloes had 37 points and 17 rebounds off their bench against the Cougars. Josh Fortune led the reserves in scoring with 13 points while Tory Miller had eight points and seven rebounds. Other big contributors off the bench were Thomas Akyazili (seven points, three rebounds, two assists) and Tre’Shaun Fletcher (six points, three rebounds). “That bench, those four guys, I don’t look at them as bench players or role players,” Boyle said. “They’re guys that can come in and impact the game. They’re all capable of doing that. The key is not to try to do too much and rely on each other and play with each other and for each other. As long as we do that, we’ve got a chance to beat anybody.” …

— Because Colorado had a comfortable lead for most of the game against Washington State, it afforded Boyle a chance to rest his starters in hopes of saving their legs Arizona. Wesley Gordon played the most minutes, finishing with 26. Scott, who averages more than 30 minutes per game, played only 22 while George King and Miller played just 23. “That was nice, especially our three bigs,” Boyle said. “When we can spread their minutes out like we did tonight, it makes it easier on all of them.” …

— Arizona finished the regular season with six conference losses. The Wildcats avenged three of those defeats by beating UCLA, USC and California in the second meetings of the season all at McKale Center. The other three league losses, to Oregon, Colorado and Utah, happened in Arizona’s only regular-season meeting with those programs. Those three teams are still alive in the Pac-12 tournament starting with Colorado today. …

— How Arizona fares on the glass against Scott and Colorado will be very important. As of Monday, Arizona ranked sixth in the country in rebounding margin (plus-9.9) by NCAA.com and third in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (.766) by KenPom.com. Arizona has dominated the glass in the Sean Miller era by outrebounding their opponent in 175 of 246 games, which accounts for 71.1 percent of those games. The Wildcats’ record in those 175 games is 147-28 (.840). … Colorado tied Arizona on the boards two weeks ago in Boulder with 38 but the Buffaloes had more offensive rebounds 14-11. The Buffaloes outscored Arizona in second-chance points 17-11 although Arizona had the edge in points in the paint 40-34. That last number is significant because Scott had 26 of those 34 points. You can sense where Arizona’s defensive strategy lies today: Contain Scott and you’re in good shape. …

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COLORADO (22-10)
VS. NO. 15 ARIZONA (24-7)

Tip Time: 3:30 p.m. MST
TV: CBS (Kevin Calabro/Don MacLean)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

THE SERIES
Overall: Arizona leads 13-12
Neutral Court: Arizona leads 3-1
Current Streak: Colorado won 1
Last Meeting: Colorado won in Boulder, Colo., 75-72 (2-24-16)
Sean Miller vs. Colorado: 9-4

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 vs. Colorado:
COLORADO 75, ARIZONA 72
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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Previous game:
ARIZONA 94, STANFORD 62
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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ALL-PAC-12 CENTER JOSH SCOTT VS. ARIZONA (CAREER)
Italicized: Pac-12 tournament games
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PAC-12 POMEROY RATINGS
Present 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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THREE-POINT GOALS SEASON
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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
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MOST CAREER STARTS
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THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS CAREER
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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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