Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: Ristic’s confidence needed a boost

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Dusan Ristic went from a player who drew questions about his play from many Arizona followers to one that has the second-highest productivity rating of the Wildcats overall after three games.

Of course, that’s a very small sample coming off one of his career games against a lesser opponent in Sacred Heart, but what is most important to Sean Miller is the confidence Ristic has regained. A career-high 15 rebounds with 13 points (first career double-double) while shooting 60 percent with two blocks is what Ristic needed to get out of his early-season funk.

Ristic’s team-best productivity rating of 1.409 in the 95-65 win Friday elevated his season mark to .656, which is second to the remarkable rating of 1.040 by Lauri Markkanen.

Three other players are above the team’s average of rating of .587 — power forward Keanu Pinder (.625), shooting guard Kobi Simmons (.617) and reserve center Chance Comanche (.603).

Important to note: Four of Arizona’s top five productivity players so far are on the frontcourt.

That is not to say the Wildcats’ perimeter players are lacking. Rawle Alkins is at .548 after a 1.036 mark posted against Sacred Heart. Parker Jackson-Cartwright is at .361 but he is coming off his best game with a .667 rating last Friday.

Kadeem Allen figures to improve as his injured knee strengthens. And then there’s the possibility of Allonzo Trier returning.

Time will tell if Trier’s return — if it happens — flows well with the rotation, but Arizona definitely could use more perimeter shooting to free up Markkanen, Ristic and others who have the ability to play close to the basket.

Some quick notes about tonight’s game between Arizona (3-0) and Northern Colorado (1-2) at McKale Center (7 p.m.):

— The Wildcats will look to improve their non-conference home court winning streak to 36 games. Arizona’s last loss at home outside of Pac-12 play came to Bucknell on the 2012 NIT. Arizona has won 57 of its last 58 overall games in Tucson with a mark of 110-12 (.902) at McKale Center under Sean Miller.

— Markkanen became the first Wildcat freshman to score 20 or more points in two of his first three NCAA games since Jerryd Bayless in the first three games of the 2007-08 season.

— Comanche has scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, an average of 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Comanche scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in his final 12 games last season.

— Former ASU forward Andre Spight is on Northern Colorado’s roster but he won’t be eligible to next season per NCAA transfer rules.

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:
ARIZONA 95, SACRED HEART 65
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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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 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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