Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: Ristic’s play important to UA’s flow

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A symbol of Sean Miller’s balance: Lauri Markkanen went through November and December as the Arizona Wildcats’ top productivity player overall by far, but he was not the top producer in any of the December games.

Fellow frontcourt player Dusan Ristic held that distinction in five of the seven games, including Friday’s 67-62 win at California. In the other two games, Rawle Alkins had the top productivity rating at Missouri and Chance Comanche against New Mexico.

Ristic’s productivity rating in December games was .781 compared to Markkanen’s .611, still a solid rating.

A generally good barometer:

.850-plus: Pac-12 Player of the Year caliber (A+ grade)

.700-plus: All-Pac-12 caliber (A)

.600-plus: All-Pac-12 honorable mention caliber (B)

.500-plus: Mostly good performances (B-)

.400-plus: Mostly average (C)

.300-plus: Mostly below-average (D)

.200-lower: Mostly low (D-)

Ristic’s consistent play, especially on offense, has made it possible for wing player Rawle Alkins and shooting guard Kobi Simmons to thrive in recent games. The emergence of both of those players in December coincided with Ristic’s productive outings.

Ristic helped establish a good inside-outside game by taking advantage of his opportunities in the paint. He can draw defenders away from Markkanen and Arizona’s perimeter players when getting the entry pass. His play also allows for zone defenses to collapse, allowing more penetration possibilities and more open looks from the perimeter.

Ristic’s 80 percent shooting from the field in Arizona’s win over Cal en route to 16 points was his third game of 66.7 percent or better with at least 10 field goal attempts. Ristic was 8 of 11 (.727) with two free throws for 18 points versus UC Irvine (Dec. 6) before going 8 of 12 (.667) with two free throws for 18 points against Texas A&M (Dec. 17).

A key element in Arizona’s success will be Ristic sustaining his productivity level while improving on the defensive end as well.

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 67, CALIFORNIA 62
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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ARIZONA SCHEDULE/PRODUCTIVITY RESULTS
*-Honolulu
**-Las Vegas
***-Los Angeles
****-Houston
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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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