In Sean Miller’s eight years at Arizona, he’s gone 4-4 when it comes to sweeping the Cal Bears and Stanford Cardinal in the San Francisco area.
Sunday made it that way after Arizona beat Stanford 91-52 in Stanford. The point is … it’s never easy getting a sweep of the Bay Area schools. Sunday, it was all but a walk in the park at The Farm.
I can’t remember it being any easier for Arizona in Maples Pavilion. It’s been awhile at least.
Arizona played well, but Stanford is, well, horrible. What did we learn from the blowout?
Well, that and more. Here are three big things I took away from the weekend.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright is back!
PJC missed a month’s worth of games because of a high-ankle sprain, and Arizona went 5-1 without him. What Arizona didn’t have was a true point guard who sees the court as well as he does. Nor does it have a guy who controls the game like him. Kadeem Allen was/is a capable fill-in but PJC is Arizona’s guy. In the two games, he looked like his old self, playing 42 minutes combined. He had 10 assists with three turnovers. He hit just one basket in seven attempts. But his job is more about running the offense. He did that. He also provides some needed depth that is so crucial to Arizona as UA begins the Pac-12 season.
Welcome back PJC … Arizona needs you.
Tucson Dusan is making great strides
He’s been dubbed Tucson Dusan, but by the end of the season he could be called the Sonoran Sensation. It’s my prediction Dusan Ristic will be Arizona’s most improved player by the end of the season. That’s not exactly a stretch but he’s been pretty good lately and he still has a lot of room to improve. In the last two games, he’s shot 15 of 20, averaging 16 points in the last two games. In the last nine games, he’s scored in double figures eight times.
And more importantly, (gasp!) he’s getting better on the defensive end. Honestly, he is.
Chance Comanche appears to be getting it
Arizona’s sophomore 7-footer has run hot and cold all season. He’s been criticized, suspended and lauded. Here comes more lauding. In two of the last three games, he’s scored 14 points and 13 points. A big deal? Not exactly, but having a good third center is important. It adds to depth and quality of it.
“We have seen this in Chance from really the beginning of school,” said Miller on his postgame radio, putting context to Comanche’s play. “Sometimes you practice well but it hasn’t yet gotten to the game. Now, it’s starting to show in the game. It’s exciting to see because he has a lot of ability. No doubt, he gives us more depth, he gives us more firepower, and he has really helped us … confidence with all the young players is where it starts, and this is the most confident I have seen Chance as a player.”