Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: Defense will be responsible for success down stretch

Some of the information in this report is gathered from the Arizona media relations department:

What would Arizona be without a good defense?

Arizona ranks in the top three of the Pac-12 (in all games) in a trio of key defensive statistical categories, including scoring defense (second – 63.5 points per game), field goal percentage defense (third – 41.1 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (second – 30.9 percent).

The Wildcats are on pace to finish in the top three of the conference in all three categories for a third consecutive season and for a fourth time in five seasons. Both of which are feats no other Pac-12 school can accomplish.

Speaking of defense …

Arizona’s defense was a reason why the Wildcats defeated Washington State last month. The Cougars’ Josh Hawkinson averaged 15.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game entering the Jan. 26 game and finished with just nine points and five rebounds in 38 minutes.

Entering Thursday’s game, Hawkinson is averaging 15.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Lauri Markkanen is more physical than Hawkinson and Chance Comanche and Keanu Pinder are quicker.

Winning vs. Washington schools

Arizona has won its last 11 games against Washington State with an average margin of victory 17.1 points per game. The 11 consecutive wins give Arizona it’s second-longest active winning streak versus a Pac-12 opponent, trailing its 15-game winning streak against Stanford. Arizona’s career record of 62-16 (.795) versus Washington State is the program’s highest. Arizona also has a seven-game winning streak against Washington.

At home on the road

From last year:

In the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, attendance at Arizona’s away games in Pac-12 play increased at least 48.0 percent over season averages prior to playing the Wildcats. The 2016-17 has continued the trend of Arizona being the big ticket wherever it goes.

In the seven true road games to date, Arizona has drawn a combined attendance of 61,087, which is a 38.7 percent from before those teams played the Wildcats. The most drastic was Missouri going from an average crowd of 4,166 to an attendance of 10,151 when the Wildcats played there.

This might be more of an indictment on Oregon State basketball, but the crowd was about the same before Arizona played at Gill Coliseum and when the Wildcats played there. The Beavers were drawing 4,712 before Arizona came to town and only 4,745 for the game.

The average attendance at Washington State is a Pac-12-worst 2,577 fans a game.

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)

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**-Las Vegas
***-Los Angeles
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FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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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