Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: UA’s highest productivity games show distinct pattern

Arizona’s productivity against Colorado on Thursday in a semifinal game of the Pac-12 tournament was one of only six times the Wildcats have cracked the .700 mark in a game this season.

Four such games, including the one against the Buffaloes, occurred in Pac-12 games.

The other three games were at Stanford (.725), ASU (.765) at home, and at UCLA (.735).

Can Arizona pull off another productive game against the Bruins after having a rating of .525 in the loss to the Bruins at McKale Center two weeks ago?

It’s going to take the widespread production Arizona experienced against Colorado. Six of the nine players who played against the Buffaloes had a productivity rating of .600 or better, led by Dusan Ristic (1.238), Lauri Markkanen (1.034), Kadeem Allen (.792), Allonzo Trier (.765), Rawle Alkins (.741) and Parker Jackson-Cartwright (.600).

UCLA no doubt will throw another 3-2 zone at Arizona, like it did in its 77-72 win in Tucson. The Bruins will dare Arizona to beat them from outside.

The Wildcats will have to shoot the way they did from 3-point range like they did against Colorado to make it happen. Arizona made 10 of 19 shots from beyond the arc against Colorado and that seemed to loosen the Buffaloes’ defense.

If Arizona is able to shoot over the zone and make a good percentage of shots, its productivity should take off.

This is the 3-point shooting percentage in Arizona’s four Pac-12 games above .700 this year:

Against Stanford: 71.4 percent, 10 of 14

Against ASU: 42.9 percent, 9 of 21

Against UCLA: 45 percent, 9 of 20

Against Colorado: 52.6 percent, 10 of 19

That’s zone-busting production. At least nine 3-pointers in each of those games with a percentage better than 40 percent.

“We know what to do (against the zone),” Allen said. “But as a team, we get away from it sometimes. We’ll hit threes and feel that’s what it is. We just have to get the ball to the low post, penetrate, get the ball to the paint, and good things will happen for our team.”

The confident inside-outside action and reaction will be the difference against UCLA, which is bent on showing it can play defense to support its potent offense.

“Defense is what we’ve focused on the last couple of months,” UCLA guard Bryce Alford said. “It’s been on the rise. I’ve always said we’re not a team that’s going to shut you down all game. That’s just not our personnel. It’s not the style of basketball we play but as long as we can get that stops that we need when we need them … I think that’s what we’ve been doing a lot better job of.”

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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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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