Arizona Basketball

Three top observations of Arizona Wildcats at Stanford Cardinal


Stanley Johnson is looking to improve his consistency on the road by staying out of foul trouble and limiting the turnovers (ESPN screen shot)

Stanley Johnson is looking to improve his consistency on the road by staying out of foul trouble and limiting the turnovers (ESPN screen shot)


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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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Top three storylines for tonight’s game:

1. Arizona’s recent mastery over Stanford belies rivalry.

Remember when Stanford’s Mike Montgomery won four of his last five games against Arizona as the Cardinal’s head coach? Montgomery also won his last four games at McKale Center.

Stanford was loathed in Tucson during the formative years of the rivalry when Todd Lichti was as hated as Reggie Miller. The Cardinal beat Arizona’s first Final Four team in 1988 when the Wildcats were ranked No. 1. Nobody can forget the last-second 35-shot made by Nick Robinson 11 years ago that beat Arizona.

The rivalry was one of the best on the West coast.

Presently, the series is one-sided with Sean Miller attempting to go 9-0 against the Cardinal since his hire in 2009. Hard to believe: The last time Stanford beat Arizona on Jan. 4, 2009, Miller just coached Xavier to a win at Virginia to improve to 11-2 that season. Stanley Johnson was in the seventh grade.

Arizona has won nine games consecutively over the Cardinal (the Russ Pennell-coached Wildcats won the last meeting in the 2008-09 season over Johnny Dawkins’ program).

The Wildcats will try to notch their 23rd 10-game winning streak against one school tonight. Arizona beat Stanford 15 straight times in one stretch from 1989 to 1995 before Montgomery made the Cardinal a powerhouse.

Arizona’s longest winning streak against one opponent is 38 games against Washington State from 1986 to 2004.

2. Stanley Johnson different on the road.

The Wildcats’ leader in productivity with a .772 rating has struggled mightily on the road, which prompted Miller to say in Monday’s press conference that he expects the freshman to be solid home and away.


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NO. 7 ARIZONA (16-2, 4-1) at STANFORD (13-4, 4-1)
Tip Time: 7:05 p.m. MST
TV: ESPN2 (Dave Pasch/Bill Walton)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
National Radio: Compass Media (Drew Bontadelli/Mike Wozniak)
Overall: Arizona leads, 57-29
In Stanford: Arizona leads, 21-18
Current Streak: Arizona won 9
Last Meeting: Arizona won, 79-66, on March 2, 2014
Sean Miller vs. Stanford: 8-0

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Present RPI ranking of Arizona’s non-conference opponents.
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Johnson has only a .543 productivity rating in true road games (UTEP, UNLV, Oregon and Oregon State). In the Wildcats’ losses at UNLV and Oregon State his rating was only .387. That’s a significant drop from his season rating.

“The more games that he’s gotten under his belt, the more experiences, to his credit, I think he’s learning,” Miller said. “He’s a smarter player. He knows what to expect more. When you watch him play, I think things happen within the framework of our team play.

“It’s easier for him right now than ever before. We want him to be consistent with his performance overall.”

The constants with Johnson on the road are foul problems and turnovers. He committed 13 fouls in the four games, including four in the games at Oregon and Oregon State. He also has 14 turnovers with only six assists in the true road games.

Miller must be concerned about Johnson getting into foul trouble again having to possibly guard Chasson Randle or Anthony Brown on occasion tonight. Both are veteran players who are aggressive and they get to the line often. They combine to make 123 of 143 attempts from the line.

3. Speaking of foul problems …

Kaleb Tarczewski fouled out against Utah on Saturday, his 12th disqualification in his career at Arizona.

Tarczewski this season became the 23rd player in the program’s history to have at least 10 foul-outs in a career. He won’t reach the record 27 disqualifications that Bill Reeves had from 1955-57, but his total of foul-outs ties for the most by anArizona player in the Pac-10/12 era.

His 12 foul-outs are tied with John Belobraydic (1980-83), A.J. Bramlett (1997-99) and Craig McMillan (1985-88).

Larry Demic, who played with Arizona in the WAC and Pac-10 from 1976-79, posted 15 foul-outs. He played only one season in the Pac-10 in 1978-79 and posted eight foul-outs that season.


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Present RPI ranking of the Pac-12.
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[table “” not found /] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also has published articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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