Arizona Basketball

Notes of Arizona Wildcats’ 93-72 victory over Texas Southern



Stanley Johnson drew a comparison to LeBron James from Reggie Miller after this dunk in the first half (YouTube video screen shot)

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Random thoughts of Arizona’s 93-72 win over Texas Southern while wondering how many times Sean Miller will say the word “defense” between now and Saturday’s tipoff in the Round of 32 …

— The Tigers started slow, making only 4 of their first 15 attempts against Arizona. They went 20 of 36 the rest of the way to shoot a respectable 47.1 percent in the game. Arizona entered the game allowing opponents to shoot only 39.2 percent. “We should be locked in no matter who we play,” Rondae Hollis-Jefferson told TNT after the game. “We weren’t ready today.”

— The postgame interview had much to do with Arizona’s defensive breakdowns against the Tigers. “Obviously we only lost three games this year, but the way we lost those three games was very similar,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “I think that’s the point. The teams that we lost to, although we respect them a great deal, they’re not a part of this tournament. I think the point is that we have to get back to being an excellent defensive team, which takes a lot of effort and concentration. We certainly can do it. But whoever we play in the next round we know is going to be a formidable opponent. We want to make sure when that game ends we feel good about what we did, especially on defense.”


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— Arizona was ready on offense at least with its scoring and shooting. Hollis-Jefferson scored a career-high 23 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the field and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line. Stanley Johnson matched his career-high of 22 points, shooting 8 of 11 from the field and making both shots from the line.

— Arizona had only eight 20-point performances in its first 34 games. The Wildcats had two 20-point scorers in one game Thursday. Hollis-Jefferson added 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season and fifth of his career.

— The Wildcats made 32 of 53 shots (60.4 percent) from the field but converted only 13 assists with 12 turnovers. The reason for that is Arizona penetrated the lane often with clear looks at the rim. They were either fouled or converted the open looks.


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1. Jerryd Bayless (2008) 592
2. Coniel Norman (1973) 576
3. Gilbert Arenas (2000) 523
4. Stanley Johnson (2015) 501
5. Sean Elliott (1986) 499
1. Aaron Gordon (2014) 303
2. Bob Elliott (1974) 278
3. Al Fleming (1973) 257
4. Michael Wright (1999) 254
5. Stanley Johnson (2015) 229
1. Mike Bibby (1997) 76
2. Gilbert Arenas (2000) 71
3. Jason Gardner (2000) 55
4. Stanley Johnson (2015) 53
5. Andre Iguodala (2003) 47

— Arizona made 24 of its 27 free-throw attempts improving its season percentage to 70.5 percent. Last year’s team made only 65.9 of its attempts.

T.J. McConnell’s four assists (two less than his average) gives him 222 this season, passing assistant coach Damon Stoudamire (220 in 1994-95) for third in the Arizona record book. Russell Brown (247 in 1978-79) and Reggie Geary (231 in 1994) are the top two in that category. For McConnell to reach Brown’s record he needs to average 5 assists over a potential five remaining games in the tournament.

— Johnson’s scoring effort puts him in the top five scorers among freshmen in Arizona’s history with 501. He becomes only the fourth freshman in the history of the program to eclipse the 500-point mark. Jerryd Bayless (592 in 2007-08), Coniel Norman (576 in 1972-73) and Gilbert Arenas (523 in 1999-2000) are the top three.

— Johnson is the only Arizona freshman to rank in the top five in scoring, rebounding and steals in his class in the history of the program. He is No. 5 with 229 rebounds and No. 4 with 53 steals.

— TNT analyst Reggie Miller had the quote of the day, comparing the physicality of Johnson (6’7″ and 245 pounds) with that of LeBron James. After Johnson’s emphatic one-handed dunk off a baseline drive in the first half, Miller said: “Man-child. I’m sorry. … We may be seeing the reincarnation of LeBron James. … LeBron James had this type of body at his age. … He just goes baseline, there’s no help, but obviously the finish, the elevation and the athleticism here by Stanley Johnson … I’ll be signing his poster after the game. Here, Mr. Johnson …”

— Texas Southern coach Mike Davis, who knows all about big bodies when he coached in the Big Ten at Indiana, said of Johnson afterward: “We hadn’t seen a body like Stanley Johnson’s walk out on the floor this season.”

— Sean Miller knows how to take care of business in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Including his stint at Xavier, Miller is 7-1 in the opening round of March Madness. He is 5-1 in second-round games. publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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