What rhymes with three?
No D …
And that’s not a good combination for the Arizona Wildcats.
Stanford had many of the former and No. 4 Arizona none of the latter.
Arizona lost its heart in San Fran… well, the Bay area where it played with little to no heart on Sunday in its second game of the Pac-12 Conference season, falling 100-82 in Maples Pavilion.
So much for going undefeated in the conference – something that will never be done now given conference has been dismantled. Much like the like the mystique of the Wildcats through the first couple of months of play. Arizona is now 10-3 and looking vulnerable, given it’s last four or five games.
Purdue scored 92 points in beating Arizona.
Florida Atlantic scored 96, albeit two overtimes.
And now Stanford, a mid-level conference team that looked like what Arizona should be and made Arizona look like Stanford.
“We had a numb look about us today,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in his postgame radio show. “It was crazy. I’ve never seen us so disconnected at the start of a game. Sometimes it happens at these weird time slots and Sunday games in a place where the atmosphere is pretty quiet.”
Arizona matched it apparently, listless and lifeless. And now winless in two trips to Maples the last two years.
Lloyd said his team has a “responsibility” to play the game hard and “play with passion and energy (and) we didn’t today… they kicked our ass. There was no other way to put it.”
The kicking started early and was maintained throughout. When Kanaan Carlyle hit that last long 3-pointer to give the Cardinal the final of victory – at the buzzer, no less – it just added to Arizona’s misery.
Stanford hit a school-record 16 3s in 25 attempts. The Cardinal shot 58 percent from the floor.
Defense, once thought to be a good characteristic of the team, has now seen it go away. At least for the last few games it has. Sure, better teams have been on the schedule, but Stanford?
We’re talking about Stanford.
Doesn’t the victory over Duke seem so long ago?
“It was an impressive performance by Stanford and our guys didn’t heed the messages,” Lloyd said. “Our coaching staff didn’t do a great job. (But) I don’t want to take anything away from Stanford, I thought they played great.”
Of course, they did. And at a time Arizona played miserably. Easily the worst game the Tommy Lloyd era. At least start-to-finish it was.
Arizona never had the lead, getting a tie at 12 with 13 minutes left. From there, Arizona struggled to contain Stanford on the perimeter.
By halftime, Stanford held a 44-35 lead. Stanford had fun the rest of the way, beating UA for the second consecutive time. Last year, Arizona had a comfortable lead only to see it fall apart in the second half.
Now, comes this, um, debacle.
It seemed whatever Stanford did – especially from beyond the 3-poinmt line – worked. Spencer Jones went 5 for 6 from the distance.
Carlyle was 6 for 8.
“Obviously, they were hot,” Lloyd said, with a tone of frustration on the postgame show. “How were they getting them? Were we contesting them enough? Were the wrong guys getting them.
“It’s tough. One of the toughest once since I’ve been here … but I can’t wait to get on that plane and get home and get back to work. We need to fix things.”
Like playing with a better urgency on defense. And getting more offensively than from Caleb Love, who had 23 points, who took it upon himself to get Arizona going offensively. It was hardly enough.
Arizona, a team that usually has five players scoring in double figures, had just two. Oumar Ballo added 12 points. Everyone else played under their averages. In it all continues to be Kylan Boswell, who continues to slump. He went 2 for 11 from the floor, including 1 for 7 from beyond the 3-point line.
“Caleb had some fire, now we need some other guys to step up and play with some fire and some energy and early (in the game),” Lloyd said. “We don’t need to wait until you’re down 10-12 points.”