Arizona Basketball

Love on Arizona guard legacy: ‘You want to play up to the level of them’

LOS ANGELES – Jaden Bradley knows the names. As do Caleb Love, Kylan Boswell and KJ Lewis.

In Arizona basketball history the names roll off like a who’s who: Bibby, Stoudamire, Kerr, Gardner, Simon, McConnell, et, al.

Point Guard U … is alive and well, after a short hiatus (to be fair).

Caleb Love

“Coach Murph (Jack Murphy) does a great job of teaching us our history and our culture,” Bradley said, referring to associate head coach Murphy who was around for a lot of the success. “We had a couple of phone calls with some of those guys and they talked to us, and that was big.

“We know what this jersey means and what the big A means.”

It means everything at this time of year. It’s March and it matters. And this is when legacies are made. It did for Bibby, Gardner and so many others.

Without good guard play, Arizona wouldn’t be Arizona, a team with four Final Fours and a few Sweet 16s.

“It’s something we really value,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said.

Now, Arizona has four – the aforementioned, Love, Boswell, Bradley and Lewis. All have had an impact to this point, each in their own way.

Kylan Boswell

 “We really value having guards that can share the workload,” Lloyd said. “We’re not dependent on one point guard to initiate offense for 40 minutes … that’s something we’re comfortable with. Other teams are comfortable having one guy that they really settle in with and trust him with all the decisions. So, it’s really valuable for Arizona to have the guards we have.”

Boswell, last week, said there were “multiple heads to (Arizona’s) snake” so it’s difficult to stop.

Love is the shooter/scorer.

Boswell is the defender, some-time scorer.

Bradley is the initiator, scorer.

Lewis can be a scorer, but is an athletic defender.

It is the four-headed backcourt monster that has been Arizona’s force to the Sweet 16.

Is there pressure to be like the past players, to live up to what turned into a legacy?

“I don’t think there’s pressure,” Love said. “”You just raise your level to attention to detail and you want to play up to the level of them.

“Those guys set the pathway for us. We’re playing for them, too.”

Good to know. At least they are getting Lloyd’s message of past meets present.

“We spend a lot of time trying to develop all those guys to have all-around skills to be able to initiate offense, to be able to read the ball screen game, to be able to figure out what coverages other teams are in and find advantages,” Lloyd said.

“I’m really proud of those guys. It’s something we take a lot of pride in as a program, is helping those guys develop, and I think they’ve really come along nicely.”

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