It's November..... and most of us are aware of what November brings as far as Arizona athletics go....
a smokin' hot Women's Volleyball Team, i.e. they play good and look even better
an eternally rebuilding women hoops team
a "not quite there yet" football squad
and the renewal of our traditional chest thumpin' theatrics regarding the Men's basketball team...
ohhh by the way, the season started yesterday and it was a feel good session for all Cats enthusiasts
Miller isn't whining about the sanctions, he's simply rolling with the situation and not letting the schollie reductions get in the way of what he is building. Instead, he's rolled the ball onto the court and began letting loose the dogs of Wildcat hoopdom. So, what differences are we seeing from this year compared to last year? Defense, more defense, and "in your jockstrap" defense. After a year in the system, guys are starting to clue into what the Coach wants. There are some pretty impressive pieces in place and despite having to wade through some nagging injuries to Mr. Parrom and young Kyryl and Big Tree, the team on the floor looks like they've grown together as a unit. While the focus appears to be with Derrick in the middle, the complementary pieces all appear to be in place; so that it isn't simply going to be a one man team. I'll grant you that Derrick Williams may be our "lead vocalist", but there are plenty of places in this hoops orchestra for other players to shine. It looks like Miller is well on his way to imprinting his style of play onto the squad, they look leaner, more fluid and better conditioned than last year's team.
Nuggets gleaned from the box score indicate that the scoring was distributed evenly with lots of bench time given to non-starters and newcomers to get their feet wet. The team held ISU shooting from the floor under 30% for the game and they made only a single trey. Compared to our struggles last year, its an encouraging first step. It will have to be a trend that will be observed in the next few games as Arizona attempts to re-establish a home court dominance that was missing from the last few years. Free throw shooting was improved and the boards were essentially dominated by our Cats.
As for what stood out, well Lavender is sporting a new hair style and renewed confidence in his stroke, as he went 4 for 5 from beyond the arc. Both Jones and Jordin Mayes appeared to be capable of running the point. Perry looks like he is as advertised, a beast on the boards and he can even shoot the freebies. Bejarano got a taste (as did our walk-ons) and it was refreshing to see little free-lancing in garbage time as everyone sought to show Coach their aptitude for playing within the system.
A very encouraging beginning to the season.