After the first couple of weeks of league play now being complete, its looking more and more that as Derrick Williams goes, so go the Cats. Auditions have been held to develop a wingman of sorts for Derrick but as of right now all we have are understudies. This isn't to deny Mr. Williams talents and skill set, he has those in abundance. He also has an unerring drive and desire to compete. What is lacking in this club is the consistency of the other players to allow this club to move from the threshold of pretty good to being a real contender.
ASU played a good solid game, they weathered the lows but didn't get enough of an effort from their few veterans on the squad to get the job done. Perhaps when the young Devils team gets a bit more seasoning they'll be ready to contend next year. They had promising efforts from both Jordan Bachynski and Carrick Felix. Trent Lockett continues to show progress and once he's 100 percent healthy he could help Ty Abbott in continuing to make the Devils a tough out.
My concern is with the lack of consistency from the Cats. Again, its a matter of who (if anyone) will stand up and be counted to help take the load off of DW. Not that he's incapable of carrying the team, but that leaves the team vulnerable to the capriciousness of a ref's whistle or a well executed defense that takes him out of a game. Tonight we had Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry also in double digits, but most of those came in the first half and a great many of them as garbage buckets from their relentless ownership of the offensive glass. There is still no consistent outside scoring threat and neither of starting guards or the pair coming off the bench have shown much ability to break anyone down off the dribble. Perhaps its a minor item to raise concern over but if this team is looking at the second season, its normally guard play that makes or breaks a team. Right now, our collective guard play can best be described as "meh". Until our guard play becomes more consistent, Arizona will continue to struggle closing out opponents.
Box Score Nuggets:
Arizona shot almost 84% from the charity stripe and enjoyed a 31-19 advantage on the boards. On the downside, turnovers were up (15) and ASU had 6 blocked shots to zero for the Cats. Playing time is also being parcelled out evenly as nine Cats had double digit minutes.