The same questions that dogged the Arizona Wildcats football team in 2010, are following the basketball team into 2011. How good are they? Are the Wildcats able to beat the good teams, or just the teams that they're 'supposed' to beat? These questions will likely be repeated over and over in the next month or so, but I for one am not too concerned.
Clearly the Wildcats didn't play to their potential last night. However, that is less a function of a 'good, but not great' team than it is a function of a very young team. This very talented group of players will get better as the season moves forward, but there will be hiccups along the way. Don't focus on the loss here, focus on the positives. Most notably, Momo Jones. He had a great night against the Oregon Beavers, and if he had received more help from the rest of the team, it would have likely been a comfortable Arizona win.
I'm not going to bash on the gameplan, or on any particular player here. I just want to point out the leap forward Momo made last night. He curbed the selfishness, and played Arizona Wildcat basketball, not the selfish street ball that leads to more turnovers than buckets. If Momo can maintain this level of play moving forward, the 'Cats will surely make it to the NCAA tournament and you will be able to look to the Oregon St. game as the turning point.
As the fervor of the usual 'just win, baby' mind set seems to be kicking in across Wildcat nation, keep in mind that this is only year two of the Sean Miller era. Just the second year of a major rebuilding project. Coach Miller has done an amazing job so far, and all signs point to increased success in the very near future.
So cheer up, Wildcat fans! The ending may have sucked, but the game as a whole serves as an indicator of good things to come.