7 p.m. MST
How they got here
Southern rolls into McKale Center on Thursday with a 3-7 record. And it's a misleading record. The Jaguars lost in overtime to the University of Arlington on Nov. 22 and then a week later against Denver. They might as well be 5-5.
Two more of the losses came to No. 17 Marquette to start the season and against No. 16 Florida. The 63-56 loss to the Golden Eagles came behind 14 points from 6-foot-6 senior guard Malcolm Miller, and 11 off the bench from each of YonDarius Johnson and Tre Lynch. Against the Gators, Jaguars forward Calvin Godfrey scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Trelun Banks scored 12 off the bench.
If you haven't figured it out, Southern is pretty darned balanced. Just like the Wildcats.
The good news: Johnson is the leading scorer and the best three-point shooter. Arizona could be best served by putting the longer Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on the 6-foot-4 senior guard, who shoots 45.9 percent overall.
What we want to see
- Should T.J. McConnell be more aggressive? Maybe. Even if you like him playing so unselfishly, he could still look to penetrate more, even if he's set on getting his teammates involved.That aggression will go a long way -- then again, maybe McConnell won't get into attack mode until late in the Pac-12 season. There's a happy medium somewhere between McConnell and Mark Lyons of last year, though the perfect point is probably much, much closer to McConnell.
- Can Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley keep it up? One hoop-head I know said Ashley was playing like an All-American. And it makes you wonder ... maybe he is. So if ESPN is writing articles about Aaron Gordon being someone to watch regarding the Wooden Award, it's more of a discredit to Ashley and Zeus than a credit to Gordon. I feel almost mean having to put down Gordon, but Arizona's success is bigger than him and I think he knows it. Just odd how the national attention is getting tunnel vision so blatantly.
- With the Wooden talk giving Gordon the nod, who would you say is the most important player to this team? There probably isn't a wrong answer. Do you guys think this should even be a matter of debate?
- Join us to chat about the matchup with Southern (or all of the above) now or at the tip.