Overall, the Arizona Wildcats impressed against the New Mexico State Aggies. The final score was 57-83, but that was not the story of the night. The bench was.
This was not a subplot that developed throughout the evening. It developed with all the subtleness of a bomb. Dissatisfied with his starters, coach Sean Miller made a statement. A deafening one. He pulled all of the starters. Not one or two at a time, all of them.
I wonder what those starters thought as the "backups" proceeded to dominate the NMSU Aggies. A feat that the "starters" were unable to accomplish to that point. To those of you wondering at the quotation marks, it is a statement of my lack of faith in those terms. I fully believe that certain members of the "B squad" will be starters by seasons end. I'd like to think that Arizona is simply blessed with such incredible depth, that the bench just looks that good. I'd like to, but I think that statement is a bit backward. If they continue to play the way they have, I'd support coach Miller in moving the entire "B squad" to starter status. If for no other reason than to light a fire under the "starters" butts.
This is the University of Arizona Wildcats we're talking about here. You don't get four or five years to rebuild. You need to play at a high level NOW. You need to get to the NCAA tournament NOW. If you don't like that, then get the hell out of town. To the backups, I give a big thumbs up. To the starters, I give a big shoulder shrug.
Who do you think you are? Do you think you can just walk through these games? This is your statement game of the week. If you aren't ready to be an elite player right now, for the entirety of the game, then you don't belong at Arizona. Maybe try ASU up the road. Seriously though, get your act together, "starters". There shouldn't be any question as to who is the starter and who is the backup.
All craziness aside, good game. Game ball goes to Derrick Williams, who led the Wildcats in points and rebounds. He was slow to start, but once he did, he was as good as advertised.
Don't understand how I can praise and berate someone in the same article? Then you just don't understand Arizona basketball fans. We want to win. Not next season. Now.
Bear down, Wildcats fans, there's a long season ahead.