I'm kind of in a confusing place. Part of me doesn't believe the box score that says the Arizona Wildcats dropped their opening exhibition game by a 69-68 score to, yes, the Seattle Pacific Falcons, and another part finds it kind of funny -- like a pathetic, I'm about to cry because of sad laughter type of funny.
It's only the first game? At least it doesn't count?
Excuses are great, and the Wildcats very well could be overrated at No. 16. But losing an exhibition team to a roster of Washington State ballers? Eesh, that probably is not going over well in the locker room. The Sean Miller press conference should be interesting.
Before you take out the shotgun and stick it in your mouth, the great Jeff Borzello of CBSSports gives you a slice of good news on Twitter:
Remember when Syracuse lost to Le Moyne in an exhibition and everyone went nuts? Yeah, 'Cuse went 30-5 and got a No. 1 seed that year.
The stats tell much of the story. The Wildcat managed just 19 rebounds to the Falcon's 29. SPU shot a perfect 12-of-12 from the foul stripe to Arizona's 12-of-18.
Furthermore, the shot attempts and production of Arizona's players is a cause for concern. Freshman Nick Johnson led the team with 16 points and took the clutch shots to bring the Wildcats back from a 37-29 halftime deficit -- he gave them their first lead in the second half with a 3-pointer to go ahead 63-61 -- but should a youngster be taking the most shots?
Senior Kyle Fogg only attempted five shots, hitting only one of those to score three points. Junior Solomon Hill, though the second most impressive players behind Johnson, only attempted seven shots, hitting five.
Johnson took nine shots, and senior Jesse Perry attempted eight. Other than Johnson, nobody seemed to want to carry this team. That's the missing part; it's not the production or numbers that Derrick Williams or Momo Jones took with them, it's the mettle to want the ball. And yeah, Sean Miller's offense doesn't cater to selfish play, but Williams last year and Johnson tonight showed that talent and efficiency will get you the numbers.
And on the inside, Sidiki Johnson fouled out in 14 minutes while starting center Kyryl Natyazhko grabbed ONE rebound.
Back to the drawing board. What's wrong with Arizona? Discuss. Vent. Go!