11:10 a.m. MST
Scouting Weber State
The best weapon
Davion Berry won the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year award and brings a solid all-around game that will be a challenge on Nick Johnson and Arizona's swingmen. At 6-foot-4, Berry averages 19.1 points per game, shoots 47 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range.
More importantly, he gets to the line eight times per game, which not only makes him more efficient, but could threaten the Wildcats' lack of depth. Berry averages four rebounds and more than four assists per game, so he's also dangerous in terms of breaking down Arizona's defense and looking for kick-outs for open threes.
The Wildcats went 19-11 on the year and 14-6 in Big Sky play. They didn't play much of anyone in the nonconference season, losing to BYU and Utah State by single digits and falling to Colorado State by 21 points. They only played two top-50 RPI teams this year: BYU and UCLA, which dropped Weber State, 83-60.
Weber State wants to shoot threes, and they do a very good job at taking the right ones. They are a 39 percent shooting team from deep. Berry and guards Jeremy Senglin and Jordan Richardson each shoot about five threes per game and make up for most of the threats.
Defensively, Weber State could struggle. According to SI.com, the Wildcats don't force many turnovers and though they defend the three-point stripe better than any team in the nation -- opponents shoot threes on just 22.4 percent of their possessions -- that's not a big issue playing Arizona. They defend the three so well but don't do well in the paint, and that's obviously bad news against Kaleb Tarczewski and Aaron Gordon.
They block two-point shots just on 5.8 percent of the attempts against them. After 6-foot-10 center Kyle Tresnak and 6-foot-9 forward Joel Bolomboy Weber State doesn't have much size.
Joel Bolomboy is a 6'9 sophomore forward who is one of the NCAA's best rebounders. He's second in college hoops by grabbing 22.5 percent of available rebounds, and he's especially good on the offensive glass. Bolomboy has an offensive rebounding rate of 16 percent, good for fourth-best in the nation. While he's not an offensive threat, he will mange to take Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's attention away from help defense. And second-chance points could be easy to come by for Weber State -- if it gets them, it's expected that spreading the floor will make for open looks if Arizona is scrambling to recover.
As usual, it comes down to the Wildcats playing inside-out to start the game. Once Weber State realizes they have no choice but double the post, then it'll come down to Arizona knocking down some three-point looks. Kaleb Tarczewski will have the little Weber State guards scurrying about, and he won't have much time to make decisions. It's either a quick move to the cup or a kick-out or dump-off to shooters or Aaron Gordon, respectively.
Keeping Bolomboy off the offensive glass should assure an Arizona victory, but the threat of Berry will give Weber State a good chance of keeping it competitive offensively. If the Wildcats' offense stumbles, this is a game that just might be too close for comfort until the size overwhelms the other Wildcats.