clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona basketball roundtable: On the Oregon State loss, Pac-12 depth, and Utah week

New, comment

Time to dive in to some of the pressing topics surrounding the Arizona basketball team

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats get back at it this week against Colorado and Utah in Tucson. We take a look back at what happened against Oregon State, who needs to step up this week, and when will Jay Bilas take out Bill Walton?

1. Is there one thing you can point to about Sunday's game that was most frustrating to you personally?

Zach Tennen: Arizona did a poor job controlling the tempo and allowed the less-athletic Beavers to shorten the game. Arizona is ranked outside the top 250 in field goals attempted per game and dipped below its average in Sunday's game. The two teams shot a combined 84 times. That favored the Beavers who did a great job minimizing the amount of possessions. Not to mention, they connected on 51 percent of their shots compared to Arizona's 38 percent.

Bryan Doherty: Just the lack of consistent offense. Oregon State is improving but from a plain talent standpoint, Arizona should have been able to get high percentage shots all game long. To struggle as much as the team did vs. an opponent not nearly as talented as many teams they'll likely run into, that was alarming.

Lewis Krell: I mentioned this in the Weekly Wilbur and Sparky but the lack of a go to guy this season has been really frustrating. T.J. McConnell sort of does it but it shouldn't be his role considering he is a pass first Point Guard and Stanley Johnson just doesn't seem ready to be THE man. That final possession against Oregon State fully encapsulated one of our biggest weaknesses and it remains an unsolved problem.

2. Is the Pac-12 deep (eight teams at or above .500 right now) or bad or both?

ZT: I would not doubt the depth of the Pac-12. Although there may be few powerhouse teams, this conference attracts professional level talent on a consistent basis. I would not go so far to call it a bad conference. However, I also think it is too early to come to a full conclusion on this topic.

BD: Hate to say it but bad. It's not 2012 bad but it's not a very good league after Arizona, Utah and perhaps throw in Stanford. There's a lot of inconsistent teams and anything more than about four tourney bids would surprise me. Given the talent that left the league last year, it's not a shock the league has taken a step backwards though.

LK: I think it's too early to tell but I'm leaning towards bad over deep. Very few impressive non-conference wins and not very many teams or players have really passed the eye-test of looking as good as the other really good non-Pac-12 teamsi n the country.

3. Arizona's top ten streak in the AP poll is now at 30 weeks. Will it get to 31?

ZT: Other top teams in the nation lost this past week including Duke, Louisville and Wisconsin. Those three squads and Arizona should all remain top ten teams. The Wildcats are more than capable of taking care of business at home against Colorado. Utah plays at the McKale Center Saturday night and will be Arizona's biggest challenge since Gonzaga. That is going to be the game to watch.

BD: At home coming off a bad loss to Oregon State I think the Wildcats will bounce make and find a way to pull off the weekend sweep capped off by what should be a great game Saturday vs. Utah. Arizona has put its best performances together at home and in what will be a raucous crowd, look for the home court to be the difference and keep that AP streak alive.

LK: I may be wildly optimistic without good reason but I think we pull out two nail-biters at home this weekend. I fully expect us to lose at Utah later this season, and possibly at Colorado as well, but it just seems like this team finds a way to pull out wins at home and then gets intimidated in hostile environments. I may have just made a statement based on a sample size of two hostile environments, but I stand by my statement and my prediction. We leapfrog Utah in the polls this week.

4. Who needs to step up this week for Arizona to beat two tough teams in Utah and Colorado?

ZT: Brandon Ashley averages a respectable 11.3 points and over five rebounds but is only a 64.6 percent free throw shooter. He has been a key contributor on offense. However, I would like to see him be more aggressive and take more shots. That being said, Arizona has a balanced scoring attack with three players averaging over 11. Almost any given player can heat up.

BD: Kaleb Tarczewski. The strength of Arizona is its front line and that group hasn't consistently played well. You're talking about four guys who should be drafted in the NBA. Add in the emergence of Jakob Poeltl as a legitimate opposing big man who has been great as a freshman for the Utes and that matchup will be a huge key to Saturday's game. (Editor's note: I agree whole-heartedly with this)

LK: Who needs to step up? No, no the question is what needs to step up. And what needs to step up is this teams field goal %, free throw % and number of rebounds. But since you asked, I'll say the guy that most needs to step up is a 7-way tie right now between everyone of our supposed star players.

5. How long until Jay Bilas murders Bill Walton during Thursday's game?

BD: I'll give it to the first TV timeout in the second half. By that time Walton should be bored with the game and story-telling to the point Bilas runs out of Jeezy quotes to take his mind off murdering Walton.

Jason: I'm putting the over/under at five minutes into halftime. I imagine Jay Bilas walking out to his rental car at the start of halftime, pulling out a machete, walking back into McKale and beheading Walton right there at center court during Arizona's super-boring halftime contests.