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Arizona vs. Stanford preview: Time, TV and more to get ready for the Wildcats' trip to Palo Alto

Stanford is Arizona's biggest road challenge to this point in 2014-15

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats open an important trip to the Bay Area with the bigger of the two games as they head to Maples Pavilion to take on the Stanford Cardinal Thursday night.

"We don't want to make anything bigger than it needs to right now," coach Sean Miller said on Monday. "We're in conference play so every game is important. It's not easy in the Pac-12 to win both road games. So we take 'em one day at a time and really try to be at our best."

Stanford and Arizona are tied for first in the Pac-12 along with Utah. These teams have put up a 4-1 conference record to this point. While Arizona may get all the attention in the conference, it seems people have been overlooking Stanford, who is now ranked 25th in the Coaches' Poll.

"Stanford is going to be in the NCAA Tournament and they are very capable of winning our conference," coach Miller stated.

"The only loss they've suffered is a double overtime loss at UCLA," Miller said of Stanford's season to this point. "This is a team that was in the Sweet Sixteen a year ago, and has arguably the player of the year in our conference so far in Chasson Randle."

Randle will be the guy Arizona will need to shut down if it wants to win this game. In his last two games, Randle has put up 25 points against Cal and 23 against defending National Champs UConn. He's averaging nearly 20 points a game, but is shooting just 42.5% from the field.

"I think he's one of the best point guards in the country," T.J. McConnell said of Randle. "I don't think he gets enough credit for how good he is. He's a terrific player and he's the reason Stanford's doing as well as they're doing so far this year."

"This might be one of the best back courts in the country in Anthony Brown and Chasson Randle," Miller added. "And maybe one of the most improved players in the country in (Stefan) Nastic."

Brown and Nastic are Stanford's second and third-leading scorers respectively. Both of them are also averaging over seven rebounds a game.

Randle and Brown are both four-year starters in the program, which also gives them the edge over an Arizona team that has had to shuffle in some new faces.

Arizona has better numbers in just about everything over Stanford except three-point shooting. But McConnell knows that his ability to knock those down changes the game.

"When I'm hitting my jump shots, it forces them to pressure me more, which opens up the lanes for me to drive and pass to Brandon (Ashley) and Kaleb (Tarczewski) underneath, and even Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) and Stanley (Johnson) when they're cutting back-door. So like I said, when my shot's falling, it opens up the lane for me to drive and pass more."

So will the Wildcats be able to shake their road blues against the toughest team they've had to face in a hostile environment? We'll all find out together...


7:05 P.M MST


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Stanford perspective:

Rule Of Tree