Revenge will play a vital role as the sixth-ranked Wildcats face Oregon State at McKale Center Friday evening. The 14-6 Beavers handed Arizona its only conference loss 58-56 a couple weeks ago in Corvallis, OR in one of this season's most notable upsets.
"Against Oregon State it's about turnovers and being able to generate great shots," said Arizona Coach Sean Miller. "Not just behind the arc but in and around the basket. (OSU is) very good at defending the basket."
The Wildcats were held to a disappointing 37.8 percent shooting in their last affair with the Beavers. Grudge match or not, the fact is Oregon State holds opponents to the fifth-worst shooting percentage in the nation as well as the second-fewest field goals made per game.
Arizona's pervasive height advantage did not work last time these teams met. Oregon State's potent zone defense forced the Wildcats to rely on outside shooting, an area in which they have improved but still need to get better.
Beaver guard Gary Payton II showed remarkable durability in that matchup playing all 40 minutes. The junior guard has a well-rounded game as evidenced by his impressive numbers this season. He's averaging 13.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game.
Oregon State does not have great size or athleticism but has a pair of 6'10 bodies that get the job done down-low. Those players include Jarmal Reid, who leads the team averaging 1.3 blocks, and Olaf Schaftenaar.
OSU strives off spreading the wealth with its balanced scoring attack as five players average nine points or more. Although it's still early, this overachieving Beaver squad appears to be the new top dog in the state of Oregon.
The Wildcats have dominated at home during conference play owning a margin of 22.5 points. There's no doubt the crowd will be extra amped but it's ultimately up to Miller's squad to deliver. Arizona will use rapid ball movement and fierce aggression on both ends to avenge itself in what is expected to be a double-digit victory this time around.
Time: 8 PM MST
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Crew: Ted Robinson, Bill Walton and Cindy Brunson