Bummer. First time @APlayersProgram has lost a game in Nov since 2011. @UACoachMiller has spoiled us. #BearDown #Perspective— Ben Chulick (@bchulick) November 28, 2015
This is probably the best "puts it in perspective" tweet I saw from the weekend. Yes it was disappointing to lose to Providence and miss out on the clash of titans match up with Michigan State. However, it is only one loss and the Arizona Wildcats hadn't lost in November in four years.
It's not the end of the world.
Now with that bit of talking U of A fans off the edge out of the way, lets get to the how the players played this weekend. It wasn't pretty so sit down because it's going to be a bumpy ride with us entering some uncharted territory.
Here are the combined stats for the three games vs. Santa Clara, Providence, and Boise State:
Ryan Anderson- A: It's becoming obvious he's the focal point on offense and the motor on defense. He averaged 18 and 10 this weekend, which is a ridiculous stat-line. He'll be able to do even more if his teammates could hit jump shots and keep the defense from collapsing around him. He's also really good at using his head.
Kaleb Tarczewski- A: The 'A' is less about his Thursday performance (though 12 points and 8 rebounds is solid) and more about what he means to the team. It was apparent the team missed his presence on defense and as a senior, his leadership as well. We can only hope he's ready for Saturday's duel versus Gonzaga.
Mark Tollefsen- B: I think he's finally figuring out his role for this team. He had a pretty solid weekend (9 points, 4 rebounds a game), but continues to be hit with early fouls which is why his minutes aren't as high as you'd expect them. If he can limit his foul trouble, his field goal attempts will creep up and shooting a 50% clip is acceptable by everyone.
Allonzo Trier- C: For his first time away from McKale, it wasn't too bad of a performance. Putting in nearly 8 a game with 60% shooting is something I'll take from a freshman in November. However, the nine turnovers continue to hamper the offensive flow.
Gabe York- C: 11/37 from the field including 3/18 from behind the arc is really, really bad when you're the only person the team is relying on to make 3's. However, you can't completely discount his ten points and five rebounds a game. Miller and Co. need him to step up if this team is going anywhere in March.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright- C: The only Wildcat to post a greater than 1:1 assist to turnover ratio did a nice job keeping the ball in Arizona's possession. The fact that needs to be written speaks volumes to what happened this weekend. While I don't think I'll ever be a huge fan of PJC due to his size, he's good enough to come off the bench and we don't not lose too much production.
Kadeem Allen- C: Now I understand Allen isn't the pure point guard we've been used to (and I'm fine with that), but you have to keep control of the ball. With seven assists to nine turnovers, that's not going to cut it. In addition, Allen's 45% shooting on the weekend isn't going to help either. However, he did have 11 rebounds and four steals so his activity on the floor is worth pointing out. (I should note that though his overall totals were 'meh,' his Sunday performance was great: 13pts, 7rbs, 2ast, 2stl, 2blk probably would have earned a B+ or an A-. We need more of that Allen and not Santa Clara Allen).
Dusan Ristic- D: This just wasn't Ristic's ideal tournament in terms of match ups. With all three teams running out athletic, outside shooting squads, the Serbian's size and strength wasn't needed in Anaheim. I feel bad giving him a 'D' when he wasn't given the opportunities, but it is what it is. He'll get plenty of playing time this Saturday against Gonzaga's three towers.
Elliott Pitts- D-: The only reason this isn't an F is because of his five steals and he was asked to defend Kris Dunn, which is an arduous task on its own without having to play offense on the other side. But this is still the lowest grade I've given so far; let's hope we don't hit the F level this season. Pitts is supposedly one of the team's top perimeter shooters and he, along with York, are needed to keep the floor spaced to open up driving lanes and post ups. Hopefully getting out of the barren Cal State Fullerton and Honda Center arenas will help with his and the teams' shooting.
Chance Comanche and Justin Simon- N/A: With six minutes of combined playing time, there's not enough to go on here. Both players continue to be at the end the bench, but if injuries stack up, they hopefully will be ready to answer the bell.
(Side Note: Can we all just take a minute to enjoy the Sean Miller picture at the top. Doesn't he look like a dog that just saw a cat run by!)
Next Arizona Basketball Game: Saturday, December 5 vs Gonzaga in Seattle. 1:15pm Tucson time on ESPN