The starting lineup was one of the biggest question marks coming into the game, and the answer to that was Kadeem Allen, Gabe York, Mark Tollefsen, Ryan Anderson, and Kaleb Tarczewski.
The Wildcats started off the season with a bang: a backdoor alley-oop from Gabe York to Kadeem Allen. While they were in control of the game, they didn't look great in the first half, and were only leading by 13 at the break.
Gabe York (13 points) impressed me. Over the offseason he got better with his jumper off the dribble, and added some interior scoring to his repetoire as well. Tollefsen was impressive, although he didn't necessarily fill up the stat sheet (four points and two assists). It seemed like every play he was around the ball. Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Elliott Pitts didn't see a whole lot of action in the first half and neither impressed me. In the first half, PJC had one point, zero assists, and one turnover, but he turned it on in the second half adding six points points to finish with seven on the night. Pitts had two points and two turnovers.
Jackson-Cartwright got more run in the second half because Kadeem Allen cramped up halfway through the second stanza Sean Miller said after the game.
Ryan Anderson was the leading scorer and leading rebounder at the break going 4-4 with 11 points and eight boards. He ended with an efficient 19 points on nine shots. I was really excited to watch Allonzo Trier play, but he did not impress me a whole lot through one half of play. At the break, he was 0-3 from the field, with all three shots being three pointers. But apparently the nerves of his first college game wore off, because he scored 13 points in the second half and looked more like the high-profile recruit he is projected to be.
As a whole, the team did not do a good job rotating on defense, and as a result, Chico State had a lot of lay-ups and forced Arizona into silly fouls around the basket. Also, Arizona struggled behind the arc, going 0-7 in the first half, and only finished 2-13 for the game. But as expected, the Wildcats tuned it on in the second half, outscoring Chico State by 23.
Arizona looked sloppy in the first half, which is to be expected, because they are a newly-assembled team. But they clearly do have the talent to make this a special season.