The Arizona Wildcats (3-3) have gotten off to one of the worst starts imaginable, losing three straight and dropping out of the AP Poll for the first time in 100 weeks.
It is a surprising development for an uber-talented team ranked No. 2 to begin the season, but it’s only November so there is still a lot of time left to turn things around.
That said, how concerned are you about this team?
We discussed it below. Be sure to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
Not concerned at all. College basketball is a sport where if you’re an above average program, nothing you do matters until March. And all you have to do is win six games in a row in March to make the entire year worth it.
All of this pre-Rawle Alkins era doesn’t matter and the Pac-12 is so bad that I still see Arizona as the overwhelming favorite in such a horrible conference. None of this matters right now. The only thing that’s happened is that a 1-seed is likely out of the realm of possibility, but as Arizona fans know, that doesn’t matter one bit.
I’m really not concerned at all. While it’s a little strange seeing Arizona unranked, the beauty of college basketball is November games are insignificant so long as things don’t snowball from there.
And this team is just too talented — and the Pac-12 is too awful — for that to happen, especially since Rawle Alkins is coming back soon and he fills several needs (good defender, perimeter playmaker, shooter, etc.).
Arizona’s freshmen need to pick up their production to be sure, but they should once they get more accustomed to the college game.
And as Jason said, the only thing this slide has cost Arizona is a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament which the Wildcats have proven doesn’t really matter.
Also, how funny would it be if Arizona does the opposite of what it usually does and has a shaky regular season followed by a killer postseason?
What if Arizona goes something like 24-10 in the regular season, but finally makes the Final Four?
Seeing how so many people evaluate college teams based on their postseason success alone, that would be seemingly considered a more successful season than the ones the T.J. McConnell-led teams had in which they lost just four or five games all year.
So, yeah, it seems kind of odd to be concerned about how Arizona looks in November when all people seem to care about is the result of their final game. From that standpoint, all that matters is Arizona makes the tournament and is playing well heading into it.
I side with Jason. It’s a loooong season folks, and Arizona’s gonna be shaky as hell until they get Alkins back (and pry the ball away from Allonzo Trier’s long, muscular fingers). It’s an embarrassment how the team played in Nassau, but it’s a step in the gut-shredding anxiety hellscape that is modern college hoops. The 2000-01 team had five losses entering conference play, and we all know how shaky the lone championship team in school history was.
So take a few deep breaths, take solace in the fact that the hiccups (and outright on-court vomiting) are happening in November, and not March or April. There are no trophies of importance given in the non-conference schedule, no matter what ESPN or Fox or Phil Knight try to tell you. The real season that matters is still more than a month away.
After the first loss to NC State, I saw quite a lot of problems, but I wasn’t worried. After their loss to SMU, I’ll admit I was confused. After losing to Purdue, I was just pissed.
On none of those occasions was I “concerned” — I consider the Thanksgiving tournament to be just “beginning of the season tournament kink work” ... if that makes any sense. Essentially it’s trying to get a tournament setting out early for these top teams to test them. Arizona fell, but it’s also relatively new team (compared to last year).
Deandre Ayton, Emanuel Akot, Ira Lee, Brandon Randolph, Dylan Smith are all trying to find their chemistry and the balance Arizona wants and needs. Sean Miller said he’ll work on getting more minutes to those who play defense. Maybe it will work if, at the moment, he limits the minutes of those who lack defense.
Overall however, I know this three-game losing streak is just another bump in the road for Arizona. Their veteran players like Trier and Parker Jackson-Cartwright are used to them. Plus, Rawle Alkins is due for his return sometime in the next couple of weeks, and there’s lots of believe his return will spark a new life in this Arizona team.
So keep your heads up Arizona fans, there’s still like 25 games left of the season. Arizona will be fine.
Oh boy, here we go. I’m personally not concerned but I am a bit flabbergasted. It’s been a looooong time since I saw an Arizona team down by 20 for the better part of a half and it’s just plain weird.
This team is arguably the most talented team in the country and it’s apparent that talent is taking a little longer to mesh than we all thought. I guess this is what it’s like to be a Kentucky fan. As Jason noted above, the games that matter happen in March and if Arizona wants to take some time to figure it out, I guess it’s better they do it now compared to later.
I do want to see what this team is like when 1) Alkins comes back. I would be shocked if everything meshes right away but maybe his defense and leadership is what this team needs. 2) They return to the US. We have to remember these are college kids, basically on vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday, and easily could not have taken it as seriously as they should.
One thing I do want to note is I don’t think this is FBI related. Unless the Feds are making them play with wires on their bodies at all time, there’s no reason why an investigation, that isn’t touching them personally, should be on their mind when they step on the court.
For a final thought, if this team doesn’t show up Wednesday, then it might be time to start seeing if we are truly in the Upside Down.
I live in the East Coast now so if it happens on the Pac-12 Networks (or ESPN3) then it never happened. I get UNLV, Texas A&M, Alabama, New Mexico, UCONN and Bob Hurley and them boys in December. This is the month to redeem yourself, Santa Miller.