The path may have been stressful, but the Arizona Wildcats arrived at the end of the Pac-12’s opening weekend with a 2-0 record. What stood out—for good or ill—in the win over the Utah Utes?
If you haven’t seen it, you can also read our full recap of the Wildcats’ 84-81 overtime victory.
Chase Jeter stands out
As the lone big man who is ready for prime time, Jeter’s importance to Arizona’s success really can’t be overstated. The reasons why were on full exhibition against the Utes. Jeter had his fourth double-double of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds, tying his career high in scoring, while shooting 75 percent. He also had four assists.
Dylan Smith breaks out
Smith has long been hailed as a potent shooter. He may well be in practice, but it hasn’t shown up in games. He came into the game shooting just 29 percent from the field and 30 percent from deep. Even his free throws were successful only 61 percent of the time.
Smith looked like a different player on Saturday. He was a perfect 4 for 4 from the field with three of those buckets being three-pointers. He gathered four rebounds and dished out three assists to go with 11 points.
Clearing the boards
Rebounding has been a struggle for the Wildcats too often this season. Against Utah, you would have never known.
Arizona out-rebounded Utah 30-26. Seven of the Wildcats’ boards were on the offensive end, but they only allowed the Utes to gather three offensive rebound.
Arizona had to know that Utah was a threat from distance. After all, the Utes were coming off a 16-for-30 performance from beyond that arc against Arizona State.
The Wildcats still didn’t have an answer.
Sedrick Barefield was especially difficult to deal with. Before fouling out with 1:44 left in regulation, Barefield poured in a game high 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting. He went 5 for 9 from three-point land.
As a team, the Utes were 11 of 21 from beyond the arc.
The end of regulation
The Wildcats went cold from the floor at the end of regulation. The last bucket for Arizona was a dunk from Jeter with 4:26 to go.
They weren’t helped by their decision-making.
With 24 seconds left on the clock and the game tied, Justin Coleman took an ill-advised shot from a difficult angle. He missed.
Utah had the opportunity to let the clock wind down with the shot clock off, but Arizona was able to get the ball back with 5.8 seconds to go.
Again, Coleman made a questionable decision. He dribbled down the floor and pulled up for a long three. Again, he missed. With over two seconds left on the clock, it appeared that he had both time and space to get closer or try to draw the foul. Instead, Arizona had to fight it out in overtime.
No follow up for Doutrive?
After Devonaire Doutrive’s strong showing against Colorado, many wondered if he would get a chance to follow that up. He didn’t.
After standing out on Thursday evening in a career-high 12 minutes, the freshman saw only six minutes of action on Saturday afternoon. He made his only shot attempt to finish with two points and pulled down one rebound.