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3 up, 3 down in Arizona’s loss to Washington State

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NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats suffered arguably their worst home loss in years by falling to Washington State 69-55 Saturday night.

The Wildcats went down 7-0 early and never recovered. Any time Arizona tried to make a run in the second half, the Cougars were there to answer.

Our full recap can be found here, and here are some positive and negative takeaways.

3 Up

1: Justin Coleman

Coleman was only of the only Wildcats to bring constant energy Saturday. He didn’t have his best shooting touch — going 5-14 including 1-4 from outside — but he was present on almost every offensive possession.

Despite being one of the oldest players on the team, Coleman doesn’t have the seniority within the program to understand just how far Arizona has fallen this year, but he’s been the one keeping the team running even as the Wildcat sputter this winter.

2: Alex Barcello

Barcello risked his body multiple times this game in trying to keep Arizona from slipping away from the Cougars. Whether it was taking a hard charge or getting slammed to the ground by a WSU player when going for a loose ball, it’s clear that Barcello came onto the floor ready to battle. That’s commendable in a game where much of the team lacked any sort of enthusiasm.

3: Sean Miller’s feet

Sean Miller certainly isn’t going to wear himself out coaching this team. Miller sat on the bench for a majority of the game, which goes against his regular antics of being hyperactive on the sideline. Miller’s body language indicates enough about where he seems this team heading.

3 down

1: Arizona’s confidence

In the nearly two decades I can remember of watching Arizona games at McKale, this might have been the least inspired performance by a Wildcats team, at least in conference play. The Wildcats came out of the gates cold and never really showed any signs of enjoyment outside a highlight play or two. That’s a troubling sign for a program that prides itself on confidence.

2: Containing Franks

Arizona came into this game knowing that WSU’s Robert Franks was is the Cougs’ best weapon, but the Wildcats were abysmal at slowing him down. Franks nearly outscored Arizona for much of the first half and ended with 36 points.

3: Jeter and Randolph

There’s not too much that needs to be said here. When two of your top scorers combined for two points on 1-of-12 shooting, that spells trouble. Chase Jeter and Brandon Randolph looked devoid of confidence attacking the bucket and it showed up in the box score.

For Arizona to turn it around in conference play, it will need these two to step up.