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Arizona men’s basketball shows off aggressiveness of new backcourt in season-opening win

arizonas-wildcats-pac-12-tommy-lloyd-caleb-love-kylan-boswell-kj-lewis-jaden-bradley-duke-cameron Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In its season-opening win against Morgan State, Arizona had seven turnovers on 74 offensive possessions. That 9.5 percent turnover rate is the Wildcats’ lowest since the first-round NCAA win over Wright State in 2022 and fourth-lowest under Tommy Lloyd, and the UA’s backcourt was a large part of that.

“Seven turnovers is a tremendous number in a high-possession game,” Lloyd said. “I was proud of our guys, the message was heard. Last exhibition game when we had 20-something (turnovers), that’s obviously not good enough.”

The backcourt of Caleb Love, Kylan Boswell, KJ Lewis and Jaden Bradley combined for only two turnovers in 80 minutes of game action.

“It was great to play with really good guards,” Boswell said. “I know everybody can see that, us three work well together. Great connection on the court. Just gotta keep working on chemistry.”

Boswell led UA in scoring finishing with 18 points coming on 7-of-10 shooting and 4-of-6 from three and added five rebounds. His starting counterpart, Love, finished with 12 points, three rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers.

“All of us bring different aspects than we had last year and we’re just using it to our advantage,” Kylan Boswell said. “Everybody brings what they got to the table and plays their best role.”

The backcourt for UA will need to continue their high play when they go on the road on Friday, to face No. 2 Duke. Love has felt the pressure of Cameron Indoor Stadium before when he was at North Carolina prior to Arizona and Lloyd isn’t thinking too much about the pressure of him going back and playing there again.

“I’m not worried about it,” Lloyd said. “I think Caleb is pretty tough and tough-minded. I mean, obviously, I know it’s gonna probably draw a lot of attention but he’s built for it. I just know this: we can go there and play a good basketball game without Caleb playing out of his mind. That’s one of gifts I’ve tried to give him is, you don’t necessarily need to just blend in here, but you have an opportunity to settle in and let the game come to you.”

The guards for Arizona were efficient around the rim and Lloyd said having guards that make layups are a huge advantage for their offense.

“To have guards that finish 2-point shots at the rim is really, it’s kind of rare,” Lloyd said. “So to have a few guys that have that ability, and we still got to get better.”