After a disheartening loss at Colorado, Arizona needs a bounce back performance when it takes on Utah Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats took a step back in the Pac-12 standings, but can get back on track with a win against the Utes. Here are the facts going into Arizona’s 13th conference tilt.
Solomon Hill has made his mark. Despite struggling against Colorado, Hill hit his 100th career three pointer, giving him at least 1,200 points, 600 rebounds, 250 assists, 100 steals, and 100 threes over his Wildcat tenure. Only one other player in Arizona history has accomplished such a feat: Sean Elliott.
Hill is also just 6 points away from 25th on the all time scoring list. He is likely to move ahead of Ivan Radenovic, who scored 1,300 career points.
The Cats usually rule the second half, but not lately. Despite playing their best basketball late in the second half of many games this season, Arizona has found little success in the second period of each of their consecutive losses. Arizona outscores opponents by 5.6 points in second halves this season, but both Cal’s Allen Crabbe and Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie each poured in 19 second half points against the Wildcats.
The guards are distributing. Mark Lyons and Nick Johnson lead Arizona with 74 and 71 assists respectively. Lately, however, both guards have improved their distribution skills. Over the last 3 games, both Lyons and Johnson are averaging 4.3 assists per game, a full assist better than their season average. Johnson also holds an impressive 3.4:1 assist to turnover ratio over that stretch.
Angelo Chol might be finding his groove. It’s been tough sledding for Chol this season, who has found himself buried by a deep and talented front court roster. But despite playing sparse minutes behind three highly lauded freshmen, Chol has enjoyed success in his last few games. He looked as good as he ever has in an Arizona uniform during his 8 point, 4 rebound performance against Colorado, and it might be a sign of things to come for Chol.