Arizona will look to rebound after losing its first game of the season, taking on Boise State in the third place game of the DirecTV Wooden Legacy Tournament. Arizona defeated Boise State 88-76 on November 19th at McKale Center, in an exciting up and down game that was close with a few minutes left. Expect to see another good game between the two teams, especially having just played ten days ago.
James Webb III vs Mark Tollefsen / Elliott Pitts – Webb scored 27 points and had 9 rebounds in the first meeting between Boise State and Arizona. He was the Broncos best player that night, slashing to the rim and making timely three pointers. Mark Tollefsen was a good matchup with Webb III’s size and Pitts has the foot speed to keep him away from the lane. I would like to see Tollefsen and Pitts be more aggressive on offense as well.
Nick Duncan vs Ryan Anderson – Duncan gave Arizona big men fits in their first matchup. He was setting screens and popping out for three pointers. I anticipate Anderson to close hard on Duncan and force him to drive right after utilizing the pump fake. Anderson is averaging 22 points and 11.5 rebounds through two games in the Wooden Legacy Tournament, and will look to continue his stellar play.
Allonzo Trier struggled against Santa Clara and Providence, but Sean Miller knows the importance of Trier and his development to the overall success of the team this year. I foresee Trier to be in the corners against the Bronco’s zone defense, shooting the open three or attacking the paint.
With Kaleb Tarczewski out for the second game in a row with a left ankle sprain, it will be interesting to see who Miller starts in Tarczewski’s place. Against Providence, Dusan Ristic got the start but Boise State is a tough matchup defensively for Ristic. Miller could use the same starting lineup or play Anderson at the five and Tollefsen at the four.
What To Look For
Intensity and focus. Having already beaten Boise State last Thursday, Arizona needs to avoid a letdown. Boise State will be motivated to avenge the loss and the Wildcats shouldn’t let the disappointment of not playing Michigan State affect their mindset.
Turnovers. Arizona uncharacteristically turned the ball over 17 times against Santa Clara and 21 times against Providence. Miller would like the number to be around 12.
Three-point shooting. The Wildcats shot 3-22 against Santa Clara and 3-14 against Providence. Entering the season, it was thought that shooting would be one of the strengths of the team. Right now, the Wildcats are swinging the ball around the perimeter too much and not shooting threes off dribble penetration or going inside out.
Boise State is a good team that is much better than their 3-3 record. The Broncos gave the Wildcats all they could handle in their previous meeting and played Michigan State tough. Arizona will need to avoid the emotional letdown of losing against Providence, and continue to dominate the glass and play with intensity the whole game. Arizona can ill afford to lose two games in a row with a game against Gonzaga in Spokane next Saturday.
Allonzo Trier wore the Kobe V Photo Blue with swapped out white laces against Santa Clara and the KD VI DC Preheat against Providence.