It wasn’t pretty, but Arizona managed to get their 24th victory of the season against UCLA on Saturday. Here’s a look at the statistical storylines from the Wildcats’ most recent game.
100 – Dusan Ristic’s shooting percentage. Ladies and gentlemen, Dusan Ristic is for real. He was the only Arizona player who could get any offense going in the early first half, hitting 4 of 4 field goal attempts as well as 4 of 4 free throws. This was no fluke game either, as Ristic has incredibly polished post moves and a soft touch near the rim.
Ristic is rapidly evolving into a game changing player. His minutes will continue to be limited, but the freshman big man has shown an advanced skill level and a knack for scoring the ball. As he matures defensively, Ristic will see his minutes and role increase.
Keep an eye on Ristic, who’s upward trajectory could end up being critical during Arizona’s postseason run.
10 – Stanley Johnson’s rebounds. Though his shot wasn’t falling, Stanley Johnson’s physical presence is one of the biggest mismatches in college basketball. He was a monster on the boards, pulling down 10 rebounds with 4 of them on the offensive side of the ball. There simply hasn’t been a defender this season that could outmuscle Johnson in the paint.
It was the third time this season that Johnson reached double digit rebounds, and his tenacity kept multiple possessions going. With Arizona’s propensity to go cold on offense this season, Johnson’s ability to extend possessions and impose his will at the rim is a major boon.
8 – Kevon Looney’s field goal attempts. NBA people are in love with Kevon Looney, and for good reason. The Bruin freshman is a potential superstar in the making, and he was starting to become more aggressive in recent games.
Looney attempted over 10 shots in each of his last 3 games, hitting better than 50% of them. Against Arizona, he had just 8 attempts and converted 3. Most of those came in the second half
2 – Arizona players with multiple assists. Sean Miller has criticized the team for playing 1 on 1 basketball, so he couldn’t have been happy looking down the assist column of the box score. Only TJ McConnell and Gabe York had 2 or more dimes, combining for 7 between the two of them. The rest of the team combined for 4 assists.
It was a rough shooting night, but Arizona didn’t do themselves any favors with poor decision making on offense. If Arizona wants to string together a championship run in March, they’ll have to do a much better job of moving the ball and executing.
0 – UCLA’s bench points. The Bruins are by no means a deep team, but Arizona’s defense didn’t yield any points to the UCLA bench. And the Wildcats allowed them to take just one field goal attempt over 38 total bench minutes.
For all of Arizona’s offensive struggles, it was their defense that dug in and clawed out a tough fought victory. Those are the type of defensive chops that will keep Arizona in the hunt for the Pac-12 crown.