Starting this week for the remainder of the season I am going to do a Weekly Preview for the Wildcats up-coming games for the week. It will be posted weekly at least one day prior to the 'Cats' first game.
Arizona enters the week after defeating Mississippi Valley State, Santa Clara, and Northern Arizona, with Loyla Marymount & Texas A & M on the radar for this week. Loyola-Marymount should be the final tuneup game before things start getting serious as Texas A & M is arguably better than any team Arizona has faced yet this year. The same could be said, that Arizona is the best team Texas A&M has played this year. Look for at least a split, with a good chance of an upset road win over Texas A&M.
Game One: Arizona (4-1) hosts Loyola-Marymount (0-6)
The winless Loyola-Marymount Tigers face Arizona with a tremendously depleted roster. Vernon Teel, who leads the team in points, rebounds, and assists, is out with a broken foot. The loss of Teel's 15.3 ppg is spells big trouble for the Tigers who only average 54 points while surrendering 68 a game. The Tigers will look for Corey Counts to step up in a big way, though with only a 8 active scholarship players it won't likely mean much. If Arizona doesn't walk away with a blow-out win in this game there could be serious trouble brewing.
Keys for the Game:
- Exploit LMU's 17 turnovers/game
- Don't screw up.
- Get the starters out of the game as early as possible.
Game Two: Arizona at Texas A&M (5-1)
Texas A&M is a borderline Top 25 team this year, though they have done little to prove it as they haven't beaten anyone significant but have a glaring loss against Tulsa (4-2). Arizona fans should feel confident about getting the road win against the Aggies as Arizona defeated them 78-67 last season and the Aggies have lost 3 of their top 6 scorers. It will be anything but a cake walk, though, as the Aggies run out a very experieinced lineup starting 4 juniors and 1 senior, and play 9 deep. The Aggies are fueled by PG Donald Sloan, SF Josh Carter, and PF Bryan Davis.
This is going to be a hard fought game between two evenly matched teams, especially since experience is on the side of the Aggies. Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, and Nic Wise are going to have to play smart basketball by avoiding foul trouble and careless shots and turnovers. If Arizona can steal the road win it is going to say a lot for the quality of this team, even if it is young.
Keys for the Game:
- Contest Shots: Limit the Aggies to under 45% even if it means sending them to the charity stripe now and then as they are a poor free throw shooting team.
- Shot Selection: Attack the basket and get to the line for 20 FT attempts, but don't force a bad shot if it's not there.
- Avoid freshmen mistakes: The inexperience could play a factor, turnovers need to be limited to 12 or fewer.