No. 6/5 Men's Basketball Set for Friday's Season Opener - The Explorer: Sports

No. 6/5 Men's Basketball Set for Friday's Season Opener

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Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013 11:55 am

Game 1: #6/5 Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Cal Poly (0-0, 0-0 Big West)
Nov. 8, 2013 • 8 p.m. MST • Tucson, Ariz. • McKale Center (15,545) 

Tip: 8:06 p.m. MST
Television: Pac-12 Networks (Matt McConnell/Matt Muehlebach).
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach/Ryan Hansen).
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93; XM 190.
Rankings: Arizona - 6/5; Cal Poly - NR/NR.
Live Stats: Live stats are available via

Game Storylines
 » No. 6/5 Arizona will look to run its record in season openers under Sean Miller to 5-0 on Friday when it plays host to Cal Poly; the media’s choice to win the 2014 Pac-12 regular-season title will open the campaign with five games in a span of 12 days. 

 » The Wildcats’ preseason AP ranking is their highest since the 2003-04 season (No. 4) and UA is ranked in the top 10 of both preseason polls for the ninth time in the last 21 seasons; Arizona was one of just 11 programs nationally to be ranked in all 20 AP polls and all 20 coaches polls in 2012-13.

 » UA is 27-4 (.871) under head coach Sean Miller in non-conference home games and has won its last seven non-con games at McKale Center; the Wildcats are 17-5 (.773) under Miller in the month of November.

 » With the new season approaching, Miller will look to build on a process that has seen him lead UA to a Pac-12-best 80-28 (.741) record since the start of the 2010-11 campaign; UA is the lone Pac-12 program to win 30 games or advance to an Elite Eight since the start of the 2010-11 season.

 » The Wildcats will be tested early and often before beginning Pac-12 play this season, as UA is slated to play what ranked as the nation’s seventh-toughest non-conference schedule.

 » Miller has consistently voiced his thought that UA has a chance to be one of the nation’s toughest defensive teams, continuing an upward trend that saw the Wildcats progress from 108th nationally in adjusted defense in his first season in Tucson to 32nd nationally a year ago.

 » Arizona will head into the season with the first “pass-first” point guard of Miller’s tenure in junior T.J. McConnell, who was named to the watch list for the Bob Cousy Award on Oct. 22; McConnell averaged 4.9 assists per game and ranked fourth and third, respectively, in the nation in steals in two seasons at Duquesne.

 » Sophomore big men Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski return after anchoring a UA rebouding effort that cleared 73.3 percent of available defensive rebounds last season, the best mark in the power six conferences in 2012-13.

 » Well-rounded guard Nick Johnson heads into the season in second place on the list of the Pac-12’s active steals leaders, with 94 for his career; he needs 285 points to become the 48th 1,000-point scorer in program history.

 » Arizona welcomed its third-straight top-10 recruiting class to campus this summer, headlined by McDonald’s All-Americans Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson; Gordon was named to the watch lists for both the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA this week.


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Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

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Thursday, October 2

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Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

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Maricopa at Marana

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Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

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Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

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CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

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