Sports Perspective Wildcats Men’s Basketball Preview - The Explorer: Sports

Sports Perspective Wildcats Men’s Basketball Preview

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Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012 11:18 am

After a successful off-season consisting of the third best recruiting class in the nation, including three of the Wildcats current starters, fourth year head coach, Sean Miller set some high expectations for his team. So far, the Wildcats have lived up to the hype with an untarnished 10-0 record, ranking them fourth in the nation.

The Wildcats are led by senior point guard, Mark Lyons who transferred from Xavier to re-unite with his former coach, Sean Miller. The other leader and the only other senior in the starting line-up, Solomon Hill, is predicted to be the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

However, the most impressive and exciting part about the Wildcat basketball team this year is their youth and talent. Despite having two freshman in the starting line-up, Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley, alongside sophomore Nick Johnson, Arizona has proven their maturity on the court by winning a few close games, including their one-point victory over No.5 Florida.

The biggest obstacle for Arizona this season will be consistently improving their team chemistry. In order for them to continue their success as one of the best teams in the nation, they will have to further improve on learning to play together.

Their talent is simply enough to get buy many of the mediocre Pac-12 teams, however in order to make a run in the NCAA tournament, the Wildcats will have to beat teams by playing as a team because of their lack of one single “stand-out” player.

Two years ago, it was Derrick Williams who was the “go-to” player for Arizona and he eventually took them to the Elite Eight. But this year is a very different one and the Wildcats are a completely different team.

Looking forward, the Cats have a fairly easy schedule as they don’t face any ranked opponents. The remainder of their schedule consists solely of conference games.

This is both a positive and a negative for the Wildcats. It’s a positive because it should allow them to gain confidence and rack up wins, giving them a high seed in the NCAA tournament. In addition, they should be able to work on all aspects of their game while not having to worry about their record.

It’s a negative in that it doesn’t expose the Wildcats to championship-caliber teams until it’s a single elimination tournament, which just happens to be the pinnacle of college basketball.

Although the Wildcats are currently fourth best in the nation, they have a lot to work on in order to be considered a championship worthy team. Luckily, Miller and the Cats know that. Already ten games in, Arizona is poised to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament and are hoping to make this season, a long one.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

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

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

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

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

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

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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