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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 12 Arizona men’s basketball readies for Stanford

Rebecca Noble
Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller coaches his players during Arizona’s 99-66 victory over Washington State on Jan. 23 in McKale Center. Arizona is ranked third in the PAC-12 men’s basketball standings. Rebecca Noble/The Daily Wildcat.

Arizona men’s basketball has proven its home dominance time and again this season.
But winning on the road? That’s a different story.

The No. 12 Wildcats will try to let go of their road woes when they travel to the Bay Area to face Stanford on Thursday night before playing California on Saturday evening.

At 3-2 in Pac-12 Conference play, Arizona (15-3, 3-2) can ill afford another league road sweep if it wants to stay among the top of the leaderboard. The Wildcats dropped games to UCLA and USC on their last road trip to The Golden State.

Arizona’s prospects of beating Stanford (10-6, 3-2) look encouraging after the UA clobbered Washington State and Washington at home last weekend.

Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright was the star of the home-stand, who dished out a career high 11 assists against Washington State before dropping 13 points including a trio of 3-pointers against the Huskies.

The pair of strong outings served as a morale booster for Jackson-Cartwright, who was coming off a rough homecoming trip to Los Angeles.

“A lot of it is confidence,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said at his weekly press conference Tuesday. “Sometimes a miss affects a player differently. If Allonzo [Trier] misses a three, it’s irrelevant. But sometimes a guy misses, and the reason he’s not that type of shooter or scorer is mindset.”

With Trier out for at least another few weeks due to a broken hand injury, Jackson-Cartwright’s uptick comes at a good time for the Wildcats.

The sophomore should continue to see an increase in minutes at the one position, along with point guard cohort Kadeem Allen.

On Thursday, the duo’s job will be to navigate through a Stanford two-three zone that Miller called as “active a zone as we’ve faced.”

“Defensively, although they’re not a pressing team, they force more turnovers than any team we’ve played in our conference,” Miller said.

Indeed, the Cardinal rely on a more deliberate pace of play than the Wildcats are used to.
According to, a site that provides tempo-adjusted analytics for college basketball, Stanford’s tempo ranks last in the Pac-12.

In short, the Cardinal like to limit possessions as much as possible. Arizona, in return, will need to make the most of its offensive opportunities.

Because of Stanford’s tendency to play zone, the Wildcats will need to kick the ball down low and rely on the size of Kaleb Tarczewski, Dusan Ristic and Ryan Anderson.

Stanford’s rotation features three 6-foot-9 forwards, but the Cardinal lack a true big man, giving Arizona a potential decisive advantage in the paint.

But if the Wildcats can implement an inside-outside attack early on, it will force Stanford’s swingmen to choose between guarding the perimeter and staying in the post.

Meanwhile, Arizona’s defensive mission will consist of preventing Stanford from reaching the free throw line at will. The Cardinal are among the nation leaders in free-throw attempts.

“They get to the foul line as well as any team we’ve played against,” Miller said. “They do it by driving at four positions, sometimes five positions.”

Given that Arizona already lacks depth as it is, the Wildcats cannot afford to get into foul trouble.
The Cardinal’s Rosco Allen and Marcus Allen, not related, have both scored double digits in each of Stanford’s past three games.

In Stanford’s 77-71 win over rival Cal last week, each Allen recorded a double-double. Reid Travis, Dorian Pickens and Michael Humphrey all also average double digits.

“I think Johnny Dawkins and his coaching staff and their team are playing really together,” Miller said.
Tip-off for the Stanford game is slated for 8 p.m. local time and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

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