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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Daily Wildcat staff picks: the best and worst of Arizona basketball’s season

Tyler Besh

With the swish of LaQuinton Ross’ 3-pointer, Ohio State ended the Arizona Wildcats season in the Sweet Sixteen in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Wildcats started the season with 14 straight wins, struggled a bit at the end of Pac-12 play, but finished things off with a solid showing in the NCAA tournament.

Sean Miller’s third-ranked recruiting class flashed potential, and all in all, the one year Mark Lyons rental was a success.

“We won 27 games, and to me, our team did a lot of remarkable things,” Miller said. “My focus is on being back here next year and trying to breakthrough. Sometimes you have to knock at that door a few times to break it in, and I like the group that we have coming in.

“I like some of the opportunities that we have to add to the guys that we have. Hopefully we’ll be a mainstay in this tournament like Arizona has been for 25 years.”

Season recap:

Arizona record: 27-8 (12-6 Pac-12)

Stat leaders (average per game, single game):

Scoring: Mark Lyons 15.6; Lyons 27 against Harvard

Rebounding: Kaleb Tarczewski 6.1; Tarczewski 13 (three times)

Assists: Nick Johnson 3.2; Lyons against Oral Roberts

Steals: Johnson 1.9; Hill 6 against Oral Roberts

Blocks: Grant Jerrett 0.94; Jerrett 6 against Oregon State

Field Goal Percentage: Tarczewski 53.8 percent

3-point percentage: Jerrett 40.5 percent

3-pointers made: Lyons 67; Hill 6 against Washington State

Turnovers: Lyons 2.7; Hill (three times) and Lyons (two) 5

Zack Rosenblatt

MVP: Mark Lyons

Best performance: Lyons against Harvard (March 23): 27 points, three assists, 12-of-17 shooting, three 3-pointers

Worst performance: Lyons against Southern Miss (Dec. 4): four points, two assists, three turnovers, 0-for-7 shooting in 29 minutes

Best game: Sweet Sixteen against Ohio State, UA lost 73-70

Best moment: Sean Miller’s “He Touched the Ball” rant

Worst moment: 0-5 record against top three Pac-12 teams

All-Opponent Team: Allen Crabbe, Cal; Larry Drew II and Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA; Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft, OSU

Way-too-early 2013 Arizona prediction: First place Pac-12 and Final Four (with Aaron Gordon), Elite Eight (without Gordon)

Kyle Johnson

MVP: Solomon Hill

Best performance: Mark Lyons against Belmont (March 21): 23 points, 8-of-15 shooting, 4 rebounds

Worst performance: Hill at Clemson (Dec. 8): 7 points, 2-for-16 shooting, 10 rebounds, 5 turnovers

Best game: Sweet Sixteen loss to Ohio State

Best moment: Nick Johnson’s block against San Diego State in the final seconds

Worst moment: 19-3 run by UCLA to open game on Jan. 24

All-Opponent Team: Allen Crabbe, Cal; Kenny Kadji, Miami; Deshaun Thomas, OSU; Shabazz Muhammad and Larry Drew II, UCLA

Way-too-early 2013 Arizona prediction: First place Pac-12; Sweet Sixteen

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