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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA hoops armed with many options

Pick a card, any card.

No matter who you chose, you’re bound to have a winner.

The UA men’s basketball team could have made excuses of fatigue on Tuesday afternoon after finishing its last game only 14 hours prior. It could have crumbled and headed into today’s game with two straight losses, giving national critics plenty to talk about.

Maui could have been anything but paradise.

Instead, the baby-faced Wildcats came back stronger and more aggressive after losing to Wisconsin 65-71 on Monday and defeated Colorado 91-87 in overtime in the second round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Finishing the game with a win, despite having a returning starter — Kyle Fogg —  foul out, and three other Wildcats with four fouls apiece, is something Arizona (3-1) might not have been able to do last season.

A Big Eight sounds more convincing than a Big Three.

This year’s team, despite its youth — or maybe because of its youth — has great balance. In any given game, any player can be The Man. Multiple players, in fact, can have great performances in one game.

Pick a card, any card.

Monday night was freshman forward/center Derrick Williams’ night, as he scored 25 points in a loss.

At first, Tuesday belonged to sophomore Brendon Lavender, who scored a career-high 16 points. Then junior Jamelle Horne caught on fire from beyond the arc and had six blocks along with his 17 points. Williams netted a quiet 11 points and senior Nic Wise scored a career-high 30 points to keep Arizona in the game, despite playing in extreme foul trouble.

Success is contagious.

Pick a card, any card.

These are the results of a team plagued with massive foul trouble in Tuesday’s game. These are the results of a youthful team still trying to find its identity.

Imagine the step-up performances still to come. Imagine what freshman Kevin Parrom will bring to the team when the stress fracture in his foot heals next month.

Imagine what Wise would have done if he wasn’t in foul trouble.

With their drive and dedication, the Wildcats can only get better, despite a collective inexperience. A higher percentage of free throws will be netted, easy layups won’t be missed as often and silly turnovers will be minimized.

There are 27 guaranteed games left in the season. There is plenty of time for improvement and more breakout performances.

Pick a card, any card.

— Lance Madden is a journalism senior. He can be reached


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