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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Three takeaways from Arizona MBB loss to ASU

Amelia McAnear

Arizona guard Cedric Henderson Jr. plays in a game against ASU on Saturday, Feb. 25, in McKale Center. The Wildcats lost the game 88-89. 

1. Inability to convert free throws

The charity stripe continues to be a rollercoaster ride for Arizona men’s basketball. Against ASU, the mediocre shooting from the line significantly impacted the ending result. As a team, the group was 67.6%; however, many of the misses were timely. Pelle Larsson was a victim of three of them. Interestingly enough, Larsson has been the best shooter from the line this season. In March, the ability to make free throws goes a long way. The Wildcats will need to find a way to convert at the line consistently, or their championship hopes will likely be out the window quickly.

2. Coaching decisions

Many would agree head coach Tommy Lloyd has done a tremendous job in his first two seasons at Arizona. His choices looked a little unordinary Saturday. The Wildcats led by one point with 2.9 seconds left and Oumar Ballo went to the free-throw line. After missing the first attempt, Ballo converted on the second. By converting on the second, the Sun Devils were able to inbound the ball and set up their offense for a game-winner. Lloyd opted not to put any pressure on the inbounds pass. Desmond Cambridge Jr. cut to the ball and seconds later converted on a thriller from half court, winning the game for Arizona State. Lloyd acknowledged his decision-making down the stretch.

“You can argue we should have had Oumar miss that last free throw, that is stuff I will wear that was on me,” Lloyd said. “I didn’t want to put more on Oumar’s plate.”

Nonetheless, Arizona could not execute on the offensive end within the last few minutes. Kerr Kriisa chucked up a 3-point shot five seconds too early in the shot clock that he likely would want back.

3. Seniors shined on senior day

Cedric Henderson and Courtney Ramey suited up for one last time in McKale Center. Over the past month, Henderson has been very consistent for the Wildcats. The Memphis native has always found a way to impact winning in his lone season in Tucson. On senior day with his father in attendance, he finished with 19 points, 14 coming in the first half. Ramey had a quality afternoon. He totaled 14 points and poured in four 3-pointers. The two must remain consistent for the postseason tournaments as Lloyd’s rotation is only seven deep.

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