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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona men’s basketball season tips off against Morgan State

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Kohichiro Yamada

Pelle Larsson (3), a guard on the Arizona men’s basketball team, dribbles the ball down the court on Nov. 11, in McKale Center. The Wildcats would the game against Southern University 95-78.

This year’s 2023-2024 Arizona men’s basketball season tips off with the Wildcats going up against Morgan State University on Monday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center. 

Arizona concluded exhibition play undefeated after the games in McKale Center, and the Wildcats will welcome fans back as they enter regular season play. 

History vs. Morgan State

Arizona holds a perfect 2-0 record against Morgan State, with the most recent matchup taking place on Dec. 22, 2022, resulting in a 93-68 victory for the Wildcats. In that game, Morgan State guards Malik Miller and Isaiah Burke were the top scorers for their team, contributing 23 and 22 points, respectively. On the Arizona side, Azuolas Tubelis had an impressive performance with 26 points and 9 rebounds.

Following Tubelis’ departure after declaring for the NBA draft in April, the San Diego State University transfer Keshad Johnson will steps in to fill his spot. Oumar Ballo also showed out in Morgan State’s last visit and showcased his skills by going a perfect 8-for-8 from the field, tallying 21 points and six rebounds.

Morgan State demonstrated a stronger performance on its home court last season, boasting a 10-2 record. This upcoming matchup is likely to feature new talents emerging within the Bears’ roster.

Season opener

Since this is both Arizona and Morgan State’s first game of the season, we should look out for the new players the Bears have acquired such as transfer guard Amahrie Simpkins, who shot 55% from the field and averaged 18.2 points for Harcum College. Additionally, forward Will Thomas is also someone to look out for as he led his team in his rebounds, with 3.9 last season.

As for Arizona, in its exhibition matches, they were able to create offensive plays that allowed multiple players including guard Caleb Love and Johnson to heavily contribute scoring over double digits in both games. As Ballo returned from injury against New Mexico Highlands University finishing with 7 points, guard Pelle Larsson is still listed as questionable on whether he’ll play on Monday. Forward Henri Veesaar will continue to be sidelined as he remains out with an elbow injury.

Wildcats to watch

Love has only been a Wildcat for a short time but has already made his presence felt in their preseason games. His play so far makes him a player fans should be watching out for in this game and throughout the season. In addition to him, players like guards Kylan Boswell and KJ Lewis both also had strong performances in exhibition play. With Arizona looking for its first win of the season, freshmen Paulius Murauskas, Motiejus Krivas and Conrad Martinez are also players to keep an eye on in this game and as the season unfolds.


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