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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 3 Arizona MBB set to face Belmont on Friday

Jackie Cabrera
Arizona mens basketball player Oumar Ballo attempts to score points against Morgan State on Nov. 7 in McKale Center. The wildcats won the game 122-59.

The No. 3 Arizona men’s basketball team is set to host Belmont University on Friday, Nov. 17, at 9 p.m. in McKale Center. After collecting a statement road win over former-No. 2 Duke University on Friday, Nov. 10, the Wildcats returned home and picked up a dominant 97-59 win over Southern University. The Wildcats had six players score double figures, a mark hit in two of their first three games. Their upcoming matchup against Belmont will be the first meeting between the two programs.

Belmont players to watch: 

The Bruins are led by fifth-year head coach Casey Alexander. In his five years with the Bruins (including the 2023-24 season), Alexander boasts a record of 100-31, leading Belmont to two regular-season Ohio Valley Conference titles. Entering their matchup against Arizona, the Bruins are 2-1, with wins over Georgia State University and Berry University and a loss against Furman University.

Cade Tyson:

Tyson leads Belmont in scoring, averaging 19 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game. During their season opener, Tyson scored a career-high 29 points behind five three-pointers and a 9-12 performance from the field. However, Tyson missed the Bruins’ most recent matchup against Berry and could potentially miss his second straight game on Friday against Arizona.  

Ja’Kobi Gillespie:

Sophomore guard Gillespie ranks second on the Bruins in scoring and leads the team in assists. The second-year player out of Greenville, Tennessee, is averaging 16.7 points and 4.3 assists per game.

Malik Dia

Dia spent his freshman season at Vanderbilt University before transferring to Belmont. Through the Bruins’ first three games, Dia is averaging 15.3 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game. During Belmont’s season opener, Dia scored a career-high 21 points and three blocks. 

Wildcats to watch:

The Wildcats are averaging 99 points per game and have six players averaging double figures. Through their opening three games, Arizona’s margin of victory is 35.3 points, ranking 16th in college basketball. 

Keshad Johnson:

Johnson, a senior transfer from San Diego State, leads the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15 points and seven rebounds per game. In Arizona’s most recent matchup against Southern, Johnson scored a career-high 17 points.

Kylan Boswell:

Boswell has been a prominent figure for the Wildcats throughout their opening three games. The sophomore guard ranks second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game and five rebounds per game. With one more double-digit scoring performance, Boswell will tie his season total from last year, when he reached double-digits four times. 

Pelle Larsson

 Larsson has seen a rise in his production and performance in his three years with the Wildcats. After averaging just under 10 points per game in his junior season, the senior is averaging 12.7 points through the Wildcat’s first three games. As one of the veterans, Larsson’s leadership will be critical to Arizona’s success throughout the season.     

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