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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Consistency a key for curing UA’s struggles

The Arizona Wildcats’ game has been as stable as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s personality.

Arizona has become the model of inconsistency when it comes to offense this season, especially between weekend series games.

Overall, the changes began when Arizona hit the Pac-12 Conference season and couldn’t hold on to the ball, something they were decent at in non-conference play.

“You ask yourself, how can you do something so well for what amounts to a two-and-a-half month period of time and all of the sudden the same thing that you’re doing well, you’re bad at it,” head coach Sean Miller said.

About the only thing the Wildcats do consistently is turn the ball over 15 times or more every game. The slow starts that plagued the Wildcats at the beginning of the year didn’t help with the confidence either.

And the gaps on the stat sheet have become more apparent during Arizona’s last two series. The Wildcats’ inconsistencies started with their live-by-the-3 or die-by-the-3 mentality and has spread to their play throughout the half — see the difference in intensity between the first and second halves of Arizona’s loss against Oregon.

“We didn’t have it,” Miller said after that Wildcats’ loss. “The last, probably 16 minutes, we played with great confidence and courage, and guys made big plays. The first 20 minutes was such a reflection of us in the other column.”

The Wildcats have split every series in conference play, often being successful in an offensive area on one night then going cold in that same category the next.

Arizona’s biggest flip-flops are evident in its shooting percentage from beyond the arc and bench-points contribution. The irregular 3-point shooting in the Wildcats’ last series was night and day between their games on Thursday and Saturday.

“If you watched us against Utah … we made 12 3-point shots,” Miller said. “Within 40 hours, we went 3-for-20 on roughly the same shots.”

Junior Kevin Parrom called the offensive struggles “frustrating” and said Arizona has to stop relying on the 3 to win the game. Freshman Josiah Turner said the problem wasn’t the 3-pointers, but the difference in how the Wildcats play at the start of the game and the extra effort given at the end.

“Not wanting to lose at the end of the game,” Turner said of how the Wildcats could level out their play throughout the game. “If we start the game like that, we can kill teams.”

This weekend, with a sweep of the Washington schools critical to Arizona’s NCAA Tournament hopes, a high level of play must remain consistent.

And Turner has the simple solution for Arizona can get its first conference weekend sweep of the season: “Start off the game how we end it.”

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