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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats focus on task at hand

    UA guard Jerryd Bayless rises for a layup during Arizonas 81-62 win over Missouri-Kansas City on Monday in McKale Center. Bayless and the Wildcats are not overlooking Adams State tonight at home.
    UA guard Jerryd Bayless rises for a layup during Arizona’s 81-62 win over Missouri-Kansas City on Monday in McKale Center. Bayless and the Wildcats are not overlooking Adams State tonight at home.

    There are no so-called “”warmup”” games.

    Even with a date against No. 4 Kansas on Sunday, the Arizona men’s basketball team knows that it must not look past tonight’s game against Division-II Adams State College (2-0) at 7:30 in McKale Center.

    “”We’re not even worried about Sunday right now,”” said guard Jawann McClellan. “”It’s how you prepare for the next game, not how you prepare for the next two games.””

    After three games into the season, the Wildcats (2-1) averaged 15 turnovers per game, dropped out of the national top 25 from No. 17 and showed signs of immaturity with its young lineup.

    They are looking for some stability over the entire game, said UA guard Jerryd Bayless, who was a rebound and an assist away from registering Arizona’s 10th triple-double Monday night against Missouri-Kansas City.

    “”I don’t know if it’s nerves or what, but we definitely need to nip it in the butt and we need to play hard the whole 40 minutes that we’re out there,”” Bayless said. “”We really need to cut down on the turnovers. That’s mostly my fault and a couple of other people. But we’re going to take care of that problem.””

    Adams State, which finished last season 16-14 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, is far from a large squad, starting four guards – three at 6-foot-2 or shorter – and a 6-foot-5 forward. The quintet consists of two returning starters, including senior Larry Charles Jr., from Tucson, who scored a game-high 18 points in the team’s last game.

    The small Grizzlies will, in all probability, leave UA center Kirk Walters, who hasn’t seen any game time since taking a medical redshirt last season, on the sideline for at least another game, said UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill.

    “”Kirk has played very well in practice for the last week and a half,”” O’Neill said, “”and I feel bad for him because there’s no room to throw him in there right now because of matchup problems.””

    O’Neill said that he is pleased with the play of the three freshmen he has utilized – Bayless and Laval Lucas-Perry and forward Jamelle Horne. The trio combined for 33 of Arizona’s season-high 81 points Monday.

    Whether Arizona is represented by players young or old, large or small, the Wildcats must play every game with the same amount of intensity, no matter if the opponent is a national top-five contender or a D-II school.

    “”It’s just hustle,”” Lucas-Perry said. “”It’s something K.O. (O’Neill) teaches us. It’s all about desire. Any team can be beaten at any time. You can’t take any team for granted.””

    And 1

    Over the last two games, Arizona opponents have taken 48 shots – 27 from Missouri-Kansas City – from behind the arc. Adams State has only attempted 28 in its two games. … The game marks the first time Arizona has played a D-II opponent since November 2000 and the first D-II school to come to McKale Center since 1986.

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