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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


MBB preview: No. 4 Arizona vs. Stanford

Jackie Cabrera

Arizona men’s basketball player Kylan Boswell celebrates his teammate’s 3-point score on Dec. 13, 2022 in McKale Center. The Wildcats won the game against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a score of 99-61.

Looking to extend their winning streak to eight games, the Arizona men’s basketball team will end their weekend road trip at Maples Pavilion against Stanford University. Head coach Tommy Lloyd and his team will attempt to sweep the Northern California schools after a smooth sailing 23-point victory against the University of California, Berkeley, on Thursday evening.

The 2022-2023 season has been a disappointment for the Cardinal basketball program. Head coach Jerod Haase had NCAA tournament aspirations for his group. Unfortunately, these hopes were out of the window before the start of conference play after a brutal start to the season.

Haase and his team enter Saturday with a 4-9 record in Pac-12 league play. The disappointment has much to do with the limited growth of former five-star prospect Harrison Ingram. After a promising freshman season, the sophomore forward has witnessed a decline in both minutes and points per game. His shot selection and inefficiency from the field have always been a considerable concern. Ingram is shooting 38.7% from the field, averaging just under 10 points per game after testing the NBA Draft waters last spring.

After a slow start to the season, senior forward Spencer Jones has been heating up over the last few weeks. In his last three games, Jones is averaging 17.3 points. He can be a dynamic 3-point shooter, given his high release and ability to get shots off over the majority of defenders. Arizona fans should be familiar with Jones as he had two stellar performances last season against the Wildcats. When both teams met in McKale Center, Jones led Stanford with 22 points. At the Pac-12 Tournament during the quarter-final round, Jones poured in 28 points.

The last time Arizona played in Maples Pavilion, there were no fans in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Oumar Ballo’s performance was a shock. He finished with 21 points and six rebounds off the bench. Many people were surprised as he saw minutes throughout the 2021-2022 season. Arizona went on to win 85-57 in an empty arena.

On Saturday, Arizona will look to continue riding the hot hand. Lloyd and his group are currently a half game out of first place in the conference and control their destiny with a trip to the Los Angeles schools at the end of the month. Arizona is 8-2 in their last ten meetings against the Cardinal, with an overall record of 33-12.

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