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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Hoops hype is building

The buzz around Arizona basketball gets louder by the day, and on Thursday it went up another notch.

Arizona started the day by beating out North Carolina and Kansas for recruit Angelo Chol, then ended with a win against a solid team, Washington State.

As No.12 Arizona continues to win, it also continues to gain national attention. After Southern California head coach Kevin O’Neill called Arizona his sleeper pick to win the National Championship on a radio show Wednesday, WSU head coach Ken Bone gave his own approval of the Wildcats on Thursday night.

“”There’s a reason (Arizona) is ranked whatever they’re ranked in the country and why they win so much at home,”” Bone said.

Despite Bone getting a solid game from Pacific 10 Conference-leading scorer Klay Thompson, who had 30 points on 11-for-24 shooting, the Wildcats proved to be too much on their home court.

“”They have so many guys,”” Bone added. “”You may stop one, two, three, four or five guys but there is still someone else that can play.

“”That’s why those teams are in the top 20.””

As the Wildcats have been climbing in rankings, McKale Center has gotten louder with each game, and that crowd factor will be even more important on Saturday when Arizona welcomes Washington, the last team to defeat the Wildcats.

“”They’re going to come in and try to bully us but I look forward to it,”” said forward Solomon Hill. “”Especially being a home crowd, we beat these guys last year and it’ll be good to get them again this year, especially in front of McKale.””

On Saturday, McKale will be host to the biggest game in the Sean Miller era at Arizona and the nation will see it on ESPN.

“”Saturday’s game is going to be a big one, for a lot of reasons, outside of our arena,”” Miller said.

While the Wildcats have looked like a potentially dangerous team in the last few weeks, the Huskies made them look like a team that may have a ceiling the last time they met in Seattle on Jan. 20. Arizona lost that game 68-85.

“”We talked to our team, when you show up at McKale on Saturday you better be ready as an Arizona player,”” Miller said. “”Washington is not a team that will come in here not believing, they have great toughness about them and we really have to be ready for that game.””

— Vincent Balistreri is a communication senior. He can be reached at

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