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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Game Breakdown: Arizona vs Washington State

Arizona wins if …

The team plays just like it did in Pullman, Wash., less than a month ago. Winning on the road came by way of the Wildcats’ defense, who snuffed out a two-point win in the first game of the current six-game winning streak.

Holding Klay Thompson’s shooting below 40 percent would help the Wildcats’ cause as well. So would staying out of foul trouble while contesting shots. While forward Derrick Williams is needed on offense, he’s also the most athletic option on the defensive interior for Arizona.

Washington State wins if …

An expectedly large McKale Center crowd can’t ignite Arizona’s offense into a fast-paced game. If the tempo is slowed and WSU keeps from getting on its heels, they’re talented enough to upset a cruising Arizona team on its home floor.

Plus, when the game comes down to a couple possessions, the Cougars do have the advantage of having Thompson, who’s a perimeter threat and the most deadly scorer in the Pacific 10 Conference.

Key players

All of Arizona’s shooters

Don’t expect the Wildcats to get many lay-ups against forward DeAngelo Casto and the Cougars. Scoring only 18 points in the paint during their 67-52 victory in Tempe, UA can’t expect to get any more inside opportunities against the WSU 2-3 zone defense and Casto.

Kyle Fogg and Momo Jones, and forwards Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill, will need to knock down some outside shots.

Klay Thompson, WSU

It goes without saying that the junior could easily be in contention with Williams and Washington’s Isaiah Thomas for player of the year despite his team’s so-so record. Look at his averages: 20.6 points, 4.2 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 block and 1.9 steals per game.

Is that not the most well-rounded guy in the conference? Anyway, he’s a threat from any angle you slice it; if he hurts UA from too many of those angles, the Cougars are in good shape.

— Kevin Zimmerman

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