Pac-12 M5: 01.24.13 Edition
Posted by PBaruh on January 24th, 2013
- Arizona freshman Brandon Ashley has changed up his defensive game ever since he struggled so much against Utah early in the conference season. Sean Miller mentioned after that Utah game that there was no question Ashley was playing poorly on defense. So Miller threw Ashley into the fire at practice by making him guard Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill, two physical, versatile players. The results of that were most evident in Arizona’s recent victory over Arizona State when Ashley helped shut down Carrick Felix, who only had five points in Saturday’s contest. Up next for Brandon Ashley is Travis Wear, which certainly won’t be easy, but Sean Miller has faith that the freshman is now up to that task.
- When opponents shut down Washington’s C.J. Wilcox, the Huskies cannot find any other ways to score. In Washington’s latest game against Utah, Wilcox was harassed and limited to 2-of-12 from the field and just five points. The issue continues to plague Washington as players like Abdul Gaddy and Scott Suggs are struggling to step up when Wilcox is not playing well. As a team, the Huskies are averaging 69.2 points per game this year which would put them on pace for the lowest scoring output average since Lorenzo Romar took over as the head coach in Seattle.
- UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad believes tonight’s game against Arizona is a must-win game. Muhammad made it a point that he is taking it on himself to win this game, and UCLA will need to pick up the slack on the glass if they want to have a chance to pull off the victory at the McKale Center. They were outrebounded 40-31 on Saturday against Oregon, who ranks sixth nationally in rebound margin while Arizona is fifth nationally so things will not be getting any easier for the Bruins. There’s only so much UCLA can do to win the battle of the boards as they don’t have the size and depth to match the Wildcats, but a star performance from Muhammad could eliminate that advantage and give the Bruins the win they need.
- The last time Stanford visited the Coors Event Center in Boulder the result was a blowout in Stanford’s favor. The Cardinal left the Colorado crowd in shock after an 84-64 victory late last season. Tad Boyle mentioned that this team is much different than that group and matches up better with Stanford this time around. He noted that the added size of Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott could play a big role as both players were not available to help last year. Both teams need to win to keep pace in the standings of the Pac-12, but Colorado might have the advantage in this one as they will be looking for some revenge for last year’s disappointing defeat.
- If Arizona State wants to make the NCAA Tournament, they will need a lot to go right for them the rest of the season. The Sun Devils are 1-2 in their last three games, but those losses were both at the hands of very good teams in Arizona and Oregon. Unlike some other Pac-12 teams, the Sun Devils had an easy non-conference schedule and their only notable win otherwise came against Colorado. A 10-3 finish to the season would make for an appealing case to the Selection Committee, but they will need continued strong play from Jahii Carson and Carrick Felix to make a run at the Dance. The Sun Devils will get another chance to pick up a notable victory this weekend when they take on UCLA.