THE THURMANATOR! He is here and ready to take on Arizona! Coming off the red hot victory against Stanford, Cal MBB welcomes the boys in red, white, and blue to Haas. Can the scene be as red hot as Sunday night's packed house? Who knows, but the place should still be closed to packed. And if you are heading out, do not forget to wear your gold shirt for the GOLD OUT!
To learn more about the Arizona Wildcast, we talked to our brethren over at AZDesertSwarm. They are all about all things Wildcat! All around awesome guy K_Zim was kind enough to answer some questions for us. So, check out their answers to our questions after the jump. GO BEARS and GOLD OUT!1) Are your highly touted freshmen living up to expectations?
Hardly. Big man Sidiki Johnson left the team, forward Angelo Chol is still very raw and the two guards have had their struggles. Nick Johnson has been far and away the biggest success and is averaging nine points and more than two rebounds and assists per game, but of late he's been struggling.
Josiah Turner, who was the highest-rated playing in this freshman class has been suspended once already and finally regained his starting job. He's averaging about seven points per game but is fourth on the team at 2.2 assists per outing. The past two games, he's finally started to assert himself, but two games ago he was kicked out with two technicals and against Washington last week he made a boneheaded play by trying to draw a charge with the game tied and UW having to go the length of the court.
2) How big a loss is it for Kevin Parrom to be out for the year?
Huge. From a personal standpoint, it's sad to see that he can't play basketball to get his mind off the deaths of his mother and grandmother, who both passed before the season began. For Arizona as a team it hurts because Parrom was often the energy off the bench -- he is one of the few guys who can rebounds, handle the rock and make the right pass on the push. Without Parrom, there's less size AND less speed for an already undersized team.
3) This team started the year in the top 25 but has been inconsistent ever since. What happened?
I think expectations were set too high. Losing the teams top two scorers in Derrick Williams and Momo Jones goes beyond replacing the numbers; it took a while for Solomon Hill to step into the go-to guy role, but at the same time, it's important to remember that this team is still in rebuilding mode. There's no size up front, and Jesse Perry is starting at center. In other words, the Wildcats have a 6-foot-6, 220ish-pound JUCO transfer starting at center.
4) Which player not named Solomon Hill is going to break our heart?
It's hard to say, because few other plays have the ability to do just that. Senior guard Kyle Fogg could hit a clutch shot or two, but he doesn't have the skillset to create much on his own. I think Miller is entrusting Turner to make plays down the stretch, and the big point guard has the handles, quickness and size to get to the hoop at will. So if the game comes down to it, Arizona going to the freshman wouldn't surprise me.
5) How would you stop your team's offense and what's the best way to defeat your defense?
If the Golden Bears run Arizona off the three-point stripe, it'll be hard for the Wildcats to score. They struggle against size and length, especially in the interior, and I think Cal only has to worry about letting Arizona get hot from beyond the arc.
And as for the defense, I think it comes down to size once again. The Wildcats have actually played very good defense for most of the season, but there's only so much an undersized front line could do to contain Kamp and crew. Arizona's guard play great on-ball defense, but I think Cal wins if they do as they're supposed to -- rebound the ball and get second chance points.
Arizona's not playing poorly by any stretch, but I can't see any way they can defeat a well-executing 17-5 team on the road. Still, they somehow kept it close in the Washington game, so I don't think it'll be a sure-fire win for the Golden Bears. Let's call it a 75-70 Cal win.