Well, here we go. Final homestand of the season! Let's get out there and get loud, people! To help us get better acquainted with our rivals tonight, we discussed to ask fellow SBN brethren Arizona Desert Swarm about the Wildcats. After the jump, check out their answers to our burning, burning questions. GO BEARS!
1. What does Arizona need to do to get to the Tournament next year?
The league should be better next year. So, going above .500 in conference should ensure that Arizona is in bubble discussion since the non-conference schedule should feature the usual gauntlet of good teams.
More specifically, Arizona needs to get maturity spurts from Kyle Fogg (his offense has to be more consistent), Solomon Hill (fouls and turnovers), and Kevin Parrom (turnovers and fouls). Additionally, the incoming class will need to contribute right away.
As for the last few games, Nic's been awful to mediocre. He has to at least be decent for Arizona to have a real chance against anyone.
3. Nic Wise took full advantage of his matchup with Jerome Randle last time. Think he can replicate that performance in Haas Thursday night? How has he performed against everyone else?
Nic's been up and down. Unfortunately, the weight of what he has to bring night in night out has, in my opinion, slowly worn him down. Still, he's one of the few guys on the roster that can just go off on any opponent. So, there's that.
I see NO league-wide favorite on the horizon. The Pac10 is where the SEC was about two seasons ago; a league full of young teams and some veteran teams with mildly disappointing seasons (I'm looking at you Washington). The league should be wide open, and yeah, I expect Arizona to have something to say about who is crowned champion. But everyone has far too many questions to be considered a true favorite heading into next season.
5. What will be the thing the Wildcats need to do the most to pull out the upset in Berkeley? What do they have to avoid doing?
Long-term I think Miller wants Arizona to be a good mid-tempo team. That's almost impossible with so little experience. Our guards want to run, but really only Jamelle Horne can play that way consistently. Controlling tempo and pace is one of those things you usually only see from experienced teams with really good guards like Randle.
Consequently, we're often playing precisely the wrong pace; trying to grind it out on offense while giving up easy baskets on defense--or, we play too fast on offense and go through loooong stretches where we're not even getting "shots-on-goal" because of turnovers, fouls, and general carlessness.
To have a shot at winning Arizona has to find rhythm--and sustain it. They get it for stretches, but have trouble keeping it. If Arizona can play from in front with a small lead they are generally good at the FT line down the stretch.