Arizona vs. Florida: Top five storylines
Arizona is set to host Florida on Saturday in what will be one of the biggest games that McKale has seen in quite a while. There are going to be numerous storylines to the game and we have decided to highlight the top five. 1. Can Arizona's offense perform better? Arizona shot 45 percent from the field against Southern Miss, but was 6-20 from behind the arc and turned the ball over 27 times. Against Clemson, the Wildcats turned the ball over less, but shot only 35 percent from the field. Arizona will need to have a consistent performance against Florida if it is going to have a good chance to win this game and that certainly will not be easy. The big question is whether or not this is a slump or if defenses have figured out how to slow the Wildcats down. Keep in mind, Arizona is still shooting 48 percent from the field this season and is among the top 30 teams in the country in points per game. We should find out a lot more about Arizona's offense against what is easily its toughest opponent of the season. 2. How will Florida defend Arizona? Florida has mixed in numerous defenses this season and it will be interesting to see how the Gators attack Arizona. Will Florida press? Will it play all zone? Will it mix zone and man-to-man defense? We really don't know, although we would be surprised if Florida's defense was not dominated by a zone. The best way for Arizona to change that is to shoot well, but the Gators will likely play zone in order to try to contain Arizona's shooting and take the Wildcats' offense out of their groove. It may or may not be a coincidence that Arizona's worst offensive games have come against a zone, but we're guessing Florida will want to find out itself. 3. How does Arizona matchup? Florida has numerous lineups that it can go with and Sean Miller is going to have some major decisions to make defensively. If the Gators go with the three guard lineup of Scottie Wilbekin, Mike Rosario, and Kenny Boynton, does Arizona go small as well or does it play a conventional lineup? If Erik Murphy and Patric Young play with Will Yeguete, who guards Murphy? Solomon Hill is likely going to have one of the toughest defensive assignments because he will find himself guarding numerous players throughout the game. Nick Johnson, on the other hand, will likely be guarding Kenny Boynton, who will play the majority of the game. We can probably figure out that whoever is playing center will guard Young, but will Hill cover Murphy or Yeguete if they play at the same time? Arizona is going to have to find an answer to each of these questions and it will not be easy by any means. 4. Just how good is Florida? The Gators have crushed every opponent they have played, but Wisconsin was in Gainesville and the Badgers are now 6-4 with a loss to Virginia. The 33-point win over Marquette is definitely impressive, but the Golden Eagles only average 71 points per game and once again, the game was at Florida. Florida's win over Florida State was nice as well, but the Seminoles have lost to South Alabama and Mercer this season. Florida has yet to face a major road test, so it is difficult to judge the Gators too much. While we are sure Florida is a good team, we do have to wonder a bit if it is the dominant force it has been the entire season. 5. Can Arizona avoid last year's mistakes? In last season's game against Florida, the Gators shot 17 more free-throws, had six more rebounds, and turned the ball over seven times less than Arizona. Despite the fact that the Wildcats got a career performance from Jesse Perry, those numbers were just too much to overcome. This year's game will be similar in that if Arizona turns the ball over more and gets outrebounded, it will once again be difficult to win. If Arizona can avoid both, the chances for the UA coming up with a victory increase dramatically.
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