Woolridge is doing everything he can to try to get the Cougars a win. He had 17 points against Arizona State and 36 points in the previous game against Oregon. Unfortunately, his efforts have not been enough. When Woolridge is on, he is extremely difficult to stop, but schools have shown the ability to force him into some bad shots, similar to what USC did when he went 2-8 from the field and fouled out. Woolridge put together a solid game in the first meeting with 14 points and six rebounds. However, Lyons put up similar numbers with 20 points despite only playing 23 minutes because of foul trouble. While Woolridge has the ability to play very well, Lyons' consistency and higher ceiling gives him the advantage here.
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, So.) vs. DaVonte Lacy (6-3, 206, So.)
Lacy has been taking more shots since Mike Ladd has been out with an injury, but that is not necessarily a good thing. He does have potential, but is extremely inconsistent. For instance, his last four games he has put up 15, 6, 27, and 10 points. Lacy is pretty easy to figure out in that when he is hitting from three, his numbers will be strong. If not, Lacy tends to lose involvement in the game and the Cougars hurt because of it. In the first meeting, Lacy was 3-9 from the field, although he did finish with 15 points. Johnson had the flu in that meeting and still put up decent numbers. Johnson should be able to contain Lacy and while we think neither player is likely to have a major advantage, Johnson is the more efficient player.
SF: Kevin Parrom (6-6, 220, Sr.) vs. Dexter Kernich-Drew (6-6, 182, So.)
There is no reason why this should not be one of Arizona's biggest advantages on Saturday. Parrom is stronger and better on both sides of the ball. All you really need to do about this matchup is that Parrom played seven minutes in the first meeting because he was ejected. Kernich-Drew played 29 minutes and yet they both finished with two points. As long as Parrom takes away the occasional three-pointer, he should be fine. We would be very surprised if Parrom was outplayed and, if he is, this game is likely closer than it should be.
PF: Solomon Hill (6-7, 220, Sr.) vs. Brock Motum (6-10, 245, Sr.)
Motum is going to get his points, but the lack of talent around him has caused teams to put numerous players on him and it has caused Motum's shooting percentage to decrease by 11 percent. Obviously Motum is a good player, but Hill should be able to do just fine on him and he is going to get help as well. The bigger issue here is that Motum can't guard Hill on the perimeter and it should lead to open three-point attempts because if Motum gets too close, Hill is going to take him to the basket. Hill was on fire in the first meeting and then disappeared in the second half. This game sets up similar for him not because we think he will struggle in the second half, but because he should be able to get numerous open looks. We like this one to be even because we don't see either dominating the matchup, but if Arizona can contain Motum, it will be difficult for the Cougars to win.
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 255, Fr.) vs. D.J. Shelton (6-10, 240, Fr.)
Arizona basically didn't respect Shelton in the first game because it knows that he will take the open three-pointer and does not shoot a high percentage. Shelton did finish 3-6 from the arc, but it was the only shots he took and he was not much of a factor. Shelton does deserve credit, however, for his ten rebounds that game compared to Tarczewski's four. Tarc struggled with foul trouble in the first meeting and finished with 10 points and 4 boards in 20 minutes. Shelton is only shooting 36 percent from the field, which is ridiculous for a big man. We would be surprised if he had much of an impact, but Tarczewski is just as unpredictable. Still, the fact that Tarczewski is probably more likely to play better gives him the advantage here.
Bench: The Cougars will use seven or eight guys, but they really are not very effective. Will Dilorio played four minutes against Arizona and with the injury to Ladd, his minutes have only doubled. He did play 24 minutes against Arizona State, but only finished with two points. Junior Longrus will also get some time, but only has four points in the last 53 minutes. Basically, Arizona's biggest advantage in this game is probably the bench and if Washington State wants a shot at winning, it likely can't go to its bench very often.
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Ken Bone
There is not much to say here. Washington State is the worst team in the conference and is actually getting worse. Bone is on the hot seat and there is a decent chance that he will not be the coach of Washington State next season.
Prediction: I know that Arizona is a bit unpredictable this season, but there is absolutely no reason it should lose this game. The Wildcats are coming off an impressive performance against Washington and with Arizona first in the conference now, the motivation is there. A loss against this team would be Arizona's first truly bad loss of the season and one of the bigger upsets in college basketball this season in general. Arizona is better at nearly every position, has a superior coach, and has a much deeper bench.
Arizona 81, Washington State 62