OOC opponents Part I: A closer look

Arizona's out of conference schedule is mixed with teams both good and bad. Read on for a complete breakdown of those opponents.


2010-2011 Record: 23-12 Overall, 12-6 (4) Horizon League

2010-2011 Postseason: First round loss to Iona in CollegeInsider.com Tournament

2010-2011 Final RPI: 71

Returning Starters: Ryan Broekhoff (10.3ppg)

Analysis: The Crusaders lose four starters and the biggest loss was of leading scorer Brandon Wood, who averaged 16.3 points per game last season. Wood has decided to transfer to Michigan State for his last year of eligibility after pulling his name out of the 2011 NBA Draft.

As a result, Ryan Broekhoff will bring back his 10.3 ppg and face off against an Arizona team eager to prove that it can be as successful without Derrick Williams, who was Pac-10 Player of the Year. This will be a big game for the Wildcats as the program has a lot of momentum going for it and wants to get off to a fast start.


2010-2011 Record: 19-13 Overall, 10-6 (T-4) Athletic-10

2010-2011 Postseason: Second round loss to Oregon in College Basketball Invitational

2010-2011 Final RPI: 108

Returning Starters: B.J. Monteiro (11.4ppg), T.J. McConnell (10.8ppg), Mike Talley (6.9ppg)

Analysis: The 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer begins with a matchup with Duquesne, which lose its top two scorers but brings in a core group of returning starters that will lead the charge this season. Expect senior wing Monteiro to really get a lot of looks and be aggressive in Tucson.

Historically, many non-conference foes go into McKale and want to play their best basketball. Arizona has to be aware of not looking past the Dukes and onto St. John's, as you can be assured that Duquesne wants to knock off the Wildcats.

St. John's

2010-2011 Record: 21-12 Overall, 12-3 (5) Big East

2010-2011 Postseason: First round loss in NCAA Tournament to Gonzaga

2010-2011 Final RPI: 26

Returning Starters: Justin Brownlee (12.3ppg), D.J. Kennedy (10.4ppg), Paris Horne (7.9ppg)

Analysis: A lot is going on with the Red Storm in the off season and this is the first big test for the Wildcats. Head coach Steve Lavin just had successful surgery to treat prostate cancer and it is unclear as to when he will return to his every day duties, but he is expected back this season.

Also, freshmen Amir Garrettand Norvel Pelle failed to qualify for the fall semester at St. John's. Pelle is the huge hit here as he had potential to have a major impact as a freshman. In addition, Jakarr Sampson also didn't qualify and never enrolled at the school which prompted a move back to Brewster Academy Prep School. St. John's also lost Dwayne Polee to transfer as he decided to attend San Diego State.

Arizona will have to face the Red Storm at Madison Square Garden, which is one of the biggest stages in the country. This game could be a great way for the Wildcats to show people around the country how good they can be even early in the season.

(Depending on a victory or loss, Arizona will play Mississippi State or Texas A&M the next day)

Ball State

2010-2011 Record: 19-13 Overall, 11-3 (4) Mid-American Conference

2010-2011 Postseason: None

2010-2011 Final RPI: 167

Returning Starters: Jarrod Jones (14.7ppg), Jauwan Scaife (11.2ppg), Randy Davis (9.8ppg)

Analysis: The Wildcats return back to Tucson to face a Ball State team that had an up and down campaign last season. Out of conference record was not too impressive, but Ball State was able to make some noise in the Mid-American Conference and finished fourth.

This will be Ball State's first game of the season and it returns its top three scorers in Jones, Scaife, and Davis. After not going to any of the many postseason tournaments, Ball State is going to want to get started off on a good note.

San Diego State

2010-2011 Record: 34-3 Overall, 14-1 (T-1) Mountain West Conference

2010-2011 Postseason: Sweet Sixteen loss to Connecticut in NCAA Tournament

2010-2011 Final RPI: 3

Returning Starters: Chase Tapley (8.6ppg)

Analysis: The Aztecs were a team that many thought would make it to the Final Four last season but just fell short. Led by Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State had a great mixture of toughness and scoring prowess that made them unbeatable at home.

Coming up short proved costly for the Aztecs, who lost four starters including Leonard, Malcolm Thomas, and D.J. Gay. Players like Chase Tapley and James Rahon are going to have make major strides if San Diego State is going to continue its program's momentum.

This being a home game for the Wildcats should definitely tilt the favor towards Arizona but it will be a good, tough matchup.

New Mexico State

2010-2011 Record: 16-17 Overall, 12-5 () Western Athletic Conference

2010-2011 Postseason: None

2010-2011 Final RPI: 139

Returning Starters: Hernst Laroche (11.5ppg), Christian Kabongo (8.9ppg), Tyrone Watson (7.6ppg), Bandja Sy (4.7ppg)

Analysis: In a rematch of last year's 83-57 drubbing in Tucson, New Mexico State is looking to exact revenge on Arizona. Both teams lose their leading scorers from last year as Williams is gone for Arizona and Troy Gillenwater decided to keep his name in NBA draft as well.

The Aggies still have a lot of returning players who remember last season's matchup and getting the Wildcats at home is the first game that New Mexico State has circled on its calendar for this season.

Player to watch will be freshman Sim Bhullar who is 7-5, 360-pounds and was pretty impressive this summer on the AAU Circuit. If he can adjust to college conditioning, head coach Marvin Menzies will have no choice but to play him.

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