Hamilton dropped 41 points against Valparaiso and is averaging 22 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the field. Hamilton goes to the line about eight times per game and shoots 90 percent from the line while also getting over two steals a game. Basically, he is the best player on the team and will be a major problem for Arizona if the Wildcats fail to get in front of him and slow him down in transition.
Bader has attempted 139 shots and 97 are from behind the arc, where he is shooting 34 percent. Bader does not do much else, but it will be interesting to see if Miller decides to putt Fogg on him to completely shut him down or have Fogg guard Hamilton. No matter who guards Bader, that player needs to make sure he does not get it going from three or else it makes everybody on Oakland significantly better.
SF: Nick Johnson (6-2, 198, Fr.) vs. Dante Williams (6-6, 171, Fr.)
Williams gets the start, but it is a wonder why considering he only plays about 12 minutes per game. Johnson is certainly the better player and will have a bigger impact, but it will be fun watching him guard Laval Lucas-Perry when Oakland goes to its three-guard lineup, which is its most common look.
Valentine and Hill have very similar stat lines, with Valentine averaging 13 points and eight rebounds per game. In addition, he is shooting 40 percent from three on 25 attempts and has the ability to break out, as evidenced by the fact he has had 20 and 19 points in the last two respective games. However, you just get the feeling Hill is going to want to come back in a big way and for that we will give him the advantage.
The good news for Perry is that Petros is not Robert Sacre, but the bad news is that he is still a much bigger player. Petros is averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds per game, but had a 14 rebound game against Arkansas, 13 against Tennessee, and 16 against Ohio. Arizona is going to have to keep Petros off the glass if it wants to have success. Perry is the better player, but we worry about the numbers Petros could put up on the glass.
Bench: Oakland will use Lucas-Perry, but beyond that there is not much. Oakland does not really have a player that is likely to hurt the Wildcats off the bench, while a guy like Angelo Chol should be able to have some success against the Golden Grizzlies. Guard Ryan Bass averages four points per game and that is the biggest threat for Arizona, who will likely try to tire Oakland out.
Coaches: Sean Miller vs. Greg Kampe
Kampe has coached Oakland for 27 years and has led the Golden Grizzlies to back-to-back NCAA tournaments, consecutive Summit League regular season and tournament championships, along with three straight 20-win seasons. He deserves credit for being a good coach, but there is a reason why he has been at the same spot for so long.
Prediction: Oakland is likely to score points, but Arizona should be able to contain the perimeter, which would pose a major problem. The Golden Grizzlies have lost by 17 to Alabama and 23 to Arkansas. However, it defeated a mediocre Tennessee squad and a solid Valparaiso team. Oakland has scored 80 points or more in seven of its last eight games and has the ability to score in spurts. Arizona may find itself down early with another slow start, but it is the more talented team and the end result will likely indicate this.
Arizona 78, Oakland 69