1. Is Arizona good enough to beat an above average team?
No offense to Arizona, but it has lost to San Diego State, Gonzaga, Florida, and Mississippi State. Its biggest win may be at New Mexico State, a team that has already lost to Southern Mississippi twice and UTEP as well. The reality of the situation is that we really do not know how good this Arizona team is or even how good it can be.
There were definite bright spots in a road loss to Florida and Mississippi State was early enough in the season that it is difficult to pay too much attention to it. Still, Arizona has yet to beat an opponent of that caliber and until the Wildcats do, we really do not know how good this team is.
However, the strength of the Pac-12 may not allow that question to be answered for a while. Which team in the Pac-12 should be consider to be an above average team? It is not so easy to answer that, which brings us to our next question.
2. Will the strength of the conference hurt Arizona?
At this point, a legitimate argument can be made that the Pac-12 is only going to get two teams in the tournament. What this means is that Arizona can ill afford to lose many games and may only be able to lose three or four games in the conference. In the end, the strength of the conference can hurt Arizona considerably.
There are not many options for a good loss within the conference, especially with Washington losing early at home to South Dakota State. An argument can be made that losing at Cal would be considered a good loss, but the Golden Bears are in a similar position to Arizona, as we really don't know how good Cal is.
On the same note, there is plenty of opportunities for a bad loss. Even though it is within conference play, a loss to the majority of the teams in the conference could be considered a bad loss. Arizona is going to have to be very strong in conference play if it wants to make the tournament and a big reason for that is the current strength of the Pac-12.
3. Will Arizona get consistent point guard play?
Josiah Turner played well against Bryant, but that is not saying much. Arizona is a vastly different team when Turner is able to handle the point with success and it is something that the coaching staff hopes to see happen sooner than later. Turner has the skills to succeed at point guard, but is searching for that consistency that Arizona needs so badly.
We have definitely seen that Jordin Mayes is not a point guard and that is not a knock on him. It simply is not his position and if the coaches want to put him in the best position to succeed, Mayes will play primarily off the ball. Nick Johnson is another player that succeeds off the ball, so that leaves Turner as the main point guard option.
He is not going to play 40 minutes and does not need to in order for Arizona to be successful. However, he does need to be able to run the offense, be consistent, and not turn the ball over. Turner is a good enough player to be able to do that and even a litte more.
4. Will lack of interior play hurt Arizona?
Jesse Perry has been a great surprise for Arizona, as he has rebounded well all season and given effort at the center position when he is definitely not a center. However, there is not a ton beyond Perry.
Angelo Chol has been improving, but he is not ready to play major minutes just yet. He likely could be in a few weeks, but should not be playing 25 minutes at center like the coaching staff would probably like to eventually play him. In addition, if Perry or Chol gets in foul trouble, the lack of depth inside could hurt it.
One look at the conference reveals that there are not a ton of dominant big men. Arizona is definitely not the only team lacking strength in the paint, so it is unknown just how much it will be effected by the lack of post play.
It will be very interesting to see if Arizona can survive against teams with a bit more size or when one of the big men gets in foul trouble.
5. Will Solomon Hill emerge?
Hill has had a great start to the season and at this point there is little reason to believe that he can't be one of the best players in the conference. However, Hill has disappeared in games this season and then said he wants to take the initiative and be more aggressive, which he has,
This question relates to the fact that Hill needs to be aggressive each game. Will he choose to?
If Arizona is going to be a team that contends for the conference, it is going to do so because players like Hill step up every game. Hill has the ability to be a very good player, but he still needs to show the consistency that Arizona needs to succeed.