1/12: Arizona 81, Oregon State 73 (OT)
1/14: Oregon 59, Arizona 57
1. Solomon Hill
Previous rank: 2
Oregon State: 38 minutes, 4 points, 1-2 shooting, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 2-2 FT
Oregon: 38 minutes, 16 points, 6-9 shooting, 3-3 3pt, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers
For a game and a half, Hill was virtually non-existent in Arizona's offensive attack. Then in the second half against Oregon with his team down double-digits he woke up and got his team back in the game. While the team does not need Hill to score 15-plus points per game to win the game, it is very evident that when he exerts himself on the offensive end that Arizona is much better off.
While Hill's game is certainly not as a pure scorer and shooter, the team is better when he is aggressively attacking the rim and finding his teammates for open looks or getting to the rim for layups. It was a completely different game when Hill exerted himself against Oregon, and while I'm not suggesting he increase his shot count dramatically, he has to make it a priority to be aggressive for every possession he's out on the floor.
Especially playing the four, there are few forwards in the Pac-12 who can keep up with him and defend the variety of ways in which he's able to score. Hill is fully aware of the affect his aggressiveness has on the team, and with 13 conference games remaining, will Hill commit to putting the team on his back game in and game out? Arizona's chances at the Pac-12 crown may depend on it.
2. Jesse Perry
Previous rank: 1
Oregon State: 33 minutes, 6 points, 2-7 shooting 8 rebounds, 5 offensive rebounds, 1 steal, 2-7 FT
Oregon: 33 minutes, 8 points, 2-4 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4-8 FT
It was obvious from the way that both OU and OSU played him that each team game planned to take Perry out of the game. His drives to the basket, which he usually converts with ease, were often met with an extra defender that forced Perry into dishing the ball or tougher shots.
As long as Perry has space to make his moves, he's going to be a consistent scorer in double digits. However, the Oregon schools may have given the Pac-12 a blue print on how to limit Arizona's most productive player, and it will be interesting to see the adjustments he makes to counter.
3. Kyle Fogg
Previous rank: 4
Oregon State: 36 minutes, 23 points, 7-17 shooting, 3-8 3pt, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 6-6 FT
Oregon: 34 minutes, 5 points, 1-9 shooting, 1-3 3pt, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2-3 FT
Against Oregon State, Fogg went toe-to-toe against Jared Cunningham and arguably had the better game. While his defense against Devoe Joseph was pretty solid, he simply never found his rhythm offensively and thus struggled from start to finish to put up points.
Consistency has always been the only thing holding Fogg back and it continues to do so as a senior. Off shooting nights are always going to happen, but things just aren't clicking for Fogg on a game-to-game basis and as a player who has made starts for the better part of four years, it frankly shouldn't be a reoccurring problem.
Pac-12 play has always been good to Fogg, so it will be interesting how he closes out his Arizona career down the stretch.
4. Nick Johnson
Previous rank: 5
Oregon State: 29 minutes, 19 points, 5-10 shooting, 3-4 3pt, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 6-11 FT
Oregon: 22 minutes, 7 points, 2-6 shooting, 1-4 3pt, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2-2 FT
After an off weekend in Los Angeles, Johnson bounced back well at home against the Oregon schools. While Ahmad Starks made some tough shots down the stretch, he held his own against the Oregon State guard and Cunningham as well in stretches defensively.
He struggled to get it going offensively against the bigger E.J. Singler, but he did hit some big shots down the stretch to get UA back in the game. Johnson continues to develop and grow in Sean Miller's system, and while he periodically experiences some growing pains, he also has flashes of brilliance and show why he'll be a prominent member of the program for years to come.
Previous rank: 3
Oregon State: 24 minutes, 4 points, 1-2 shooting, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steals
Oregon: 29 minutes, 11 points, 4-11 shooting, 1-3 3pt, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 0 assists, 3 turnovers
Saturday against Oregon marked the first time in six contests that Turner had fewer assists than turnovers, but Turner was much more active as a scorer against Oregon and showed a willingness to take his open looks. With Turner on the floor, things seem to run much more fluidly and he continues to force opponents into turnovers on the defensive end.
His decision making can still use improvement, but from where he started to where he is now, it's clear Turner has made significant strides and is absolutely Arizona's go-to point guard as long he continues on his current trajectory.
Previous rank: 6
Oregon State: 19 minutes, 18 minutes, 6-7 shooting, 5-6 3pt, 2 rebounds, 1-1 FT
Oregon: 13 minutes, 0 points, 0-2 3pt, 3 assists, 3 rebounds
Simply put, without Lavender's shooting performance against Oregon State it's likely that Arizona would have lost the game. For the second time this season he put on a show for the home crowd with his three-point shooting and provided the spark off the bench that UA needed.
I was really expecting Lavender to get more than 13 minutes against Oregon, but it didn't turn out that way. His shooting ability earned him a spot on the floor as UA attempted to complete the comeback, but other than an attempt to win the game as time was winding down, it was a quiet game from Lavender.
In my opinion, Lavender needs two things. The first is more playing time, as he is clearly outplaying some of the other guards on the team and deserves a chance to stay on the floor and try and get in a rhythm. The second is a willingness to penetrate off a pump fake from the three-point line. It's too easy for teams to take him out of the game by defending him well beyond the arc, and if Lavender would attack the basket with more consistency he'd have more consistency scoring.
7. Kevin Parrom
Previous rank: 8
Oregon State: 12 minutes, 0 points, 0-1 shooting, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
Oregon: 11 minutes, 4 points, 1-1 3pt, 2 rebounds, 1-2 FT
While Parrom has had trouble getting anything going offensively all season long, he continues to contribute in every way he can defensively and on the glass. He can still knock down the open jumper, but the explosiveness off the dribble that made him an effective scorer down the stretch last season is still coming back to him.
All Arizona fans can do is continue to root for Parrom in his recovery and hope that he continues to progress each and every week. It's coming back slowly but surely, but as of now Miller can't afford to take Hill or Perry off the floor long enough to give Parrom enough of a chance to contribute.
8. Jordin Mayes
Previous rank: 7
Oregon State: 22 minutes, 5 points, 1-2 shooting, 0-1 3pt, 1 rebound, 2 assist, 3 turnovers
Oregon: 13 minutes, 2 points, 1-2 shooting, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal
Things seem noticeably less smooth offensively with Mayes on the court running the point, and Miller may be better served to make him a full-time two-guard and move him off the ball completely.
Mayes' passing in transition has been poor recently, as he's often over penetrating and getting the ball to his teammates in positions where there isn't much of a chance to succeed. It is imperative for Mayes to continue to work in practice on handling the ball and passing in order to not lose his playing time completely.
9. Angelo Chol
Previous rank: 9
Oregon State: 5 minutes, 2 points, 1-1 shooting, 0-1 FT, 1 foul
Oregon: 7 minutes, 4 points, 2-2 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 3 fouls
Chol showed some more aggressiveness offensively over the weekend, but he still has not found his rhythm on the defensive end and continues to find himself in poor position and thus is fouling way too much to be a contributor on a consistent basis.
10. Kyryl Natyazhko
Previous rank: 10
Oregon State: 7 minutes, 0-2 shooting, 1 rebound
Oregon: Did not appear
After being ejected from the game against Oregon State on Thursday, Natyazhko did not find his way into Miller's rotation for the game on Saturday. While his struggles have been well documented and many are very critical of his play, and maybe deservedly so, it is still sad to me that the largest ovation Kyryl will get all season was when it was announced he had been ejected from the game.