1/19: Arizona 77, Utah 51
1/21: Colorado 64, Arizona 63
1. Jesse Perry
Previous rank: 2
Utah: 30 minutes, 6 points, 3-8 shooting, 10 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
Colorado: 31 minutes, 20 points, 6-13 shooting, 10 rebounds, 4 offensive rebounds, 3 assists, 8-11 FT
There isn't a player on Arizona roster who is better at converting his one-on-one chances than Perry, who had his way with the Colorado defense for the majority of Saturday's game. I was very surprised that Perry was not even given a touch in the final possession of the game against CU considering the way he had been playing, but it's unlikely he would've had too good of a look anyways considering how well the Buffaloes controlled the paint and the midrange on that series.
With the game on the line, the team has to go through Perry. He's the player that most clearly understands his strengths and is also a high-percentage shooter. He rarely makes poor decisions and with a team that lacks a go-to guy, Perry needs to assert himself with the game down the stretch and demand the ball go through him.
2. Solomon Hill
Previous rank: 1
Utah: 17 minutes, 5 points, 1-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2-2 FT
Colorado: 30 minutes, 10 points, 4-7 shooting, 10 rebounds, 5 offensive rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 3 turnovers
After being ejected from the game against Utah, Hill bounced back against Colorado with another double-double. With his skill set, Hill should really be handling the ball in pressure situations. He's very hard to stop when he takes the ball off the dribble and is a sufficient enough passer to find the open man if the lane shuts down.
Hill has a tendency to play in spurts and now that Arizona is in a hole in the Pac-12 standings, that trend has to reverse. He has to take control and look to get himself open looks as well as set up his teammates due to the well documented fact that Arizona is a much better team when Hill is asserting himself consistently on offense.
3. Kyle Fogg
Previous rank: 3
Utah: 25 minutes, 12 points, 4-7 shooting, 2-3 3pt, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2-2 FT
Colorado: 32 minutes, 16 points, 3-12 shooting, 2-7 3pt, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 8-9 FT
It was a nice road trip for Fogg, who led the team in scoring for the weekend. However, that production came at a price against Colorado as he took the second most attempts and shot just 25 percent. It was encouraging that despite his rough shooting night Fogg found other ways to score by getting to the lines and hitting open midrange jumpers.
Perry, Hill and Fogg need to figure out how to operate together within the offensive system, as it seems that two of them excels at the expense of the other. All are veterans in Miller's system, so it's up to the coaches and the trio to work together on the court and in the film room to figure out a way all three can excel simultaneously.
Previous rank: 5
Utah: 25 minutes, 10 points, 3-5 shooting, 2 steals, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 block, 4-6 FT
Colorado: 28 minutes, 9 points, 2-4 shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 5-6 FT
Turner continues to progress as the team's primary (and only for that matter) point guard and as a result is seeing his role increase more and more in every game. He put together two solid, focused efforts on the road and made his teammates better by putting them in a position for easy baskets.
He showed a great amount of skill in the pick-and-roll game with Jesse Perry and that is likely to be incorporated more into Arizona's offense moving forward. Turner is distributing well, playing solid defense and converting his own open looks and continues to mature both on and off the court. It may be later than expected, but Turner is developing into the point guard that Arizona fans were looking forward to having running the show for the Wildcats.
5. Nick Johnson
Previous rank: 4
Utah: 25 minutes, 11 points, 4-7 shooting, 3-4 3pt, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers
Colorado: 23 minutes, 2 points, 1-5 shooting, 0-3 3pt, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
The highs and lows of Nick Johnson's freshman season continued over the weekend as he played a huge part in UA's victory over Utah and was a non-factor against Colorado. It is encouraging that he continues to hustle and work hard while on the floor but it is also equally frustrating when things aren't clicking for him offensively.
Over the next few weeks Johnson will be matched up against some of the best freshmen in the conference in Tony Wroten, Chasson Randle and DaVonte Lacy, and if he can win the battle between against his fellow newcomers it will go a long way towards his team's chances at climbing in the standings.
Previous rank: 6
Utah: 18 minutes, 6 points, 2-6 3pt, 2 rebounds, 1 block
Colorado: 11 minutes, 0 points, 0-2 3pt, 1 rebound
When he's left for open looks, Lavender is a good bet to knock them down and find his way into the scoring column. However, as evidenced in the Colorado game, when defenses game plan for his shooting ability and defend him well out to the three-point line, there isn't going to be much production from number 24.
As Pac-12 play continues, Lavender has to commit himself to a willingness to take a shot fake at a three-pointer and take the ball off the dribble to the basket. It would really take his game to the next level and cause a lot of problems for defenses, who haven't been forced to game plan for that part of his game in the past.
7. Kevin Parrom
Previous rank: 7
Utah: 19 minutes, 12 points, 4-9 shooting, 3-5 3pt, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Colorado: 22 minutes, 6 points, 3-6 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Forced into the game against Utah by the ejection of Hill, Parrom took full advantage of the opportunity and provided a big spark off the bench with three big three pointers. He filled the stat sheet in other ways as well in what was easily one of his best games of this season.
His solid outing against the Utes led to an increased role against Colorado and again contributed in every facet of the game. This is without question the best shape we've seen Parrom in this season, and with Arizona not far behind in the Pac-12 standings, getting him back on the floor for 20-plus minutes per game would be huge for the Wildcats.
8. Jordin Mayes
Previous rank: 8
Utah: 22 minutes, 8 points, 3-6 shooting, 1-1 3 point, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals
Colorado: 14 minutes, 0 points, 0-5 shooting, 0-4 3pt
Unfortunately for Mayes, Turner's natural point guard abilities often time point out his inadequacies as a point guard. He continues to struggle as Turner's backup and his playing time only further dwindles week-to-week. Mayes needs to continue to work on his decision-making and passing in order to make the most of the minutes he does receive.
9. Angelo Chol
Previous rank: 9
Utah: 10 minutes, 4 points, 2-2 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 offensive rebound, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 fouls
Colorado: 5 minutes, 0 points, 0-1 shooting
In his limited time against Utah, Chol flashed some serious potential and was assertive on both ends of the floor and showed signs of his progression with a blocked shot, a steal, and an offensive rebound. However, he can't seem to get out of his own way and continues to pick up fouls at an alarming rate.
He didn't have much of a chance to get anything going against Colorado, but it's evident that Chol is progressing, even if slowly.
10. Kyryl Natyazhko
Previous rank: 10
Utah: 5 minutes, 3 points, 1-1 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 offensive rebound, 1-2 FT
Colorado: 4 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 fouls
As the season continues to progress, Kyryl's role seems to diminish more and more. Right now he's a distant third on the depth chart at the ‘five' spot and with Angelo Chol improving, it doesn't seem like that's going to change anytime soon.