Notebook: Arizona vs. Long Beach State

Arizona defeated Long Beach State on Monday. Read on for numerous notes on how the Wildcats got it done.

Arizona stormed out to a big lead early and never trailed in Monday night's affair with Long Beach State, as the Wildcats cruised to a 94-72 victory over the 49ers. The win moves UA to 3-0 on the season and the display put on by Arizona showed that the team has already made strides in a very short period of time.

UA was led by a several members of its supporting cast as the team continues to receive contributions from virtually everyone that sees the floor. The Wildcats' talent and depth were entirely too much for Long Beach State to handle and Arizona was able to keep the 49ers at a safe distance for much of the game.

  • Brandon Ashley was given his first start and he responded by having a having a huge game that resulted in a double-double. Ashley finished a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the winning effort. He was a very efficient 8-for-9 from the charity stripe and his accurate foul shooting allowed him to assert his physical presence in the paint throughout the evening. The freshman also made an impact on the defensive end of the floor by blocking a pair of shots.

  • Senior Kevin Parrom's performance was a big step in the right direction. The forward was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor – all from three-point range – and finished with 15 points off the bench. Parrom appears to be getting more comfortable with each game that passes, which is a very encouraging sign for Arizona.

  • The quality all-around play continues to come from Solomon Hill. The senior forward also scored 15 points, but he also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Hill didn't shoot particularly well from the floor (2-for-8 overall; 0-for-5 from beyond the arc) but he more than made up for it at the foul line. He did an excellent job of drawing fouls and capitalized with a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe.

  • Sophomore Nick Johnson was one of the primary factors in UA's first half lead. Johnson scored all 12 of his points in the first half, which helped propel Arizona to a 13-point halftime advantage. The guard also did a fine job orchestrating the offense when needed, dishing out five assists on the night. He also played tough on the defensive end of the floor, which led to picking up three steals.

  • The Wildcats shot the ball well again, connecting on 53.6 percent of their field goal attempts for the game. They also knocked down 9 out of 19 attempts from long range, effectively spreading the floor and making it easier to establish a presence in the paint.

  • Rebounding has been a problem area at times during the Sean Miller era, but the added size is already beginning to pay dividends in the paint. Arizona out-rebounded Long Beach State 41 to 23 and limited the 49ers to just six offensive boards. UA's effectiveness in boxing out allowed Long Beach State to score just two second-chance points throughout the entire 40 minutes of play.

  • The increase in length is also making it difficult for opposing teams to score in the paint with any consistency. On top of Ashley's two blocks, fellow freshman Kaleb Tarczewski swatted away four shot attempts as well. Interior defense has been relatively soft in recent years, but the freshmen big men have made their presence felt in the early portion of the season.

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