Breakdown: Arizona vs. Washington State

Arizona will face Washington State on Saturday. Read on for a complete positional breakdown of the game, including a prediction.

PG: Mark Lyons (6-1, 200, Sr.) vs. Royce Woolridge (6-3, 175, So.)

Woolridge is an interesting player because we don't see him as a true point guard and he is streaky offensively. Sound familiar? The difference here is that Lyons is a better overall player, as shown by the fact that Woolridge shoots 36 percent from the field and 30 percent from behind the arc. Woolridge does not turn the ball over a ton, but he can be forced into doing so if the Cougars are faced with more pressure. Lyons is the better player and will get the advantage because of it, but you really do not know what to expect from both.

Advantage: Arizona

SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, So.) vs. DaVonte Lacy (6-3, 206, So.)

Lacy is the same exact player he was last season, which has been disappointing for a Wazzu team that needed him to make a jump from his freshman to sophomore year. He is currently shooting 38 percent from the field and 78 of 125 of his field goal attempts have come from three, where he is shooting 30 percent. Lacy is a solid defender, but Johnson does not need to score a ton to be effective and it is hard to imagine Lacy scoring a lot of points against Johnson. Lacy did have a 22-point game against Gonzaga, so there is talent there. However, he has only scored in double digits once in his past seven games. Johnson is just the better player and if Lacy puts together a Gonzaga type of game, the Cougars are going to be difficult to beat.

Advantage: Arizona

SF: Solomon Hill (6-7, 220, Sr.) vs. Mike Ladd (6-5, 195, Sr.)

Ladd has put together a solid senior season, averaging 12 points and six rebounds per game to go along with two assists as well. He has scored in double-digits in his last nine games and Ladd is a much more effective player when he is making his three-point attempts because it opens up his game a lot more. Hill is the better player, but also may be one of Arizona's most frustrating. Hill is a stronger player than Ladd and should be able to take him inside, but the bigger question is whether or not he will want to. We are assuming that he will, so Hill gets the advantage. Still, there is a chance that Ladd puts together a strong game and if he does not, the Cougars probably get blown out.

Advantage: Arizona

PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 235, Fr.) vs. Brock Motum (6-10, 245, Sr.)

This is going to be as difficult as it gets for Ashley, as he has to face a player that has a size advantage and can really score from anywhere. Motum is averaging nearly 19 points and 7 rebounds and can step out and hit the three at a decent rate. Motum is shooting 45 percent from the field one year after hitting 55 percent of his attempts and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he does not have a lot of talent around him. Ashley may get the initial defensive assignment, but the UA is going to throw a lot at Motum in order to make things as difficult as possible. Motum is obviously better than Ashley, but if the freshman can make it difficult for him and be as effective as he has been at times this season, Arizona will be just fine.

Advantage: Washington State

C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 255, Fr.) vs. D.J. Shelton (6-10, 240, F)

Despite Shelton's size, he is only shooting 35 percent from the field and averages around six rebounds. For some reason, he likes to drift by the three-point line sometimes and it really does not work, as shown by the fact that he is 4-13 in his last five games. Shelton is not going to score much and does not have the potential to do so. Tarczewski should be able to put together a good game and his ceiling is higher than Shelton's. For that reason alone, we will give the advantage to Tarczewski, but it is probably closer to even.

Advantage: Arizona

Bench: The Cougars only go seven deep with one of those two being worth a mention. Dexter Kernich-Drew is scoring seven points per game and is primarily a three-point shooter. Beyond that, Wazzu may play Will Dilorio at guard, but his role is mainly to bridge the gap between the starters and bench. This should be one of Arizona's biggest strengths, especially when you consider that the Cougars do not have a lot of size coming off the bench.

Advantage: Arizona

Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Ken Bone

If there is one coach in the conference that you could probably point to as being the closest to getting fired, it would probably be Bone. He has not been able to have much success with the Cougars and it has basically been the same since he got there. It also does not help that Washington State just does not have a lot of talent.

Advantage: Arizona

Prediction: This game is going to come down to whether or not Arizona can take care of the ball and get into an offensive flow. It is a better rebounding, defending, and shooting team than Washington State, but it is never easy to win on the road. The Cougars almost had Arizona State and have played better at home on the road. However, Arizona is better in every facet and if the Wildcats lose, it won't be because of Washington State. Our guess is that Arizona comes out much better than it did against Washington and puts forth an impressive effort.

Arizona 75, Washington State 63


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