Hill respectful of Belmont

Solomon Hill has plenty to say about Belmont on Monday. Read on for his thoughts on the Bruins, how Arizona will handle them, and more

Arizona senior Solomon Hill is approaching his last game as a Wildcat, but he would like to extend his season as much as possible. In order to do that, Arizona must beat Belmont, a team that Hill respects, but also has confidence that the Wildcats can beat.

"They have a great scorer, a very efficient player," Hill said of Belmont guard Ian Clark. "They can shoot the ball from every position. They are a tough playing team. They are an excellent free-throw shooting team, but they are a smaller yet faster team. We have a great chance against them, especially with our height and our ability to rebound the ball."

In order for Arizona to beat Belmont, Hill knows that the Wildcats must have strong three-point defense.

"If they decide to live by the three-point line, we have done a great job, especially in the last tournament, at keeping teams off the three-point line," he said. "I don't know the numbers against UCLA, but I know they didn't have a good game at the three-point line. From the way we have been playing these past couple games, we are ready for any challenge."

Arizona has been inconsistent with its three-point defense this season, but Hill feels that the Wildcats have learned their lesson.

"We have to be aggressive on defense," he said. "Going back to the Colorado game, our team did a good job to throw them off when they shot beyond the line. One of the threes that Colorado had was towards the end of the game and Askia Booker hit a three, but it was more of a desperation attempt.

"We did a great job, especially keeping Spencer Dinwiddie off the three-point line. That's one thing that we learned from that game as well is keeping teams off the free-throw line. Belmont is a team that you don't want to give possession to at the free-throw line because they knock them down at a high percentage and that can be the difference like the UCLA game."

As of Monday afternoon, Hill had not watched video of Belmont. However, from what he has heard, Hill believes that it will be similar to facing Washington State.

"A team that they remind me of is Washington State because of their ability to shoot the ball from so many positions," Hill said. "It made them deadly. You look at Washington State's game against UCLA and how heavy the guard scoring was for them. They are a team that if they get hot, it could be a long night for the opponent.

"I haven't been able to make a strong connection yet from Belmont to any other team, but we know that from watching the seeding and interviews that it seems Belmont is a high-three point shooting team. In the NCAA tournament, they are number one in three-points made and three-point percentage. It's going to be a big challenge for us and I am ready to accept the challenge. Our team, especially Nick [Johnson] and the defense that he's been playing lately, will be motivated to defend the three."

At this time of the year, any team that is in the tournament is considered to be a good one. However, it seems as if the media has taken a liking towards Belmont and the Bruins have become a popular pick to upset Arizona.

"I was thinking about that myself and various commentators and media outlets have their own job to do," he said. "It doesn't affect anybody on the team or how we feel about the game. They have a job to do and they are doing their job.

"Whatever they say is a part of what they do as a professional and it doesn't affect me or how I play on the court. Everyone on our team knows that we're a great team. People are always going to throw things out like that because everyone is there to play. The fact is that we're there to win just like everybody else."

Belmont has been to the tournament numerous times and in order to effect a veteran squad, Hill feels that Arizona needs to come out fast.

"Against a team like Belmont, you have to get at them early," Hill said. "You don't want them to hang around. It was a couple of years ago that Belmont took Duke down to the wire. Last year, they played against Georgetown. You just have to get at them early. When they make their runs, we need to respect it and make our respected run."

In order to make those runs and come up big on both sides of the ball, Arizona must be able to keep up the correct pace.

"Our pace has to be a little different," Hill said. "In the first halves of the two games in the Pac-12 tournament, we played excellent basketball. In the second halves, we played not so well. We have to keep our pace up, keep running and not slow the ball down.

"If we slow the ball down, we give other teams the opportunity to get going. We really need to keep our foot on the gas and have a complete game."


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