Arizona surprises Harvard

Harvard talked about one aspect of Saturday's game that surprised it. Read on to see what it was, what Harvard thought of Arizona's size, and more.

After Arizona's victory over Belmont, head coach Ricky Byrd had nothing but praise for Arizona. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker and company were similar on Saturday afternoon after Arizona led from start to finish.

"They're a sensational basketball team," Amaker said. "I thought they played very, very well, very tough team, have all the pieces when you think about what's necessary to possibly have a championship level team in season. They're certainly one of those kinds of teams."

Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers knew that Arizona would be good, but admitted that he was a bit surprised at what the Wildcats had to offer.

"Definitely, film didn't give them as much credit as they deserved," Chambers said. "They were tremendous on defense, their rotations, their size. Their length was a problem tonight, but give all the credit to them; they played a great game and they played great defense."

In addition, Christian Webster says that the crimson were caught off guard by the type of effort that the Wildcats came out with.

"They pounced on us from the beginning," he said. "I think it took us by surprise how hard they played, how physical they were, and like Siyani said, their length and size and speed. From there it was just an uphill battle."

One of the major differences for Arizona was what Mark Lyons was able to do, as he played one of the best games of his career on Saturday.

"He was big off the ball screen, attacked the bigs, attacked the ball screens, trying to get into the paint and get a piece every time," Chambers said. "He did what most great guards to, tried to make plays for himself, get two people to guard him and make plays for his teammates. That's what he did that I thought was very, very effective tonight."

After the game, Amaker made a point to say that it is hard to understand just how big Arizona is until you see it in person.

"We knew," he said. "There is no question we knew, but as you mentioned, until you go against it firsthand it can be eye opening. They're big up front; they have an NBA size frontline. Their guards played exceptionally well; they shot the ball well.

"I think everything was clicking this afternoon and this evening and they deserved to be in the position they're in for this particular game. We didn't play as well as we are certainly capable of, which I think certainly had a lot to do with that."

Wildcat Authority Top Stories