Breakdown: Arizona vs. Rhode Island

Arizona will be playing for a trip to New York City on Tuesday night when the Wildcats face off against Rhode Island. Read on for a complete positional breakdown, including a score prediction.

Rhode Island at Arizona
Nov. 19 at 9:00 pm
McKale Center


Point Guard

PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Mike Powell (5-11, 175, Jr.)

Powell basically runs the offense for Rhode Island, but not with the same efficiency as McConnell. He will only play about 18 minutes a game because he just isn't enough of an offensive threat or helpful in other areas to stay in longer than that. McConnell may not be scoring a lot, but he is better than Powell in just about every area.

Shooting Guard

SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Xavier Munford (6-2, 180, Sr.)

Munford is going to be good for ten shot attempts per game, but he isn't going to make many of them. He isn't shooting 30 percent on the season and shot below 40 percent last. You always have to be careful of a volume shooter, but Johnson should be able to contain him defensively. On offense, there's no reason why Johnson should not be able to have his averages, which should be good enough for the advantage here.

Small Forward

<SF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Jerrell Reischel (6-6, 215, So.)

Rhode Island has played one good team this season and it was the only game in which Reischel really struggled. In what is becoming a pattern, this should be another player that has difficulty matching Gordon's intensity and athleticism. There is no reason to think Gordon is not going to be able to have a successful night, especially with the size advantage as well.

Power Forward

PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Ifeanyi Onyekaba (6-8, 240, So.)

Onyekaba is a big body, but not very skilled. He is generally tough on the glass, but has difficulty guarding athletic players and can get in some foul trouble. This is another matchup in which Ashley is clearly the better player, but needs to make sure he does not take himself out of the game due to foul trouble.


C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Gilvydas Biruta (6-8, 245, Jr.) Biruta is another big body that is not very skilled, but capable of playing strong on the block and glass. He fouled out in 22 minutes against SMU, which was easily the most athletic front line he has seen early in the season. If Tarczewski establishes himself early, he should be successful. He is the better player, but often times unpredictable.

Bench: E.C. Matthews is a player Arizona recruited for a bit and leads Rhode Island in scoring. He may come off the bench, but is going to get starter minutes. Beyond him, Biggie Minnis will get a nice amount of minutes, but there is not much production there. Arizona should be able to keep Matthews in check and has the advantage on the rest of the bench.

Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Danny Hurley

We're a fan of Hurley and think he is going to have success, but he is not there yet. Miller has obviously brought his teams further than Hurley and been at this level longer. Arizona has the better team, which will make any coach better, but Arizona has the advantage here as well.


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Prediction: Rhode Island is coming off a close game against Metro State and Arizona off a blowout against a terrible Fairleigh Dicksinson team. The Wildcats are just the better team and Rhode Island generally does not shoot well. This is not the type of game to see the opposition get hot from the field and make it closer than it should be.

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