Breakdown: Arizona vs. NAU

Arizona will wrap up the non-conference schedule on Monday night. Read on for a complete breakdown of the starting lineups, statistics between the teams and more.



Northern Arizona at Arizona
Dec. 23 at 8 pm
TV: Pac-12 Network
McKale Center

ARIZONA

NAU
Overall Record 12-0 (1.000) 3-7 (.300)
Location Record 8-0 (1.000) at home 1-4 (.200) on the road
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 76.9 (95) 59.1 (8) 66.8 (291) 71.2 (181)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 14.2 (2) 1.3 (171)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
5.0 (288) 6.5 (154)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.7 (40) 11.4 (274)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 49.6 (24) 41.9 (282)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 37.9 (67) 29.1 (273)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 37.5 (13) 46.1 (278)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #1 N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#1 N/A

RPI

14 (.6552) 272 (.4334)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Aaseem Dixon (6-0, 185, Jr.)

Dixon is not the typical point guard in the sense that he is looking to score more than he is to get his teammates involved, as shown by his ten shot attempts per game. Half of those attempts will come from behind the arc, but he is only shooting 35 percent from there. The assist numbers are not much better than the turnover numbers, but he does the job fine for NAU. He's not as good as McConnell and won't outplay him, but Dixon is one of NAU's most dangerous players.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Quinton Upshur (6-5, 207, Jr.)

Upshur takes the shooting guard position to heart, as he likes to get his shots up, especially from three. Upshur averages nearly seven three-point attempts per game and only shoots 36 percent from the field. He averages more than double the amount of turnovers than assists and is not going to affect the game in other ways besides his shooting. Johnson should have no problem with Upshur, but Upshur is definitely going to have difficulty guarding Johnson.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 215, Fr.) vs. Gaellan Bewernick (6-6, 215, Jr.)

You can make an argument that Bewernick is the most important player on NAU because he does a little bit of everything. He is strong on the glass, as he averages 7.5 rebounds per game. Bewernick does not take a lot of bad shots and he takes what comes to him instead of forcing things like his guards tend to do. The problem here is that Hollis-Jefferson is not going to let a lot come to him, so this is going to be difficult for Bewernick.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Jordyn Martin (6-7, 210, So.)

Martin's status is somewhat unknown, but the hope is that he will be back from injury and good to go against Arizona after missing the game against Grand Canyon. Martin is extremely inconsistent and really is not talented enough to have a major impact on the game. The real problem here is that he has no chance of guarding Gordon. If Martin does not play, Len Springs is going to get plenty of minutes. He is probably a better defender than Martin, but that won't mean much.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
C: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Max Jacobsen (6-8, 230, Sr.)

Jacobsen is an extremely capable player and he is going to make Ashley work to defend him. He averages nearly 15 points per game and has done so against decent competition, as he had 21 points against Fresno State and 16 against USC. He has only had two games in which he failed to reach double figures, so there is definitely ability there. Again though, Ashley is playing great basketball and should be able to get an advantage on Jacobsen on both sides of the ball.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: We're figuring Tarczewski is not going to play, which obviously limits Arizona's depth. However, the Lumberjacks don't have much in that area as well, especially if Martin is out. Kris Yanku will get about 20 minutes off the bench and is a very good get for that level, but he has struggled in his freshman season. Gabe York is probably as good or better than anything NAU brings off the bench and you can say the same with the others.

Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Jack Murphy

We think Murphy is going to do just fine at NAU, but this is a different level. Murphy may coach at a bigger school down the road, but he has a lot of work to do to get NAU where he wants it to be. It will likely get there, but Arizona has the advantage here.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
85 52
Prediction: This isn't a gritty Southern team that is going to come out and play like it is a huge game. Instead, this is an overmatched NAU team that is going to have to have big games from its guards that have not really had big games. The Lumberjacks are not good offensively and that is going to be a problem against a great defensive team.


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