Breakdown: Arizona vs. Arizona State

Arizona will face rival Arizona State at McKale Center on Thursday night. Read on for a complete positional breakdown of the game, statistics, and more.



Arizona State at Arizona
Jan. 16 at 7 pm
TV: Fox Sports One
McKale Center

ARIZONA

ARIZONA STATE
Overall Record 17-0 (1.000) 13-4 (.765)
Location Record 11-0 (1.000) at home 3-1 (.750) on the road
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 75 (115) 54.6 (4) 77.2 (72) 64.7 (45)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 10.7 (7) -0.4 (229)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
5.9 (215) 5.5 (260)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.6 (36) 15.3 (50)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 48.7 (21) 47.2 (62)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 37.0 (79) 39.2 (38)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 37.1 (7) 39.1 (31)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #1 N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#1 N/A

RPI

5 (.6812) 59 (.5791)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Even
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Jahii Carson (5-10, 180, So.)

Carson is obviously very talented and dynamic on offense, but he has really been struggling as of late. He is at his best when he is creating for his teammates, but also being aggressive offensively. In his past five games, he has turned into a chucker and is shooting 34 percent with 22 turnovers to only nine assists. Simply put, this version of Carson is not as dangerous as he can be and McConnell is the more efficient player right now. Carson could easily snap out of his funk and put together a great game, but it is hard not to make this at least even until he does.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Shaquielle McKissic (6-3, 200, Sr.)

Johnson is playing like a guy who should at least be in the discussion for Player of the Year. He is doing just about everything for Arizona right now and Sean Miller would be quick to point to him as being Arizona's MVP up until this point. McKissic has been a nice addition for the Sun Devils and has only turned the ball over seven times in 391 minutes, which is remarkable. He is similar to Johnson in that he does a little bit of everything, but he is not at the same level offensively.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Jermaine Marshall (6-4, 215, Sr.)

Marshall is a very good player and might be one of the more underrated guys nationally. He is averaging 15 points per game on nearly 50 percent shooting, while also hitting 46 percent of his attempts behind the arc. Marshall dropped 25 on UCLA and has six games in which he has scored 20 or more. You can make an argument he is the most dangerous player ASU has. Obviously, Gordon is talented as well and he will be a big factor in other parts of the game. Marshall is going to have major difficulty guarding him, which is why we think ASU goes zone, as it can't afford Marshall to get into foul trouble. Gordon, on the other hand, should be able to guard Marshall fine.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Jonathan Gilling (6-7, 219, Jr.)

Gilling is a three-point shooter, as evidenced by 76 of his 95 shot attempts on the season being from three. In addition, a lot of the offense runs through him, which is why Miller has chosen to put Nick Johnson on him in the past. Gilling is going to have major difficulty guarding Ashley if ASU goes to man, but there's little reason to believe that Ashley can't stick with Gilling. This is a good opportunity for Ashley to build off the USC game and put together another solid effort.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Even
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Jordan Bachynski (7-2, 250, Sr.)

Bachynski has improved from last season and deserves credit for it, but we still can't get over how much he tends to struggle against teams with size. He was awful against Arizona last season, fouling out in one meeting, and only making one field goal in another. Tarczewski was not much better, but he will be able to more than hold his own here. We're guessing that they have equal games, which is actually a big win for Arizona because ASU can't have that happen if it wants to win.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: The Sun Devils don't have any more depth than Arizona does, which is a major issue for them. Brandon Kearney is a solid player that transferred in from Michigan State, but has picked up a foul every four minutes in his past four games. Egor Koulechov is a big guard that is going to get decent minutes and his biggest impact will probably be on the glass. Once again, Arizona is not deep, but the quality is better than the opposition.

Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Herb Sendek

Credit to Herb Sendek for recognizing what he was doing at ASU wasn't working and trying to fix it. However, the fix has not really shown many rewards and Sendek is once again struggling to keep the Sun Devils from the lower tier of the conference. Miller on the other hand coaches the top team in the country.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
76 59
Prediction: ASU just does not match up with Arizona, but there is some talent there. A guy like Marshall or Carson can get hot and make this a closer game than it really should be. This one is likely going to be another example of what size can do to the opposition and we just don't see how ASU can defend Arizona and keep the Wildcats off the glass. This game could be close early, but Arizona will wear down ASU



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