Arizona Players of the Game:
Aaron Gordon– Playing in his first rivalry game, the freshman was all over the court on Thursday night. Gordon had a few high-flying dunks, but made his mark on the defensive end of the court and the glass. He grabbed six rebounds in the contest and finished with 16 points, though he could've had more if not for his two of six effort from the free-throw line.
Stats of the Night:
17: Arizona scored seventeen second chance points in the game. What makes this stat that much more interesting is that the Wildcats only had ten offensive rebounds. In order to get seventeen second chance points, the Arizona would have had to score on at least six of those ten rebounds.
Arizona State wasn't at its best, as Jermaine Marshall was out with a groin injury. He is arguably the Sun Devils' best player and not having him really hurt them from the start of the game. Arizona was able to key in on Jahii Carson and shut down Arizona State's offense.
In contrast, the Wildcats spread out the offense and played a true team game. Arizona players combined for 21 assists on the 34 baskets and sharing the ball comes with perks as well. The main seven-man rotation that Sean Miller has used lately each scored ten or more points, with Nick Johnson leading the way with 17.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"It wasn't just Nick," Miller said when asked about limiting Carson. "T.J. guarded him and Rondae guarded him. The way we chose to play defense, different switches had a number of different players on him. He's a tough guy to defend and he is at his best in transition. That's where our defense has to start when we defend him.
"You can't give him those full court one-on-ones. You try to cut him off and get your team back. With a few exceptions, we did a pretty good job of that."
"I think we just need to honor the process every day," Tarczewski said. "We need to work hard and get better in practice and take it one step at a time. I think we have done some pretty special things, but those are in the past.
"We are just going to keep working hard every day and hopefully towards the end of the season we will be where we want to be."