McConnell up for the challenge

Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell does not mind road games. Read on to see why, his approach to the team's free-throw struggled, and more.

Arizona is going on the road for seven of its next eleven games, but point guard T.J. McConnell does not seem to mind.

"I think as a team we like the feeling of it being us versus everyone else there," McConnell said. "There is nobody on our side except maybe a few fans. We kind of embrace that, so we have done a good job on the road this year. We have to stay focused and keep playing like we have."

Arizona has been able to overcome a few slow starts at McKale, but there is a realization that it will become more difficult to do on the road.

"If you start like that on the road, you just have to battle that much harder to get back because their crowd is going to be hostile," McConnell said. "I think on the road we are a lot more focused and there are no outside distractions. We need to be focused here when we play Stanford and Cal."

It seems that when Arizona does get off to a slow start, there will be a big play that awakens the Wildcats, such as a dunk by Aaron Gordon.

"It gets our team that much more hyped and gives us so much more energy after a play like that," McConnell said. "It only helps us when AG gets a play like that."

In order to force Arizona out of those opportunities, opposing teams have played a variety of defenses.

"Teams think we struggle with zone, but I don't believe that at all," McConnell said. "We just try to take it one game at a time, no matter if they are in a press or a zone.

"If teams think we struggle with zone and they zone us, I think we're pretty much going to make them pay for that. I think it is one game at a time no matter what they do."

It may be nit-picking with a team that is 20-0, but Arizona has struggled some at the line. McConnell has the same opinion as the majority of his teammates in that it is a problem that they will be able to overcome.

"I see the free-throws getting a lot better," he said. "AG is a good free-throw shooter and I missed a few against Colorado. We're all just working hard in practice, shooting 100 free-throws a day. We're just trying to get better from the free-throw line because that could win or lose a game if it comes down to free-throws.

"In practice I see him making most of his free-throws. In a game, he might miss a few, but he has confidence to go to the line and he shows in practice, so I know he will start showing it in games."

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