Breakdown: Arizona vs. Stanford

Arizona will start the week off with a game on the road against Stanford on Wednesday night. Read on for a complete breakdown of the game, including a positional breakdown, score prediction, and more.



Arizona at Stanford
Jan. 29 at 7 pm
TV: ESPN2
Maples Pavilion

ARIZONA

STANFORD
Overall Record 20-0 (1.000) 13-6 (.684)
Location Record 4-0 (1.000) on the road 8-2 (.800) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 75 (99) 56.7 (4) 76.9 (59) 70.2 (182)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 10.1 (5) 3.2 (99)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
5.8 (224) 4.9 (304)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.6 (29) 13.6 (115)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 48.6 (18) 48.1 (28)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 36.2 (104) 40.3 (12)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 37.2 (4) 41.6 (100)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #1 N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#1 N/A

RPI

2 (.6957) 51 (.5910)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Even
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Chasson Randle (6-2, 185, Jr.)

Randle is pretty much a shooting guard playing the point, but he is darn good at it and has two games in which he has scored 30 or more. He has scored in double digits in every conference game except for one and had one of his best performances when he scored 33 on 11-15 shooting against Washington. Randle does tend to struggle against teams with size and it is hard to believe that he is going to blow up Arizona. He went 3-16 against UCLA and 6-16 against Cal because both teams took away what he did best and then had some size behind the guards if he did win that battle. Arizona is in similar position, but McConnell has struggled his past two games. He isn't going to score with Randle, but he should be able to handle the ball and offense better.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Anthony Brown (6-6, 215, Jr.)

Johnson is starting to get more national attention and he deserves it. He is arguably Arizona's best defender and seems to be the go to guy when the Wildcats are in trouble. Brown's size can be a concern and it is probably one of the biggest reasons why Stanford starts him at the two, but he is not a big scorer. Johnson was relatively successful against a bigger player against Utah and Brown isn't the type of player to completely go off. On the other hand, Brown could have difficulty staying in front of Johnson, especially when he attacks the lane.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Josh Huestis (6-7, 230, Sr.)

Huestis is a very good rebounder, averaging eight to go along with about 11 points per game. However, his strength is likely going to get cancelled out by Gordon and the freshman should be able to contain him on the glass as well. Huestis is better when he is not taking a lot of shots, because he tends to struggle when the opposition makes him a jump shooter, as seen by the fact he has shot 36 percent or below in four Pac-12 games. We feel comfortable saying that Gordon will be able to turn Huestis into a jump shooter while bouncing back offensively.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Stanford
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Dwight Powell (6-10, 240, Sr.)

Powell is one of the best players in the conference and a lot of that has to do with his ability to get to the free-throw line. He averages eight attempts per game in Pac-12 play, although that number is a bit skewed because of 15 attempts against Washington. Still, Powell is a very strong player that can get to the line, which means that Ashley's tendency to struggle with fouls is something to keep an eye on. Ashley can definitely play with Powell, but it is going to be tough. Stanford needs Powell to have a big game to have any shot of winning and he will get the slight advantage because of his ability to answer those calls.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Stefan Nastic (6-11, 245, Jr.)

Tarczewski has had some quiet games as of late, but the ability is still there. Nastic isn't terrible, but he is a foul waiting to happen. He has fouled out in six games this season, three of which came in Pac-12 play. There's no reason why Tarczewski shouldn't be able to win this matchup and get Nastic into some foul trouble in the process.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Stanford will go about eight deep, but is more comfortable going seven. John Gage will likely play 10 minutes or so because of Arizona's size and while he likely will not do a lot with it, he is still a big body. Robbie Lemons is the guard off the bench and is only shooting 31 percent from the field. He likes to come in and shoot threes, so Arizona needs to account for him. Arizona can actually match Stanford's depth numbers wise and in terms of quality there isn't much competition.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Johnny Dawkins

Dawkins hasn't brought Stanford to the NCAA Tournament in five seasons and it will be very close in his sixth. In addition, Stanford has not finished higher than sixth in the conference. When you look at what he has done, you have to wonder how much longer he will be at Stanford, because it's not like it is a bad job.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
74 70
Prediction: Stanford actually matches up well individually with Arizona. It can match its size, has a guard that can score, and has some athleticism as well. Mix that in with the fact that Stanford is at home and you have an intriguing game. You do have to wonder, however, if Dawkins is going to be able to use that to his advantage. You can make a case Arizona has not played well in its past two games or so, which brings the arguments of a) it is due to lose or b) it is due for a breakout game. We're not ready to predict either just yet, but Arizona should be able to do enough to win.


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