Tarczewski prepared to step up

Kaleb Tarczewski knows that he and his teammates have to step up. Read on to see how he is handling that realization and more.

With the inside presence of Brandon Ashley gone, Kaleb Tarczewski knows that he is going to have to step up.

However, he also realize that he is not the only that needs to do so, as it is going to take a complete team effort to recover.

"I think not only myself, but everybody on the team needs to step up," Tarczewski said. "It obviously is very disappointing for us to lose Brandon, such a key player on our team.

"I think we can all look at this as an opportunity for some guys that haven't been playing as much to get a little more time out there and for the guys that are playing to have a little bigger role on the team. I think if we stay focused and work hard this week in practice we will be fine."

In order to be able to meet the challenge, Tarczewski realizes he will likely need more minutes and welcomes that challenge with open arms.

"I love that," Tarczewski said. "Being out on the court really gives you an opportunity to get a feel for the game and it is obviously not the situation that we wanted, but it is a situation I think everybody on the team is fine with and I have no doubt that everyone will step up and play the role that they have to on the team."

As soon as Ashley went down, Tarczewski became a focal point of the offense and was able to get to the line, where he went 12-12.

"That was one of the things that I really wanted to focus on over the summer," Tarczewski said of his free-throw shooting. "I didn't shoot as well from the line as I hoped to last year, so every day over the summer I practiced as many free-throws as I could. I have been feeling really good out there at the line.

"I think last year it was sort of being a little uncomfortable and nervous on the line. It is tough having 12,000 people staring at you when you are shooting a free-throw, kind of feeling like you're out there on an iceberg almost. It is different, but getting comfortable with that has made it easier."

Arizona is still not playing its best basketball and the good news is that the players recognize that as they attempt to meet their goal.

"It is a huge loss for us not to have Brandon playing for the rest of the season, but I think at the same time we still feel that even without him we have a great team," Tarczewski said. "Obviously there are going to be things we need to focus on and get better at, but everyone in the locker room is 100 percent committed to doing that."

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