Breakdown: Arizona vs. Arizona State

Arizona will close out the regular season rivalry with Arizona State on Friday. Read on for a complete positional breakdown, statistics, score prediction, and more.

Arizona at Arizona State
Feb. 14 at 7 pm
Wells Fargo Arena


Overall Record 23-1 (.958) 18-6 (.750)
Location Record 5-1 (.833) on the road 13-1 (.929) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 73.4 (121) 57 (4) 77.1 (49) 67.7 (105)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 9.1 (6) -0.3 (204)
5.7 (239) 5.2 (282)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.1 (43) 14.6 (62)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 47.1 (54) 46.5 (67)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 35 (141) 39.4 (24)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 37.8 (7) 40.6 (58)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #3 N/A
AP Poll
#2 N/A


2 (.6859) 38 (.6017)
Point Guard

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

Carson has been better as of late, but Arizona did a really nice job on him in the first meeting. Carson has to play well for Arizona State to win and he is likely going to try as hard as possible to get his scoring going. McConnell really played well against Oregon State and when his shot is falling he is extremely difficult to stop. It is hard to give an advantage to either player based on the first game and even if Carson scores, we feel McConnell is going to have an efficient game.

Shooting Guard

SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Jermaine Marshall (6-4, 215, Sr.)

Johnson's shot just is not falling in the past three games or so, but Miller has stated numerous times that his abilities go beyond shooting. That ties in with what Marshall is able to do because while he is not a terrible defender, his impact on the game will be with his shooting. Marshall makes the Sun Devils much better and it never really had a chance of winning the first meeting without him. He not only shoots the ball well, but he really opens things up for his teammates, which may be his biggest impact. Johnson is going to have his hands full and while he is the better overall player, this one won't be easy.

Small Forward

SF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 215, Fr.) vs. Shaquielle McKissic (6-3, 200, Sr.)

It's only been two games, but Hollis-Jefferson's impact has been felt in a big way. He's not only provided energy, but he has been strong defensively and on the glass. The biggest surprise may be that he is scoring nicely, but a lot of that has to do with how well he is able to get in a good position to do so. McKissic is not a bad player, but he is not on Hollis-Jefferson's level. This is a bad matchup for Arizona State and another reason why we would assume the Sun Devils go to a zone.

Power Forward

PF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Jonathan Gilling (6-7, 219, Jr.)

This would be the second matchup that would force Arizona State to play zone. Gordon broke out of his slump in a big way last game and hopefully it is a sign of things to some. His shot may not have been falling, but Gordon is still strong enough to get good shots and obviously his impact on the glass and defensively is well known. As long as Gordon can take the three away from Gilling, this is going to be a huge advantage for the Wildcats. Eric Jacobsen started last game, but only played half the minutes, which is why we went with Gilling here. Either way, it's an advantage for Arizona.


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

This is always a difficult one, because Bachynski is a good player that has limited success against Tarczewski. In fact, Tarczewski held him without a field goal in the first game and made Bachynski a complete non-factor. We would be surprised if that happens again, but we doubt Bachynski majorly hurts Arizona. This is the type of game that is going to see Miller try to get Tarczewski involved early and rightfully so.


Bench: We're not going to say that Arizona is a deep team or that the bench is not a concern, but it is going to be just fine going forward if it can get similar production to what it had against Oregon State. Elliott Pitts and Gabe York are just as good as anything Arizona State brings off the bench and if Jordin Mayes can somehow match his production from last week, Arizona will be much better for it.


Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Herb Sendek

Sendek has done a really nice job with this team and has the Sun Devils close to making the tournament. Still, he has yet to find an answer to the way Miller game plans defensively and Arizona remains one of the top teams in the country.


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This is going to be a much closer game than the first meeting. Not only is Arizona State just a better team in general than it was before, but Jermaine Marshall makes a big difference. Arizona is much more talented than its rival and Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson should be the difference in this one. If Arizona can contain Marshall and Bachynski, the Wildcats are going to win this game.

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