Breakdown: Arizona vs. Oregon State

Arizona will start its final road trip of the season on Wednesday night in Corvallis against Oregon State. Read on for a complete positional breakdown of the game, including statistics, a score prediction, and more.



Arizona at Oregon State
Mar. 5 at 9 pm
TV: Fox Sports 1
Gill Colliseum

ARIZONA

Oregon STATE
Overall Record 27-2 (.931) 15-13 (.536)
Location Record 8-2 (.889) on the road 11-3 (.786)
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 74.1 (89) 58.2 (5) 75.4 (66) 74.5 (286)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 9.2 (3) 0.4 (184)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
5.7 (224) 4.9 (305)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.2 (39) 13.7 (99)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 47 (51) 48.3 (19)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 35.6 (116) 39 (22)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 38.3 (8) 44.3 (209)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #3 N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#3 N/A

RPI

1 (.6789) 104 (.5384)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Hallice Cooke (6-3, 185, Fr.)

McConnell basically did what he wanted in the first meeting, finishing with 11 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, and only one turnover. We can't see this time around being much different, especially with the way he has been playing as of late. Cooke is a decent player, but much of his game is based on whether or not he can get going from three. If he can't, Cooke has shown that he is ineffective and tends to push things. This should be one of Arizona's biggest advantages figuring it can take away the three ball from Cooke.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Oregon State
SG: Gabe York (6-3, 180, So.) vs. Roberto Nelson (6-4, 198, Sr.)

We aren't a fan of Nelson at all and Nick Johnson will be the one that guards him the majority of the game. Arizona made life miserable in the first meeting because Nelson is going to get his shots up regardless if they are good ones, and he really did not get any clean looks. If York lets him get those clean looks, he will not play much, as Johnson was the one guarding him in the first meeting. There's no doubt that Nelson can score, but he sometimes does it at the expense of being efficient and careful with the ball. York could be in line for a decent game and should get some open looks because Nelson is not very good defensively. However, his offense does give him the advantage here.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Langton Morris-Walker (6-5, 216, So.)

This is an awful matchup for Oregon State and it would not be a surprise to see York take this defensive assignment because Morris-Walker just is not a scorer. He tends to play away from his strengths and was basically invisible in the first meeting. Johnson should make his life difficult and although Morris-Walker is a decent defender, he is going to have difficulty in this one. There's little reason to believe Johnson won't be able to play well.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Eric Moreland (6-10,218, Jr.)

Moreland is one of the more underrated players in the conference due mostly to his ability to really hit the glass hard. He had a combined 27 rebounds on the Los Angeles road trip last week and Arizona will absolutely need to keep him off the glass, if possible. In the first meeting, Moreland grabbed 8 boards, but only one was offensive and he had four points. Moreland is going to have difficulty scoring on Gordon and defensively as well. It's interesting that Moreland is such a good rebounder, but he is not as good of a defender as you may assume. Moreland is going to struggle with the quicker Gordon and it would not be a surprise to see Gordon have a big offensive game.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Angus Brandt (6-10, 246, Sr.)

Brandt actually played well in the first meeting, scoring 14 points in only 17 minutes of play. The truth is that he is not a bad offensive player, but he does not like to rebound and is not a great defender on the block. Tarczewski was fine in the first meeting, but had some difficulty guarding Brandt when he stepped out and hit the jumper. Arizona has the better player here, but last game it allowed Brandt to get in a groove. We're guessing that is something that Sean Miller wants to avoid this time around and Tarczewski should be able to do it.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson dominated Oregon State in the first meeting, scoring 16 points. The Beavers basically had no answer for him and that could be the case again on Wednesday. Devon Collier is a player that could start on a lot of teams, but for some reason Oregon State has him coming off the bench. He does get 25 minutes per game, but it does not feel like enough for a guy shooting 60 percent from the field and averaging 14 points with six rebounds per game. Beyond that, Elliott Pitts is probably better than anything the Beavers can offer off the bench, which is why Arizona gets the advantage here.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Craig Robinson

Sometimes I hate writing this section because I have absolutely no idea what to say. There are a few teams in the conference where you can say coaching will truly be a factor, such as Stanford, and Oregon State is one of them. Robinson will probably throw a few defenses at Arizona in hopes of it confusing the Wildcats, but it likely will not work. We could be wrong on who we think will win the game, but it won't be because of coaching.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
82 66
In my opinion, good defensive teams will almost beat a good offensive team in college. Sure, there is a need for offensive talent, but a team like Oregon State that can't guard the opposition is going to have difficulty. This season, the Beavers have allowed opponents to score 80 or more points nine times. Playing a team that is going for everything can be tough for a squad like Arizona that has already clinched. However, we think Arizona is too well coached and focused for that. Not to mention that the offense has been clicking. This game is close at the half, but Arizona should pull away.


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