Breakdown: Arizona vs. UTEP

Arizona will play its first true road game on Friday night. Read on for stats between the teams, a positional breakdown, and a score predicition.


Arizona at UTEP
Dec. 19 at 9 pm
TV: Fox sports One
Don Haskins Center

ARIZONA

UTEP
Overall Record
11-0 (1.000)
6-3 (0.666)
Location Record
0-0 (N/A) on the road
4-0 (1.000) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank)
76.4 (49)
59.4 (49)
70.3 (140)
65.3 (158)
Rebound Margin/G: RM (Rank)
7.2 (44)
5 (83)
Steals/G:
S (Rank)
8.3 (48)
4.8 (315)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.2 (59)
14.8 (71)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank)
50.7 (12)
47.2 (62)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank)
36.6 (98)
34.2 (167)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank)
39.1 (77)
41.6 (149)
Ranking:
Coaches' Poll
#3
N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#3
N/A
RPI
15 (.6456)
57 (.5876)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Sr.) vs. C.J. Cooper (6-0, 180, Sr.)

Cooper runs the point with stability, but doesn’t really do much else. He only shoots 39 percent from the field on about five shots per game, but does have a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. McConnell is the better player in every aspect of the game and he has the ability to force Cooper into making bad decisions.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: UTEP
SG: Gabe York (6-3, 185, Jr.) vs. Julian Washburn (6-8, 210, Sr.)

Washburn has played well in the big games this season, scoring 17 against Washington and 16 against Colorado State. His size advantage is a nightmare for York, which is why we think Rondae will see the bulk of minutes matched up with Washburn. When Washburn is forced to shoot jumpers, he is not nearly as strong as when he is going to the basket. If York is hitting his shots, this is a pretty even matchup, but Washburn is probably the better overall player.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Even
SF: Stanley Johnson (6-7, 245, Fr.) vs. Vincent Hunter (6-8, 200, So.)

Having watched this matchup at the LeBron James Academy, I am excited for this one. Hunter isn’t just a good player on a bad team, he is a NBA player that is putting up 16 and 10 on the season. He can be forced into some turnovers but he also knows that there is no way UTEP is winning this game if he doesn’t play well. I think Johnson has a higher ceiling than Hunter, but I would be surprised if one really outplayed the other by much.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-9, 230, Jr.) vs. Cedrick Lang (6-10, 255, Sr.)

Lang had a streak of six games in double figures earlier this season, but hasn’t done anything in UTEP’s last two games. He won’t stretch the floor at all and is a player that Ashley can certainly guard. However, we have our doubts as to whether or not Lang can do the same. As long as Ashley can keep Lang off the glass, he is going to have the advantage here.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 245, Jr.) vs. Matt Willms (7-1, 220, So.)

Willms is a big body, but he does not do much else. Tarczewski should be able to get him into some foul trouble and he tends to struggle with bigger players. Willms will only play about 20 minutes, which makes sense when you consider the different options the Miners have on their bench. Besides point guard, this is probably Arizona’s biggest advantage.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Junior guard Earvin Morris will come off the bench and look to hit threes, as he has made 7 of his last 12 from behind the arc. He won’t do much else, but is a player that Arizona will have to account for. Omega Harris is a decent guard that is similar to Cooper in that he brings stability more than anything else and there are a few others that the Miners might give a few minutes to. Arizona’s advantage here starts with Rondae and continues with the other players the Wildcats will bring off the bench.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Tim Floyd

You may not like Tim Floyd, but he is a good coach and will have UTEP prepared. Miller is the better coach and will have the Wildcats prepared as well. You can expect Floyd to throw some different defenses at Arizona, but it isn’t anything the UA has not seen before.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
72
67
Prediction: I think this game is going to be much harder than people think. Arizona is the highest ranked team to every play in El Paso. The place will be absolutely rocking and it is Arizona’s first true road game of the season. This game will not be easy in the slightest, but I can’t find a reason to pick Arizona to lose due in large part to defensive ability of the Wildcats.

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