Breakdown: Arizona vs. Colorado

Arizona will play host to Colorado on Thursday night. Read on to find out more about the game including statistics between the teams, a position breakdown, and a score prediction.


Colorado at Arizona
Jan.15 at 7 pm
TV: ESPN
McKale Center

ARIZONA

COLORADO
Overall Record
14-2 (.875)
9-6 (.600)
Location Record
9-0 (1.000) at home
0-4 (.000) on the road
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank)
75.1 (37)
59.6 (36)
67.8 (174)
61.7 (71)
Rebound Margin/G: RM (Rank)
6.5 (31)
4.7 (65)
Steals/G:
S (Rank)
7.9 (50)
5.9 (235)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
14.4 (87)
11.9 (236)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank)
49.3 (14)
45.1 (100)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank)
36.1 (99)
37.1 (70)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank)
39.3 (62)
39.2 (59)
Ranking:
Coaches' Poll
#9
N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#10
N/A
Ranking: KenPom
9 (.9226)
75 (.7314)
RPI
11 (.6442)
67 (.5701)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Sr.) vs. Askia Booker (6-2, 175, Sr.)

Booker is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t just look at numbers. Sure, he averages 15 points per game, but he also shoots 40 percent, only has 11 more assists than turnovers, and is often out of control. McConnell is easily the better true point guard and he should be able to guard Booker. Arizona has done pretty well with him in the past and we don’t see much reason why that should not continue.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Stanley Johnson (6-7, 245, Fr.) vs. Jaron Hopkins (6-6, 200, So.)

Hopkins is better than last season, but that is not saying a whole lot. He is averaging six points and three rebounds and should get a little more than 20 minutes against Arizona. Hopkins is plenty athletic, but Johnson has the advantage if the Buffs are going to stick with their man to man defense. Johnson did not play well against Oregon State and it is difficult to believe that will be the case two games in a row.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 220, So.) vs. Xavier Johnson (6-7, 230, Jr.)

Johnson is questionable with an ankle injury, but we have a hard time believing he is going to miss this one. Hollis-Jefferson has been inconsistent this season and this is one of the better matchups of the game. Johnson is shooting 40 percent from behind the arc and has become a more efficient player. Hollis-Jefferson is the better player, but if he is not careful Johnson is good enough to get the better of him.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Even
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-9, 230, Jr.) vs. Wesley Gordon (6-9, 225, So.)

This won’t be an easy matchup for Ashley. Gordon is stronger and attacks the glass as well as anybody in the conference, as shown by his seven rebounds per game. Ashley is the better offensive player although Gordon is capable of putting points on the board. We do think Ashley is the better player, but until he shows that, we just aren’t comfortable giving him the advantage.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Even
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 245, Jr.) vs. Josh Scott (6-10, 245, Jr.)

Scott has been battling some back issues, but we expect him to be just fine on Thursday. He has done very well against Tarczewski in the past and is strong enough to go one on one with him. The key here is on the glass and Scott is a better rebounder than Tarczewski. The coaching staff made sure Tarczewski knows it needs a much better effort on the glass and this would be a good game to start. Neither player likely has a big advantage here.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Arizona’s bench was no better against Oregon State and a team that looked like it had depth at one point is searching for a consistent option. Parker Jackson-Cartwright will almost certainly be better at home and Arizona has players like Elliott Pitts and Dusan Ristic that are role players. The Buffs will go about four deep, three of which are guards. Dustin Thomas is probably the best option, but none are guys that are going to go off.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Tad Boyle

This team should probably be better than it is, but there are a few factors holding it back. For starters, health has been an issue. However, the biggest obstacle is guard play. Hopkins and Booker wouldn’t start on a handful of other Pac-12 teams and when they are the best guard options on a team, that is not a good sign. Recruiting is part of coaching and Miller is better than Boyle at both.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
72
59
Prediction: There is no reason this should be a close game. Arizona is coming off a loss and is simply better than Colorado, especially at home. My guess is that Arizona starts out relatively fast and the Buffs just aren’t made to come back. The most interesting aspect of this game may be how Arizona defends and the way the minutes are divided.

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