Breakdown: Arizona vs. California

Arizona will travel to play California on Saturday night. Read on to find out more about the game, including statistics, positional breakdown, and a score prediction.


Arizona at California
Jan. 24 at 8:30 pm
TV: Pac-12
Haas Pavilion

ARIZONA

CALIFORNIA
Overall Record
17-2 (.894)
11-8 (.579)
Location Record
3-2 (.600) on the road
8-5 (.615) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank)
74.3 (42)
58.8 (26)
65.7 (216)
63.8 (127)
Rebound Margin/G: RM (Rank)
7.8 (17)
2.3 (127)
Steals/G:
S (Rank)
7.4 (70)
4.3 (334)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
14.3 (83)
12.9 (161)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank)
48.9 (16)
43.1 (202)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank)
35.7 (119)
34.4 (164)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank)
39.5 (60)
40.3 (88)
Ranking:
Coaches' Poll
#7
NR
Ranking:
AP Poll
#7
NR
Ranking: KenPom
4 (.9509)
158 (.5199)
RPI
6 (.6693)
120 (.5272)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Sr.) vs. Jordan Matthews (6-3, 205, So.)

No, Matthews is not a point guard, but this is how we see the defensive matchups shaking out. McConnell can stay with Matthews, who is primarily a three-point shooter. Half of his shots come from behind the arc and he is making them at an impressive 44 percent clip. If McConnell is able to take that away from him, Arizona is going to have a major advantage.
Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Stanley Johnson (6-7, 245, Fr.) vs. Jabari Bird (6-6, 198, So.)

Bird has been decent since returning from injury, but nothing more. He is averaging nearly ten points per game and is good for about 20 minutes per outing. Johnson on the other hand is making a push to be the best player in the conference and it seems he only needs one half to get going. He is the better player here and although Bird can get going offensively, Johnson should be able to hold his own.
Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Even
SF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 220, So.) vs. Tyrone Wallace (6-5, 200, Jr.)

The only concern with this matchup is foul trouble because of how much Wallace handles the ball, but Arizona has no choice. McConnell is not big enough to guard Wallace and if Rondae can take him out of the game, Cal has no chance of winning. Wallace is averaging 18 points, 8 rebounds, and four assists per game in one of the most impressive lines you will see in the country. He may be better than Rondae offensively, but his points are going to be harder to come by on Saturday.
Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-9, 230, Jr.) vs. Dwight Tarwater (6-6, 230, Sr.)

Cal continues to try to find an answer at power forward, but has not found it just yet. Tarwater got the start against ASU and the best thing his head coach said about him was that he competed. He does play hard, but that probably is not going to be good enough here. It would be a shock of Ashley did not come out extra motivated this game and we know how he plays when his motor has that extra kick.
Center

ADVANTAGE: Even
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 245, Jr.) vs. David Kravish (6-10, 240, Sr.)

Tarczewski’s most important job on Saturday will be keeping Kravish off the glass. If he can do that, he will be just fine. Unfortunately, his rebounding numbers suggest that is easier said than done. Tarczewski is a good defender and should be able to hold Kravish, but he needs to be more aggressive on the glass in order to reach his potential. Until that happens, we can’t give him an advantage.
Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Cal goes nine deep, but it isn’t a strong nine deep. Sam Singer will play and try to stretch Arizona’s defense despite only shooting 14 percent from three this season. Christian Behrens is a solid forward, but he tends to get into foul trouble. In addition to those two, you are likely to see Roger Moute a Bidias and Kingsley Okoroh. Neither is a huge threat and Arizona’s depth has more quality to it.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Cuonzo Martin

It looked as if Cuonzo Martin had Cal as one of the surprise teams in the conference when the Golden Bears were able to defeat Syracuse. Now, Cal has only won one game in January and seems to be going in the opposite direction. After a horrible loss to Arizona State, you have to wonder if Martin is losing his team for this season.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
78
57
Prediction: If California defeats Arizona, it won’t be because it is a better team. You never know how a squad is going to react to a result like the Golden Bears had against ASU. They are either going to come back and try to get in the win column or completely fold and get blown out again. Will the fans show up after what happened on Thursday? This has a bad feeling for Cal, especially with Arizona remembering what happened here last season.

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