Breakdown: Arizona vs. Colorado

Arizona will travel to Boulder on Thursday night. Read on to find out more about the game, including including stats, a positional breakdown, and a score prediction.


Arizona at Colorado
Feb. 26 at 7 pm
TV: ESPN
Coors Events Center

ARIZONA

COLORADO
Overall Record
24-3 (.889)
12-14 (.462)
Location Record
6-3(.666) on the road
10-4 (.714) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank)
75.9 (24)
59.3 (22)
66.7 (185)
65.3 (142)
Rebound Margin/G: RM (Rank)
7.9 (14)
4.2 (51)
Steals/G:
S (Rank)
7.4 (62)
5.9 (214)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
13.8 (92)
11.5 (256)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank)
49.7 (7)
42.4 (235)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank)
35.7 (112)
35.1 (244)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank)
40.1 (68)
41 (91)
Ranking:
Coaches' Poll
#7
NR
Ranking:
AP Poll
#7
NR
Ranking: KenPom
3 (.9591)
115 (.6273)
RPI
7 (.6547)
127 (.5231)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Sr.) vs. Dominique Collier (6-2, 170, Fr..)

Collier has been put into the starting lineup in place of Jaron Hopkins, but it isn’t much of a difference. He does not shoot well and can be forced into making numerous turnovers against a good defense. That isn’t a recipe for success against Arizona and McConnell should be able to take advantage of it. There’s not much of a reason why McConnell shouldn’t put together a good game.
Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 220, So.) vs. Askia Booker (6-2, 175, Sr.)

By putting a true point guard in the lineup, Colorado forces Arizona to move its matchups around a bit. McConnell has guarded Booker in the past and will continue to do so when Collier is not in the game. Rondae makes the most sense, but the size difference means it will not be an easy matchup. Colorado has no choice but to play zone because of the size difference and if you ignore the game this year, nobody has done a better job of containing Booker the last few years.
Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Stanley Johnson (6-7, 245, Fr.) vs. Xavier Johnson (6-7, 230, Jr.)

Stanley is going to have to be careful here defensively because Xavier will have no issues being aggressive to the basket. Stanley is good enough to handle his own defensively and we can’t see him having another bad offensive game. As long as Stanley rebounds well and forces Xavier to be a jump shooter, he will be just fine.
Power Forward

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

Gordon is one of the better rebounders in the conference, averaging nearly eight per game. He gets most of his points off the glass, though he has a tendency to want to shoot jump shots when that isn’t beneficial at all. Defensively, Gordon fouled out in the first matchup and Ashley’s quickness has been a problem for him in the past. Ashley will work to not get bullied and make Gordon take shots he has no business taking. If he does that, Arizona has the advantage.
Center

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

Sean Miller said on Tuesday that if Scott was healthy the whole season, Colorado is a tournament team. We don’t necessarily disagree and that shows what type of impact he can gave when healthy. The issue is that since coming back, he has battled inconsistency. For instance, Scott had three rebounds last game and 27 combined in the two games previous to that. This matchup has been pretty even the last three years and we might as well keep it that way.
Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Colorado finally has somewhat of a bench now that it is healthy. Jaron Hopkins has been taken out of the starting lineup and will probably give 15 minutes or so. Xavier Talton, Tre’Shaun Fletcher, and Dustin Thomas will get minutes as well. However, Gabe York may be better than all three and Arizona has just as much depth, if not more.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Tad Boyle

Sure, there have been some injuries this year and that’s tough to deal with, but Boyle is not thought of the same as he was two season or so ago. He has Colorado going in the wrong direction not only on the court, but recruiting as well. Some people have wondered if he over stayed his welcome at Colorado and while we don’t know that answer, it could be something to keep an eye on in the future.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
70
64
Prediction: It’s never easy to win on the road and with Colorado completely healthy, that adds somewhat of a scary element to it. Miller does a good job of having Arizona ready for games like this and it is hard to see the Wildcats losing this one with so much potential meaning behind Saturday’s game. It going to be ugly at some points, but Arizona will do just enough to get it done.

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