Breakdown: Arizona vs. Texas Southern

Arizona opens the NCAA tournament against Texas Southern on Thursday night. Read on to find out more about the game, including statistics, a positional breakdown, and more.

Texas Southern vs. Arizona
Mar 18 at 11:10 am
Moda Center


South Western Athletic
Head Coach (Record w/ school)
Sean Miller (160-51)
Mike Davis (54-41)
Overall Record
31-3 (.912)
22-12 (.647)
Location Record
6-0 (1.000) on neutral court
3-0 (1.000) on neutral court
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank)
76.4 (20)
58.6 (15)
68.4 (147)
67.7 (211)
Scoring Margin (Rank)
17.8 (3)
0.6 (186)
Blocks/G (Rank)
3.6 (152)
3.1 (211)
Rebound Margin/G: RM (Rank)
8.8 (2)
0.1 (195)
S (Rank)
7.2 (67)
6.3 (172)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
14.2 (67)
11 (279)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank)
48.9 (6)
44.6 (101)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank)
36 (97)
32.2 (261)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank)
39.2 (26)
44.1 (238)
Coaches' Poll
AP Poll
6 (.656)
125 (.522)
2 (.9674)
207 (.4111)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (Rank)
116 (11)
101.7 (177)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (Rank)
86.4 (3)
104.9 (220)
Leading Scorer (Avg.)
Fr. F - Stanley Johnson (14.1)
Sr. G - Madarious Gibbs (14.1)
Leading Rebounder (Avg.)
So. F - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6.8)
Jr. F - Malcolm Riley (6.5)
Assists Leader (Avg.)
Sr. G - T.J. McConnell (6.4)
Sr. G - Madarious Gibbs (4.3)
Point Guard

PG: PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Sr.) vs. Madarious Gibbs (6-1, 190, Sr.)

Gibbs is a legitimately good player and McConnell is going to have to be big on defense. Obviously McConnell is the better guard, but Gibbs has the ability to score in bunches and that’s one part of the recipe for an upset. Texas Southern has absolutely no chance of winning unless Gibbs plays very well.
Shooting Guard

SG: Stanley Johnson (6-7, 245, Fr.) vs. Deverell Biggs (6-1, 185, Sr.)

Biggs is a scorer, pure and simple. It will be interesting to see how Johnson guards the smaller man, though there is no chance Biggs can keep Johnson in front of him. This should be a big game for the freshman figuring he does not get caught up in the first round jitters. Biggs torched Florida for 18 and Indiana for 14, so he can get going against anybody.
Small Forward

SF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 220, So.) vs. Chris Thomas (6-5, 190, Jr.)

Thomas is a familiar name and he has put together a nice season, averaging about 13 points and five rebounds per game. The issue for him here is that he has never faced anybody in his career like Hollis-Jefferson. If it’s possible, Hollis-Jefferson’s defense has actually been better in the past week or so. We just can’t see Thomas getting going here and he is going to have trouble defensively as well.
Power Forward

PF: Brandon Ashley (6-9, 230, Jr.) vs. Malcolm Riley (6-5, 200, Jr.)

Ashley is playing his best basketball at the perfect time. Riley is probably the best legitimate big that Texas Southern has, but he’s the size of Arizona’s shooting guard. Riley is dangerous on the glass and had 17 rebounds in a game earlier this season, but a lot of that is because he is clearly the best rebounder on the team. He does bring good energy. but Arizona’s size is likely too much for him to handle.

C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 245, Jr.) vs. Nick Shepherd (6-9, 220, Sr.)

Shepherd only plays 16 minutes per game and is pretty irrelevant in the overall picture. If he plays more, it is because he is the closest thing to a big the Tigers have. He has no chance of guarding Tarczewski and isn’t nearly good enough on offense for Arizona to have to consistently worry about him.

Bench: David Blanks will come off the bench for about 20 minutes per game and shoot threes, which is something Texas Southern is not very good at overall. Tonnie Collier is 6-8 and likely to get more minutes than usual. He is talented but, again, has never faced a team with Arizona’s size. Jason Carter is 6-9, 240 pounds and he will provide some size and fouls. You probably get the picture by now, Arizona’s bench is significantly better.

Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Mike Davis

Davis has had success in the past, but there is a reason he is at Texas Southern right now. Miller is one of the best coaches in the country and has Arizona playing some of the best basketball. If it comes down to coaching, Arizona isn’t losing.


Prediction: It’s difficult to see any reason why this is an upset possibility. Texas Southern is small, doesn’t shoot threes, and plays strictly man to man. Even if they decide to change the defense up, not nearly enough time has been put into it to make it effective. Arizona will overpower Texas Southern early and never look back. If not, we’re talking about one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.

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