Scouting report: Saint Louis

Arizona destroyed Saint Louis a year ago, but it didn't really seem like it. The Cats slowly pulled away from the Bilikins in a game at McKale Center and when the smoke cleared the Cats had a 33-point win. This year the Cats head to St. Louis for their only true road game of the non-conference season.

No. 7 Arizona Wildcats (1-1) at Saint Louis Bilikens(3-1)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2003
Time: Noon CST
Location: Savvis Center (20,000), St. Louis, Mo.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: ESPN2 (Bob Carpenter/Jimmy Dykes)

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Saint Louis at a glance
Coach: Brad Soderberg
Location: St. Louis, Mo
Starters Returning: 2
2002-03 Record:16-14 (9-7)
Conference: Conference USA
Post Season: NIT
Last Meeting: Arizona beat SLU 91-58 in a game where the Cats slowly pulled away from the pesky Bilikens. All time the series is tied 1-1

LAST TIME OUT: Arizona lost to Florida 78-77 on a last second shot by Bonell Colas. St. Louis suffered a 66-57 loss Tuesday at West Virginia.

OVERVIEW: The Wildcats will be tested by a team that plays deliberate, slow-down style. The Billikens are a physical team that likes to grind it out. Soderberg is a disciple of former Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett and the Bilikens play a lot like those Badger teams.

As a team, SLU is holding opponents to 36.5 percent shooting (50-of-137) and just 44.3 points per game, while forcing an average of 26.3 turnovers. They are a tough defensive team that will try to pound the speedy, athletic Wildcats.

Chris Sloan and Josh Fisher lead the team. They have scored in double figures in all four games to date. Sloan also leads the club with a 5.7 rpg. Sloan will swing between both wing positions and is a great defensive player. Fisher is a nice little point guard who scored 16 against the Cats a year ago.

Expect the Bilikens to try and pound the Wildcats in hopes of getting Arizona in foul trouble. The Cats have just two scholarship players on the bench and Florida showed what happens when the Wildcats get in foul trouble. They will try to slow things down and expect them to use a lot of zone defense in hopes of forcing the Wildcats to take bad outside shots.

SAINT LOUIS' STRENGTHS: The Bilikens are a very disciplined team and play a deliberate style of basketball. The team is very balanced, four players average between 9-15 points, while another three average just over 5.5 ppg.

SAINT LOUIS' WEAKNESSES: SLU lost a lot in the middle and is still trying to fill the shoes of C Kenny Brown. The Bilikens are not an explosive scoring team and can't run with the Cats.

BEST PLAYER: Sloan, 6-7, G/F. Sloan is described as an "intangibles guy." He is also the team's leading scorer at 15.0 ppg. He's got a great midrange jumper and is a beast on the defensive end.


Frye will be facing both smaller and/or younger players

Power Forward

The Bilikins are bigger, Adams is better

Small Forward

Sloan is good, Iguodala should be better.

Shooting Guard

If Stoudamire finds his shot...WATCH OUT!

Point Guard

Fisher is a solid vet, but Shakur is too big and athletic.


Home court and a tough style give SLU an edge

OUTLOOK: If SLU can hold the Wildcats to less than 80 points they have a chance. If the Cats can run, then this one is over. Expect the Bilikens to run a lot of zone and the Cats must shoot well to overcome the defense.

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