Inside The Numbers: How key is Hassan

I recently made a statement on the Arizona postgame show that "as Hassan goes, so does Arizona". My hypothesis was that it is next to impossible for the Wildcats to win if Adams did not play well.

After looking at the numbers the hypothesis holds up, but not as much as I had originally assumed. In Arizona's 16 wins, Adams averaged 19.3 points a game. In the 10 losses he averages 16.1 points per game. It was not as big a difference as I supposed, but there is a drop-off in the losses.

In the three games where Adams failed to crack double figures, the Wildcats have lost two of them. The lone win was the blowout win over Oregon State where Adams scored eight points, but really was not needed.

Conversely, the Cats are 6-0 in Adams's top six scoring outputs. They are 8-4 in games where Adams eclipses the 20-point mark.

Where the hypothesis really starts to take shape is in the past few games. In their last four loses Adams has averaged just 11.8 points, and that includes a 19 points in the late rally against UCLA. Take that game out and he is averaging just 9.3 points per loss.

In Arizona's worst losses, Adams has been limited. Some of that is due to Adams struggling and some of that is due to opponents scheming to stop Adams. Against North Carolina, USC and Cal Adams was held to 12, nine and seven, three of his worst games of the year.

Adams was at his best against Washington. He traded blows with Brandon Roy and finished with a season high 32.

Adams playing well is not a necessity for the Cats to win, after all he eclipsed the 20-point mark in four of the Cats' losses. However, the Cats have only won twice when Adams scores 10 or less. In addition to the win over the Beavers, the Cats beat Kansas in the season opener when Adams scored just 10 points. Other than that the senior has scored at least 14 points in every win.

If Adams plays well the Cats aren't guaranteed a win, but if he does not play well, the Cats are all but certain to lose.

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