Cats need to answer questions

The Wildcats begin the postseason on Thursday with more questions than answers. It is a Wildcat team that has been playing better of late but now have to deal with another last second loss and the suspension of Hassan Adams.

Here are some questions the Cats need to answer if they are to make a push in the event.

Who gets Hassan's minutes?

The first obvious person is Chris Rodgers. Rodgers will start at the two-guard spot and should play somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30 minutes, assuming he does not revert to "bad shot Chris".

I would also expect Daniel Dillon to get more minutes. He and Rodgers have really worked well together on the defensive end and his offensive game is getting better. Olson mentioned an expanded role for J.P. Prince and I have a feeling that Fendi Onobun will get more time at the three after seeing the bulk of his minutes at the four.

Who will pick up the scoring load?

This is actually a bit of a trick question. While Adams is the team's leading scorer, he has not been a great scorer the past 10 games. Since the UNC game, Adams has only averaged 12.4 ppg. His only 20+ point scoring game was the win in Palo Alto. In that same time Marcus Williams has averaged 14.8 ppg and Ivan Radenovic 14.4 ppg, with both eclipsing 20 points on two occasions.

I expect Radenovic to continue to pick up his scoring totals. He's really figuring it out right now. He's finally healthy, the team has settled on an offensive scheme that suits his skills and he just looks confident. I am not sure how much more Williams can score. He went for 20 on Saturday and I can't see him making the leap to a 20+ point scoring guy without forcing shots.

Chris Rodgers seemed to figure it out on Saturday. He only scored 11 points but was an efficient 4-6 from the field, nailing a trio of three pointers. If he can continue to let the offense come to him, then I think he can be a better scorer. I would also expect Mustafa Shakur to attack the basket more, and don't be shocked if Kirk Walters and Onobun don't get more touches.

Is this now Marcus Williams' team?

Some have suggested (myself included) that maybe it is time to hand the leadership reigns over to Marcus Williams. While it would be tempting to tell the talented freshman that he is the captain, I just don't see it happening. Shakur and Williams have stepped up of late in the leadership department and I expect them to continue to do so.

Is it really that hard to beat a team three times in one season?

I think this is one of the most misused clichés in sports. True, I do think it is tough to beat a nearly equal team three times in one season, but it is not tough to beat an inferior team three times in one season.

Am I saying that Stanford is inferior? No, but in their last meeting the Cats sure seemed to be the better team. Although the final score was close, the Cats were clearly the better team in Palo Alto. Since that game the Cardinal are 2-2, with the two wins coming by a total of four points. One of which was a 39-37 win over Washington State.

If Arizona comes out and plays like they did for the first 39 minutes of the Washington game they should win going away, even without Adams.

Can Arizona win the Pac-10 Tournament?

Can they? Sure. However, they just don't seem to be playing well enough to win three straight games in three days. UCLA seems to have their number and have thoroughly outplayed the Wildcats in both of their meetings. Add to the fact that they have to play in Los Angeles and it will be tough.

That being said, the Cats played exceptional against Washington (minus the last :30) and looked very good early on against ASU and WSU. It would be a pretty good shocker, but not an impossibility.


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