Pregame Thoughts

Doing the pregame show from the 1290 Studios and not on location allowed me the opportunity to be on the computer and jot down some of the themes of the show. Right now the focus is on this team's struggles.

*Let's face the facts, the Cats need to go 4-4 down the stretch, plus a favorable game or two in the Pac-10 Tournament and the Cats are in the Tournament. NIT talk is premature at this point thanks to a fast start to the season, a strong schedule and the toughness of the Pac-10. Assuming the Cats can beat Oregon State and Arizona State, they probably need to find just two more wins to secure a bid of some kind to the NCAA Tournament. Of course, finishing 6-2 or better would go a long way towards a solid seed.

*In my opinion the Cats must cut down on the three-point shooting. Not only are they in a slump, they are taking bad shots. Taking a wide open three and missing is one thing, but jacking up threes with defenders in your face, especially when the shots have not been falling, is inexcusable at this point. In the first 5:00 against the Cougars the Cats did a great job moving without the ball, finding the open man and getting easy looks. The final 35:00 of the game saw the Cats look a lot more like last year's team than the unselfish team we saw during the 12-game win streak.

I know the Cougars made adjustments, but the Cats have to continue to show patience and move the ball. They need to do a better job moving without the ball, cutting to the hoop and getting themselves in space to shoot easy or open shots.

*Everyone wants to know why Arizona has not recruited a big time big man. The simple answer is that they have. In the past three years these are some of the players the Wildcats made serious runs at: Spencer Hawes, Lance Thomas, Darrell Arthur, Josh McRoberts, Tyler Hansbrough, Jon Brockman and C.J. Giles. The Cats lost those guys to teams like Washington, Duke, Kansas and North Carolina. People also forget that Mohamed Tangara and Fendi Onobun were top-75 players. Tangara has never been the same since the back injury and Onobun has just not developed fast enough. Of course Arizona also pursued top-100 players like Brian Johnson, Darnell Jackson, Robert Rothbart, Davis Nwankwo and C.J. Giles. None of those guys have made an impact for the team that recruited them, with most no longer playing for the team that signed them.

*Although the Cats have lost six of eight, all but the UNC game were close late. Realistically, the Cats are just a few plays each game from getting the win. That is both good and bad. The good news is that they are close, the bad news is that they have not shown the ability to make those plays.

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