No. 2 Arizona (,) vs. Washington State (5-14, 0-10)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Location: Friel Court (12,058), Pullman, Wash.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona had to go to overtime to edge Washington. Washington State fell to ASU 87-54.
LAST MEETING: The Cats struggled early but rebounded to beat WSU 82-69.
BACKCOURT: Marcus Moore is out for the year and gone with him are any chance for success. Moore was leading the conference in scoring and on his way to Pac-10 Player of the Year honors.
Even without Moore the Cougar backcourt is a match-up nightmare for the Wildcats. Thomas Kelati and Justin Lyman each stand 6-5. The Cougars use a three guard line-up and the unit is both tall and athletic, which will make things difficult for Jason Gardner and Salim Stoudamire.
Kelati is the only Cougar averaging in double figures at 10.9 ppg, so the Wildcats will obviously focus on him.
Chris Schlatter (7.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg) has assumed a starting spot and the 6-6 forward gives the Cougars another athletic wing. Schlatter and Lyman (9.3 ppg) are inconsistent, but can score when they are on.
Jerry McNair and Randy Green are the top-two guards off the bench for the Cougars. Both are smaller than the starters.
Due to the size and quickness of the Cougar wings, expect to see Chris Rodgers and Hassan Adams to log more minutes. Andre Iguodala should continue to play significant minutes at the three, allowing Walton to slide to the four. Just because the Cougars use big guards, don't expect Gardner and Stoudamire to disappear. Both players have had big games against the Cougars.
FRONTCOURT: The frontcourt is a weakness for the Cougars. The Cougars have just one big man over 6-8 who sees any kind of time on the court. The Cougars rely on a bunch of 6-7 to 6-8 players.
Milton Riley and Ezenwa Ukeagu get the starts for Washington State. Shami Gill and Cedrick Hughey come off the bench. Gill has battled injuries all season and hasn't been the player he was earlier in the season.
Channing Frye has been on a tear as of late and should log significant minutes again. If Isaiah Fox is out of Lute Olson's doghouse, he should also earn some time coming off the bench. Fox missed the team bus to Thursday's game against Washington and did not play. Rick Anderson will start at the power forward position and he'll also be a key player for the Wildcats. When the senior plays well, so go the Cats.
OUTLOOK: Arizona has a 35 game win streak over Washington State. Don't expect things to change. The Cats played lackluster against Washington, but frankly a lackluster effort will still beat the Cougars. The question isn't whether the Cats will win, but by how much.
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