With Arizona set to face Washington State on Friday night, here are the five keys to having a successful game.
1. Get good play from Nic Wise: Wise has been a disappointment so far this season, but he has not been terrible. With that being said, it is hard to imagine the Wildcats winning Friday night if he does not have a relatively strong game.
Arizona is a much better team when Wise is playing well because he demands respect from opposing defenses and has a solid ability of finding the open man. When he is off, the opposition can play straight defense on the UA and it basically throws everything off.
With the schemes that Ken Bone runs, Wise is going to have to find a way to play well on both sides of the ball. It will be interesting to see how Arizona head coach Sean Miller attempts to get him more involved.
2. Defend well: It should be the key for every game, but this is not the Washington State of old. The new WSU makes the opposition defend quick shots and runs a much more aggressive defense.
Arizona is going to have to put together a strong defense if it is going to win the game. The Cougars can score points in a hurry and are averaging over 80 points, something that the Wildcats would love to be doing right now.
3. Get a big contribution from the two spot: Arizona did well against UCLA for numerous reasons but one of the biggest was because the Wildcats got a huge contribution from Kyle Fogg.
Obviously asking him to score 25 points per game is a bit much, but if he can score 12-15, the Wildcats are going to be a much better team. Fogg needs to continue to be aggressive on offense because the team seems to feed off him when he is. If Fogg is a major player on Friday night, Arizona's chances go up dramatically.
4. Bench play: Washington State goes nine deep and Arizona certainly does not. With Jacobson out, Kyryl Natyazhko is going to have to step up because Derrick Williams is going to have some fits with DeAngelo Casto.
In addition, Lamont Jones needs to get his act together and do well with his time, especially coming off of the suspension.
The Wildcats are not going to win with five players, so it is definitely going to need the bench players to step up in a major way.
5. Rebounding: Casto will be the best rebounder on the court and Arizona is going to need to keep the Cougars off of the offensive glass.
Rebounding is vital and the Wildcats have been solid throughout the year. If it can outrebound the Cougars, chance of winning go up dramatically.
Keys to victory: Washington State
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