Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fresno State at Arizona Preview

You want to win at Arizona? Can you make 10 threes?

The Fresno State Bulldogs travel to Tucson to take on the #21 Ranked Arizona Wildcats on Sunday at noon in the McKale Center. Arizona enters the contest at 6-2 coming off of a victory over Illinois 78-72 in overtime. The Bulldogs are coming off of a loss in Las Vegas at the hands of UNLV 84-71. Fresno State leads the overall series 3-2 with the last game a victory in Tucson

in 1980.

Arizona will be without legendary Coach Lute Olson for the remainder of the season, the decision was made final on December 7th. Taking over the Head Coaching duties for Olson will be Kevin O’Neill. O’Neill had previous Coaching stints at Marquette, Tennessee, and Northwestern.

Where the Bulldogs stand:

Coach Steve Cleveland brings his team into this difficult contest with Arizona with many unanswered questions and have been plagued by deficiencies. The biggest issue that has hampered the Dogs all season has been getting off to slow starts and falling behind early. From the second game of the season this has been the trend in nearly every outing. The most glaring was against UNLV where they were effectivelty out of the game in the first 10 minutes.

To have a chance of even being in the game with a much more talented Wildcat squad the early going will be of the utmost importance, Cleveland must have an extremely quick timeout call if even the slightest Arizona run is made. Kevin Bell will need to control the game in the early going by slowing tempo, penetrating, and getting teammates open looks in the. Turnovers plagued the Dogs in the first half in Vegas and must be kept to a minimum Sunday.

It will also take a very good shooting effort to stick around with U of A. Guards Eddie Miller and Bryan Harvey will have to have the stroke going from three. It will take a huge effort by the entire lineup, including the guards, to keep Arizona off of the offensive glass. Controlling Arizona Center Jordan Hill will be difficult but it will have to be done by committee.

A look at Arizona:

The Wildcats come in with the momentum of a big overtime victory over Illinois. The Wildcats were led by Jordan Hill (23 pts, 14 rebs, 3 blks) and Jerryd Bayless (20 pts, 6 assts, 6-6 fts). Both players came up with huge efforts and played their best late in regulation and into overtime. Hill’s performance earned him Pac-10 player of the week honors.

The Wildcats feature 3 players that are posting double figures in scoring, led by guard Jerryd Bayless (19.9 ppg, 4.9 apg), forward Chase Budinger (17.1 ppg, 5 rebs) and forward Jordan Hill (12.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg). Following closely and a key contributor is senior wing Jawann McClellan (9.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg).

Key Wildcat Stats:

-50.6% from the field
-39.8% from three
-77.1% from the line
-Outrebounding opponents by 3 per game
-Averaging 18 assists and 14 turnovers per game
-Scoring 79.5 points per game while giving up 68.8

MBs take:

The Dogs are reeling, I predicted a 12 point loss at UNLV and was pretty close, but the game was never in question. I dont think this one will be either without a poor shooting Wildcat team and a extremely hot Bulldog squad. Neither is likely to occur.

Dogs lose 85-70.

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