Can the Arizona Claw Their Way Into The Tournament?
It was a combination of some quality play from Arizona and lackluster free-throws in the closing minutes for Washington State and the Wildcats were able to secure their fifth straight Pac-12 victory, including three on the road during this span. Next up, a tough and talented Washington team that sits one game ahead of Arizona in the standings; Arizona needs this win and several more if they have any hope of making it back to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year and 26th appearance in 27 years.
Despite the lofty pre-season expectations, including those that pegged the Wildcats the 16th best team in American due to an outstanding incoming freshman class, its been the seasoned veterans that have rejuvenated this squad. Five-star prospect Josiah Turner has yet to refine the speed of his game combined with his decision-making, while four-star forward Angelo Chol has been a solid, but unspectacular reserve and Sidiki Johnson is no longer on the team. Combo-guard Nick Johnson has been the only regular producer in the lineup, but has a backseat role to seniors Kyle Fogg and Jesse Perry and junior Solomon Hill.
During this five-game win streak, Fogg is averaging a team-high 17 points, while Perry and Hill are chipping in with 13.5 and 11.5 points respectively. The Wildcats are beginning to put things together for the first time all year and could be peaking at the right time to head back to the postseason.