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GOAZCATS.com Headlines
12-17-2007, 05:20 AM
Josh Gershon

The first four games of the season - despite the UA's 3-1 record in that span - were disappointing for many Arizona fans as the Wildcats didn't give much reason for hope for the immediate future. However, Arizona has shown consistent progress in every game since then and the talk amongst the coaches, players and fans following each of the last five contests is how much better the Wildcats are gettin

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Chicat
12-17-2007, 09:05 PM
Great article Josh.

What I think is most apparently different about the last 5 games compared to the first 4 is that the team is playing a more cohesive brand of basketball. What struck me against Fresno State were the limited number of wasted offensive possessions. It seemed like in former years, we wasted a lot of possessions with turnovers, bad shots, and no rebounding. Now it really is a rarity for us to go down and get anything but a quality shot.

Where I think this comes from is Jordan's ability to adjust to how the game is flowing and how it is being called. He's done a great job of staying out of foul trouble, and he's adjusted to how teams are guarding him. At Fresno, his defender stopped two drives to the basket with good positioning and great blocks. So Jordan stopped taking it to him one-on-one and started moving without the ball, cutting and presenting deep in the post. He's so much more versatile when he moves without the ball. I'd like to see him do more of that earlier in the game so he can then try and take his man off the dribble later on.

Overall I've noticed less defensive breakdowns since the Kansas game. We aren't giving up too many good shots. Well, maybe still a few too many, but so many less than last year that it's like night and day. What I do wonder though is how this team will react if someone comes in and back cuts and pick and rolls us to death.

I know I'm not supposed to look ahead, but it will take a near perfect game to beat Memphis. What's amazing though is that unlike in past years, I have confidence that this team can execute that perfect game. They can execute an offensive game plan where there are single-digit turnovers and single digit bad shots, and they have it in their ability to execute a gameplan where there are only a handful of defensive breakdowns. It won't take a miracle to beat Memphis, it will really only take their best performance of the season so far and I know that they have that in them. They haven't been flawless so far, but they seem to be going in that direction.