Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Arizona basketball in big trouble

The only thing worse than beating NAU by the closest margin since 1986 is coming to the realization that this Arizona basketball team has only two good players, Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger. Maybe three if you count Jordan Hill, who isn't on the floor long enough because of foul trouble and has begun to dabble with a mid-range jump shot, meaning Arizona now has 0 post players.

The Wildcats shot 38.3 % from the field. Against NAU. Aside from Budinger and Hill (a combined 11-22) the rest of the team shot 12-38. This was against NAU, let me remind you. An NAU team, who's roster is made up of 2/3 newcomers. The Lumberjacks were picked to finish fourth in the Big Sky, haven't developed the chemistry most small schools need for upset wins, yet were down by just three with a minute and a half left to play.

Freshman Jamelle Horne scored 0 points in 29 minutes. He started at the power forward position, yet he only grabbed five rebounds. Jawann McClellan shot 3-12 from the field. Worse, he has no elevation on his jump shot and got blocked on at least one occasion by some unathletic white kids from Flagstaff.

I'm not saying it's time to panic. I'm saying this team is worse than last year. I haven't even talked about the poor defense, something that was supposed to be corrected with defensive specialist Kevin O'Neill. NAU shot a better percentage from 3-point range than Arizona did overall.

If Bayless and Budinger don't carry this team on their backs, watch out for that NCAA tournament streak. Twenty wins, with the type of schedule Arizona has, will be tough to attain.
Next up for Arizona is Virginia. The first real challenge for Bayless will be senior point guard Sean Singletary, whose quickness will test Bayless' ability as a ball handling guard.

Virginia has taken it right to Arizona in two of the last three years and I expect Saturday to be more of the same. Arizona fans might be in for a long season.

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