The 5-0 Arizona Wildcats travel to California to play the 3-2 Stanford Cardinal. The Cardinal are favored by 2.5 points with the Over/Under set at 135.5.
Stanford’s two losses this year were to North Carolina and Indiana.
In their previous game against UTEP, the Wildcats did not make a 3 point shot. 0 for 9. The last time that happened for the Wildcats was January 4th, 2009. Against? The Stanford Cardinal. In that game they were 0 for 8 with Chase Budinger going 0-3, Jamelle Horn 0-2, and Nic Wise, Brendon Lavender, and Kyle Fogg each going 0-1.
Arizona is attempting 19.8 3’s per game and making 37% of them. Stanford has not been a good perimeter shooting team so far this year. As a team they only shoot 31% from 3 (214th in the nation). Spencer Jones and Ziaire Williams are shooting the most 3’s for the Cardinal–Jones at 4.8 per game and Williams right at 4 per game. They both are making only 25% of them. Which means they might be due for a heat-check type game.
The Cardinal, however, will be lead by their two-headed monster. Both Seniors. Both NBA prospects. 6’9″ forward Oscar da Silva (20 points, 6 rebounds per game) and 6’3″ point guard Daejon Davis (14 pts, 5 rebs, 3 assists per game). Da Silva, Davis, and Williams combine for 33 of their teams 57 attempted shots per game, accounting for 58% of their shots. (Davis did not play in Stanford’s last game for disciplinary reasons.)
Though Arizona, and Sean Miller in particular, are more known for defense, it’s Stanford that is 13th in kenpom’s adjusted defensive rating allowing only 88 points per 100 possessions. Arizona is not far behind at 26th allowing 90.4ppg per 100. Offensively, Arizona is averaging just under 79 points per game and Stanford is averaging just under 74.
Statistically these teams are fairly similar and Arizona will have a size advantage if they choose to try to go bigger, but that might be difficult to do because of Stanfords overall athleticism. This is the Pac12 opener for each of these teams and should be a great game. Stanford has played better overall competition so far this year and we’ll see if that has prepared them better for this Pac12 matchup.
I think it’s only a matter of time before we can start to see even more of Bennedict Mathurin for Arizona. Of the players getting significant minutes, he has the highest PER, is the only one averaging over 30 points per 100 possessions, has the 2nd highest Free Throw rate behind only Tubelis, is shooting 49% from the field, 43% from 3, and 86% from the FT line. Coach Miller rewards defensive play and Mathurin needs improvement there but is more than holding his own in all of the major defensive statistical categories. He has some issues with turnovers early on here but we can expect that to be cleaned up as we start to see more and more of him as we begin Pac12 play.