Three factors that lead to Arizona's rout of Georgia Southern
Arizona basketball bounced back in a big way Thursday night against Georgia Southern in a 100-70 win after going 1-2 in last week’s Maui Invitational. Here’s how Arizona was able to come away with its fourth home win of the year.
Three different Wildcats posted the highest point total of their collegiate career – all three a different year in school.
Redshirt junior Chase Jeter scored 18 points on 4-4 shooting. The 6-foot-11 center did most of his damage via the free throw line where he was a superb 10-12. Jeter was around the basket most of the night on both ends as he collected 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
Sophomore Alex Barcello was a spark plug off the bench for the Wildcats as he collected 16 points in just nine minutes of play. The guard was an efficient 6-10 shooting from the field and was able to connect on both of his 3-point attempts.
"It was great to see him make shots in a game," Sean Miller said. "It’s just a matter of him playing with confidence knowing that we want him to shoot the ball.”
And let’s not forget Devonaire Doutrive. After the Maui Invitational, Sean Miller said he planned to get the athletic freshman more involved in the team’s rotation and that proved to be the case against Georgia Southern as the 6-foot-5 guard flashed his ability to get to the basket, scoring 8 points on 4-6 shooting.
Doutrive was smooth with the ball getting to the hoop and had one of the highlight plays of the night with a behind-the-back pass to Barcello in transition for a layup.
“He has a great sense and feel for the game. It is just a matter of him understanding how important defense is and being in the right position,” Miller said.
As for the nifty pass, Milled called it a “clever play” that shows some of the potential he has going forward.
The Arizona bench was practically a no-show in Maui, averaging around seven points per game in the three contests across the ocean. But back home in the desert, the bench caught fire and scored 47 points.
Barcello and Doutrive have already been mentioned but Arizona’s bench had bright spots in several other areas. Dylan Smith chimed in 10 points on 4-11 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. During one stretch in the second half, Smith and Barcello combined for 10 straight points for the Wildcats.
"Shots are going to fall. You’re going to miss them or make them, but you just have to take them,” Smith said of the bench’s mindset."
He also made sure to include some of the credit to his teammate Doutrive.
“You have to play with confidence like Devonaire did. Devonaire played big tonight and he is a young guy that will keep improving."
Emmanuel Akot got the start over Ryan Luther at the four spot, but Luther still managed to be productive with 8 points and two 3-pointers.
The amount of assists Arizona had in the three Maui games: 22
The amount of assists Arizona had against Georgia Southern: 22
Ball movement and finding open players for shots was an emphasis for the team leading up to tonight’s game and they responded.
We had some really good practices when we got back from Maui,” Miller said. “I think our guys learned a lot about themselves and hopefully we can continue to develop.”
Brandon Williams paced the offense with six assists and Ira Lee had four. And while senior point guard Justin Coleman didn't continue his torrid scoring, his ability to drive in the paint and kick out to open teammates gave Arizona key scoring chances. He ended the night with three assists and only one turnover.
Next up is the first true road test of the year against UConn on Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. MST.