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Pregame from McKale Center

COUGARS

FROM TUCSON — We've made it to press row at McKale Center, where Arizona and Washington State will try to stay awake long enough to play each other tonight (the game doesn't start until 8:30 p.m. Mountain Time). We have some pregame thoughts, so read on.


Since I arrived here so early, figured I'd post a little video from inside the building. As you can see, lots of banners of different sorts — championships, tournament appearances, retired numbers — hanging from the rafters. Hard not to be aware of the history upon entering.

UPDATE: The video is taking so long to upload, we're going to have to wait to post it here. Check back in a bit.

As for the game, we'll link our morning post once more, which contains an interview with Faisal Aden as well as a link to our lead notebook item about Aden's offensive turnaround last weekend. … For once, the Cougars shouldn't be too overmatched from a pure size perspective. Arizona's starting forwarwds, Jesse Perry and Solomon Hill, are both very good players, and good rebounders, too. But Perry is 6-foot-7 and Hill is 6-foot-6. And the Wildcats don't bring much size off the bench, either — Kyrly Natyazhko is 6-foot-11 but averages just 8.2 minutes per game, and highly-recruited freshman Angelo Chol only gets 11.2 minutes on average. Perhaps Ken Bone will play a similar lineup against UA as he did in the second half against California, using Abe Lodwick at the 4 in order to spread the Wildcats out. Of course, Arizona is only allowing 58.4 points per game in conference play,  and opponents have only shot 25.2 percent from 3-point range against them. We'll see how well they're able to defend the perimeter of Bone puts more shooters in the floor from the start. … The Wildcats also average just a shade under 14 turnovers per game in Pac-12 play, though I don't know how much pressure they'll see tonight if WSU continues to play zone. The Cougars showed some token backcourt pressure against California, but didn't make much of an effort to really try to force any turnovers — they just applied enough pressure to slow the Bears' pace a bit.

That's all for now. Back after the game, and during it on Twitter: @ChristianCaple

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com.


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