A comparative analysis is a problem solving methodology used to minimize subjectivity and maximize objectivity. Exhibit A vs. Exhibit B. In the instance I was trying to use it last night – a circumstance in which I was trying to find some silver lining, some reason that it was OK for Arizona to have lost to the conference’s seventh place team by allowing them to shoot greater than 60% afield.
I present to you, Exhibit Michigan.
Wow losing to Penn State is bad and while it isn’t quite TCU, it sure ain’t good. And so you see you what I did there? In Arizona losing, I rationalized it – analyzed it comparatively, if you will – to other high major upsets. As if somehow Michigan’s loss from earlier in the night could vindicate the Wildcats.
Well that lasted less than a minute (s/o to my first) and I was brought back to thinking, picking, ignoring, lamenting, and generally agonizing over USC’s victory. On my mind was:
- 89 points – Most points yielded this season by Arizona
- -9 – Rebounding margin
- 61.1% – USC’s shooting percentage, the highest of all-time
- Cab or Ale – Wasn’t sure if it’d be Red Wine or Beer
- 1.17 – Trojan points per possession
Over and over again I looked at the box score but couldn’t find much to make the confusion go away. For comparison’s sake, I was lost, and remain lost.
But the fact of the matter is, until that group of men and women sit inside a hotel conference room and pick a handful of teams to dance, comparison does no good. Arizona has got to do Arizona and they haven’t done that. Why has Sean Miller had to discuss defensive effort in his past umpteen pressers? Themes outside of winning are bad and, what’s worse, effort is a completely controllable component of one’s game.
Effort, in fact, has been a central cog to what we’ve seen Arizona face as the Pac-12’s most hunted team since the season began. And we knew that would be the case. They arrived as the hyped team and then won 14 straight, rising to third in the nation, and everyone wants a piece of that. It’s no surprise that teams show up with their best effort to play Arizona.
I’m just wondering when will Arizona show up with theirs?