Weird basketball game.
I mean, mid-broadcast Walton called it B1G ball which by Pac-12 standards and certainly by Washington-Arizona standards, that’s an insult. Or at least a gross miscalculation of pace and scoring output. But when the play produces an eye tearing .78 points per possession, well, it’s hard to argue with. Do you realize the epic 2005 Adams v Roy Seattle Battle featured 191 total points and a combine 1.06 ppp? Or that in that game four players (Adams and Shakur for AZ, Roy and Williams for UW) combined to outscore both Arizona and Washington last night 113-110?
It was indeed a different brand of basketball which isn’t to say it was an awful thing, just different. Like when your girlfriend moves out but says you’re not breaking up. Not bad, just different. Or something like that
Because the game itself was still competitive. That was defense for good stretches of that game. Yeah, there was utter slop at times and Washington’s final possession – the alley-opp that was ill-advised, errant, poorly executed, mistimed, inappropriate, a bad decision, out of control, ignorant, stupid, abysmal, a clusterbang, GADDDYYY – was about as bad as it gets. Seriously, that was one of the worst final possessions I’ve ever witnessed and that’s considering I watched Arizona dribble out the clock last year in Colorado. Or even how they closed the first half of this game.
Arizona managed to lock down the dynamic scoring threat that is CJ Wilcox. That was impressive. They also managed to yield six of the Huskies’ first ten points to Rain Man Junior in his first start of the season. I always thought Brandon Ashley was a considerate defender.
But my favorite aspect of this game beyond the game itself was that when Arizona needed a player to step up, as Washington was pulling away early and the contest was taking the shape of the UCLA game and the Arizona veterans were giving the ball up like candy on Halloween, Kaleb Tarczewski was the Wildcat. It may not have been pretty but the big NorEaster made plays when it seemed as if no one in a navy top could do anything. He alone went on a 5-0 run when the Cats were down 16-8. Sure the Huskies kept pouring it on but Tarczewski did not shy away from this moment, perhaps heeding my cry from a week ago to get assertive. And he did. And I enjoyed that.
All in all, the game lived up to the Cats and Dawgs hype and HecEd appeared rocking. The Seattle monkey may never get completely off Sean Miller’s back but he no doubt enjoyed getting his first win up there.