Arizona vs NAU Preview
Arizonaís early season schedule continues with a visit from Northern Arizona on Wednesday. The Lumberjacks are coming off a win against Campbell on Saturday. For the season, NAU is 2-3.
The Lumberjacks are a perimeter-oriented team, led in scoring by guards Gabe Rogers and Dewayne Russell. Rogers pours in 16.6 PPG, but is only shooting 32% from the floor. NAUís most productive big man, Max Jacobsen, averages less than six points and four rebounds. Key Match-up:
The Lumberjacks are unlikely to hang with the Wildcats, but itís worth keeping an eye on Russell. The sharp-shooting freshman, a product of Peoria, connects at a 48% clip from 3-point range. Heís also second on the team in scoring and has knocked down 95% of his free throws (on 19 attempts).
Russell is small in stature (5í11Ē, 155 lbs), so he may have a long night if Mark Lyons, Nick Johnson, and the other Wildcat guards play him tough physically. Star Player(?):
While Seniors Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons will undoubtedly play key roles in Arizonaís success, itís a freshman who has made the most noise so far. Brandon Ashley leads the team in scoring and rebounding, while shooting 65%. He doesnít show signs of slowing down, as Ashley has a knack for getting his hands on the ball. Prediction:
As is usually the case, Arizonaís in-state rivals from the North are no match for the Wildcats in any phase of the game. Although the Lumberjacks stayed close in a 10-point loss to Oregon earlier this year, they were also blown out by UNLV. Expect more of the latter against Arizona. The Wildcats should take control of the game early and show the killer instinct to put the Lumberjacks away.