Arizona's REAL area of concern....
This Wildcat team now has done something TWICE in the last 5 games that they have only done twice the previous SEVEN YEARS combined: have over a 30% turnover rate in a game. In fact - Arizona had a streak of 169 games in which they were under a 30% turnover rate until the UTEP game this season - an amazing 21 point win despite the 30.4% turnover rate. The two previous times the Wildcats were over 30% TO - they lost to Kansas in in 2008 and lost to Houston in 2006. That 2008 32.5% turnover rate in the Kansas loss was the previous Wildcat high in a game in the just over 10 seasons of Ken Pomeroy data.
Arizona had a 38.8% turnover rate against Southern Miss.
Teams do not win games being that careless with the possession.
It's been 8 years since an Arizona rotation player (playing 30% of available team minutes) has had an individual turnover rate of over 28%: 2005 sophomore Mustafa Shakur.
This Arizona team currently has THREE players above that 28% threshhold: Mark Lyons at 28.2%, Kaleb Tarczewski at 31.7%, and Jordin Mayes at 30.1%.
From that information, and from what I've SEEN, this team has absolutely no idea yet how to get the ball effectively into the block for their big men (as well as Solo & KP when they post up smaller guys) to be effective. The two guys that are the primary ball handlers on offense can't do it, and our starting (and theoretically best) low post guy gets the ball so rarely in a good position that HE will at times turn the ball over when he does get it.
As of right now - IF the primary ball handlers can't get the ball in the low post without turning it over half the time (and I'm not really exaggerating much by using the phrase "half the time") - then Arizona might as well play that three game. Arizona might as well rotate the ball, and utilize the occasional dibble drive to the hoop for a layup or kick & pop when the defense over commits - than even try the piss poor execution or passing down to the low post. Might as well leave our big men to fend for themselves - leaving them to offensive rebounds if the want their low post points.
I believe the reason almost all the bigs sat the latter part of Arizona's run this last game wasn't as much THEIR fault (although, honestly, none of them looked good) - as much as it was Coach Miller realizing that despite working on it all season so far, this team STILL completely shoots themselves in the foot when it even tries to get the ball down in the low post. The "get the ball in the post and let the big man work" is such a completely low percentage play for this team right now (the ball being turned over in the attempt much of the time) - Coach Miller put the wing guys in and had them do what they do. They still turned the ball over about every time they passed to the post - but at least they tried less with less options. Of course, the wing guys could defend man on better with their quickness against the tiny opponent - since the bigs didn't rebound well anyway all game to make them beneficial.
I would not be surprised if Nick Johnson becomes the primary ball handler (he had 6 turnovers himself BTW) - just because he just plain isn't as bad at the job than our other options. I think Lyons will soon play more off the ball, and Jordin will see his minutes drop a little more as he plays more off the ball also. I also expect see more Arizona bigs at the high post - having the better angle to dump down over the defense to the low post. Solo & KP SHOULD be able to do this a bit also - whether they will, I dunno.
There's my rant - the fact that this team is undefeated despite two overwhelmingly turnover prone games can be looked at as a good sign obviously, got it "out of their system" so to speak. Although - the fact this team had two historically bad turnover games in a five game stretch might also not bode well for when they actually have to face more high level athletes and P12 coaches with better resources who watch all the game film.
I do think these two game examples may be a bit of an anomoly - but I do hope that Kaleb isn't expecting to be much of the focus offensively for quite a while, because we've obviously seen this isn't something that can be corrected overnight. Might as well work on his rebounding, defense, junk put backs, and clearing out for the dribble drive - the things he can do most at the moment to help this team win.
Re: Arizona's REAL area of concern....
Very insightful stat, thanks. I knew when I sad I have not seen a game this bad in years I wasn't exaggerating!
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