Arizona Wildcats Open Pac-12 Play Against Cal
By Francisco Romero. – No. 18 Arizona will start conference play on Friday going against the California Golden Bears. The Wildcats finished the non-conference games with an 11-2 record, while Cal will has a record of 9-3.
Arizona’s head coach Sean Miller described the first 13 games of the season as one of vulnerability as the team lost a couple players to injuries and has mostly used a seven men rotation.
Although the Cats have been short on personnel, Miller mentioned the good and the ironic that has come out of it, “We have really been able to develop our younger players; they have been our top three scorers. Lauri Markkanen has proven that he is one of the best in the country, Rawle Alkins and Kobi Simmons, they are right there as well,” said Miller. “All of this guys have been asked to do more.”
Markkanen is averaging 16.1 points per game, while Alkins is averaging 12.4 points and Simmons 12.2 points.
In regards to Friday’s game against the Golden Bears, Miller mentioned that it will be a tough contest against a great team, “With Cal it starts with defense, they are a physical, tough minded, well-coached, disciplined team; they take great pride in defense, they take great pride in rebounding, they play a very rugged, physical man to man defense,” said Miller. “They are our conference’s best defensive team at the moment.”
Friday’s game will be at Cal, tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 PM MST.
Senior Guard Kadeem Allen went home to North Carolina during the Christmas break and was able to see his daughter for the first time, Allen was not able to make it for his daughter’s birth, “Being here the first three months, I didn’t really know what it really was until I got home,” said Allen during a press conference. “I held her and looked into her eyes…it was a feeling I really never had before,” he added.