Arizona Basketball Today: Stanford

Wildcats Radio 1290 has all you need to know for today’s rematch with the Cardinal

TUCSON — No. 11 Arizona will try to avenge one of its worst defeats of the season when it hosts Stanford on Sunday night in McKale Center.

The Wildcats (16-5, 7-3 Pac-12) lost 100-82 at Stanford on Dec. 31, when the Cardinal set a school single-game record with 16 3-pointers. Freshman Kanaan Carlyle scored a then-career-high 28 points and made 6 of 8 shots from behind the arc.

“Hopefully, they got our guys’ attention this time around,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said of the Cardinal (11-9, 6-4).

“They’re a good team. They’re dangerous. I watch them on film and I’m not comfortable. We’ve got to figure out how to come out and play a better game against them than we did last time.”

Arizona is 11-0 at home this season but hasn’t been as consistent overall since an 8-0 start to the season. The Wildcats are aiming for their first three-game winning streak since early December.

Carlyle, who scored 31 points against Washington State on Jan. 18, is an aggressive guard who averages 14.3 points to lead five Stanford players in double-figure scoring. Long-range shooting remains a strength, as the Cardinal are hitting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc, one of the best rates in the nation, and has threats at every position.

Big man Maxime Raynaud averages a double-double with 13.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Spencer Jones is another scoring threat. The fifth-year player scored a career-high 30, sinking a career-best eight 3-pointers, in a win over Washington on Jan. 20.

“One of the really awesome parts about Spencer … on the defensive end of things, he has great length,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. “He can really slide his feet. He can guard 1 though 4 on the other team. He adds such, such value on the defensive end.”

Stanford will be going for a sweep of its Arizona trip. The Cardinal earned a 71-62 victory at Arizona State on Thursday, outscored the Sun Devils 17-2 over the final seven-plus minutes.

Arizona’s Caleb Love scored 23 points in the first meeting against Stanford, and only one other Wildcat reached double-figure points — Oumar Ballo with 12.

Love is averaging 19 points per game, followed by Ballo at 12.7, but the Wildcats got a more balanced scoring effort on Thursday in a 91-65 win over Cal, which was reminiscent of their early-season efforts.

Ballo had 22 points, Keshad Johnson contributed 15, KJ Lewis had 14 off the bench and Love finished with 12.

“When Oumar plays with the effort and energy he has the past couple games, we’re a different team,” Lloyd said. “I think his key just comes down to energy, effort and outworking people.”

Arizona’s plus-12.4 rebounding margin per game led the nation entering the weekend, but Stanford negated that in the first meeting (plus-1 for the Cardinal), which will be a key area in the rematch.

Although the Wildcats have had a few lulls in recent weeks, they say they are hitting their stride again.

“For sure, I feel like we’re getting that rhythm back,” Lewis said. “We’re getting that joy back. We’re getting that competitive nature back. It’s February, it’s time to kick things up a notch.”

–Field Level Media