Washington State vs Arizona
Thursday January 26
McKale Center – Tuscon, AZ
Moneyline: No money line currently listed.
Spread: Arizona -9
(Bet Now At Bovada.lv (Bodog If Your In Canada))
It was a nice weekend last week for Washington State with home wins against the NoCal combo of Stanford and California.
It was the Cougars first back to back victories since conference play began and it signifies that this team is clearly not the worst team in the conference – sorry Utah and USC. They are hitting the road this weekend with trips to the desert to play the Arizona schools. Thursday’s contest against the Wildcats should be the tougher of the two games.
A split for the trip is the most likely result.
Last weekend guard Faisal Aden was the star (how long can he keep that up?). He scored 33 and 24 points pacing the Cougars in both contests. This is a welcome development for forward Brock Motum who has been carrying the club this year but is probably better suited as a complimentary player.
Aden is still guilty of trying to do too much at times with the ball and needs to cut down on his turnovers but he is Washington State best option in late clock and late game situations because he can create his own shot.
When he is playing well this disciplined team has a punchers chance.
Over the last 20 years you could certainly argue that the Arizona Wildcats were the league’s most consistent program. Under former coach Lute Olsen they nearly always made the Big Dance while competing for the league title and sending a plethora of talent to the next level.
Times are a little leaner these days.
They are just .500 in PAC 12 play and their best games have been their losses to the top teams on their schedule, including Florida and San Diego State. With the league down this year Arizona is still in contention and among the more talented teams even if they don’t play like it.
The Wildcats do not have a lot of bulk but get good production up front from forwards Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry – both average more than 11 points and 7 rebounds per game.
They were hoping to get more from the backcourt, especially Josiah Turner who was highly touted coming in.
Unfortunately the returns have been sporadic. One good sign is that two of his four double digit scoring games on the season have come in the last three games.
It is clear he is not going to set the world on fire but perhaps improved play can be expected as the season progresses.
Spread Pick: Washington State +9
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Arizona 74 – Washington State 67