However, there is one Arizona player who can make or break a road win for the Wildcats and that is senior guard-forward combo Kevin Parrom.
Although Parrom is not Arizona’s leading scorer, a starter or even their most talented player, he still creates a mismatch against Colorado. Coming off the bench against Colorado’s second unit is a major advantage for the Wildcats and it showed in their previous meeting when he racked up 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
Even Colorado head coach Tad Boyle thinks that Parrom will be a tough guard the second time around in Boulder.
“I think he’s the most underrated player in this league,” Boyle said after practice on Wednesday. “He’s going to be a tough matchup for us. Parrom is 6’7″, he can shoot it, he can rebound it and he killed us on the boards (in the last meeting).”
The tough issue for Colorado is who will they counter with off of their bench to guard him. You might say Xavier Johnson, who is similarly sized and skilled to Parrom, but he’s in the starting lineup and will see spot defensive duties against him. No matter who Boyle brings off the bench to match up with Parrom, they will be giving up some size. Sabatino Chen is 6-foot-4 and Jeremy Adams is 6-foot-5 so, neither guard is tall enough to be too much of a bother to his shot.
Colorado will have to rely on solid help defense along with a hand in Parrom’s face every time he touches the ball or they will get torched. The Buffs have the athleticism to match up with him, but just not the size so utilizing their quickness to counteract the size difference will be key to their success.
No matter what, this should be a great game between two hungry squads out to prove that last game wasn’t a fluke for either team.
David LaRose is a College Basketball writer for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the USBWA. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.