In a blowout win against the Washington State Cougars on Thursday night, the Arizona Wildcats struggled to score, putting up just 60 points on 44 percent shooting. Their defense is the best in the Pac-12, but the offense can result in some wild upsets.
Right now, the Wildcats are 126th in the country on offense, scoring just 75 points per game. Yet, the field goal percentage is solid at 49 percent, ranking 27th in the country. Coach Sean Miller likes to milk the clock on offense, getting the best shot in the final seconds of the shot clock; however, that might not be the best strategy in the fast-paced Pac-12.
The offense goes as Nick Johnson goes. If he’s hitting his 3-point jumpers, the offense is solid. But if he’s missing, which he has of late, the offense does not get the rotation or ball movement that they desire.
A team as talented as the Wildcats should not score so few points. Johnson and point guard T.J. McConnell can only do so much in running pick-and-roll. Johnson had 13 points, while Aaron Gordon and Brandon Ashley had six points each at the half. Gordon and Johnson led the team in scoring with 18 and 24 respectively.
Against the Huskies, they were losing at halftime 35-33 due to the slow, inefficient offense. They shot 39 percent while their counterparts shot 56 percent. The Wildcats could not stop C.J. Wilcox or Shawn Kemp Jr. If the Wildcats want to remain unblemished and undefeated throughout the season, they need to focus on scoring at a better rate. Until then, middle-of-the-road Pac-12 teams like the Huskies will have a chance to upset them.
The second half proved to be better for the Wildcats as they held Kemp to no shots taken and Wilcox was mildly inefficient. The defense is nasty in Tuscon, but the offense needs some work. The Wildcats ended up winning, but it was not pretty victory with a score of 71-62.
John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII