Arizona is 20-3 on the season, including an 8-2 mark in the Pac-12. The seventh-ranked Wildcats are coming off of an 81-78 loss to their intrastate rivals, the Arizona State Sun Devils, last Saturday. The Wildcats are tied with the Utah Utes for the lead in the Pac-12 heading into this weekend.
Freshman forward Stanley Johnson leads Arizona in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He is also the leading rebounder, averaging 6.8 boards per contest. Junior forward Brandon Ashley averages 11.4 points for Arizona, while sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson averages 11 points per outing.
Washington enters Friday’s game with a 14-9 record, including a 3-8 mark in conference play. The Huskies have lost five straight conference games after starting league play at 3-3.
The Huskies have four players averaging in double figures. Sophomore guard Nigel Williams-Goss leads the team with a 15.3 points per game average. Junior guard Andrew Andrews averages 12.9 points per outing, while Robert Upshaw (10.9 points per game) and Shawn Kemp Jr. (10.1 ppg) are also double-figure scorers.
This game is a mismatch, especially if it were played at a neutral site. But the home court advantage that Washington has on Friday will allow the Huskies to remain in this contest, at least for a while. Arizona will feature Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson in this one, and Washington will not have an answer. Look for the more talented Wildcats to prevail, especially in the second half.
Final score prediction: Arizona 75, Washington 61