Breakdown: Arizona vs. Texas Tech

Solomon Hill

Arizona will face Texas Tech on Saturday. Read on for a complete breakdown by position, including a score prediction.

PG: Mark Lyons (6-1, 200, Sr.) vs. Josh Gray (6-1, 175, Fr.)

The Red Raiders have yet to play an average team, so Gray has yet to be uncomfortable. Yet, he shoots 36 percent from the field, including 6-21 from behind the arc. In addition, he has nearly as many assists as turnovers. Gray is dangerous on the press and has 16 steals on the season, but he is going to have major difficulty on Saturday. Lyons is not going to be easy to guard and Gray is going to feel a lot of pressure on offense, which is something he is not used to and likely won't succeed with.

Advantage: Arizona

SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, So.) vs. Trency Jackson (6-2, 185, So.)

Johnson and Jackson are similar in that they are unlikely to dominate the game, but contribute in numerous ways. Jackson averages nearly ten points per game to go along with three rebounds and two assists. Like Johnson, he is an athlete. However, Johnson is just the better player right now. He is rarely turning the ball over this season and his ability to make the right decision has also made him an effective player when shooting the ball.

Advantage: Arizona

SF: Solomon Hill (6-7, 220, Sr.) vs. Jamal Williams (6-4, 190, Jr.)

Williams is another player that is not going to dominate the game for Tech, but he does a good job of playing within himself. He is 9-20 from the field and 15 of those attempts are from three-point range. His eight points and four rebounds per game is something Tech can live with, but Hill comes into this game with a size and strength advantage. He would be wise to try and take Williams off the dribble, because Williams is going to have difficulty keeping up with him defensively.

Advantage: Arizona

PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 235, Fr.) vs. Jordan Tolbert (6-7, 225, So.)

Tolbert could be one of the toughest matchups this season for Ashley because of what he can do on the glass. The forward averages 10 points and 7 rebounds per game while also having plenty of athleticism. The positive aspect for Ashley is that he should be able to keep up with him defensively, as all of Tolbert's offense comes inside or off the break from turnovers. Ashley's 11 rebounds last game shows what he can do on the glass and NAU is pretty much the level of opponent that Texas Tech has played in each game this season. Basically, we feel confident Ashley can match Tolbert's production and he has a higher potential to succeed in this game.

Advantage: Arizona

C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 255, Fr.) vs. Dejan Kravic (6-11, 240, Jr.)

Tarczewski has not been spectacular, but he has done exactly what Arizona needs him to do. This is a good matchup for him because of the similarities in size, but Kravic is averaging 13.5 points and 6 rebounds per game while also blocking two shots. This is not an easy matchup for Tarczewski and with the pace of the game likely to be fast, we do wonder how much either center is going to get the ball. We're going to make this one even, but it would not be totally surprising to see it go one way or the other.

Advantage: Even

Bench: For some reason, Jaye Crockett is coming off the bench, despite being Texas Tech's best player. He averages about 16 and 9, gets to the line four or five times per game and makes buckets at a high percentage. Beyond that, Daylen Robinson will get time at a guard spot and is averaging seven points per game, but not at a high percentage and with too many turnovers. Tech may go ten deep, but there is a difference between having depth and having quality depth. Arizona has quality depth and with the ability to throw different players at Crockett, will get the advantage here.

Advantage: Arizona

Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Chris Walker

We won't spend too much time on this one. This is Walker's first year, he has yet to face an average opponent, and he is going up against a man many consider to be one of the best coaches in the country.

Advantage: Arizona

Prediction: Arizona should absolutely win this game, but there are a lot of factors at play. For starters, how will Arizona's freshmen react to their first true road environment? Will Texas Tech actually have a decent crowd? Are the Red Raiders for real or are the results because of the level of their competition? We should know a lot of those answers within the first few minutes of Saturday's game. The guess here is that the Wildcats do just fine and despite the game starting close, Arizona is able to handle the Tech press and pull away in the second half.

Arizona 89, Texas Tech 73

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