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Wildcats must improve their defense to have a chance at Pac-12 recovery

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Sean Miller is not happy with the Arizona Wildcats defense. 

“We are a horrible defensive team,” said Miller after UA was swept by USC and UCLA at home for the first time in 13 years. 

Miller clamored about the straight-line drives to the basket that Arizona gave up in the two losses. 

The reality is the Bruins and Trojans didn’t score many more easy baskets in their wins than UA. 

According to StatBroadcast, USC and UCLA combined for 22 layups and dunk against the Wildcats. UA in the two games also had 22 baskets in those categories. 

UA MBK-only graphic
Arizona currently sits 2.5 games behind UCLA and in 5th place in the Pac-12 Conference

The Bruins and Trojans were just way more efficient with their shots than Arizona, making 52% from the floor to the Wildcats 42%. 

UA shot and made more free throws than USC, but the Bruins went to the line 32 times to Arizona's 16. 

Fouling was probably the bigger issue for Arizona as it relates to defense. 

UA’s opponents came in averaging 20 free throws attempted per game. USC shot 23 (17 makes) while UCLA made 27 of their 32 trips to the foul line. 

Overall, the LA school scored at a rate of 58% compared to UA’s 51%. 

The result was just the second losing Pac-12 weekend for Arizona in the last ten years. 

Copyright 2021 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved. 

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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