November 20, 2007

UA making progress

Basketball games can be won or lost in a short amount of time. On Monday, Arizona's game against UMKC was a perfect of example of this, as the Wildcats did not need the first half to dominate the game.

It would be easy to dissect the first half and point out everything the Wildcats did wrong. Whether it was turning the ball over, playing weak defense, or not rebounding, Arizona's first half was certainly one to forget.

In fact, it was quite easy to forget, as the Wildcats' second half was easily their most impressive half of the season.

There are plenty of positives to build on from Monday's game and, in no surprise, most of it revolves around the guard play.

Jerryd Bayless turned the ball over a little too much, but he is slowly proving that he is a more than capable point guard. He finished with nine assists and ran the offense quite well, often forcing the defense to collapse on him, thus leading to open teammates.

Bayless may still be more comfortable as a shooting guard, but Arizona may be in better shape with him at the point guard position. He is simply too good to not have the ball as much as possible and he showed why on Monday.

It may only be three games in the season, but this is somewhat to be expected from Bayless. However, the performance of Laval Lucas-Perry may have been the most surprising of the night. That is not an insult to Lucas-Perry, but rather a compliment, as his performance was quite impressive.

Lucas-Perry looked very comfortable in his role and after getting over some jitters, he seemed to welcome having the ball in his hands. A consistent presence from him would be welcomed, as Arizona certainly needs all the guard help it can get, especially if Lucas-Perry can come off the bench and give the UA some strong minutes.

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