No. 3 Arizona casually routs Oakland

BY foxsports • December 17, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Talk about your casual Tuesday.

Arizona went through one against Oakland in a game where it didn't seem as thought the Wildcats broke a sweat as they won their 38th consecutive non-conference home game.

The biggest ovation came when the Wildcats broke 100 points for the first time in more than a year, en route to a 101-64 victory at McKale Center that moved Arizona to 11-0.

It was so relaxing coach Sean Miller was dressed appropriately without a tie.

"I don't do well in ties (so) I gave this a different look," said Miller, who is usually in a suit and tie. "Not trying to make a statement so much as trying to be more comfortable. You know, Tucson casual."

Whatever works.

Everything clearly worked against Oakland, as Arizona dominated from start to finish.

It started with Arizona's second consecutive fast start, something Miller has been stressing.

"We have more of a confidence and as a group have more of a togetherness, a cohesion," Miller said. "We're no longer starting out like how we would have played the rest of the game. We're starting out in a more aggressive fashion which truly represents who we are. It helps. It helps set the tone."

It helps create a troublesome problem for the opponent. It became so bad for Oakland coach Greg Kampe that he was assessed his second technical foul and subsequent ejection with 11:30 left.  

By then it was 72-40 and, well, not so comfortable, although Kampe looked it in what appeared to be a warm up suit on the sidelines. The good thing for him he didn't have to see the ending.

He did, however, have to see the beginning when, after his team hit its first shot, missed its next 16, eventually going 2 for 20. By that time, Arizona was up 26-7.

"For Oakland basketball, the first 12 minutes was probably as bad as I've ever seen us play," Kampe said. "We didn't handle the moment of playing the No. 3 team in the country, who's a really good team. They played really well."

Again for Arizona, it was a well-rounded effort. Five players scored in double figures with freshman Stanley Johnson scoring a team-high 18 points. Juniors Brandon Ashley and Gabe York each had 15 points. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 13 and junior center Kaleb Tarczewski had 12 points and seven rebounds.

"We did a good job of executing the game plan," said Johnson, who hit 7 of 14 shots.

"I think we are a lot better -- we have a lot of athletes and a lot of guys who can play in space," Johnson added. "Lots of guys can create their own shot. Anytime you can get into a numbers situation that makes it better for the team."

What was best was the early game numbers and the early lead. What it did for the second straight game was put a team on its heels as Arizona pushed and pushed and was able to control the tempo of the game.

"It doesn't mean we have room for mistakes," Stanley said of the early leads. "But teams tend to get really quick shooting when they get down. We play pretty good defense and pressure comes with that."

Some of the offensive pressure is being relieved by Ashley, who hit 5 of 7 shots, including 2 of 3 3-pointers.

"I'm feeling good," he said, adding his foot is good and his comfortable. "I'm confident. My teammates look for me and put me in good position to score."

It helps that he's shooting more in practice and he's shooting more in the games. It's a nice little groove, hitting nine of 13 shots, including three of five 3-pointers over the last two games. He added the eight rebounds (and has 14 in two games). Miller stressed Ashley needed to get more offensive rebounds. And he did, getting four.

"When he does that and the other things he does, he's a very good offensive player," Miller said. "He's hard, difficult to keep out of double figures for the opponent ... Brandon had a really good night."

Now, twice in what has turned into two games of Wildcat casual.

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