ARIZONA PRODUCTIVITY RATING
G: Games played. S: Number of starts.
BP: Bench points. A player gets three points if he is first off the bench, two if second and one if third. Shows Sean Miller’s rotation.
ORE: Productivity points against Oregon
OMIN: Minutes played against Oregon
PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
TMIN: Minutes played overall
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)
NOTE: Player must average at least 10 minutes a game to be listed in primary rotation
How did Arizona keep it that close on the road against a team that is 13-2 with a 17-game home-court winning streak?
That’s the prevalent question looking at the productivity report after No. 4 Arizona’s first loss of the season, a 70-66 setback at Oregon on Thursday night.
The Wildcats (14-1 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-12) suffered their lowest productivity total of the season — only 65 points from its eight-player rotation (look at the glossary for productivity definition). The freshmen — Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley (removed from the starting lineup) — combined for minus-1 productivity points in 56 minutes. The Wildcats’ bench — Ashley, Jerrett and Jordin Mayes — had minus-1 points in 48 minutes.
Arizona’s leaders were seniors Mark Lyons (24 productivity points in 37 minutes) and Solomon Hill (23 in 37 minutes), which are decent but not overwhelming totals. Kevin Parrom had only six in 22 minutes and Nick Johnson continued his mid-season slump with only 12 in 35.
Remember when Johnson started the season with 20 assists and only four turnovers? He has 22 assists and 23 turnovers since. Johnson has gone from a team-leading .774 productivity rating to a mark of .610 after the last six games. His rating in that span is only .381 (72 productivity points in 189 minutes).
What does it all mean? The UA is mired in a slump and a season is a lot more than games in November and December, and now January. Check back in February and then March. Just like you can’t judge a team after a handful of games after the first month-and-a-half of the season, you can’t judge it now.
“We obviously want to win every game, but we know it’s not a perfect world,” Johnson was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “It definitely hurts because we know we let one slip away with our defense and our execution and stuff like that.”
Despite all of Arizona’s shortcomings, the Wildcats had a chance to win after Johnson nailed a three-pointer with 53 seconds left to cut the lead to 59-56. Instead of contributing to a miraculous win again, Johnson turned the ball over in transition with 11 seconds remaining. Oregon’s Johnathan Loyd made one of two free throws with nine seconds remaining to seal the win.
“We didn’t play as smart as we wanted to,” Oregon coach Dana Altman, whose team led by as many as 14 points, told the AP. “They’re a team that’s won 14; you could see their confidence even when they were down late.”
Arizona coach Sean Miller is like a scientist trying to come up with the best chemistry to get Arizona back on track. Starting Parrom over Ashley 15 games into the season is not a sign that Miller is not happy with Ashley; he wants the best construction of his rotation.
Miller told The Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe that Parrom started at small forward and Hill at power forward to match Oregon’s smaller size with E.J. Singler at power forward.
However, if Parrom was not playing well — he led the Wildcats in productivity entering the game — that switch would not have been made.
One of the few positives was Arizona out-rebounding Oregon 32-28, but the Wildcats’ had 14 turnovers. Oregon tallied 10 steals. The Wildcats’ primary ball-handlers — Johnson, Lyons and Mayes — combined for only six assists with nine turnovers. That’s not going to win games for the Wildcats, but it also does not mean Arizona should keep a game close like it did against the hot Ducks.
Miller told Pascoe: “When I say effort, it’s not not trying. It’s trying but knowing that there’s another level you have to try to reach. It’s not running fast. It’s running fast as you can. It’s not being great on every defensive possession as much as playing with unbelievable effort and concentration, and sustaining it not just in four-minute bursts but in a 20-minute burst.
“And it’s not just our younger guys, it’s just us as a team. My experience is you always hit peaks and valleys. Sometimes you can’t make a shot. This weekend we struggled to make a couple of shots. But you look at us tonight 8 of 19 for three and 25 for 52 (from the field) and there are some things on offense that were good enough to win. It’s just we weren’t able to get enough (defensive) stops.”
Defensive Rebounding Percentage (DRB%): Determined by dividing Arizona’s defensive rebounds (23 against Oregon) by the opposition’s offensive rebounds (Oregon had only six) added to Arizona’s defensive rebounds (23) — 23/(6 + 23) = 79.3 percent.
Offensive Rebounding Percentage (ORB%): Determined by taking Arizona’s offensive rebound total (nine) divided by that total (nine) and the defensive rebounds of the opponent (22 for Oregon) — 9/(9+22) = 29 percent.
Ideal marks are 75 percent DRB% and 40 percent ORB%.
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner