New Year’s Resolutions: Arizona Wildcats

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Over the course of the holiday week, we at College Basketball Talk will be detailing what we believe will be the New Year’s Resolutions of some of the nation’s most talented, most disappointing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams. What can we say, we’re in a giving mood.

Who else made Resolutions? Click here to find out.

WHAT DOES ARIZONA PROMISE TO DO MORE OF?: Get more production from the bench.

    • Why it will happen:

Let’s start off by admitting that the Wildcats have a very good six-man rotation, with freshman wing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson being the sixth man. But if this team is to make a run at a national title another reserve needs to step up, preferably one who’s proficient when it comes to knocking down perimeter shots. Arizona’s shooting 38.5% from beyond the arc, which isn’t a bad percentage at all. But given the amount of talent in the front court and the fact that the Wildcats have scored just 21.5% of their points on three-pointers there’s a good chance that they’ll see more zone in conference play. Can a Gabe York be that seventh man? He’s averaging 8.0 ppg over the last two games.

    • Why it won’t happen:

In the six contests prior to that two-game stretch York averaged 3.7 points per game, shooting 6-for-31 from the field. On the season he’s averaging 7.4 points per game, but that could be a product of outings such as he 20-point night in a win over Fairleigh Dickinson as opposed to consistent production. As the best option to supplement what Hollis-Jefferson’s provided off the bench, can he consistently produce for the Wildcats?

WHAT DOES ARIZONA SWEAR THEY WILL DO LESS OF?: Miss free throws.

    • Why it will happen:

Thus far the Wildcats are shooting 67.2% from the foul line, a mark that ranks tenth in the Pac-12, and of the top five players in free throws attempted three are shooting at least 73.8%. The two who aren’t? Freshmen Aaron Gordon (45.2%) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (66.1%). The hope is that as the season wears on they’ll get better from the charity stripe, thus raising the team’s percentage in the process. And given how good this team is around the basket, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to score with the clock stopped in conference play.

    • Why it won’t happen:

Even some of the most talented basketball players turn out to be poor foul shooters; for whatever reason some players have a hard time translating practice repetitions/success to game action. Could that be the case for a player like Gordon? Even if you remove his numbers from the Texas Tech (4-for-12) and Southern (4-for-1) games he’s still shooting just 50% from the foul line. As for Hollis-Jefferson he made six of seven against Northern Arizona, so things may be looking up in that regard.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

(YouTube)
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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.