– It does appear that 6’10” beanpole center Chance Comanche will play in this game. That’s a boost for Arizona’s frontcourt in that he’s the only guy among that group of 4 players for the two post positions who is seen as any kind of rim protector. Sean Miller is a defense-first coach, much like Izzo in that respect, and he’ll appreciate having Comanche available to at least hold Ristic accountable for defensive lapses.
– Allonzo Trier did not make the trip to Hawaii for UA, so he’s out. That is a MAJOR blow on two levels…first, that you’re removing the guy who was likely to lead this team in scoring and second, that it means UA has only 4 scholarship players to cover the three perimeter positions.
– The debut of Joshua Langford. He’s a difference maker and I think he’ll likely be extremely important in this game, so he matters right out of the chute. MSU has some wings with decent size but I think Josh is the guy who probably gives them the best physical matchup against a power wing like Rawle Alkins. Guys like Eron Harris or Matt McQuaid aren’t quite as physical as Josh and I’m very glad that MSU is going to have him available for this one and to give Izzo that counter.
– UA struggled in their final exhibition game, beating Chico State by 8 points. They were outrebounded by the #11 D2 school. Chico looks a bit like the SVSU team MSU faced…more size than you normally see from a D2 opponent. However, rebounding is an area Arizona really needs to win against Michigan State tomorrow night. They also only hit 3 of 12 triples, so questions about their shooting still very much remain in the picture. On the positive side, UA only had 6 TOs in this game…that’s an area where Arizona really has to improve over last season.