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Arizona Wildcats Exhibition Game: What To Watch For Against Seattle Pacific

In the grand scheme of everything, this game means literally nothing to Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats in terms of their fate in March Madness and Pac-12 play. Arizona could lose and it wouldn't mean a thing to their record.

OK, a loss would be terrible, but it's probably not going to happen. The Wildcats should dominate Seattle Pacific University on Thursday night.

There are some very important things to watch for that may give us a glimpse of the team going forward. Here are a few of them:

1. Point Guard Play

Josiah Turner looked like a true freshman with only a few practices under his belt in the Red-Blue Game. Jordin Mayes looked like the player who earned himself a lot of playing time last season, but his conditioning kept him from playing more than a few minutes at a time. 

Will Turner be able to run the point for a majority of the game? Will Mayes' conditioning allow him to see more playing time, both at the point guard and shooting guard positions? Sean Miller has emphasized how important solid guard play will be for this team to succeed and both of these players have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.

2. Who Plays Center

By all accounts, either Kyryl Natyazhko or freshman Sidiki Johnson will play center for most of the game. Who plays better tonight and who avoids foul trouble will be a big key going forward at the position.

Regardless of what happens on Thursday, Johnson is going to be a good player regardless. He has the skills, strength and ability to become one of the best big men in the conference one day once he matures and develops. The exhibition game is solely for Natyazhko; he has always had the size and scoring ability to be one of the better players in the conference, but consistency and aggression has always been an issue.

Is this the year Kyryl finally takes the big step forward and reaches his potential? Or will his play continue to frustrate Arizona fans on a nightly basis? That journey begins tonight.

3. Brendon Lavender

Brendon Lavender looked like a new player in the Red-Blue Game. A senior, this is Lavender's final chance to make something of his basketball career, something that never quite took off like many thought it would. His jump shot looked great and he his defense was top-notch throughout the game.

Does Lavender become a lethal scoring threat off the bench for the Wildcats this year? We may not know the answer for the rest of the season after Thursday night, but a big game from Lavender may pave the way to a lot of playing time in November.


The game against Seattle Pacific University will tip at 6:30 p.m. from the McKale Center in Tucson. 

For more on Arizona hoops, check out AZ Desert Swarm.