The loss to Mississippi State on Friday evening was frustrating for multiple reasons. While losing a tournament championship game is never fun, it was the way the Arizona Wildcats lost that brought concern for the immediate future. UA was undersized and overmatched in the paint against the Bulldogs and they allowed their bigs to dominate on both ends of the floor.
Jesse Perry is not the problem. A senior, he has done everything to prepare himself both mentally and physically for the season. Solomon Hill has done a nice job rebounding in recent weeks, but his natural position is on the wing and is unable to defend some of the larger post players.
Other than these two, there isn't much to work with. Kyryl Natyazhko is slowly showing signs of improvements, but the junior is still miles away from where he has the potential to be. Angelo Chol has shown flashes of brilliance, but for a player who did not start playing basketball until the age of 14, he will need more time to adjust to the college game. And while Sidiki Johnson may be a good player one day, he has a long way to go before seeing much playing time.
Arizona has the No. 1 ranked recruiting class for 2012 and three of their four committed players -- Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett -- all project to be post players of some sort in college. The significance of the size and strength they will bring with them to Tucson cannot be overstated; the program is desperate for talented big men and the three will put an end to the Wildcats being dominated by larger teams.
In the meantime, Sean Miller and the coaching staff are going to have to figure out a new plan whenever the Wildcats face a team with talented post players. Simply running different bodies at the opposition did not work well last night and likely won't work in a majority of the games. Does Arizona go small and attempt to outdo their opponents with athleticism? Do they move into a zone on occasion? We'll likely know the answers to these questions soon.