Scouting Arizona

Bill Self (Steve Puppe photo)

News, notes and quotes on No. 6 KU's matchup with Arizona at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas tonight at 9:30 (CT) in the final round of the iBN Las Vegas Invitational. Kansas (5-0) crushed Ohio last night in Vegas, 98-41, for the largest win margin (57 points) this season.

SCOUTING ARIZONA

Arizona returns 11 letterwinners and four starters from last season's team, which went 16-15 and 10-8 in the Pac-10. The Wildcats are 5-0 and coming off an 82-59 victory last night over Santa Clara at the Las Vegas Invitational. Arizona's other victories this season came at home against Idaho State, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, and Bethune-Cookman.

Sophomore forward Derrick Williams led Arizona against Santa Clara with 22 points, while fellow soph forward Solomon Hill added 20. The Wildcats shot 9 of 19 from downtown and 27 of 34 at the free-throw line, yet were outrebounded for the first time this season, 27-24. Arizona entered the game outrebounding foes 40.5 to 24.0 per game.

The Wildcats are led by Williams, who averages a team-high 19.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He also shoots a scorching 66 percent from the field.

Arizona is averaging 85.2 points per game and allowing just 54.6

Head coach Sean Miller is in his second season at Arizona with a 21-15 record. Miller is 141-62 in his seventh season overall.

SELF ON ‘ZONA

KU coach Bill Self is quite impressive with Arizona.

"They will get after us," Self told The Associated Press after his team's victory over Ohio. "Our players know this is a big game. They blew us out last time (in 2008) and it is a great rivalry."

Self is very concerned about Wildcats' star Williams.

"He's obviously a great athlete," Self said. "We'll obviously have to pay great attention to him."

MUCH ROOM TO IMPROVE

Despite his team's blowout victory over Ohio, Self was not pleased with KU's performance. He said after the game on the Jayhawk Radio Network that KU made "bonehead plays" and played "selfish" offensively during the first half.

"That was the worst we played all year," Self said. "We didn't guard them early, we obviously weren't ready to play. Very loose, careless, talking too much. ... So immature, our team has got to grow up. We had some individuals do some good things offensively (Marcus Morris tied his career high with 26 points, while Travis Releford added a career-high 13 points), and defensively, statistically, we were really good (Ohio shot a season-low 23.7 percent), but I really didn't feel that was a great performance by any stretch.

"... We're not going to have a ton of success unless we can start thinking next play. (It's) so immature to think what just happened. If you're a golfer, are you going to worry about your last shot when you got to hit several more? We got to get better at that."

Still, Self doesn't think all was lost against Ohio heading into tonight's showdown against Arizona.

"I'm kind of glad (about his team's poor play)," Self said. "I'd rather be on their butt tonight before we play a great team in Arizona."

THREE-POINT DEFENSE

KU is guarding the three-point shot very well this season. Ohio missed all 18 threes last night. North Texas also didn't hit a three-pointer against KU on Nov. 19, going 0-for-12. KU has held its last four opponents to just 7.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc (5-66).

WITHEY REUNITES WITH CATS

Sophomore KU center Jeff Withey will play against his former team tonight. Withey attended Arizona the first semester of his freshman season, yet did not play before transferring to Kansas.

The 7-footer set career highs in minutes (15), free throws (5) and rebounds (8) against Ohio.

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