Arizona Daily Wildcat
Perimeter defense key against 3-point hosting Marathon
With the start of regular season just three days away, the UA men's basketball team has its final tune-up tonight before heading to Maui, Hawaii to play in the Maui Invitational.
Playing their final exhibition game of the season against Marathon - a team consisting of former collegiate players - the No. 1 Wildcats will have to guard against looking past the Marathon club team
"We just have to come out and play ball," sophomore guard Gilbert Arenas said. "There is no over looking anyone when you're No. 1."
Marathon, which is 0-6 on the season, has played some of the stronger teams in the country - Ohio State, No. 13 Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Indiana.
A perimeter based team, Marathon has averaged 20.8 three-point shots a game and is likely to force the tempo of play during the game.
"They're playing like coach (Glenn) Sergent's teams have played in the past - get the ball up and down the court in a hurry and a lot of penetration and dishes," UA head coach Lute Olson said. "They play one guy inside and four guys on the perimeter, which will be good for us. We can take our (number) four man out and defend against the shooters."
Marathon's best player is shooting guard David Harrison from Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Ky.
The 6-foot-4 guard leads Marathon in scoring, averaging 21.5 points per game. Harrison scored 31 points against UConn in Marathon's 100-87 loss to the Huskies earlier this preseason.
Arizona will have a decisive advantage in the post tonight.
Senior center Loren Woods and junior power forward Michael Wright should be able to out muscle Marathon's inside players.
"No, we can't overlook them," Woods said. "They are a good team. You know they are going to bring their best team coming in here so we are just going to have to play them hard."
UA will likely use its 10-player rotation against Marathon, but freshman guard Travis Hanour's minutes may be cut down.
Hanour injured his shoulder while dunking in practice last Friday and was unable to practice until Wednesday.
"We will play it like we play a regular season game," Olson said. "We obviously will take a look at our top-10 guys in our rotation."
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. at McKale Center.