The Arizona Wildcats return home after returning from the Continental Las Vegas Invitational. In the championship game of that tournament, the Wildcats fell short of lifting the trophy, losing to a very experienced, very well coached Butler Bulldogs 69-65.
They return home to play the Texas Southern Tigers on Wednesday night.
Season to date
That loss should not deteriate the Wildcats confidence. Arizona is still 5-1 and are among one of the better college basketball teams in the nation, as they sit 16th in the AP Top 25.
To begin the season, Arizona knocked off then-ranked Michigan State Spartans in Honolulu, Hawaii. In that game, Arizona struggled early in the matchup, but was able to claw their way back and eventually escape with a two-point victory.
So far, besides the loss to Butler, Arizona has breezed through their non-conference schedule. In three of their four other victories this season, the Arizona Wildcats have defeated their opponents by more than 10 points. Against Santa Clara in Las Vegas, the Wildcats won by merely five points.
Freshman stepping up big
One of the more highly touted big men in the country is lanky freshman hailing from Finland. His name is Lauri Markkanen.
The Finnish freshman is already projected to go in the top 10 of the upcoming NBA draft and for good reason too. Markkanen is scoring at a clip of 18.2 points per game, tops on the team, and is the team's leading rebounder at 7.8 rebounds per game.
One of the scarier things about the 7' 19-year-old is his outside shooting. Markkanen is tough to guard down low, but then. he can space the floor with his outside shot, making 10 of 26 attempts on the young season so far.
Texas Southern looking for a challenge
Looking at the Texas Southern schedule is a bit strange. The Tigers have played six games so far, going 4-2, and all have been away from their home stadium. That will continue for the next nine games, an unprecedented start to the season.
Following their trip to the McKale Center, Texas Southern will take trips to face off against the Louisville Cardinals and Baylor Bears.
TSU is lead by junior Zach Lofton, who is averaging a little over 20 ppg, followed by Dulani Robinson, who also adds five assists per game to boot.
Texas Southern likes to attempt shots from long range. So far this season, they have attempted 152 attempts from that distance. However, the Tigers have made only 45 of those shots.
Arizona Wildcats - Texas Southern is scheduled to tip off at 9:00 PM EST at the McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona. This game will be shown on the PAC-12 Channel, ored via the PAC-12 Channel website.