Arizona dropped from 15th to 23rd in the AP men’s basketball poll released Monday, following the Wildcats’ split of two games in New York City.
The Cats also are 23rd in the coaches poll.
Arizona beat St. John’s in Madison Square Garden before losing to Mississippi State in the final of the 2K Sports Classic. The Wildcats fell to 4-1 overall.
Coach Sean Miller noted at a Monday afternoon press conference that the experience of those two games will serve his team well later in the season. Although he described the Mississippi State game as “winnable,” the Wildcats could never take the lead, despite having seven possessions when they trailed by only one point.
“It takes execution and patience on offense against a very good defensive team, which Mississippi State is,” Miller said. “We didn’t show the resolve of an experienced, seasoned team in that moment.”
This early in the season, it’s not uncommon for voters to have wide opinions on a team — and Arizona is one of those teams.
The Wildcats are as high as No. 11 (as ranked by Scott Wolf of the L.A. Daily News) but were also unranked by 16 of the 65 voters.
Miller suggested that Arizona has found its level at 4-1.
“If we were 5-0, I would look at that really as overachieving,” he said.