Defending Champs Up Next: The Arizona Wildcats (6-0; No. 2 USA Today/ESPN; AP poll had not been released at press time) travel to Chicago to play the defending national champion Connecticut Huskies (5-1; No. 6 USA Today/ESPN) in the Great Eight Classic at the United Center on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. CST (7 p.m. MST). It will be the second game of a doubleheader on the Great Eight's opening night, beginning approximately 25 minutes after the No. 4 Kansas (6-0) vs. No. 5 Michigan State (6-1) match-up, which tips at 6 p.m. CST. Both games will be televised nationally on ESPN with Brad Nessler doing the play-by-play, Dick Vitale handling the color commentary and Jay Bilas reporting from the sidelines. Coming off an 88-81 road win at ninth-ranked Texas last Saturday, the UA's game with Connecticut marks the second of its three straight against top-10 opponents -- the Wildcats will return to Tucson this Saturday to host fifth-ranked Michigan State at noon on CBS. The Huskies enter the game on Tuesday after beating UNC-Asheville last Saturday, 98-68, and have won five in a row after dropping their season opener to Iowa in the Coaches Against Cancer IKON Classic.
Series History: This is the first time these two teams have met... Arizona owns a 21-10 advantage versus teams from the Big East Conference... Arizona has won its last two outings versus Big East opponents, beating Boston College in the 1997 Maui Invitational and Providence in the 1997 NCAA Southeast Regional Final... That latter win sent the Cats on to the Final Four, where they would beat Kentucky to win their first NCAA Championship... The last loss to a Big East opponent was on Dec. 23, 1995, to Syracuse (79-70)... It was in Tucson and that was the UA's last non-conference home defeat.
UA's Probable Starting Lineup: 1999-00 Stats Ht. Wt. Yr-Exp. PPG RPG APG/BPG/SPG F 21 Michael Wright 6-7 238 So.-1L 15.5 10.0 1.3 spg F 44 Richard Jefferson 6-7 222 So.-1L 13.8 5.3 3.3 apg C 3 Loren Woods 7-1 230 Jr.-TR 11.7 6.0 3.0 bpg G 0 Gilbert Arenas 6-3 191 Fr.-HS 12.2 2.8 3.1 apg G 22 Jason Gardner 5-10 178 Fr.-HS 12.2 2.8 4.5 apgArizona's Last Action: Arizona jumped out to a 6-0 start for the second year in a row after beating ninth-ranked Texas, 88-81, last Saturday night in Austin. Playing before a crowd 15,226, the Wildcats had all five starters score in double figures for the third time this season and were led by sophomore forward Richard Jefferson, who scored 19 points, all of which came in the second half. After only playing nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, he came out on fire in the second, hitting both of this three point attempts and 8-of-10 shots overall. He was big down the stretch, scoring eight consecutive points in the waning moments and helping stretch a one-point lead to a six-point advantage with 1:02 left in the game. Arizona's other sophomore starter, power forward Michael Wright had his fifth double-double in six games this year with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while freshman point guard Jason Gardner had his best game of his young career, going for a career-high 18 points (4-6 3PT), with five rebounds and five assists. Arizona's win was secured when five players combined to make 14-of-18 free throws over the final 1:09. Texas, which had fought back from a 10-point second-half deficit, pulled to within 83-81 with 11.9 seconds left before Luke Walton and Gilbert Arenas went 5-of-6 from the foul line in the final seconds. The Wildcats kept their string of holding all of their 1999-2000 opponents to a sub-40% field goal percentage alive, as Texas hit on 31-of-79 shots (.392)... After scoring a season-low tying 29 points in the first half, Arizona came out and scored a season-high 59 points in the second.
Mon., Dec. 6 - Team leaves for Chicago and the Great Eight at 3:55 p.m. on board United flight #1152. After a stop in Denver, arrival is set for Chicago at 9:49 p.m. on board United #266. Team will stay at Hilton & Towers (312-922-4400).
Tues., Dec. 7 - Game vs. Connecticut at the Great Eight in the United Center; 8:30 p.m. CST; ESPN televises.
Wed., Dec. 8 - Team returns to Tucson at 1:32 p.m. on board United flight 1579 from Denver.
Sat., Dec. 11 - Home game vs. Michigan State, noon; CBS televises.
Arizona's Great Eight History: The Wildcats have played in the Great Eight twice before and are 1-1 in the event... The last time they played in it was on Dec. 2, 1997, when a fourth-ranked Arizona squad lost to third-ranked Kansas, 90-87, in Chicago... Arizona was the defending national champion that season... Prior to that appearance, the other time the UA played in the Great Eight was on Nov. 30, 1994, when the ninth-ranked Cats beat 17th-ranked Michigan by a score of 78-57... That game was played at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Great Eight The Second Night: Once Arizona is back home, the Great Eight continues on Wednesday night with No. 18 Temple playing Gonzaga at 6:30 p.m. CST and No. 7 North Carolina taking on No. 1 ranked Cincinnati at 8:30 p.m. CST. Those are televised on ESPN as well.
UConn Notes: The Huskies stand at 5-1 on the season and are winners of five in a row... They are led by 5-foot-10 junior point guard Khalid El-Amin, who is averaging 18.7 ppg and 4.8 apg... Three other players are scoring in double figures 6-foot-7 senior forward Kevin Freeman (12.0 ppg), 6-foot-8 junior forward Edmund Saunders (11.3 ppg) and 6-foot-3 junior guard Albert Mouring (10.2 ppg)... Six-foot-11 senior center Souleymane Wane is the leading rebounder, pulling down 7.2 boards per game... Connecticut is beating its opponents by +20.2 ppg... This is the second straight year it has played in the Great Eight last season the Huskies beat Pac-10 Conference member, Washington, 69-48... Connecticut's head coach in Jim Calhoun, who is 28th year as a head coach... His career record is 559-258... He is in his 14th year as the Huskies' head coach, going 309-121... This will be the first time he has faced Arizona.
Lute Olson is within reach of a pair of coaching milestones... He is seven wins away for career win No. 600 and recently achieved win No. 400 at Arizona... Here is a look at his milestone career victories:
Win Date Team Opponent Score 1 12-1-73 LBSU Puget Sound 84-55 100 2-3-79 Iowa Minnesota 97-71 200 2-25-84 Arizona Oregon St. 69-58 300 3-27-88 Arizona North Carolina 70-52 400 2-13-93 Arizona Washington St. 94-72 500 2-11-96 Arizona Cincinnati 79-76Coach O: Lute Olson (Augsburg '56) is his 17th season as the head coach at Arizona and his 27th overall as a head coach... This season will see him reach even more milestones in what has become a Hall of Fame type coaching career... He has a career record of 593-212 (.737), while his mark in Tucson stands at 401-120 (.770), making Arizona one the dominant programs in the country... He needs just seven more wins for career win No. 600, which would make him one of just 33 coaches in NCAA history to win 600 or more games... With the win over BYU last week, he reached 400 victories for his Arizona career (these numbers may differ from what the NCAA coaching totals list, because as opposed to the Pac-10 Conference, the NCAA does not count forfeits as wins on head coaching records, as the case is with two UA losses to Cal in 1995 and 1996, which were later changed to wins... the same holds true with a game when Olson was at Iowa, when there was a forfeit by Wisconsin in 1983 that changed a loss into a win)... The season's opener against Kansas State was the 800th of his collegiate Division IA career... For his entire coaching career, including 11 years in high school (180-76 from 1956-69) and two in the junior college ranks (Long Beach City College, 104-20), he has coached in 1,185 games... He has never faced Connecticut... During his 17-year tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1997), gone to three Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997), won eight Pac-10 Conference titles and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 15 years in a row, which is the second longest streak in NCAA history (North Carolina, 25)... He also led Iowa to the 1980 Final Four... He has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year six times (1986, 88, 89, 93, 94, 98), the Big-10 Coach of the Year twice (1979 & 81) and directed the UA program to the nation's best winning percentage over the past 12 years... His Pac-10 record stands at 223-65 (.774) and he is one of just six coaches in league history to win 200 or more conference games... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only John Wooden (.810/304-74)... Prior to coming to Arizona, he was at Iowa for nine years where he owned a 168-90 mark and before that, he was at Long Beach State for one season (1973-74), where he went 24-2... In his collegiate career, he has produced 35 NBA Draft picks, including 20 at Arizona 15 alone on the 1990s... He has led Arizona to 12 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 21 overall in his career... Under Olson, the Cats are 246-25 (.908) in McKale Center and have won 175 of their last 185 home games.
Headed Home: Arizona sophomore All-America candidate and Chicago native Michael Wright makes his return home to the Windy City this week and gets the chance to play in the United Center for the first time ever... The Wildcats' leading scorer and rebounder on the season (15.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg), Wright starred for Farragut Academy during his Chicago prep career... He was an Illinois all-state performer after averaging 29.5 ppg and 16 rpg during his senior season... As a freshman, he was a Farragut Academy teammate of NBA and the Minnesota Timberwolves' star, Kevin Garnett.
Pretty Good Success: Dating back to the first round loss of the 1986 Big Apple NIT, Arizona has won 65 of its last 70 games that have been played as part of an in-season tournament or one-game special event (i.e. Preseason NIT, Maui Invitational, Great Eight Classic, Great Alaska Shootout, Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, Bank One Fiesta Bowl Classic, etc., etc.).
Out of the Gates: This is the second year in a row that Arizona has started the season by winning its first six games... Last year, Arizona went to 8-0 before dropping its first of the season at UCLA in the Pac-10 season opener... The two 6-0 starts are the best for the UA since 1995-96, when that team began the year 8-0 before falling to Syracuse on Dec. 23, 1995... The The UA's record of 326-74 over the course of the past 12 years gives it the nation's best winning percentage during that span (.815).best start for the Cats in the Lute Olson era was in the 1987-88 Final Four campaign, when the team started 12-0... The 1993-94 team began 8-0... The 1984-85 and 1990-91 teams started 7-0.
We'll Be Back: The Arizona basketball team will return to the United Center and Chicago next season to take on Illinois... As of now, the game is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2000.
McKale Magic: Arizona currently has the nation's fourth-longest active home winning streak (as of Dec. 6)... The Wildcats have won 35 consecutive home games, trailing only Murray State (45), Duke (39) and Utah (37)... The last loss was a 66-64 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 13, 1997... The streak includes three games this year, all 14 home games last season, 15 in 1997-98 and the final three of the 1996-97 campaign... Further, Arizona has won 46 of its last 47 home games and is 175-10 in McKale Center since the 1987-88 season... During that time, the Cats have lost just two non-conference games (Arkansas, 1992-93 & Syracuse, 1995-96)... Overall, Arizona has won 21 consecutive non-conference home games... Last year was the ninth season in history that Arizona went undefeated at home... Arizona owns an all-time record of 339-64 (.841) in McKale Center... This will be the 12th season Arizona basketball has been sold out in McKale Center on a season-ticket basis... Only 10 pairs of mid-level tickets and 20 pairs of upper level tickets were not renewed for this year.
Pac-10 Team of the Decade???: Arizona has the most wins of any Pac-10 team in the 1990s (262), has won five Pac-10 Conference crowns and tied for one other... UCLA is second with four Pac-10 conference titles this decade... For conference games only, Arizona's record of 140-40 is the best in the league, with UCLA at No. 2 with a 134-47 mark... The Cats have been to the NCAA Tournament each year this decade and won it all in 1997... There have been 18 All-Pac-10 first team selections from Arizona, four Pac-10 Players of the Year and two Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year... Arizona has not recorded a double-digit loss total since 1986-87... The Wildcats' seven All-Americans during the 1990s trails only Duke's 10... UA and North Carolina are tied for second-most All-Americans in the 1990s.
Cat Scratches: This week's No. 2 ranking in the coaches poll is the highest for the UA since it was also No. 2 on March 2, 1998... That 1997-98 squad -- the defending national champions -- spent the entire season ranked no lower than eighth and was No. 1 for the first three weeks of the season... Arizona received three place votes this week.. It started the season ranked ninth... The team is ranked No. 1 in the latest Sagarin Rankings... After the Texas game, the Wildcats returned to Tucson on Sunday around noon and practiced at 1 p.m... The players then attended classes on Monday, practiced afterwards at 1:30 p.m. and then had a 3:55 p.m flight for Chicago via Denver... They were to arrive in Chicago around 10 p.m... The Wildcats still have five games remaining before Christmas (and seven before Pac-10 play starts)... Arizona is in the midst of a stretch that sees them play five games in 12 days... The UConn game is contest number-three in the span... UA returns to Tucson to host Michigan State on Saturday and IUPUI on Monday night... The team is off for finals week and then returns to action on Dec. 18 when it plays Nebraska at the Las Vegas Showdown on ESPN2... In each of the past two games, the team has gone 7-of-14 from the three-point line... Lute Olson has gone with the same starting lineup in all six games this season -- last year a different one was used in each of the first seven games... The Cats are shooting .479 from the floor and holding the opposition to a .376 FG% mark... Teams are shooting .300 from the three-point line versus Arizona, as opposed to the UA's mark of .397 from the 3PT arc...This week marks the 67th time that Arizona has been ranked in the top-five by the Associated Press... With Arizona ranked No. 2 and Stanford No. 3 this week, it marks the first time since Dec. 16, 1991, that the Pac-10 has had two teams ranked among the nation's top-three... That week, Arizona was No. 2 and UCLA was No. 3... Additionally, there are three Pac-10 teams ranked in among the top-11 -- no other conference office can claim that distinction this week (UCLA is No. 11)... Of Arizona's five starters, you have two sophomores (Wright/Jefferson) who have combined for 65 career games, two true freshmen (Gardner/Arenas) and a junior who had never played for the Cats until this season (Woods)... Arizona joins Kansas as the only three-time winners of the Preseason NIT, winning it in 1999, 1995 and 1990... Two Arizona starters are shooting better then 60% from the floor... Richard Jefferson -- the starting small forward, leads the team in FG% at 64.2% (34-53) and power forward Michael Wright is at 60.4% (32-53)... Since the start of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats own a record of 64-12... Overall, Arizona has been ranked in the regular season Top-25 rankings for 203 straight weeks... The Cats have outscored their two opponents so far by +17.0 ppg... Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 season, Arizona has been ranked in the top-10 in 35 of the last 41 AP polling periods... Arizona is 32-0 when Texas native Josh Pastner plays, hence the term "A Pastner Game" applies whenever the Wildcats win big... Wildcat sophomore guard Ruben Douglas was granted his request for a release from his scholarship at the University of Arizona by the UA coaching staff on Nov. 14... He will continue his course work at the UA for the rest of the fall semester with the intent to transfer after that period.
Captains Elected: Senior Josh Pastner and junior Loren Woods were selected captains for this year's team in voting that was done by their teammates.
Block Party: Junior center Loren Woods is providing the UA basketball program with a luxury it has been without for the past few years a legitimate shot blocker... With 18 blocks already this season (3.o bpg), he has almost half as many blocks as last year's top shot blocker -- A.J. Bramlett -- had for the entire season (37)... In fact, Woods is close to half as many for the UA's top shot blockers in each of the past seven seasons... For a lowdown of the shot blockers in UA history, consult page 85 in the Arizona basketball media guide.
Michael Wright's Career Double-Doubles (17)
Arizona's record in these games is 12-5
Date Opponent Points Rebounds 12/14/98 UC-Irvine 15 13 1/2/99 at UCLA 14 10 1/4/99 at USC 11 12 1/14/99 at Arizona State 18 12 1/16/99 at New Mexico 15 17 1/23/99 at Oregon State 13 12 1/30/99 California 15 12 2/4/99 at Washington 19 10 2/13/99 Louisiana State 15 11 2/20/99 Oregon 19 13 3/4/99 USC 22 10 3/12/99 Oklahoma 16 12 11/16/99 Kansas State 11 10 11/19/99 New Mexico State 24 13 11/24/99 Notre Dame 22 11 12/1/99 BYU 19 10 12/4/99 Texas 16 13The Wright Stuff: All-American candidate Michael Wright has started the year with five double-doubles in the first six games, bringing his career double-double total to 17... The sophomore power forward has 17 double-doubles in just 35 career games... On the season, he is averaging a team-best 15.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg and shooting 60.4% from the floor... He is coming off a performance versus Texas that saw him go for 16 points and 13 rebounds... The only non double-double game was against Kentucky in the Preseason NIT championship when he was in early foul trouble early scored a career-low one point.. That performance came after a marquee outing against Notre Dame, when he went for 22 points and 11 boards... His 35 rebounds through the first three games of the Preseason NIT were three shy of the three-game tournament record of 38, set by Gary Trent (Miami of Ohio).
The Kids are Alright: The freshman guard tandem of Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas appear to have acclimated themselves quite well to the college game... Big parts of the UA's 6-0 start, they are combining for 25 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 7.6 apg and 5.0 spg... Arenas is third on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and Gardner is fourth (12.2 ppg)... Gardner leads the team in minutes, averaging 34.3 mpg and Arenas is second at 29.3 mpg... Arenas has been solid from the free throw line, hitting 22-of-24 attempts (91.7%)... They enjoyed their time in the Madison Square Garden limelight for the Preseason NIT, appearing in their own version of an off-Broadway "CATS" performance... They were both named to the Preseason NIT All-Tournament team, while Arenas was the tourney's MVP... Playing in one of the "World's Most Famous Arenas", Arizona most famous Arenas averaged 17.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg and 3.5 spg, helping Arizona beat Notre Dame and Kentucky... He went for a game and career-high 20 points in the title game versus UK... As for Gardner, he averaged 9.5 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.0 spg and only turned the ball over once while playing in 72 of a possible 80 minutes.
Pac-10 Prognostications: The Wildcats were picked to win the 1999-2000 Pac-10 Conference title, according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league... The poll showed Arizona getting 32 of the possible 36 first-place votes, edging No. 2 UCLA, who received three first place votes and No. 3 Stanford, which garnered one first place vote... Following the top-three were Oregon, Oregon State, California, USC, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State. This poll has correctly picked the Pac-10 Champion for five years in a row and Arizona has now been the preseason No. 1 pick six times since the poll was started back in 1989.
Ties Count as a Win: With each win by the Arizona basketball team this year, head coach Lute Olson donates the tie he wore in the game to the Tucson YMCA , and in turn they auction off that tie to the public, with all the proceeds going towards their youth programs... So far, his closet is minus six ties on the season...
Arizona in 1999-00 Polls/Week-by-Week
Date Record AP USA Today/ESPN Pre. 0-0 #9 #9 11/15 1-0 #10 #9 11/22 2-0 #8 #9 11/29 4-0 #4 #4 12/6 6-0 TBA #2Counting Classes: The 1999-2000 Arizona basketball roster is relatively young... From top-to-bottom, it is comprised of just two seniors, of which only one will play, due to Eugene Edgerson's redshirt season (Josh Pastner, who has played just 80 minutes in his four year career is the lone "playing" senior)... After that, there are five juniors two of whom had never played in a game for the Cats before the Kansas State season opener (Wake Forest transfer Loren Woods & junior college transfer Lamont Frazier) and one who can't play this season because he is a transfer (Luke Recker)... Then there are three sophomores, one redshirt freshman and four true freshmen.
Who's Back: Heading the group of two returning starters and seven letterwinners is last year's Freshman All-American and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Michael Wright. A 6-foot-7, 238-pound sophomore from Chicago, Ill. (Farragut Academy), he has received preseason acclaim as being one the top power forwards in the country for 1999-2000. He is the team's leading returning scorer (13.9 ppg) and rebounder (8.8 rpg) after posting the best rebounding average by a freshman in Pac-10 history last season. The other returning starter from last year is sophomore Richard Jefferson (F, 6-7, 222, Phoenix, Ariz.)... (Ruben Douglas was a third returning starter, but he was granted his request to be released from his scholarship at the UA on Nov. 14). Jefferson was an All-Pac-10 Freshman team performer last season after averaging 11.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 2.9 apg. Among the other returning letterwinners are Justin Wessel (F, 6-8 , 225, Jr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Rick Anderson (F, 6-8 , 221, So., Long Beach, Calif.), John Ash (G, 5-10, 177, Jr., Tucson, Ariz.) and probably the most valuable player in the country who has averaged 2.6 minutes per game during his career, Josh Pastner (G, 5-11, 182, Kingwood, Texas).
A Redshirt Year: Another face that is returning this season, but will not be playing is Eugene Edgerson... He will redshirt this season so he can complete his degree requirement in his education major... In order to accomplish his goal of getting his degree and teaching certificate from the UA in four years, he will student teach during the 2000 spring semester, while fulfilling other requirements this fall... Depending on his teaching schedule, he will still practice with the team but will miss Wednesday practices during the fall semester.
The (Kind Of) New Faces: There are eight players on this season's roster who had never played in a game for the Wildcats before the season opener, although two of them were with the program last year and sat out either as a transfer or with a redshirt season. The transfer is junior center Loren Woods (7-1, 251, St. Louis, Mo.), who came to Arizona from Wake Forest. The former McDonald's All-American had to sit out last year, but is eligible to play in 1999-00 and will establish his presence right away. He did practice with the Cats in 1998-99, so he has a good knowledge of the system. The redshirt is Luke Walton (F, 6-8, 228, Fr., San Diego, Calif.). He missed last season with a medical redshirt after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot. He was healthy towards the end of last year and was able to practice with the team at the end of February.
The New Guys: The six fresh faces on the team are a talented group... There are two transfers and four true freshmen... Junior college guard Lamont Frazier (6-3, 182, Jr.) comes to Tucson from Lon Morris Junior College in Jacksonville, Texas and is originally from Los Angeles... His has missed some practices so far due to a recurrent medical condition, but returned to practice on Oct. 28 -- his first time on the floor with the team since Oct. 17... The second high-profile transfer in two years to come to Arizona is Indiana transfer Luke Recker (G/F, 6-6, 190, Jr., Auburn, Ind.)... Just as the case was with Loren Woods last season, he must sit out this season as a result of NCAA transfer rules, but will be allowed to practice with the team... The four true freshmen on the squad include McDonald's All-American and starting point guard Jason Gardner (G, 5-10, 178, Indianapolis, Ind.), starting two-guard Gilbert Arenas (G, 6-3, 191, North Hollywood, Calif.), Robertas Javtokas it's pronounced YAHV-toe-kus (C, 6-10, 229, Siauliai, Lithuania) and walk-on Michael Schwertley (F, 6-5, 214, Phoenix, Ariz.).
2000 NCAA West Region First/Second Rounds in McKale Center
The University of Arizona will host the first and second rounds of the 2000 NCAA Tournament West Region this March 16 & 18 in McKale Center. Tickets are currently on sale for each of the three sessions and cost $90. Ticket orders can be made at the McKale Center ticket office or by calling 520-621-CATS (2287). Media credential applications will be ready in January. Contact media coordinator Tom Duddleston with any questions (520-621-4163).
Where Are You From?: California is the state that can claim the most members of this year's Wildcats, as four players are from "The Golden State " (Rick Anderson, Gilbert Arenas, Lamont Frazier and Luke Walton)... There are three from Arizona (John Ash, Richard Jefferson & Michael Schwertley) and two from Indiana (Jason Gardner, Luke Recker)... The rest of the roster contains six players from different states and countries, as the case is with Robertas Javtokas, who is from Siauliai, Lithuania... His city is pronounced SHAW-lay.
The Golden Arches: This season's roster has four former McDonald's All-Americans Jason Gardner, Richard Jefferson, Luke Recker and Loren Woods.
Then There Were Four: Just four players on this year's roster remain from Arizona's 1997 NCAA Championship team Eugene Edgerson, Justin Wessel, John Ash and Josh Pastner.
Who's Gone From 1998-99: Leading the losses from last season are 1998-99 seniors Jason Terry and A.J. Bramlett... Terry was named the National Player of the Year in three circles last year and was the Pac-10 Player of the Year after becoming the first player to lead the league in scoring (21.9 ppg), assists (5.5) and steals (2.8) in the same season since Gary Payton of Oregon State did it in 1989-90... He was No. 10 in the NBA Draft and went to the Atlanta Hawks... Bramlett was an All-Pac-10 selection last season after averaging 14.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg... He was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers... Both Terry and Bramlett were members of four Arizona teams that went 103-28 (55-4 at home), winning a national title (1997), a Pac-10 crown and they were 11-3 in the NCAA Tournament... Jason Stewart was the third senior last year, while freshman guard Traves Wilson transferred in the off-season, and so did Ruben Douglas, who made his decision Nov. 14.
Arizona's NCAA Tournament History: Last year marked the 18th time Arizona has made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament and it was the 15th invite under head coach Lute Olson... UA's current string of 15 consecutive appearances in the NCAAs is the second longest streak in NCAA history, trailing only North Carolina's 25 straight invites (UNC's is a current streak as well)... Last season was the 20th time in the last 21 years that Olson has taken a team to the NCAAs... He has directed Arizona to 15 tourneys and a 24-14 record -- and when he was the coach at Iowa, he coached five Hawkeye squads to the NCAAs... With 20 career appearances in the NCAA Tournament, he is tied for fourth on the NCAA's all-time tournament appearance list for head coaches with Adolph Rupp and John Thompson... Over the course of their last 20 NCAA games, the Wildcats own a record of 15-5... In the last five years, Arizona has played in 21 tournament games... Arizona's all-time record in the NCAA Tournament is now 26-17... The Wildcats have been to three Final Fours -- 1988, 1994 & 1997... Arizona has advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times in the last 12 years.
20-Win Campaigns: With its record of 22-7 last season, it marked the 12th consecutive season that Arizona won 20 or games... Further, it was the 14th time in Lute Olson's 16 years as UA head coach that the Cats have reached the 20-win plateau... It marked the 21st time in Olson's career that he has directed a team to 20 or more victories, making him just the eighth head coach in NCAA history to reach 20 wins in 21 or more seasons (Dean Smith-30; Jerry Tarkanian-26; Adolph Rupp-23; Bobby Knight-22; Denny Crum-21; Jim Boeheim-21; John Chaney-21).
Former Cats in the NBA: This season, there are 10 former Arizona players on NBA rosters... They are Mike Bibby (Vancouver), A.J. Bramlett (Cleveland), Jud Buechler (Detroit), Michael Dickerson (Vancouver), Sean Elliott (San Antonio/injured list), Steve Kerr (San Antonio), Chris Mills (Golden State), Sean Rooks (Dallas), Damon Stoudamire (Portland) and Jason Terry (Atlanta).
Shooting Sets the Tone: Since the 1996-97 season, Arizona is 66-4 in games when it has a better shooting percentage than its opponent... The Wildcats are 6-0 this year, 19-1 last season, 23-2 the year before and 18-1 in 1996-97 campaign.
80s Preservation Society: In the past four years, the UA is 79-8 when it scores 80 or more points in a game... Further, since the 1992-93 season, Arizona is 141-15 when it scores 80 or more... The Cats are 4-0 this year, were 15-2 in 1998-99, 26-3 in 1997-98 and 19-2 in 1996-97.
The Century Club: The UA has not given up 100 points in regulation since Jan. 27, 1990, at Pittsburgh, a span of 308 games. UA lost that game 100-92.
Some Notes on Last Season: The Wildcats led the Pac-10 in rebounding (41.6 rpg), scoring (82.2 ppg), free throw shooting (.710) and rebounding margin (+8.1 rpg)... The Cats completed its home schedule with a 14-0 mark... It was the ninth time in history the UA has completed its home schedule undefeated... Last year was the first time since 1989-90 that Arizona didn't score 100 points or more in at least one game... Arizona started three freshmen in 22 of its 29 games and used 10 different starting lineups... Only three teams shot 50% or better against the Wildcats -- UCLA (50%), at Cal (51.6%) and at Stanford (54.0%)... Arizona suffered its worst shooting performance of the season against Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (19-of-57/33%)... One offshoot of the UA's rebounding dominance was the amount of times it went to the free throw line... The Wildcats attempted 252 more free throws than the opposition... The three-point field goal percentage of .350 was the lowest in team history... Arizona's 30 turnovers against Washington State on Jan. 7, were the most for the program since Dec. 4, 1982, when the Ben Lindsey-coached Cats had 36 at New Mexico... The University of Arizona retired Steve Kerr's jersey in a ceremony following the Washington game... He joined Sean Elliott as the only former Wildcats to have their jersey hung from the McKale Center rafters.
Arizona Basketball On TV This Year: Each of Arizona's 32 regular season games will be televised on either Fox Sports Net, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, CBS or KWBA. The Wildcats appear on Fox Sports Net 20 times, ESPN four times, ESPN2 four times, CBS once, ABC once and on Tucson's KWBA five times.
The Coach's Show: Once again this season, KNST radio will air the Lute Olson Coach's Show, hosted by Brian Jeffries... Due to Arizona travel conflicts during the non-conference season, the show will air just once prior to Pac-10 play... The next Lute Olson Show will be Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 6 p.m. and the TV show will be shown Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 10:30 p.m on UPN channel 18 in Tucson.
Prowlin' With the Wildcats: Here's the upcoming broadcast schedule for Fox Sports Net Arizona's bi-weekly magazine show about University of Arizona athletics -- "Prowlin' with the Wildcats"... Tues., Dec. 14, 7 p.m./Wed., Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m. (replay)/Sat., Dec. 18, 11 a.m. (replay); Fri., Jan. 14, 9 p.m./Sun., Jan. 16, 1 p.m. (replay); Thurs., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m./Sat., Jan. 29, 3 p.m. (replay).