Eyes on Texas: The Arizona Wildcats (5-0; No. 4 AP/No. 4 USA Today/ESPN) travel to Austin, Texas, to take on the undefeated Texas Longhorns (4-0; No. 9 AP/No. 11 USA Today/ESPN) this Saturday, Dec. 4, in the 16,175-seat Frank Erwin Center. The first of the UA's three consecutive games against an opponent currently ranked among the nation's top-10, the Arizona-Texas contest tips-off at 8 p.m. CST (7 p.m. MST) and it will be televised by ESPN. Dave Barnett will handle the play-by-play and Jon Sundvold is the color commentator. The Wildcats are coming off a 24-point home win over Brigham Young last Wednesday night (86-62), while the Longhorns have not played since beating Michigan State for the Puerto Rico Shootout title on Nov. 27. Following Saturday night's tilt in the Lone Star State, the UA's three-game gauntlet continues next Tuesday, when it plays No. 5 Connecticut in the Great Eight at Chicago and then returns to Tucson to host No. 8 Michigan State on Saturday, Dec. 11, at noon.
Series History: Arizona owns a 3-2 all-time advantage over Texas after winning the past three games in a row... This year's meeting marks the fourth straight year the teams have played each other... The UA won last year in Tucson on Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 25, 1998) by a 73-57 margin... The last time Arizona played in Austin, which was on Dec. 6, 1997, the Cats were also ranked No. 4 in the country, just as they are this time around... Before a sellout crowd of 16,175 in the Frank Erwin Center, the UA won by a score of 88-81 and was helped in part by the 20 point performances of Miles Simon and Jason Terry... In 1996, Arizona won the first of what has become three straight over UT, 83-78... Prior to these four straight contests, the last time Arizona and Texas met was on Dec. 30, 1971... The teams are set to play again next year in Tucson right now it's set for Dec. 5, 2000.
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 15.4 9.2 1.6 spg F 44 Richard Jefferson 6-7 222 So.-1L 12.8 5.4 3.2 apg C 3 Loren Woods 7-1 230 Jr.-TR 11.6 6.4 2.6 bpg G 0 Gilbert Arenas 6-3 191 Fr.-HS 12.6 3.8 3.4 apg G 22 Jason Gardner 5-10 178 Fr.-HS 11.0 2.4 4.4 apgArizona's Last Action: On the strength of a 17-3 run midway through the second half, Arizona was able to put away the Brigham Young Cougars and go on to post an 86-62 victory last Wednesday in McKale Center. The UA was led by the career night of sophomore Rick Anderson, who came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points (5-of-7 FG) and pull down a career-best seven rebounds in just 16 minutes of play. BYU trailed 48-46 with 14 minutes left, and after Anderson scored four points to help the UA to a 10-point lead, BYU cut it to 60-52. Then Anderson led a 12-0 Wildcat run that finally put the game out of reach. Sophomore power forward Michael Wright had his fourth double-double in five games this year with a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Richard Jefferson had 10 points/4 assists and Jason Gardner added 11 points, hitting on 3-of-5 three-point attempts. In addition to running UA's home win streak to 35 in a row, the victory was Lute Olson's 400th as the Arizona head coach. The Wildcats once again held their opponent to a sub-40% shooting performance (36.5%) something that has happened in all five game so far this year and shot a season-best 54.4% from the floor, including 50% from the three-point line (7-of-14)... Arizona also outrebounded BYU, 41-to-24.
Fri, Dec. 3 - Teams leaves for Dallas on board American flight #1166 at 4:33 p.m. Arrives in Austin at 9:42 p.m. on American #1933. The team will stay at the Marriott at the Capital (512-478-1111). Brett Hansen will travel with the team.
Sat., Dec. 4 - Game vs. Texas; 8 p.m. CST; ESPN televises.
Sun., Dec. 5 - Team returns to Tucson at 12:24 p.m. on board American flight #899 from Dallas.
Mon., Dec. 6 - Team leaves for Chicago and the Great Eight on board United flight #1152. After a stop in Denver, arrival is set for Chicago at 10:05 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.
The Last Arizona-Texas Meeting: In its second game of the 1998-99 season, Arizona beat Texas, 73-57, on Nov. 25, 1998... The win ran Arizona's home winning streak to 19, which it has since extended to 35 wins in a row... Arizona was led to victory by A.J. Bramlett, who had his second double-double in as many games, as he scored 13 points to go with 13 rebounds... The Wildcats' high point man was Jason Terry, who went for 19 points, four rebounds and four steals in 40 minutes of play... Although Arizona did not shoot very well (42.1%), they held the Longhorns to a lesser FG%, as UT hit on just 21-of-63 shots (33.3%)... The Wildcats' other double-digit scorer was Michael Wright, who came off the bench to score 10 points and grab five rebounds... After leading by five at halftime (34-29), the Cats raced out to three separate 10-point advantages and eventually built a 61-46 lead with 4:20 left in the game... After that it was pretty much over, as the closest the Horns would get was eight... The UA had 13 steals and forced 20 Texas turnovers, which led 19 Wildcat points.
Texas Notes: The Longhorns are 4-0 on the season and are ranked No. 9 by the AP and No. 10 by the USA Today/ESPN poll... They opened the season by downing Louisiana-Lafayette, which is coached by former UA assistant, Jessie Evans... They won the Puerto Rico Shootout last week after beating Arizona State (88-71), 18th ranked DePaul (68-64) and third-ranked Michigan State... They beat the Spartans in the title game, 81-74... Junior 7-foot center Chris Mihm is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 19.8 ppg and 12.8 rpg... He also has 16 blocks in four games and is shooting 53.8% from the floor, including 4-of-5 from the 3PT line... He had 29 points against Arizona State, 23 versus DePaul and has had a double-double in each of the Horns' first four games this year... Six-foot-7 senior forward Gabe Muoneke is the second leading scorer and rebounder, sporting per game marks of 16.8 ppg and 7.5 rpg... Opposing teams have hit on just 16-of-70 three-point attempts this season (22.9%)... Sophomore transfer Chris Owens played for Arizona senior Josh Pastner in the Houston-area AAU league... Owens is averaging 13.0 ppg and 5.8 rpg, marks that are third best on the squad... Texas is coached by second-year head coach Rick Barnes... He has compiled a mark of 23-13 in Austin... Prior to his arrival at UT, he had been the head coach at Clemson from 1994-98, at Providence from 1988-94 and George Mason in 1987-88.
Lute Olson is within reach of a pair of coaching milestones... He is eight wins away for career win No. 600 and just 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 592-212 (.736), while his mark in Tucson stands at 400-120 (.769), making Arizona one the dominant programs in the country... He needs just eight 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, 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... He is 3-0 all-time against Texas... 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.
UA Powers in Austin: In addition to the basketball team's appearance at UT on Saturday, the Arizona women's volleyball team takes place in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday and Friday... The 19th-ranked Cats play Virginia in the first round and if they win, could end up playing Texas in round two... Fifteenth-ranked UT plays Houston in round one... The Arizona men's and women's swimming and diving teams, which are ranked fourth and second in the nation, respectively, are also headed to Austin and will compete in the University of Texas Invitational, Dec. 3-5.
Arizona in 1999-00 Polls/Week-by-WeekMessin' With Texas: Arizona has won its last 11 games against teams from the state of Texas... The last loss was on March 3, 1987, to UTEP in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Tucson. In order, the wins are:
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
11-25-98 Texas 73-57 12-2-95 at Houston 73-69 12-8-97 at Baylor 83-68 12-30-94 Texas Tech 88-82 12-6-97 at Texas 88-81 12-18-94 at UTEP 75-61 12-9-86 Texas 83-78 12-8-94 Houston 81-67 12-28-95 Texas A&M 88-44 11-29-93 Baylor 106-79 12-16-95 UTEP 90-70
Out of the Gates: This is the second year in a row that Arizona has started the season by winning its first five 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 5-0 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 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.
This Guy Vs. That Guy: There will be match-ups galore in Saturday night's game... First, you have two of top centers in the country going against each other in Arizona's Loren Woods and Texas' Chris Mihm... Woods is 7-foot-1, while Mihm is an even 7-foot... The power forward battle may be even better with Arizona's Michael Wright tangling with the Horns' Gabe Muoneke and the small forward clash has two of the better athletes around in Arizona's Richard Jefferson and Texas' Chris Owens. Here is a breakdown of the two frontline combos for each team:
Woods/Wright/Jefferson Mihm/Muoneke/Owens 39.8 PPG 49.6 PPG 21.5 RPG 26.1 RPG 3.8 BPG 4.8 BPG .559 FG% .541 FG% .666 FT% .605 FT%Haven't We Met?: Arizona's Lute Olson and Texas' Rick Barnes have squared off on three occasions prior to this week's meeting... Prior to last season's UA-UT game in Tucson, the other contests were when Barnes was the head coach at Providence... Their first match-up was a UA win (99-87) in Tucson on Dec. 23, 1990... In that game, Providence guard Eric Murdock set the McKale Center scoring record with 45 points... The other resulted in a Providence home win on Dec. 22, 1992 (81-66).
McKale Magic: Arizona currently has the nation's fourth-longest active home winning streak (as of Dec. 2)... The Wildcats have won 35 consecutive home games, trailing only Murray State (44), Duke (38) and Utah (36)... 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 (261), has won five Pac-10 Conference crowns and tied for one other... UCLA is second with four conference titles this decade... Arizona's winning percentage of .795 (261-67) in the 1990s is the third-best in the country, trailing only Kansas (.829; 290-60) and Kentucky (.814; 285-65) -- as of Dec. 2... 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: Arizona is currently ranked No.1 in the latest Sagarin ratings -- the team received two first place votes in this week's AP poll... The Cats are shooting .470 from the floor and holding the opposition to a .371 FG% mark... Teams are shooting just .297 from the three-point line versus Arizona, as opposed to the UA's mark of .375 from the 3PT arc...This week marks the 66th time that Arizona has been ranked in the top-five by the Associated Press... Prior to Rick Anderson's 16-point outburst against BYU on Wednesday, he had only scored 12 in the first four games of the year... With Arizona ranked No. 4 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-four... That week, Arizona was No. 2 and UCLA was No. 3... Under Lute Olson, the Wildcats have gone 36-6 in the month of November... Loren Woods' seven blocks versus Notre Dame tied a school record that was set on March 13, 1997, by Anthony Cook against UTEP... Of Arizona's five starters, you have two sophomores (Wright/Jefferson) who have combined for 63 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... 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 The UA's record of 325-74 over the course of the past 12 years gives it the nation's best winning percentage during that span (.815).as part of an in-season tournament (i.e. Preseason NIT, Maui Invitational, Great Eight, Great Alaska Shootout, Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, Bank One Fiesta Bowl Classic, etc., etc.)... Two Arizona starters are shooting better then 60% from the floor... Richard Jefferson -- the starting small forward, leads the team in FG% at 64.3% (27-42) and power forward Michael Wright is at 60.5% (26-43)... Since the start of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats own a record of 63-12... Overall, Arizona has been ranked in the regular season Top-25 rankings for 202 straight weeks... The Cats have outscored their two opponents so far by +19.0 ppg... Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 season, Arizona has been ranked in the top-10 in 34 of the last 40 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.
Against the Big 12: Arizona has an all-time record of 54-62 against teams from the Big 12 Conference... Since the Big 12 was formed for the 1996-97 season, however, Arizona owns an 9-3 mark versus the league... This year, Arizona beat Kansas State in the firs round of the Preseason NIT... Last season, the Wildcats went 2-1 against schools from the league, beating Texas and Iowa State, while losing to Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament.
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.
The Wright Stuff: All-American candidate Michael Wright has started the year with four double-doubles in the first five games, bringing his career double-double total to 16... The sophomore power forward has 16 double-doubles in just 34 career games... On the season, he is averaging a team-best 15.4 ppg and 9.4 rpg and shooting 60.5% from the floor... He is coming off a performance versus BYU that saw him go for a team-high 19 points and 10 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).
Madison Square Gardner Arenas: The freshman guard tandem of Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas enjoyed their time in the Madison Square Garden limelight last week... 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", Gilbert 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... Through five games, this duo has combined for 39 assists, 27 steals and is averaging 23.6 ppg.
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.
Counting 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.
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).
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.).
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/injured list), 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 65-4 in games when it has a better shooting percentage than its opponent... The Wildcats are 5-0 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 78-8 when it scores 80 or more points in a game... Further, since the 1992-93 season, Arizona is 140-15 when it scores 80 or more... The Cats are 3-0 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 307 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 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 first show is on Monday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. It is broadcast live from Bob's at 6350 East Tanque Verde Road... The show will then be aired for the television portion of the Lute Olson Show, showing on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 10:30 p.m. on UPN channel 18... The next Lute Olson Show after this will be Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 6 p.m. and the TV show will be shown Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 10:30 p.m.