No. 1 Seed Wildcats Will Play on Thursday in Salt Lake City
2000 NCAA Basketball Tournament - West Region March 16 & 18, 2000/Salt Lake City, Utah Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) #1 Arizona (26-6, 15-3 Pac-10) vs. #16 Jackson State (17-15,10-8 SWAC)
Sweet 16th in a Row:The University of Arizona Wildcats take part in their 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament (19th overall) by traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the first round of the NCAA West Region. For the second time in three years, the UA received a No. 1 seed and it will face the 16th seeded Jackson State Tigers on Thursday, March 16. Once the television schedule has been established by CBS, the tip-off time will be released later in the day on Monday. The Wildcats were crowned the co-champion of the Pacific-10 Conference with Stanford, but received the automatic bid to the 2000 NCAA Tournament after they won the tie breaker since they beat the Cardinal in the team's two meetings this season.
The Tigers were also extended an automatic bid to the tourney after winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament last Saturday when they beat Southern, 76-61. JSU completed the regular season with a 14-15 overall record and went 10-8 in the league, but then went on to win the next three SWAC Tournament games to get to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the school's history
As for the 1999-00 Wildcats, they entered this season after losing three starters from last year's club - one of who was the national player of the year. With an extremely young team, they continued to play among the nation's elite this year, posted a record of 26-6 and went 15-3 in the Pac-10 Conference. The Cats were ranked in the top-five for 12 weeks this season, even though - for the majority of the season - they were starting two true freshmen, a redshirt freshman, a sophomore and a transfer who was in his first year at Arizona. In addition, there have been two major injuries to starters - a fractured foot for Richard Jefferson that forced him to miss 13 games during the Pac-10 season and a back injury to center Loren Woods that sidelined him for the final six games of the regular season.
Head coach Lute Olson's Wildcats entered the year ranked ninth in both of the preseason polls, but quickly moved up after winning their third Preseason NIT title of the 1990s when they beat No. 11 Kentucky in New York City in late November. Arizona would go onto win 16 of its first 18 games, and in that span, it beat the likes of top-ranked Stanford (a win that gave Lute Olson his 600th career victory), fifth-ranked Michigan State, ninth-ranked Texas, and No. 25 UCLA. In all, Arizona ended the season with a 7-1 record against ranked opponents and turned in the program's 13th consecutive 20-win campaign.
The 1999-00 Wildcat squad is a group which is young, but plays like it is dominated with upperclassmen. It was a team that could have been nicknamed the "Fab Few", as Olson had to use a lineup, that, depending on who was injured on which day, consisted of just six, or seven, or eight available scholarship players.
Leading the way for the Wildcats is All-Pac-10 performer, sophomore power forward Michael Wright. The only player to start in all 32 games for the Wildcats this season, he led the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game (No. 2 in the Pac-10). He also led the Pac-10 in double-doubles with 12 and his field goal percentage of .576 was second in the conference. Junior 7-foot-1 center Loren Woods, another of the Cats' three All-Pac-10 first team performers, was probably the dominant player in the league before going down with a back injury that sidelined him for the UA's final six games of the season. He set a school record for blocks in a season (102), was averaging 15.6 ppg and 7.5 rpg and looked to be one the way to winning Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. His status is still in doubt for the tournament.
Sophomore forward Richard Jefferson joined Wright as the only two starters back from last season and his solid season was interrupted on Jan. 8, when he broke his right foot three minutes into the Cats upset of No.1 Stanford at Maples Pavilion, forcing him to miss 13 games. Up until the injury, he was fourth on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg), first in three-point percentage (.452) and third in both rebounding (4.9) and field goal percentage (.532). He returned to action for the Oregon road trip, but finally made his presence known when he went for 19 points in the UA's win over the second-ranked Cardinal back in Tucson on March 9.
Arizona's all-freshman backcourt made headlines throughout the year. All-Pac-10 first team honoree and starting point guard was steady as a rock in his first season, while shooting guard Gilbert Arenas was his equal as the Cats brought home program's ninth Pac-10 title. Gardner, who averaged 12.9 ppg and 5.0 apg, was named the USBWA's National Freshman of the Year, while both guys were named the Pac-10's All-Freshman team. As for Arenas, who averaged 15.2 ppg, he led the squad with a UA freshman record 66 steals and will go into the NCAA Tournament with a team-high streak of 17 consecutive double-figure scoring games. The injury to Jefferson helped redshirt freshman Luke Walton step into the spotlight and in just 17 games as a starter, and he too proved to be one the top freshmen in the country. The team's top assist man in conference games only (5.6 apg), he was an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman team performer and is one of those players who makes everyone around him better. He finished the regular season averaging 5.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 3.9 apg.
Junior Justin Wessel may have been one of the top role players in the country and it has been he who has had to step in for Woods in the big man's absence. Although Wessel missed the season finale with a sprained ankle, he did an excellent job as the Cats man in the center and it was tough defense that helped Arizona in the big win over Stanford that put the UA back in position for the Pac-10 title. Sophomore Rick Anderson rounded out the eight-man rotation and he could be the team's best pure shooter if he gets his confidence rolling.
This year's tournament marks the fourth time in history that Arizona has been a No. 1 seed - and the second time in the past three years. The last time was in 1998, preceded by 1989 and 1988.
Arizona's NCAA Tournament History
Arizona's Last Action:In Arizona's final game of the 1999-2000 regular season, the Wildcats claimed a share of the Pac-10 Conference championship by downing the California Golden Bears, 70-61, at Lute Olson Court at McKale Center. Arizona, which was down to six scholarship players available due to Justin Wessel's sprained right ankle, was led by the 22-point effort of Gilbert Arenas, which was helped in part by 10-of-11 shooting from the free throw line. Michael Wright had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Jason Gardner scored 13 points and was 8-of-8 from the charity stripe. In the first half, Arizona posted a 24-13 lead with 6:38 to go and eventually went by 14 until taking a 35-24 into the lockeroom at halftime. In the second stanza, the Cats never trailed and wrapped up the program's ninth Pac-10 title when the final horn sounded. Playing in his final game at McKale Center, senior Josh Pastner got into the game with about 30 seconds left and managed to hit 1-of-2 free throws to get in the book. As the norm has been all season, the Cats outscored the Bears 32-2 from the free throw line and UA held Cal to a field goal percentage of just 36.8%.
The Series History With Jackson State:Arizona and Jackson State have played just once before... The Wildcats won on Dec. 14, 1996, in McKale Center by a score of 111-83... That Arizona team would go onto win the 1997 NCAA Championship... Jackson State is the only team Arizona has played from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
The Rest of the Salt Lake City Field:In addition to the Arizona vs. Jackson State game, the following games take place in Salt Lake City on Thursday:
No. 8 Wisconsin (18-13) vs. No. 9 Fresno State (17-9) No. 5 Texas (22-7) vs. No. 12 Indiana State (22-9) No. 4 Louisiana State (25-4) vs. No. 13 Southeast Missouri State (24-6)
Salt Lake City Sub-Region Connections:This season has seen Arizona play two of the teams that will be in Salt Lake City this week... The Wildcats downed then No. 9 Texas in Austin on Dec. 4, by a score of 88-81... Arizona has beaten Texas four times in a row... The Wildcats lost at Louisiana State on Jan. 29, 86-60... The last time Arizona was in Salt Lake City, it was for a return flight from a game at Brigham Young on Nov. 28, 1998... The significance???... The team was forced to make an emergency landing back at the Salt Lake Airport after the plane lost use of one of its engines after the plane reached cruising altitude... The plane landed safely, but a few tense moments were experienced by all... Arizona last played in the NCAAs at Salt Lake City in 1993... It lost to Santa Clara that season as a No. 2 seed... Arizona also played in Salt Lake City for the NCAAs in 1991... That season, the Cats were also a No. 2 seed and beat St. Francis (Pa.) and Brigham Young... They then lost to Seton Hall in the West Regional at Seattle... Lute Olson has never faced Wisconsin at Arizona, but went 15-3 against the Badgers when he was the head coach at Iowa from 1974-83... He beat the Badgers the final six times he faced them... Arizona's first round opponent - Jackson State - was the first round opponent of Kansas when the 34-1 Jayhawks were the No. 1 seed in the 1997 NCAA Tournament... Arizona knocked off KU two games later in the Sweet 16 at Birmingham to get the wheels going in the drive for UA's national championship
The Last Arizona vs. Jackson State Game:The Wildcats posted a 1996-97 season-high point total the last time they played Jackson State, beating the Tigers, 111-83 on Dec. 14, 1996 in Tucson. Junior forward Michael Dickerson led the UA in scoring with 24 points, 16 of which came in the first half... He hit five three-pointers and pulled down six rebounds as well. Sophomore center Donnell Harris had a big-night, recording career-highs for points and rebounds (21 pts/16 rbds) for his second double-double of the year... Due to A.J. Bramlett's foot injury, Arizona was forced to go with only a six-man rotation -- until the game was out of reach and the bench emptied... The Cats had three others score in double figures, including a career-best 22 points and nine boards for junior Bennett Davison... Jason Terry added 19 points and six assists and freshman Eugene Edgerson had a career-high 13 points off the bench... Arizona shot .529 from the floor... In addition to Edgerson, two other current members of this year's team played in that game - Josh Pastner and John Ash... Pastner had what is still tied for a career high in points with five in five minutes of playing time, while Ash was scoreless in three minutes, but had one assist.
Arizona In the West Region:The match-up with Jackson State marks the 12th time Arizona has played in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament... The last time they were in the West, the Cats were also the No. 1 seed, and lost to Utah in the Regional Final at Anaheim... That season they started out in Sacramento and beat Nicholls State and Illinois State in the first and second rounds... The other years Arizona has played in the West were 1996 (Tempe/Denver), 1994 (Sacramento/Los Angeles), 1993 (Salt Lake City), 1991 (Salt Lake City/Seattle), 1990 (Long Beach), 1989 (Boise/Denver), 1988 (Los Angeles/Seattle), 1987 (Tucson), 1986 (Long Beach), 1985 (Albuquerque)... Arizona's all-time record in the NCAA West Region play is 20-11.
Coach Olson:Lute Olson (Augsburg '56) is in his 17th season as the head coach at Arizona and his 27th overall as a head coach... This season saw him reach two major milestones in what has become a Hall of Fame type coaching career -- he has recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona... With his win at Stanford on Jan. 8, he became the 33rd coach in NCAA history to win 600 or more games... He now has a career record of 613-218 (.738), while his mark at the University of Arizona stands at 421-126 (.769)... His Pac-10 record is 238-68 (.777) and he has the fourth most Pac-10 wins in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75), Oregon State's Slats Gill (276, 1929-64) and Washington's Hec Edmundson (266, 1921-47)... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only John Wooden (.810/304-74)... With the win over BYU this season, 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)... He is 1-0 all-time against Jackson State... 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 (157-86 from 1956-69) and three in the junior college ranks (Long Beach City College, 104-20), he has coached in 1,198 games... 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 16 years in a row, which is the second longest streak in NCAA history (North Carolina, 26)... 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 13 years... Prior to coming to the UA, he was at Iowa for nine years and went 168-90... Before that, he was at Long Beach State for one season (1973-74), where he was 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 13 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 22 overall in his career, making him one of only six head coaches in NCAA history to record 22 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 259-26 (.909) in McKale Center and have won 187 of their last 198 home games.
Lute Olson has reached a pair of coaching milestones this season... He recorded career win No. 600 with the victory at top-ranked Stanford on Jan. 8, and has also 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 79-76 600 1-8-00 Arizona Stanford 68-65
Jackson State Information:Arizona will face a Jackson State team that was 17-15 overall and 10-8 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference... They earned the automatic bid with a 56-50 win over Alabama State in the championship game of the SWAC tournament... They also knocked off top seed Alcorn State, 64-60, and second-seeded Southern University, 76-61... The Tigers are making their second NCAA tournament appearance... In 1997, they lost in the first round to the same Kansas team that Arizona defeated on its way to the national championship... Arizona won its only previous meeting with JSU, 111-83, on December 14, 1996 in Tucson... The Tigers are led by senior center Vincent Jones who averaged a team-high 13.3 points and 7.4 rebounds, while starting 29 of JSU's 30 contests... Jones was named the MVP of the SWAC tournament with 22 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in the championship game... He led the team in scoring and rebounding 12 times each... Senior guard Marino Walker was named to the SWAC All-Tournament team with 19 points, five steals and five rebounds in the second round win over Alcorn State... JSU's second-leading scorer, senior guard Timmy Marks, has played in all 30 games but started only 10... Marks averages 12.2 points and 3.3 rebounds and has led the team in scoring eight times... Head coach Andy Stoglin is in his 11th season... He earned his 200th career victory on Feb. 19 in JSU's 91-73 victory over Mississippi Valley State.
Final Pac-10 Conference Standings Pac-10 Overall 1. Arizona 15-3 26-6 Stanford 15-3 26-3 3. Oregon 13-5 22-7 4. UCLA 10-8 19-11 5. Arizona State 10-8 18-12 6. USC 9-9 16-14 7. California 7-11 16-14 8. Oregon State 5-13 13-16 Washington 5-13 10-20 10. Washington St. 1-17 6-22 NCAA Tournament Games Thursday No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Jackson State (West) No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Ball State (Midwest) Friday No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 16 So. Carolina St. (South) No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Seton Hall (East)
Versus the 2000 NCAA Field: This season, Arizona played nine teams that are in this year's NCAA Tournament... The Cats went 9-3 against these squads... They beat Michigan State, Kentucky, Texas, Stanford (twice), UCLA (twice), Oregon and UNC Wilmington; and lost to Connecticut, LSU and Oregon.
The UA's record of 347-80 over the course of the past 12+ years (since 1987-88) gives it the nation's best winning percentage during that span (.813).
Pac-10 Honors:Three Wildcats were named to the All-Pac-10 Conference first team on Sunday... The three selections were the highest number for any of the conference schools... Michael Wright, Loren Woods and Jason Gardner were all named to the 10-man first team, while Gilbert Arenas was an honorable mention selection... This was just the eighth time since the league went to a one-team, 10-man all-conference squad that three players were selected from one team... Arizona has now had 34 first team picks since it joined the league... Gardner is the first Arizona freshman to be named to the All-Pac-10 first team... Wright was the 1999 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and Woods was also the Pac-10's Newcomer of the Year this season.
Other Postseason Honors for the Cats:Sophomore forward Michael Wright was named as one of 22 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award last week... An announcement of the 10-player Wooden All-America team will be made on Fox Sports Net's 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts in all time zones on Tuesday, March 28... Loren Woods was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year on March 8... It marked the first time an Arizona player has received the honor since the award began to given out in 1993... Jason Gardner was named the United States Basketball Writer's Association National Freshman of the Year... The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced its All-District 15 team and Wright was named to the first team, while junior center Loren Woods and freshman point guard Jason Gardner were second team selections... Wright and Woods were both named to the USBWA's All-District 9 team... Head coach Lute Olson was selected as the USBWA District 9 Coach of the Year... This marks the third time that Olson has been named the USBWA's District Coach of the Year award, after also being honored with it in 1992-93 and 1987-88... Olson has also been named as one of 15 finalists for the Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club has announced... He is now is eligible to win the award that will be presented in Atlanta, Ga., on April 8... He was named College Hoops Insider's Pac-10 Coach of the Year on March 6.
Streakin' on Campus:Dating back to the start of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, Arizona owns a record of 84-18 (.824 winning%)... In the past three Pac-10 Conference seasons, the Wildcats have gone 45-9.
Since 1984:This will be Arizona's 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance... The last time the Cats were not invited to the Big Dance was in 1984... That year, Arizona freshman guard Gilbert Arenas was just two years old... Tina Turner's album "What's Love Got To Do With It?" won the Grammy for Record of the Year and Amadeus won the Oscar for Picture of the Year... It was Lute Olson's first year as the Arizona head coach and he since gone on to win 409 games in Tucson... That year also saw Patrick Ewing lead Georgetown to the NCAA Title over Houston's Phi Slama Jama Club... Since then, there have been three presidents of the United States (Reagan, Bush, Clinton)... Los Angeles hosted the Olympics later that summer... The All-Americans for college basketball in 1984 included Ewing, Wayman Tisdale (Oklahoma), Sam Perkins (North Carolina), Akeem Olajuwon (Houston) and some guy named Jordan from North Carolina who went have a little bit of success in the NBA... The NCAA Tournament bracket was expanded to 64 teams a year later.
Coach of the Year Credentials:Being that Arizona was 26-6 this year and was the Pac-10 co-champions, those who are uninformed about the UA program in 1999-2000 may think this has been just another smooth sailing season for the Cats... But, truth be told, it has been the exact opposite and people are beginning to notice... In guiding Arizona to a top-five ranking for 12 weeks, including a No. 2 ranking three times, head coach Lute Olson has had to do so while playing through many, many distractions, so much so that he has called this year his "most unbelievable year", in terms of injuries, player losses and off-the-court distractions... There are three players from the original roster who are no longer around (Ruben Douglas, Luke Recker, Robertas Javtokas), two major injuries to starters (Richard Jefferson/Loren Woods), a key senior who is redshirting to student teach (Eugene Edgerson), a player who was going to be counted on, but is now seeking a medical redshirt (Lamont Frazier), and other missed starts, missed games, roster additions and a lineup that has consisted of basically six-to-seven healthy and available scholarship players... He has fought through all of this, while starting two true freshman, a redshirt freshman, a sophomore and junior transfer who is in his first season with the Cats... And for the past five games, the team has been without the services of its top scorer, shot blocker and second leading rebounder, Loren Woods, who is out with a back injury.
Lute Olson Court at McKale Center:The University of Arizona athletic department honored head coach Lute Olson on Feb. 26, with a postgame ceremony to name the McKale Center floor, "Lute Olson Court". Olson, 65, has taken three UA teams to the Final Four, won the 1997 NCAA Championship, has eight Pacific-10 Conference titles, been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year eight times and has taken 15 consecutive teams to the NCAA Tournament. Olson's teams always have played tough at home, with a career record of 259-26 in McKale Center. His 71-game winning streak from 1987 to 1992 is the nation's 10th-best home court winning streak. He has coached seven teams to undefeated home records and the Wildcats have won 187 of the past 198 games held in the facility. McKale Memorial Center was built in 1973 and named in honor of J.F. "Pop" McKale, long-time coach and educator at the University. McKale has been sold out for men's basketball for the past 13 seasons. Arizona has led the Pac-10 in attendance since 1984-85, Olson's second season.
COACHES WITH THE MOST 20-WIN SEASONS IN NCAA HISTORY 30 Dean Smith, North Carolina, 1962-97 27 Jerry Tarkanian, LBSU, UNLV, Fresno St., 1969-00 23 Adolph Rupp, Kentucky, 1931-72 23 Bob Knight, Army, Indiana, 1966-00 22 Lute Olson, LBSU, Iowa, Arizona, 1974-00 22 Jim Boeheim, Syracuse, 1977-00 22 John Chaney, Cheyney, Temple, 1973-00
20-Win Campaigns:With its record of 26-6 this season, it marks the 13th consecutive season that Arizona has won 20 or games... Further, it is the 15th time in Lute Olson's 17 years as UA head coach that the Cats have reached the 20-win plateau... It also marks the 22nd time in Olson's career that he has directed a team to 20 or more victories, making him just the seventh head coach in NCAA history to reach 20 wins in 22 or more seasons (Dean Smith-30; Jerry Tarkanian-26; Adolph Rupp-23; Bobby Knight-23; Jim Boeheim-22; John Chaney - 22). This list could increase by one, as Louisville's Denny Crum has 21 career 20-win seasons and the Cardinals were 19-11 entering the NCAA Tournament
Cat Scratches:Arizona's 26 regular season wins tie with the 1990-91 club for the fourth-most regular season victories during the Lute Olson era... Arizona was 7-1 versus ranked opponents this season, beating No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Stanford, No. 5 Michigan State, No. 9 Texas, No. 11 Kentucky, No. 23 Oregon, No. 25 UCLA and losing to No. 6 Connecticut... The Cats have won 30 consecutive Pac-10 home games, not losing since UCLA won in McKale Center on Feb. 13, 1997... Lute Olson's Arizona teams have concluded the home portion of its regular season schedule with an 18-1 record... Gilbert Arenas needs 14 more points to become just the second freshman in Arizona history to score 500 or more points... Coniel Norman is the only freshman to accomplish this feat, scoring 576 points in 1972-73... Additionally, Michael Wright became just the seventh sophomore to score 500 or more points in a season, scoring 505 so far... Luke Walton is Arizona's top assist man in Pac-10 games, averaging 5.6 apg (Jason Gardner is at 4.4 apg)... Walton's 12 assists against Stanford are the most in UA history for a UA frontcourt player -- and the most by an Wildcat since Mike Bibby had 13 against Morgan State on Nov. 27, 1997... Michael Wright has 528 career rebounds, which is pretty good work for a guy who has played in just 61 collegiate games so far (8.7 career rebounding average)... In the past 13 seasons (including this year), Arizona is averaging 26.8 wins a year... Michael Wright had his 24th career double-double at OSU (20/15) on March 2... Arizona is 17-7 when he gets a double-double... Arizona has held 16 of its 32 opponents to a shooting percentage of less than 40% from the field this season... In four of the Wildcats' six losses this season, they scored less than 70 points -- and they are 20-2 when they score 70 or more points in a game and 13-1 when they get to 80 and above (the only loss was at Oregon, when they were beaten 86-81... The Cats are 23-1 this year when they have a better shooting % than the opponent (once again, the only exception was Oregon - UA shot 50.9%, UO was at 44.3%)... This season marked the ninth time in Lute Olson's 17 years at Arizona that the team went undefeated in Pac-10 play at home... Arizona started the season ranked ninth in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN polls... When junior John Ash started at point guard in the Washington game on Jan. 15, he became the first walk-on to start for the Wildcats since Jan. 30, 1982 and the first-ever in the Lute Olson era... John Vlahogeorge was the last to do it, doing so against California... After winning the Preseason NIT earlier this season, Arizona joins Kansas as the only three-time winners of the event, winning it in 1999, 1995 and 1990... Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 season, Arizona has been ranked in the top-10 in 49 of the last 56 AP polling periods... Arizona is 41-0 when senior Josh Pastner plays, hence the term "A Pastner Game" applies whenever the Wildcats win big... Pastner and Woods were selected captains for this year's team in voting that was done by teammates... The UA has not given up 100 points in regulation since Jan. 27, 1990, at Pittsburgh, a span of 333 games... UA lost, 100-92.
Four for 400:This season, Arizona has four players who have scored 400 or more points... It's the first time this has happened at the UA since 1987-88, which was the Wildcats' first-ever Final Four team. Here is a comparison of this year's team with that squad, which played 38 games that year:
1999-2000 Michael Wright - 505 1987-88 Sean Elliott - 743 Gilbert Arenas - 486 Tom Tolbert - 536 Jason Gardner - 414 Anthony Cook - 528 Loren Woods - 405 Steve Kerr - 477
The Free Throw & Fouling Storyline:On the season, the Cats are averaging just 14.4 fouls per contest and have scored 298 more points than the opposition from foul line... On the year, nine teams have shot fewer than 10 free throws in a game... The Cats have been to the free throw line 383 more times than the opposition... Arizona sends the opponents to the free throw line an average of 14 times a game (the UA averages 25.9 free throws attempts per game)... Washington State was 2-3 from the line, Washington was 5-6, Oregon was 2-of-3, UCLA was 2-of-4 in Pauley Pavilion and California was 2-8... Arizona tied a school record that had been around since the 1963-64 season at Washington State when they were whistled for just six fouls at Washington State (the other game was at Bradley on Dec. 30, 1963)... Six of Arizona's seven regulars are shooting 71% or better from the free throw line - the lone exception is Richard Jefferson, who is at .695... Overall, the team is shooting 73.3% from the line... Justin Wessel is shooting 88.2% from the free throw line (30-34)... He was 10-of-10 from the line against UCLA, as was Michael Wright at Oregon... The Arizona game FT shooting record is 12-of-12... Wessel may have had the chance to break that record, but left the game with 2:24 left in the game after getting an elbow to the nose and needing three stitches to close the cut... In the last six games, Arizona is shooting 167-of-219 (.763) from the foul line and its starters are 155-of-202 (.767) during this stretch.
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 #2 #2 12/13 7-1 #4 #3 12/20 9-1 #3 #2 12/27 9-2 #5 #4 1/3 11-2 #5 #4 1/10 13-2 #2 #2 1/17 15-2 #2 #2 1/24 16-3 #5 #4 1/31 17-4 #9 #5 2/7 19-4 #7 #7 2/14 21-4 #4 #4 2/21 23-4 #4 #4 2/28 24-4 #3 #3 3/6 24-6 #9 #6 3/13 26-6 TBA TBA
Fine at the Line in Crunch Time:One of the Pac-10's top free throw shooting teams, Arizona has shown a tendency to come up big from the charity stripe when it matters most... In the Wildcats' 18 Pac-10 games, they shot 74.3% from the line in the final five minutes of the game (107-of-144)... Even better is freshman Jason Gardner, who, also in the final five minutes of the game, made 44-of-53 free throw attempts (83.0%)... A game-by-game breakdown shows the following free throw marks during the final five minutes of each game: at California (3-4), at Stanford (8-12), Washington State (12-12), Washington (7-9), at UCLA (8-10), at USC (6-8), at Arizona State (2-2), Oregon (6-8), Oregon State (4-5), Washington (5-7), Washington State (2-2), USC (5-6), UCLA (6-8, two misses were by walk-on Peter Hansen), 14-20 against Arizona State, 5-8 at Oregon State, 2-4 at Oregon, 5-9 vs. Stanford and 7-10 against California.
A Public Service Announcement for Event Security:It must be fun to beat the Wildcats... In all four of the UA's road losses this season, the opposing team's fans have rushed the court (Oregon, Oregon State, USC, LSU)... Dating back to last season, Arizona's last five road losses have seen the home fans storm the court (Stanford's did it in 1998-99).
Injury Update:Loren Woods is questionable for this week... He has missed the last six games with a back injury...The injury is described as a compression injury to the disc between the 12th thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae that also involves the bone... He has no neural involvement (numbing, muscle weakness) and due to the fact that the injury involves the bone, his rehabilitation has involved rest over a period of time... He is expected to make a full recovery with no long term problems... Justin Wessel missed the Cal game with a right ankle sprain... He will be ready to go this week... He rolled the ankle with about eight minutes to go in the Stanford win... He had what UA athletic trainer Ed Orr termed a "second-degree sprain"... Richard Jefferson, who had missed 13 game with a broken foot was cleared to play for the Oregon road trip... He went down with a fractured fifth metatarsal at Stanford on Jan. 8.
Well, He WAS This Century's Greatest Free Throw Shooter:Justin Wessel had made 28 free throws in a row until missing on his second attempt at Oregon State on March 2, and had not missed in the year 2000... That was one short of tying the UA record for consecutive free throws (29), which was set by Dylan Rigdon in 1993-94... Prior to that miscue, Wessel's last miss from the free throw line was on Dec. 13, 1999, when he missed his first FT attempt at home against IUPUI... On the year, Wessel is 30-34 from the free throw line (.882).
Out to the Woods' Shed:Many, many, highlights and notes came out of Loren Woods' swat-fest against Oregon on Feb. 3, in Tucson... Most notably was the NCAA record tying 14 blocked shots... It was the most blocks in an NCAA game since 1996... He is now tied in the NCAA record books with David Robinson of Navy (vs. UNC Wilmington, 1-4-86), Shawn Bradley of BYU (vs. Eastern Kentucky, 12-7-90) and Roy Rogers of Alabama (vs. Georgia, 2-10-96)... It also broke the Pac-10 record of 11 blocks in a game, which was set by UCLA's Jelani McCoy (vs. Maryland, 12-9-95)... Woods also had a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 14 blocks) and it was the first for Arizona since Damon Stoudamire did it on Feb. 25, 1995 - also against Oregon in Tucson (32 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists)... Since the Pac-10 Conference began charting triple-doubles in 1985, it is the 12th triple-double in league history and just the second that involves blocked shots, as opposed to assists... McCoy's game against Maryland was the other (15-10-11 blocks)... This triple-double was the first in the Pac-10 since UCLA's Toby Bailey had one against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 18, 1995... Obviously, the 14 blocks is an Arizona record, breaking the old mark of 10, which Woods set earlier this season against Washington State and it is also a McKale Center record, eclipsing the 11 blocks that Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll had in an NCAA Tournament game in 1977.
Pac-10 Players of the Week:Two Arizona players have named the Pac-10 Player of the Week this season -- Loren Woods, who has done it twice, and Michael Wright... For his performances against Oregon and Oregon State, Woods was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Feb. 7, for the second time this season... In Arizona's two wins, he averaged 15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.5 blocks and 2.5 assists per game... He was 10-of-18 from the floor (.555) and 11-of-14 from the free throw line (.785) and with his 14 blocks against Oregon, tied the NCAA record for blocks in a game... In the addition to above mentioned heroics against Oregon, he scored 15 points to go with nine rebounds, one block and three assists against Oregon State... He got a chance to rest due to the big win and played only 27 minutes... He was 5-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the free throw line... His first Pac-10 POW honor this season was on Jan. 17 -- after the Washington State and Washington outings, ending a three-week run by Arizona State's Eddie House... Woods averaged 23.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 7.5 bpg game... He was 16-of-36 from the floor and 15-of-19 from the free throw line, while averaging 38.5 minutes per game... In the win over WSU, he scored a then-career-high 25 points to go with a then-school record 10 blocks... He had six rebounds, one steal and was 9-of-9 from the free throw line... He was 8-19 from the floor... In the win over UW, he scored a game-high 22 points to go with 11 rebounds and five blocked shots... He played 39 minutes... He was 8-19 from the floor and 6-10 from the FT line... As for Wright, he received the award on Dec. 6 for his performances against Brigham Young and Texas after averaging 17.5 ppg and 11.5 rpg in the two wins... He was 13-of-19 from the floor and 9-of-12 from the FT line.
And Make It A Double:All-America and John Wooden Award candidate Michael Wright has a Pac-10 best 12 double-doubles in the Wildcats' 32 games this season, bringing his career double-double total to 24... The sophomore power forward has 24 double-doubles in 61 career games... On the season, he is averaging 15.8 ppg (No. 7 in the Paac-10) and 8.6 rpg (No. 2 in the Pac-10), while shooting 57.8% from the floor (No. 2 in the Pac-10)... In the past eight games, he is averaging 20 ppg, 9.7 rpg and is shooting 70-of-114 from the floor (61.4%)... In the last 13 games, he is 66-of-85 from the free throw line (77.6%)... He is the only UA player to start in all 32 games this season has started 55 consecutive games for the Cats dating back to last year... He has a career rebounding average of 8.6 rpg (528 boards in 61 games)... He had a career-high 28 points at Oregon and was 10-of-10 from the free throw line... At Oregon State, he had a season-high 15 rebounds to go with 20 points... In Arizona's two wins against USC and UCLA, he averaged 21.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, shot 17-of-26 from the floor (65.4%) and was 8-of-8 from the free throw line... He had a 16-point, 14-rebound outing against Arizona State in the Tucson meeting... In the win over USC, he had his 10th double-double of the season with 20 points and a season-high tying 14 rebounds... He was 8-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the free throw line... He added two steals and played 34 minutes... In the UCLA win, he picked up for the loss of Loren Woods down low and scored 22 points to go with six rebounds... He was 9-of-15 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line... He also had two assists... Wright was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week back on Dec. 6 after averaging 17.5 ppg and 11.5 rpg in wins over Brigham Young and Texas... 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)... His 8.8 rpg mark last season was the best ever for a Pac-10 freshman.
Michael Wright's Career Double-Doubles (24 in 61 career games) Arizona's record in these games is 17-7 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 13 12/7/99 Connecticut 14 10 12/30/99 Delaware 19 14 1/15/00 Washington 16 12 2/3/00 Oregon 20 10 2/17/00 USC 20 14 2/26/00 Arizona State 16 14 3/2/00 at Oregon State 20 15
A New UA Streak to Chart:With North Carolina dropping out of the Associated Press top-25 poll in late-January, Arizona now has the nation's longest active streak of consecutive weeks ranked in the AP top-25... The Wildcats streak stands at 90 weeks in row, dating back to the first regular season poll of the 1995-96 season... Arizona was not ranked in that year's preseason poll, but after winning its first two games of the preseason NIT, the Cats moved up to No.19, and would then rise to No. 4 on Nov. 27 after winning the tournament... That preseason poll was the only time since the 1987-88 preseason poll that Arizona was not ranked in the AP poll... Stanford and Duke are second with 73 straight weeks in the AP top-25... North Carolina had been ranked in the AP poll for 172 consecutive weeks before falling out a month ago... That was the second-longest streak in history, trailing only UCLA's 221 weeks from 1966-80... Earlier this season, Kentucky saw its run of 164 consecutive weeks ranked in the AP top-25 come to an end as well... Overall, Arizona has been ranked in the regular season Top-25 rankings for 217 straight weeks.
Pac-10 Team of the Decade???:Arizona had the most wins of any Pac-10 team in the 1990s (266), won five Pac-10 Conference crowns and tied for one other... UCLA was second with four Pac-10 conference titles that decade... For conference games only, Arizona's record of 140-40 was the best in the league, with UCLA at No. 2 with a 134-46 mark... The Cats went to the NCAA Tournament each year in the 1990s and won it all in 1997... There were 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 trailed only Duke's 10... UA and North Carolina were tied for second-most All-Americans in the 1990s.
Arizona Single Season Block Chart 1. Loren Woods, 102 1999-00 2. Anthony Cook, 84 1988-89 3. Anthony Cook, 75 1987-88 4. Anthony Cook, 69 1986-87 5. Anthony Cook, 50 1985-86
Block Party:Junior center Loren Woods has provided the UA basketball program with a luxury it has been without for a while - a legitimate shot blocker... Although he missed the final six regular season games, he still had 102 blocks (3.9 bpg), which set the Arizona record for blocks in a season... Anthony Cook had the school record with 84 blocks, set in 1988-89... The Pac-10 single season record is 124 blocks, set by ASU's Mario Bennett in 1994-95 (for those of you who are wondering, the NCAA record for blocks in a season is 207, set by Navy's David Robinson in 1986)... In addition to Woods' NCAA record tying 14 blocks against Oregon on Feb. 3, he also had 10 blocks in a game once this season (Washington State) and seven blocks in a game three times (Notre Dame, Nebraska and New Mexico)... Last year, the Cats accounted for 93 blocks on the season and this year -- Woods alone had just nine more than that total... This season, the team has 180 blocks.
The Kids are Alright:The starting freshman guard tandem of Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas have been major reasons for the UA's 26-6 and Pac-10 championship season... They are combining for 28.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 6.9 apg and 3.6 spg... They are No. 1 & 2 in steals on the team... Gardner, who was the USBWA's National Freshman of the Year, leads the team in minutes and assists, averaging 36.8 mpg and 5.0 apg (he has played all 40 minutes seven times this season & played 45 at Oregon State)... In the home swing against USC and UCLA, he averaged 17.5 ppg, 8.5 apg, 6.0 rpg, 4.0 spg... He was 12-of-23 from the floor (.521) and 7-of-15 from the 3PT line (.466)... The frosh played 79 of a possible 80 minutes and had just two turnovers (17 assists)... At Arizona State, he played well beyond his years, scoring 16 points to go with seven assists, four rebounds and four steals, while playing a part in the defensive effort on ASU's Eddie House... Against Stanford in Tucson, the duo combined for 28 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and six steals... As for Arenas, he was 11th in the conference in scoring, averaging 15.2 ppg... He scored in double figures in 29 of the UA's 32 games this season and closed the year by hitting double figures 17 times in a row... He had a career-high 29 points against Arizona State on Feb. 26, and hounded Pac-10 Player of the Year Eddie House for the second time this year as well, holding him to a 3-of-15 shooting performance and just seven points in Tucson... Prior to Arenas' 29 points in the ASU win, he had 24 at Washington State, 21 against USC and 23 against UCLA... At WSU, he was 11-of-14 from the floor and had five rebounds, four assists and three steals... In the first game against Arizona State, he scored a then-career and game-high 24 points (10-of-13 shooting from the floor) to go with a career-best eight rebounds - and he too was a part of the "box-and-one" defense on House that wreaked havoc... Gardner had an excellent weekend the first time he played the L.A. schools as well... In the games at UCLA and USC, he scored 45 points... He was 11-of-22 from the floor, 17-of-20 from the free throw line and 6-of-14 from three-point land (he had a career-high 25 points against USC)... The tandem was exceptional at UCLA, as they combined for 38 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals... Gardner had 20 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Arenas netted 18 and was 7-of-11 from the floor... They backed that up with a 41-point, 8-rebound night at USC... Gardner had a big performance in the win at Stanford, scoring 22 points to go with a career-best six rebounds and four assists... He was 4-of-5 from the three-point line... 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... 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.
The New Gil-enium:Gilbert Arenas' 29 points against Arizona State on Feb. 26, were the most for a UA frosh since 1974... That season, Bob Elliott scored 38 against ASU... His total bettered the high point games of other UA freshman standouts like Sean Elliott (28), Michael Dickerson (25), Richard Jefferson (25), Khalid Reeves (23), Mike Bibby (22) and Damon Stoudamire (19)... He has scored in double digits in a team-high 17 straight outings heading into the NCAA Tournament and has been the team's leading scorer in five of the past eight games... He averaged 16.9 ppg in Pac-10 play.
Roster Additions:A member of Arizona's football team, Peter Hansen, was added to the Arizona basketball roster to help the team out because of the roster depletions... His first day or practice was Jan. 12, and at 6-foot-8, 235 pounds, he is able to give the team an extra big body to go against in practice... He has played in three games so far (at ASU, at WSU, UCLA)... The football team's designated "extra point and field goal blocker", he is a walk-on to the football team who started his career as a quarterback... He went to Palo Alto HS in Palo Alto, Calif... A two-year letterman for the hoops team there... In his two-year career for the Arizona football team, he has blocked three field goals and two PAT's... Last football season, he blocked field goal attempts against Oregon State and UCLA, and knocked down a point after attempt against Washington... In 1998, he blocked an extra point against Washington, and later altered a field goal attempt by the Husky kicker later in the game...Blocked a Nebraska field goal attempt in the first quarter of the 1998 Holiday Bowl... One other addition is walk-on Russell Harris, a 5-foot-11, 165-pound freshman guard from Mundelein, Ill (Mundelein High School)... His only action of the season was at Washington State when he played two minutes and against UCLA in Tucson (one min./one asst.).
Roster Moves:With Loren Woods' injury, there are only seven scholarship players available for action (Rick Anderson, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Gardner, Richard Jefferson, Luke Walton, Justin Wessel and Michael Wright)... There are five non-scholarship/walk-on players (John Ash, Josh Pastner, Peter Hansen, Russell Harris and Mike Schwertley, who is redshirting)... Two additional scholarship players, Eugene Edgerson and Lamont Frazier, are sitting out this season... Edgerson is out with a redshirt season so he can work on the student-teaching portion of his education degree... Frazier has missed the past 19 games to take care of academic responsibilities and a medical condition -- and as a result of all the missed time, the UA coaching staff will look to redshirt him this season... The deletions from the original roster include freshman center Robertas Javtokas, who decided to return his native Lithuania and play professionally... Junior transfer Luke Recker transferred to Iowa - he had come to the UA from Indiana prior to this season, but returned to the Midwest to be closer to his family and girlfriend (Kelly Craig), who was injured in a July car crash... Of the transfer, he said, "After what happened this summer, I feel I need to be closer to my family, Kelly and Jason (Craig) and their family, and many other important people in my life. I have been nothing but extremely impressed with coach Lute Olson and the Arizona program and I will miss them greatly"... The third was sophomore guard Ruben Douglas, who was granted his request for a release from his scholarship on Nov. 14... He has transferred to New Mexico.
McKale Magic:Arizona has won 59 of its last 61 home games and is 188-11 in McKale Center since the 1987-88 season... When New Mexico beat Arizona on Dec. 21, in McKale Center, it snapped the nation's fourth-longest active home winning streak... The Wildcats had won 37 consecutive home games... And up until then, only four players on this year's team had experienced a loss in McKale Center (Justin Wessel, Josh Pastner, John Ash & Eugene Edgerson -- those four were on teams that were 47-1 at home -- they are now 58-2 at home)... Prior to the New Mexico game, the last loss in McKale Center was a 66-64 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 13, 1997... During that time, the Cats have lost three non-conference games (New Mexico - Dec. 21, 1999; Syracuse - Dec. 23, 1995; Arkansas - Dec. 6, 1992)... The New Mexico loss also snapped a 23 game home winning streak against consecutive non-conference opponents... Last year was the ninth season in history that Arizona went undefeated at home... Arizona owns an all-time record of 350-65 (.843) in McKale Center... This was the 12th season UA 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 weren't renewed for this season.
Arizona Single Season Record Updates Three-Point Field Goals Made 114 Steve Kerr, 1987-88 112 Damon Stoudamire, 1994-95 93 Damon Stoudamire, 1993-94 85 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 77 Mike Bibby, 1997-98 76 Jason Terry, 1998-99 71 Matt Othick, 1991-92 68 Craig McMillan, 1986-87 67 Mike Bibby, 1996-97 66 Matt Muehlebach, 1989-90 66 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 64 Jason Gardner, 1999-00 Three-Point Field Goals Attempts 265 Damon Stoudamire, 1993-94 241 Damon Stoudamire, 1994-95 224 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 199 Mike Bibby, 1997-98 199 Steve Kerr, 1987-88 191 Jason Terry, 1998-99 182 Jason Gardner, 1999-00 176 Jason Terry, 1997-98 170 Mike Bibby, 1996-97 166 Michael Dickerson, 1996-97 160 Craig McMillan, 1986-87 Free Throws 211 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 195 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 177 Ernie McCray, 1959-60 176 Sean Elliott, 1987-88 152 Eddie Smith, 1984-85 151 Tom Tolbert, 1987-88 145 Bob Elliott, 1975-76 144 Miles Simon, 1997-98 144 Al Fleming, 1974-75 141 Jason Terry, 1998-99 140 Michael Wright, 1999-00 Free Throws Attempted 264 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 257 Ernie McCray, 1959-60 232 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 225 Bob Elliott, 1975-76 222 Sean Elliott, 1987-88 215 Sean Rooks, 1991-92 208 Bob Elliott, 1974-75 297 Eddie Smith, 1984-85 195 Michael Wright, 1999-00 187 Bill Warner, 1970-71 186 Tom Tolbert, 1987-88 Blocks 102 Loren Woods, 1999-00 84 Anthony Cook, 1988-89 75 Anthony Cook, 1987-88 69 Anthony Cook, 1986-87 50, Anthony Cook, 1985-86 Steals 85 Jason Terry, 1996-97 84 Mike Bibby, 1997-98 80 Jason Terry, 1998-99 67 Reggie Geary, 1995-96 67 Kenny Lofton, 1988-89 66 Gilbert Arenas, 1999-00 Three-Point Field Goals Made 114 Steve Kerr, 1987-88 112 Damon Stoudamire, 1994-95 93 Damon Stoudamire, 1993-94 85 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 77 Mike Bibby, 1997-98 76 Jason Terry, 1998-99 71 Matt Othick, 1991-92 68 Craig McMillan, 1986-87 67 Mike Bibby, 1996-97 66 Matt Muehlebach, 1989-90 66 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 64 Jason Gardner, 1999-00 Three-Point Field Goals Attempts 265 Damon Stoudamire, 1993-94 241 Damon Stoudamire, 1994-95 224 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 199 Mike Bibby, 1997-98 199 Steve Kerr, 1987-88 191 Jason Terry, 1998-99 182 Jason Gardner, 1999-00 176 Jason Terry, 1997-98 170 Mike Bibby, 1996-97 166 Michael Dickerson, 1996-97 160 Craig McMillan, 1986-87 Free Throws 211 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 195 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 177 Ernie McCray, 1959-60 176 Sean Elliott, 1987-88 152 Eddie Smith, 1984-85 151 Tom Tolbert, 1987-88 145 Bob Elliott, 1975-76 144 Miles Simon, 1997-98 144 Al Fleming, 1974-75 141 Jason Terry, 1998-99 140 Michael Wright, 1999-00 Free Throws Attempted 264 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 257 Ernie McCray, 1959-60 232 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 225 Bob Elliott, 1975-76 222 Sean Elliott, 1987-88 215 Sean Rooks, 1991-92 208 Bob Elliott, 1974-75 297 Eddie Smith, 1984-85 195 Michael Wright, 1999-00 187 Bill Warner, 1970-71 186 Tom Tolbert, 1987-88 Three-Point Field Goals Made 114 Steve Kerr, 1987-88 112 Damon Stoudamire, 1994-95 93 Damon Stoudamire, 1993-94 85 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 77 Mike Bibby, 1997-98 76 Jason Terry, 1998-99 71 Matt Othick, 1991-92 68 Craig McMillan, 1986-87 67 Mike Bibby, 1996-97 66 Matt Muehlebach, 1989-90 66 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 64 Jason Gardner, 1999-00 Three-Point Field Goals Attempts 265 Damon Stoudamire, 1993-94 241 Damon Stoudamire, 1994-95 224 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 199 Mike Bibby, 1997-98 199 Steve Kerr, 1987-88 191 Jason Terry, 1998-99 182 Jason Gardner, 1999-00 176 Jason Terry, 1997-98 170 Mike Bibby, 1996-97 166 Michael Dickerson, 1996-97 160 Craig McMillan, 1986-87 Free Throws 211 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 195 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 177 Ernie McCray, 1959-60 176 Sean Elliott, 1987-88 152 Eddie Smith, 1984-85 151 Tom Tolbert, 1987-88 145 Bob Elliott, 1975-76 144 Miles Simon, 1997-98 144 Al Fleming, 1974-75 141 Jason Terry, 1998-99 140 Michael Wright, 1999-00 Free Throws Attempted 264 Khalid Reeves, 1993-94 257 Ernie McCray, 1959-60 232 Sean Elliott, 1988-89 225 Bob Elliott, 1975-76 222 Sean Elliott, 1987-88 215 Sean Rooks, 1991-92 208 Bob Elliott, 1974-75 297 Eddie Smith, 1984-85 195 Michael Wright, 1999-00 187 Bill Warner, 1970-71 186 Tom Tolbert, 1987-88
Road Warriors:This season saw the Wildcats played in 12 different locales and four separate time zones while logging 18,635 travel miles this season... Further, the team has been through 15 different airports and on 35 different plane flights.
Jefferson's Starship:After missing 13 games with a broken foot, Richard Jefferson made his return to the lineup on March 2 against Oregon State... He went scoreless on the trip to Oregon, but more than made up for that with his season-high tying 19-point outing in the win over second-ranked Stanford in Tucson... He came off the bench and was 8-of-16 from the floor in 21 minutes... One of the most athletic players in the country, he was a regular on the various "Plays of the Week" shows before the injury, providing more than a fair share of highlight reel dunks and blocks... Prior to the injury, he was fourth on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and first in three-point shooting (.452/14-31)... He was third in field goal percentage (.532) and rebounding (4.9 rpg)... He was second in assists (3.3 apg)... Earlier this season, he was a subject of ESPN.com's question of the day on the college basketball site - it asked "who is the best small forward in the country?"... He garnered 12% of the vote to finish fourth behind Michigan State's Morris Peterson, Maryland's Terrance Morris and Cincinnati's Pete Mickeal... He is finally coming into his own as a wing player after spending his high school career as a back-to-the-basket post player... His season was highlighted by a 19-point, five rebound, four assist outing at Texas, that helped lift Arizona to an 88-81 win over the ninth-ranked Longhorns... All 19 points came in the second half when he was 8-of-10 from the floor... He was named to the Fiesta Bowl All-Tournament team and the Preseason NIT All-Tournament team.
Lower Output, Same Results:Arizona has scored less than 70 points in a game 10 times this season... In the past three seasons combined, the Wildcats only had eight games of less than 70 points...The Cats are averaging 77.4 ppg this season... Conversely, this year's Cats have been playing some pretty stingy defense, allowing only 68.1 ppg... Seven teams have scored less than 60 points against Arizona this season.
Groovin' & Truckin':Redshirt freshman Luke Walton turned in an outstanding first year of collegiate basketball... The team's leading assist man in eight of the past 11 outings, he has been the starting three-man in the past 17 games after Richard Jefferson went down with his injury... In the past three games, he has 27 assists, handing out a career-high 12 against Stanford, six versus California and nine last week at Oregon... In the win over second ranked Stanford in Tucson, he also added 15 points and five rebounds and was 7-of-8 from the free throw line... His best game of his career came against Arizona State in Tucson, when he scored a career-high 23 points to go with a game-high seven assists, a game and career-high three blocks and three steals... He was 7-of-9 from the floor and made his first five shots of the game... In the USC game, he had a career-best five steals and tied a career-high with 13 points... He also had five assists and four rebounds... He had seven assists, six rebounds and six points in the Washington game... Against Oregon State, he scored 12 points to go with a career-best eight assists, six rebounds and three steals... He also turned in good back-to-back games at ASU and LSU...In the LSU outing, he had a career-best 13 points to go with four rebounds and three assists... That was preceded by his "break-out" game the UA coaches had been expecting to come... At Arizona State, he scored a then-career-high 10 points and had a career-best six rebounds and was 5-of-8 from the floor... It would make sense that a "Deadhead" would choose Berkeley -- and the Bay Area -- to not only come out of a shooting slump, but turn in what was until the ASU game, his most impressive performance of the season... Against California, Walton made his first field goal since the IUPUI game back on Dec. 13 -- breaking a five-game drought without a field goal... He had a solid all-around game, scoring five points to go with three rebounds and three assists... His jumper with 2:31 left in the game gave Arizona a 60-58 lead -- an advantage it would never relinquish... Against Stanford, he filled in for an injured Richard Jefferson and played a career-high 32 minutes, including all 20 in the second half... Although he was only 1-of-6 from the floor, he had a game and career-best seven assists... It was his defense and heady play that received the most mention from Lute Olson and Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery... In the Oregon win, he had nine points to go with five boards and a game-high five assists... He had another good all around game against Washington, scoring four points to go with five boards, four assists/two steals.
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, which 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 26 ties on the season - including the one he wore at Stanford, which was career win No. 600 -- that piece of his wardrobe was shipped to the Basketball Hall of Fame, where it will be displayed in a temporary display honoring his 600th victory.
Pretty Good Success:Dating back to the first round loss of the 1986 Big Apple NIT, Arizona has won 68 of its last 74 games that have been played as part of an in-season tournament or one-game special event (i.e. Bank One Fiesta Bowl Classic, Preseason NIT, Maui Invitational, Great Eight Classic, Las Vegas Showdown, Great Alaska Shootout, Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, etc., etc.)... This season, Arizona is 7-1 in such events, going 4-0 in the Preseason NIT, losing to Connecticut at the Great Eight, beating Nebraska in the Las Vegas Showdown and beating UNC-Wilmington and Delaware in the opening round of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.
Counting Classes:The 1999-2000 Arizona basketball roster is relatively young -- to say the least... From top-to-bottom, it is comprised of just two seniors, of which there is only one who can play, due to Eugene Edgerson's redshirt season (Josh Pastner, who has played just 98 minutes in his four year career is the lone "playing" senior)... After that, there are four 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, who will apply for a redshirt season)... Then there are three sophomores, one redshirt freshman and three true freshmen.
Happy Action Graduation Time:If getting your undergraduate degree in just two-and-a-half years was not enough, Arizona senior Josh Pastner pushed the envelope even further with his most recent scholastic accomplishment... On Dec. 18, he received his master's degree in teaching & teacher education, taking just three-and-a-half years to do so... He walked in the University of Arizona's graduation ceremonies on Saturday morning, and then boarded a plane to Las Vegas to meet up with the team for that night's game against Nebraska... Last year, the road trip and graduation day was exactly the same as well, when he received his undergraduate degree in family studies... He walked the morning of Dec. 19, 1998 and then flew to Las Vegas later that day for the Cats' game in the Las Vegas Shootout versus Iowa State.
A Redshirt Year:Arizona is without the services of senior forward Eugene Edgerson this season, as he is redshirting 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... He is student teaching kindergarten at Borton Magnet Elementary School in Tucson... He will still practice with the team - but will miss practices on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Golden Arches:This season's roster contains three former McDonald's High School All-Americans - freshman Jason Gardner, sophomore Richard Jefferson and junior Loren Woods.
Then There Were Four:Just four players 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.
Former Cats in the NBA:This season, there are nine former Arizona players on NBA rosters -- the list was reduced by three in when A.J. Bramlett, Ben Davis and Khalid Reeves were released when the final cut-down date hit... The current nine-man list includes, Mike Bibby (Vancouver), 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)... In the 1990s, there have been 15 players drafted by NBA teams.
Shooting Sets the Tone:Since the 1996-97 season, Arizona is 84-5 in games when it has a better shooting percentage than its opponent... The Wildcats are 23-1 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 88-9 when it scores 80 or more points in a game... Further, since the 1992-93 season, Arizona is 149-16 when it scores 80 or more... The Cats are 13-1 this year, were 15-2 in 1998-99, 26-3 in 1997-98 and 19-2 in 1996-97.
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"...Wed., Feb. 23, 9 p.m./Fri., Feb. 25, 9 p.m. (repeat); Wed., Mar. 8, 7 p.m.; Wed., Mar. 22, 5 p.m./Fri., Mar. 24, 7 p.m. (repeat); Wed., April 5, 3:30 p.m./Sat., April 8, 5 p.m. (repeat); Thurs., April 20, 3:30 p.m./Sat., April 22, 3:30 p.m. (repeat).
Arizona will play the third game on Thursday in Salt Lake City... It will tip-off at 5:40 p.m. MST.
The first day's schedule in Salt Lake City is as follows (times are MST):Texas/Indiana State, 10:40 a.m.
LSU/Southeast Missouri St, 30 min after
Arizon/Jackson State, 5:40 p.m.
Wisconsin/Fresno State, 25 min after
Saturday's schedule in Salt Lake City will be:Texas/Ind State winner vs. LSU/SE Missouri St. winner, 1:20 p.m.
Arizona/Jackson State winner vs. Wisconsin/Fresno State, 30 min after
The schedule of games in TUCSON for Thursday is:Oklahoma/Winthrop, 10:40 a.m.
Purdue/Dayton, 30 min after
Lousiville/Gonzaga, 5:50 p.m.
Saturday's schedule in Tucson is: Oklahoma/Winthrop winner vs. Purdue/Dayton winner, 3:30 p.m.
Louisville/Gonzaga winner vs. St. John's/Northern Arizona winner, 30 minutes after