Second Game in Three Days: After recording a big win over fifth-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Arizona Wildcats (7-1; No. 3 USA Today/ESPN) host the IUPUI Jaguars (1-6) on Monday, Dec. 13, at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised statewide on Fox Sports Net Arizona with Dave Sitton on the play-by-play and Bob Elliott handling the color commentary. The game's coverage will be preceded by FSNA's 30-minute pre-game show, beginning at 6 p.m. IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), which is in its second year of playing Division IA basketball, was also in action on Saturday and dropped a 72-67 home decision to Cal Poly SLO. Arizona will put its 36-game home winning streak on the line and this contest will complete a busy 13-day stretch that has seen the Wildcats play five games. After Monday night's game, the UA will be off until the weekend, when it takes to the road to play Nebraska in the Las Vegas Showdown on Saturday, Dec. 18. Game time is 6:30 p.m. PST (7:30 p.m. MST) and it will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Series History: It's the first meeting between Arizona and IUPUI... The Wildcats have played two teams from IUPUI's Mid-Continent Conference and are 2-0 versus these teams... The Cats beat Valparaiso in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament at Tempe, 90-51... The other game against a Mid-Con opponent was on Nov. 26, 1990 when Arizona beat Western Illinois also by a score of 90-51.
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 14.5 9.1 1.0 apg F 44 Richard Jefferson 6-7 222 So.-1L 13.6 5.4 3.5 apg C 3 Loren Woods 7-1 230 Jr.-TR 12.2 6.1 2.9 bpg G 0 Gilbert Arenas 6-3 191 Fr.-HS 13.5 3.5 2.8 apg G 22 Jason Gardner 5-10 178 Fr.-HS 12.8 3.0 5.4 apgArizona's Last Action: Playing its third consecutive game against a top-10 opponent, Arizona downed No. 5 Michigan State, 79-68, on Saturday afternoon in McKale Center before 14,441 fans and a CBS national television audience on CBS. Arizona used a new starting lineup for the first time this season because Loren Woods was late getting to McKale Center after getting in a minor traffic wreck on his way to the game and Gilbert Arenas was benched for being late for a treatment in the training room. The Wildcats were undaunted however, as they raced out to a 31-15 lead just 12 minutes into the contest before the Spartans came back and cut the lead to just five (37-32) at the half. The second half was close and MSU was able to tie the game at 59-59 with eight minutes left, but it would not get any closer after that, as Arizona scored eight straight points to help sway the momentum back to the UA side. The Cats would make 10-of-10 free throw attempts in the final four minutes to help seal the win. Freshman point guard Jason Gardner scored a career-high 20 points to go with six rebounds, nine assists and two steals. Richard Jefferson was impressive as well, scoring 18 points, grabbing six boards and handing out six assists.
IUPUI Notes: IUPUI is located in Indianapolis and has an enrollment of 27,000... It's head coach is Ron Hunter, who is in his sixth season as the head man... He has a record of 84-62... Last season, IUPUI went 11-16 and 6-8 in the Mid Continent Conference to place fifth... Four starters return from that team... The Jaguars are 1-6 on the year with the lone win coming against the Citadel on Dec. 4 at San Francisco's Northwestern Mutual Classic (69-59)... IUPUI has lost at Evansville, to Miami (Ohio), at Pittsburgh, at Illinois-Chicago, at San Francisco and last Saturday at home versus Cal Poly SLO... Twelve players are averaging 10 or minutes per game and two are scoring in double figures... The top scorer is 6-foot-6 junior forward Don Carlisle, who is averaging 12.7 ppg... The other double-digit guy is 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Charles Price, who is averaging 11.9 ppg... Carlisle and Price are also the top-two rebounders on the team, averaging 6.7 and 6.0 rpg, respectively... Senior guard Rodney Thomas led the nation in three-point shooting with a percentage of .522 (59-of-113)... Going into the season, he had hit on .508 of his 3PT attempts (161-317)... This season, he is just 7-of-23 (.304)... 23 of his 38 field goal attempts are from the 3PT arc.
Lute Olson is within reach of a pair of coaching milestones... He is six wins away for career win No. 600 and recently achieved win No. 400 at Arizona... Here is a look at his milestone career victories:
Win Date Team Opponent Score 1 12-1-73 LBSU Puget Sound 84-55 100 2-3-79 Iowa Minnesota 97-71 200 2-25-84 Arizona Oregon St. 69-58 300 3-27-88 Arizona North Carolina 70-52 400 2-13-93 Arizona Washington St. 94-72 500 2-11-96 Arizona Cincinnati 79-76Coach O: Lute Olson (Augsburg '56) is his 17th season as the head coach at Arizona and his 27th overall as a head coach... This season will see him reach even more milestones in what has become a Hall of Fame type coaching career... He has a career record of 594-213 (.736), while his mark in Tucson stands at 402-121 (.769)... He needs just six 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 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)... The season's opener against Kansas State was the 800th of his collegiate Division IA career... For his entire coaching career, including 11 years in high school (180-76 from 1956-69) and two in the junior college ranks (Long Beach City College, 104-20), he has coached in 1,187 games... He has never faced IUPUI... 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 247-25 (.908) in McKale Center and have won 176 of their last 186 home games.
McKale Magic: Arizona currently has the nation's fourth-longest active home winning streak (as of Dec. 13)... The Wildcats have won 36 consecutive home games, trailing only Murray State (46), Duke (39) and Utah (36)... Only four players on this year's team have ever experienced a loss in McKale Center (Justin Wessel, Josh Pastner, John Ash & Eugene Edgerson -- those four have been on teams that are 46-1 at home)... The last loss for the UA in McKale Center was a 66-64 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 13, 1997... The streak includes four 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 47 of its last 48 home games and is 176-10 in McKale Center since the 1987-88 season... During that time, the Cats have lost just two non-conference games (Syracuse - Dec. 23, 1995 & Arkansas - Dec. 6, 1992)... Overall, Arizona has won 22 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 340-64 (.842) 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 (263), has won five Pac-10 Conference crowns and tied for one other... UCLA is second with four Pac-10 conference titles this decade... For conference games only, Arizona's record of 140-40 is the best in the league, with UCLA at No. 2 with a 134-47 mark... The Cats have been to the NCAA Tournament each year this decade and won it all in 1997... There have been 18 All-Pac-10 first team selections from Arizona, four Pac-10 Players of the Year and two Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year... Arizona has not recorded a double-digit loss total since 1986-87... The Wildcats' seven All-Americans during the 1990s trails only Duke's 10... UA and North Carolina are tied for second-most All-Americans in the 1990s.
The UA's record of 327-75 over the course of the past 12 years gives it the nation's best winning percentage during that span (.813).
Cat Scratches: Arizona remains No. 1 in the Sagarin Rankings with a 96.51 rating -- Cincinnati is No. 2 (94.83) and Connecticut is No. 3 (92.59)... The Wildcats still have three games remaining before Christmas (and six before Pac-10 play starts)... Arizona is in the midst of a stretch that sees them play five games in 13 days... The IUPUI game is contest number-five in the span... The team is then off for finals week and returns to action on Dec. 18, when it plays Nebraska at the Las Vegas Showdown on ESPN2... Lute Olson had gone with the same starting lineup in all seven games this season until Saturday's Michigan State tile... An adjustment was made at the center spot, as Justin Wessel started for Loren Woods... Woods was late to the game because of a traffic accident he was in while on the way to McKale Center... He finally got to the arena in the early goings of the first half and checked into the lineup at the 14:17 mark after warming up on a stationary bike... Gilbert Arenas was the other normal starter who did not start, as a result of him being late to a scheduled treatment session with basketball athletic trainer Ed Orr... Richard Jefferson started at the two-guard and Rick Anderson was at the three position... The Cats are shooting .472 from the floor and holding the opposition to a .388 FG% mark...This week marks the 68th time that Arizona has been ranked in the top-five by the Associated Press... With Arizona ranked No. 3 and Stanford No. 2 this week, it marks the second straight week that the Pac-10 has had two teams ranked in the top-three... This is the first time that two Pac-10 teams have been in the top-three since Dec. 16, 1991, when Arizona was No. 2 and UCLA was No. 3... Arizona started the season ranked ninth... Of Arizona's five starters, you have two sophomores (Wright/Jefferson) who have combined for 69 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 71 games that have been played as part of an in-season tournament or one-game special event (i.e. Preseason NIT, Maui Invitational, Great Eight Classic, Great Alaska Shootout, Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, Bank One Fiesta Bowl Classic, etc., etc.)... All five starters have a double-figure scoring average... Since the start of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats own a record of 65-15... Overall, Arizona has been ranked in the regular season Top-25 rankings for 204 straight weeks... The Cats have outscored their eight opponents so far by +13.0 ppg... Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 season, Arizona has been ranked in the top-10 in 36 of the last 42 AP polling periods... Arizona is 32-0 when senior Josh Pastner plays, hence the term "A Pastner Game" applies whenever the Wildcats win big.
Roster Changes: Junior transfer Luke Recker has announced that he will transfer to Iowa for next semester... He had come to the UA from Indiana prior to this season, but will return to the Midwest to be closer to his family and girlfriend, 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. First and foremost I would like to thank coach Olson and the Arizona basketball family for what they have done for me. They have been very supportive and helpful through the toughest time of my life. I care greatly for coach Olson, Mrs. Olson, the assistant coaches, the players and everyone involved in this tremendous program. But being close to my loved ones has become a priority at this time. I have been contemplating this decision since my arrival in Tucson. This decision is based solely on personal reasons."... In addition, 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.
Road Warriors: So far this season, Arizona has played in four different cities and three separate time zones while logging 8,100 travel miles (next week the team plays in Las Vegas and its fourth time zone of the season)... They have been through seven different airports and been on 12 different plane flights... Last week's hectic schedule went like this: after the Texas game on Dec. 4, the Wildcats, following a 6:30 a.m. wake-up call, returned to Tucson from Austin on Sunday around noon and practiced at 1 p.m... The players then attended classes on Monday, practiced afterwards at 1:30 p.m. and then had a 3:55 p.m flight for Chicago via Denver... They arrived in Chicago around 10 p.m and checked into the hotel around 11 p.m... The team then left Chicago the morning after the UConn game after a 6:15 a.m. wake-up call... After a two-hour layover in Denver, everyone arrived back in Tucson around 2 p.m. on Wednesday... And, oh yeah, finals began last Friday, the day before the Michigan State game, and then the IUPUI followed on Monday.
Captains Elected: Senior Josh Pastner and junior Loren Woods were selected captains for this year's team in voting that was done by their teammates.
Block Party: Junior center Loren Woods is providing the UA basketball program with a luxury it has been without for the past few years a legitimate shot blocker... With 23 blocks already this season (2.9 bpg), he has over half as many blocks as last year's top shot blocker -- A.J. Bramlett -- had for the entire season (37)... In fact, Woods is close to half as many for the UA's top shot blockers in each of the past 10 seasons... For a lowdown of the shot blockers in UA history, consult page 85 in the Arizona basketball media guide... The Arizona record for blocks in a season is 84, set by Anthony Cook in 1988-89... Also, Richard Jefferson's 12 blocks this season is already one more than his entire total for the 1998-99 campaign... Last year, the Wildcats accounted for 93 blocks on the season and this year, they already have 49.
And Make It A Double: All-American candidate Michael Wright has started the year with six double-doubles in the first eight games, bringing his career double-double total to 18... The sophomore power forward has 18 double-doubles in just 37 career games... On the season, he is averaging a team-best 14.5 ppg and 9.1 rpg and shooting 58.3% from the floor... The only non double-double games were against Kentucky in the Preseason NIT championship when he was in early foul trouble and then against Michigan State -- he picked up two early fouls and played just six minutes in the first half... 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 rebounding average of 8.8 pg last season was the best ever for a freshman in the Pac-10 Conference.
Michael Wright's Career Double-Doubles (18 in 36 career games) Arizona's record in these games is 12-6
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 10The Kids are Alright: The freshman guard tandem of Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas appear to have acclimated themselves quite well to the college game... Big parts of the UA's 7-1 start, they are combining for 26.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 8.1 apg and 4.3 spg... They are 1-2 in steals on the team... Arenas is third on the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) and Gardner is fourth (12.8 ppg)... Gardner leads the team in minutes, averaging 35.6 mpg and Arenas is second at 28.4 mpg... Arenas has been solid from the free throw line, hitting 31-of-35 attempts (88.6%)... They enjoyed their time in the Madison Square Garden limelight for the Preseason NIT, appearing in their own version of an off-Broadway "CATS" performance... They were both named to the Preseason NIT All-Tournament team, while Arenas was the tourney's MVP... Playing in one of the "World's Most Famous Arenas", Arizona most famous Arenas averaged 17.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg and 3.5 spg, helping Arizona beat Notre Dame and Kentucky... He went for a game and career-high 20 points in the title game versus UK... As for Gardner, he averaged 9.5 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.0 spg and only turned the ball over once while playing in 72 of a possible 80 minutes.
Jefferson's Starship: Proving to be one of the most athletic players in the country, sophomore forward Richard Jefferson has had a solid season and has also provided more than a fair share of highlight reel dunks and blocks... First on the team in field goal percentage (.589), second in scoring (13.6 ppg) and assists (3.5 apg) and third in rebounding (5.4 rpg), the Phoenix product has scored in double figures in every game but one... 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.
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.
Arizona in 1999-00 Polls/Week-by-WeekTies 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 seven ties on the season...
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 TBA #3
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 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)... 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 seven 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 is one junior college 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... 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)... The rest of the roster contains seven players from different states and countries, as the case is with Robertas Javtokas, who is from Siauliai, Lithuania... His city is pronounced SHAW-lay.
The Golden Arches: This season's roster has four former McDonald's All-Americans Jason Gardner, Richard Jefferson, Luke Recker and Loren Woods.
Then There Were Four: Just four players on this year's roster remain from Arizona's 1997 NCAA Championship team Eugene Edgerson, Justin Wessel, John Ash and Josh Pastner.
Who's Gone From 1998-99: Leading the losses from last season are 1998-99 seniors Jason Terry and A.J. Bramlett... Terry was named the National Player of the Year in three circles last year and was the Pac-10 Player of the Year after becoming the first player to lead the league in scoring (21.9 ppg), assists (5.5) and steals (2.8) in the same season since Gary Payton of Oregon State did it in 1989-90... He was No. 10 in the NBA Draft and went to the Atlanta Hawks... Bramlett was an All-Pac-10 selection last season after averaging 14.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg... He was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers... Both Terry and Bramlett were members of four Arizona teams that went 103-28 (55-4 at home), winning a national title (1997), a Pac-10 crown and they were 11-3 in the NCAA Tournament... Jason Stewart was the third senior last year, while freshman guard Traves Wilson transferred in the off-season, and so did Ruben Douglas, who made his decision Nov. 14.
Arizona's NCAA Tournament History: Last year marked the 18th time Arizona has made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament and it was the 15th invite under head coach Lute Olson... UA's current string of 15 consecutive appearances in the NCAAs is the second longest streak in NCAA history, trailing only North Carolina's 25 straight invites (UNC's is a current streak as well)... Last season was the 20th time in the last 21 years that Olson has taken a team to the NCAAs... He has directed Arizona to 15 tourneys and a 24-14 record -- and when he was the coach at Iowa, he coached five Hawkeye squads to the NCAAs... With 20 career appearances in the NCAA Tournament, he is tied for fourth on the NCAA's all-time tournament appearance list for head coaches with Adolph Rupp and John Thompson... Over the course of their last 20 NCAA games, the Wildcats own a record of 15-5... In the last five years, Arizona has played in 21 tournament games... Arizona's all-time record in the NCAA Tournament is now 26-17... The Wildcats have been to three Final Fours -- 1988, 1994 & 1997... Arizona has advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times in the last 12 years.
20-Win Campaigns: With its record of 22-7 last season, it marked the 12th consecutive season that Arizona won 20 or games... Further, it was the 14th time in Lute Olson's 16 years as UA head coach that the Cats have reached the 20-win plateau... It marked the 21st time in Olson's career that he has directed a team to 20 or more victories, making him just the eighth head coach in NCAA history to reach 20 wins in 21 or more seasons (Dean Smith-30; Jerry Tarkanian-26; Adolph Rupp-23; Bobby Knight-22; Denny Crum-21; Jim Boeheim-21; John Chaney-21).
Former Cats in the NBA: This season, there are 10 former Arizona players on NBA rosters... They are Mike Bibby (Vancouver), A.J. Bramlett (Cleveland), Jud Buechler (Detroit), Michael Dickerson (Vancouver), Sean Elliott (San Antonio/injured list), Steve Kerr (San Antonio), Chris Mills (Golden State), Sean Rooks (Dallas), Damon Stoudamire (Portland) and Jason Terry (Atlanta).
Shooting Sets the Tone: Since the 1996-97 season, Arizona is 67-4 in games when it has a better shooting percentage than its opponent... The Wildcats are 7-0 this year, 19-1 last season, 23-2 the year before and 18-1 in 1996-97 campaign.
80s Preservation Society: In the past four years, the UA is 79-8 when it scores 80 or more points in a game... Further, since the 1992-93 season, Arizona is 141-15 when it scores 80 or more... The Cats are 4-0 this year, were 15-2 in 1998-99, 26-3 in 1997-98 and 19-2 in 1996-97.
The Century Club: The UA has not given up 100 points in regulation since Jan. 27, 1990, at Pittsburgh, a span of 310 games. UA lost that game 100-92.
Some Notes on Last Season: The Wildcats led the Pac-10 in rebounding (41.6 rpg), scoring (82.2 ppg), free throw shooting (.710) and rebounding margin (+8.1 rpg)... The Cats completed its home schedule with a 14-0 mark... It was the ninth time in history the UA has completed its home schedule undefeated... Last year was the first time since 1989-90 that Arizona didn't score 100 points or more in at least one game... Arizona started three freshmen in 22 of its 29 games and used 10 different starting lineups... Only three teams shot 50% or better against the Wildcats -- UCLA (50%), at Cal (51.6%) and at Stanford (54.0%)... Arizona suffered its worst shooting performance of the season against Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (19-of-57/33%)... One offshoot of the UA's rebounding dominance was the amount of times it went to the free throw line... The Wildcats attempted 252 more free throws than the opposition... The three-point field goal percentage of .350 was the lowest in team history... Arizona's 30 turnovers against Washington State on Jan. 7, were the most for the program since Dec. 4, 1982, when the Ben Lindsey-coached Cats had 36 at New Mexico... The University of Arizona retired Steve Kerr's jersey in a ceremony following the Washington game... He joined Sean Elliott as the only former Wildcats to have their jersey hung from the McKale Center rafters.
Arizona Basketball On TV This Year: Each of Arizona's 32 regular season games will be televised on either Fox Sports Net, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, CBS or KWBA. The Wildcats appear on Fox Sports Net 20 times, ESPN four times, ESPN2 four times, CBS once, ABC once and on Tucson's KWBA five times.
The Coach's Show: Once again this season, KNST radio will air the Lute Olson Coach's Show, hosted by Brian Jeffries... Due to Arizona travel conflicts during the non-conference season, the show will air just once prior to Pac-10 play... The next Lute Olson Show will be Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 6 p.m. and the TV show will be shown Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 10:30 p.m on UPN channel 18 in Tucson.
Prowlin' With the Wildcats: Here's the upcoming broadcast schedule for Fox Sports Net Arizona's bi-weekly magazine show about University of Arizona athletics -- "Prowlin' with the Wildcats"... Tues., Dec. 14, 7 p.m./Wed., Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m. (replay)/Sat., Dec. 18, 11 a.m. (replay); Fri., Jan. 14, 9 p.m./Sun., Jan. 16, 1 p.m. (replay); Thurs., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m./Sat., Jan. 29, 3 p.m. (replay).