Cats and Dawgs: After beating the Washington State Cougars for the 29th consecutive time last Thursday night, the Arizona Wildcats (14-2, 3-0 Pac-10; No. 2 AP/No. 2 USA Today/ESPN) welcome the Washington Huskies (6-9, 1-2 Pac-10) to McKale Center on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 6:07 p.m. The game will be televised statewide on Fox Sports Net Arizona with Dave Sitton doing the play-by-play and Bob Elliott handling the color commentary. It will also be heard on radio on the Arizona Wildcat Network (Brian Jeffries/Joe Nehls), while it is also set for a national radio broadcast on the Westwood One Radio Network (Tony Roberts/Bill Frieder). Arizona will be looking to start the Pac-10 Conference schedule with a 4-0 mark for just the fourth time in history, all of which would have come during the Lute Olson era. The Huskies will come to Tucson on the heels of a 90-80 loss at Arizona State on Thursday night and since 1989, they have a combined record of 2-22 on the Arizona/Arizona State road trip. Following Saturday's game, the Wildcats will hit road for the next two weeks, traveling to UCLA and USC next week (Jan. 20 & 22), and then go to Arizona State and Louisiana State the following week (Jan. 26 & Jan. 29).
Series History: Arizona owns an all-time advantage of 28-15 against Washington and has won four of the last five games in the series... The Huskies won the last meeting between the teams -- a 90-84 victory in Seattle on Feb. 4, 1999... The Wildcats are 23-11 against UW under Lute Olson... In Tucson, Arizona has gone 17-4 against Washington... UW did manage to pull off an 80-79 overtime win in McKale Center on Feb. 1, 1996, a win that marks one of the 11 home losses Arizona has suffered in its last 191 home games... Last season in McKale Center, the No. 8 Wildcats won 88-86 when Richard Jefferson followed up a Jason Terry jumper that was short and put it in as time expired to give the UA the win... Terry hit on a school-record 12-of-12 free throw attempts in that game and led all scorers with 30 points.
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 14.2 8.5 0.8 spg F 4 Luke Walton 6-8 228 Fr.-RS 2.9 3.2 2.2 apg or F 30 Justin Wessel 6-8 1/2 225 Jr-2L 2.6 2.5 0.5 apg C 3 Loren Woods 7-1 230 Jr.-TR 14.9 6.3 3.9 bpg G 0 Gilbert Arenas 6-3 191 Fr.-HS 12.6 3.8 2.3 spg G 22 Jason Gardner 5-10 178 Fr.-HS 12.0 3.2 5.4 apgArizona's Last Action: In a lackluster effort, Arizona beat Washington State, 80-75, on Thursday night in McKale Center before a crowd of 14,522. Although it was the 29th win in a row over the Cougars, WSU became the first team to shoot over 50% from the floor against the UA this season (.526, previous high was .441) and it also shot 50% from the 3PT line (6-of-12). WSU also outrebounded the Cats 36-25, marking the lowest rebounding total for the UA in the past 58 games. The win, however, was highlighted by Loren Woods' record setting performance, as he recorded 10 blocks to set an Arizona single game record, breaking the old mark of seven, which he had already done three times this season and Anthony Cook did in 1987 against UTEP in the first round of the NCAA Tournament... It also set a record for blocks by a Pac-10 player in a conference game, which was also seven and was done on many occasions (last was UCLA's Jelani McCoy against Washington on Dec. 9, 1995)... Woods also added a career-high 25 points to go with six rebounds, two assists and one steal, and was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line. Michael Wright added 20 points and was 10-of-13 from the free throw line, helping aid in Arizona's free throw shooting performance, which saw it go 31-of-37 from the FT line, including 28-of-31 in the decisive second half. The Cats were 14-of-14 in the final 5:16 of the game to keep the Cougars at bay... Arizona shot a season-low 3-of-16 from the three-point line, but had -- in a positive low -- a season-low six turnovers... Jason Gardner added 12 points, helped in part by 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw line.
Pac-10 Home Openers: After the win over Washington State on Thursday, the Wildcats are now 16-6 all-time in Pac-10 Conference home openers... They are 14-3 under Lute Olson... The three losses under Olson were in 1994-95 (UCLA), 1984-85 (USC) and 1983-84 (UCLA)... Arizona has won 15 of its last 16 Pac-10 Conference home openers... Last season, the Cats also opened the Pac-10 Conference home slate against Washington State, winning 99-87 on Jan. 7, 1999, and then followed that with an 88-86 over Washington.
Basketball Reunion Weekend: The University of Arizona athletic department will honor three past basketball teams and its players this weekend... Members of the 1950, 1960 and 1975 teams will be honored as will all Emeritus team members (former letterwinners who are 50 years old and above) at halftime of Saturday's game versus Washington... The 50th anniversary 1950 Wildcat squad was coached by Fred Enke and won the sixth of seven consecutive Border Conference championships... It's record was 24-5 and 14-2 in the league... As for the 30th anniversary 1960 team, it too was coached by Enke, and was 10-14, finishing fourth in the Border Conference with a 4-6 mark... The 1975 team, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, was coached by Fred Snowden... It was the fifth team in school history to win 20+ games, as it finished with a 22-7 record and placed third in the Western Athletic Conference with a 9-5 mark.
Washington Notes: The Huskies are 6-9 and 1-2 in the Pac-10 Conference... Prior to losing at Arizona State on Thursday, they split a home series with UCLA and USC last weekend... They beat UCLA 63-62 on Jan. 6, and lost to USC in overtime, 81-79, on Jan. 8...In the ASU game, 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Senque Carey had 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, while 6-foot-4 junior guard Michael Johnson added 22 points, six rebounds and four assists... UW had 20 turnovers in the game and was outrebounded 52-43, but "held" Eddie House to 29 points... UW's leading scorer is 6-foot-5 senior guard Deon Luton, who sports a 15.8 ppg mark... He had 13 points and seven boards in the ASU game... He scored 26 in the win over UCLA and had 21 in the loss to USC... Chris Perkins, a 6-foot-8 junior transfer from Iowa Western JC, is the team's top rebounder at 7.0 rpg... Washington head coach Bob Bender is in his seventh year as the Huskies' mentor, and he has compiled a record of 91-93... He is in his 11th year as a head coach (151-150)... Against Arizona, he has gone 4-8... UW defeated a top-10 ranked Arizona squad four times in the 1990s, all in Seattle (1991, 92, 97, 99).
The Last Washington/Arizona Game: The Wildcats played at Washington on Feb, 6, 1999, before a sold out crowd of 7,900 in Hec Edmundson Pavilion and lost by a score of 90-84. In snapping a four-game losing streak to the Wildcats, the Huskies used hot shooting from the three-point line (9-of-18) and 24 and 20 points from Donald Watts and Deon Luton to give UW its sixth win in its past seven games. As for Arizona, the Cats were led in scoring once again by Jason Terry, who went for a game-high 28 points, an outing that marked the eighth time this season that he has scored 25 or more points. Two Wildcats recorded double-doubles, Michael Wright with 19 points and 10 rebounds and A.J. Bramlett with 12 points and 16 boards. In the early goings, Washington jumped out to a 14 point lead at 32-18 with 7:18 remaining in the first half. From there, Arizona closed with a 21-13 run -- which was capped by a Terry halfcourt shot at the buzzer -- and trailed 45-39 at halftime. In the second half, UW came out on fire and posted a 60-43 lead just over five minutes into the half. Arizona would rally and eventually cut the lead to 74-71 at the 4:40 mark. The UA came to within three once again -- at 83-80 following a Richard Jefferson offensive rebound and basket -- but would never get any closer as UW made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 41 seconds to seal the win. Arizona, the Pac-10's top rebounding team, did manage to win the battle of the boards by a 49-to-39 margin, but shot just 3-of-12 from the 3PT line and 13-of-21 from the free throw line.
Coach Olson: Lute Olson (Augsburg '56) is his 17th season as the head coach at Arizona and his 27th overall as a head coach... This season has already seen 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 game... He now has a career record of 601-214 (.737), while his mark at the University of Arizona stands at 409-122 (.770)... 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 23-11 all-time versus Washington... 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 1,195 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 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 226-65 (.777) 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 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 12 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 21 overall in his career... Under Olson, the Cats are 251-26 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 180 of their last 191 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 65-68
Injury News: Arizona sophomore forward Richard Jefferson underwent surgery on his right foot Tuesday to the fractured fifth metatarsal he sustained during last Saturday's game at Stanford... Jefferson will be out of action for eight weeks with his anticipated return set for the second week of March, which coincides with the team's regular season finales -- home games against Stanford (March 9) and California (March 11)... His foot is in a boot and he will undergo non-weight bearing rehabilitation for four weeks... Should that portion of his rehabilitation progress as anticipated, he will then progress to weight bearing activities for the final four weeks of rehab.
Roster Addition: Peter Hansen, a member of Arizona's football team, was added to the Arizona basketball roster this week to to help them 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... 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 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.
John R. Wooden Award & All-America Candidate
Arizona sophomore forward Michael Wright was named as one of 30 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award as the nation's top college basketball player. He is one of two players from the Pacific-10 Conference to be selected, joining Stanford's Mark Madsen. On the season, Wright is averaging 14.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg, while shooting 56.6% from the floor. He has a Pac-10 best seven double-doubles this season, bringing his career total to 19 in 45 career games.
"...Wright played a phenomenal game and won the battle inside. He's a warrior." Stanford's Mark Madsen
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 134-47 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 trails only Duke's 10... UA and North Carolina are tied for second-most All-Americans in the 1990s.
Cat Scratches: Although Washington State became the first team to shoot 50% or better from the floor against Arizona this season, 11 of the Wildcats' 16 opponents have shot less than 40% from the field this season... In last week's Bay Area sweep, California and Stanford combined to make just 46-of-134 field goal attempts (.343)... From three-point range, the two squads hit on 13-of-44 attempts (.295)... The Cardinal came into the game shooting .358 from the three-point arc, but hit on just 6-of-25 3PT attempts (.240)... In the past four games, Loren Woods has averaged 21.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 5.6 bpg, is shooting 32-of-57 from the field (.561) and is 23-of-26 from the free throw line (88.5%)... His 10 blocks versus Washington State was a team record, but one short of the McKale Center record of 11, set by Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll in 1977... The 11 blocks that Arizona had as a team against Washington State were the most since Nov. 29, 1993, when the Cats also had 11 versus Baylor...This will be the first time since 1993-94 that Arizona has not had a player from Seattle on its roster when it faces Washington... Seattle products Michael Dickerson and Jason Terry have taken their talents to the NBA... Arizona has been to the free throw line 173 more times than the opposition this season... Six of Arizona's seven regulars are shooting 70% or better from the free throw line -- the exception is Luke Walton, but he is close, hitting on 69.6% of his freebies... Although they have outrebounded their opponents 436-345 this season, the Wildcats have been outrebounded in the last three games by a margin of 127-95... Arizona is 4-1 versus ranked opponents this season, beating No.1 Stanford, No. 5 Michigan State, No. 9 Texas, No. 11 Kentucky and losing to No. 6 Connecticut... There are just 2.9 points separating the UA's No. 1 scorer (Loren Woods/14.9 ppg) from the No. 5 scorer (Jason Gardner/12.0 ppg)... In between you have Michael Wright at 14.2 ppg, Gilbert Arenas (12.6 ppg) and Richard Jefferson (12.2 ppg)... This week marks the 72nd time in Arizona basketball history that the team has been ranked in the top-five by the Associated Press -- they have been in the top-five for the past seven weeks in a row, which is the longest consecutive span spent in the top five since the 1990-91 team was ranked anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4 from the preseason poll to week seven... Arizona started the season ranked ninth in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN polls... Of Jason Gardner's 54 field goals this season, 37 are from three-point land (68.5%)... Further, 89 of his 144 field goal attempts have been from behind the three-point line (61.8%)... 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... Since the start of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats have won 72 of 88 games (.818 winning %)... Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 season, Arizona has been ranked in the top-10 in 40 of the last 46 AP polling periods... Arizona is 36-0 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 317 games... UA lost that game 100-92.
Arizona Single Season Block Chart 1. Anthony Cook, 84 1988-89 2. Anthony Cook, 75 1987-88 3. Anthony Cook, 69 1986-87 4. Loren Woods, 61 1999-00 5. Anthony Cook, 50 1985-86Block Party: Junior center Loren Woods, who was the Bank One Fiesta Bowl Classic MVP, is providing the UA basketball program with a luxury it has been without for the past few years a legitimate shot blocker... With 61 blocks already this season (3.9 bpg), he already has the fourth-highest single season total in school history Woods is well ahead of that pace (he is on track for 124 swats -- the Pac-10 single season record for blocks is 115, set by ASU's Mario Bates in 1994-95)... Woods set the UA record for blocks in a game with 10 against Washington State, breaking the old mark of seven, which he had done three times this season (Notre Dame, Nebraska and New Mexico and Anthony Cook did in 1987 against UTEP)... Also, Richard Jefferson's 15 blocks this season is already four 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 99.
A New Breed of Cats: With Kentucky not being included in the Associated Press Top-25 rankings on Dec. 13, for the first time in nine years, Arizona now has the second longest current streak of appearing in the AP's weekly poll (81 weeks, counting this week's poll)...This streak dates back to the first regular season poll of the 1995-96 season... Arizona was not ranked in that year's preseason poll... That was the only time since the 1987-88 preseason poll that Arizona was not ranked in the AP poll.. Overall, Arizona has been ranked in the regular season Top-25 rankings for 208 straight weeks... North Carolina extended the nation's No. 1 streak of being ranked in the AP poll to 171 consecutive weeks and that is the third-longest streak in history.
The UA's record of 334-76 over the course of the past 12+ years gives it
the nation's best winning percentage during that span (.815).
Arizona started the season with 16 players on its roster, but the number has since been reduced to 13 -- and after Richard Jefferson's injury, there are now only seven scholarship players available for action (Rick Anderson, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Gardner, Luke Walton, Justin Wessel, Loren Woods and Michael Wright)... There are three non-scholarship players (John Ash, Josh Pastner and Mike Schwertley)... 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 six 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 at the University of Arizona by the UA coaching staff on Nov. 14... He has transferred to New Mexico.
McKale Magic: When New Mexico beat Arizona on Dec. 21 in McKale Center, it snapped what was 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 ever 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 50-2 at home)... Prior to the New Mexico game, the last loss for the UA in McKale Center was a 66-64 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 13, 1997... Arizona has now won 51 of its last 53 home games and is 180-11 in McKale Center since the 1987-88 season... 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 343-65 (.841) in McKale Center... This is 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.
Looking Ahead: Following the Washington game, Arizona travels to Los Angeles next week to play at UCLA on Thursday, Jan. 20, and at USC on Saturday, Jan. 22. Fox Sports Net will televise both games. For Starters: Lute Olson has gone with the same starting lineup in 13 of the 16 games this season... Luke Walton started in place of the injured Richard Jefferson against Washington State... The previous two times the starting five was altered was against Michigan State and IUPUI... Against MSU, 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... He made his first field goal attempt 24 seconds later... Gilbert Arenas was the other normal starter who did not start against MSU, as a result of him being late to a scheduled treatment session with basketball athletic trainer Ed Orr... Rick Anderson started in his place and Richard Jefferson started at the two-guard... Against IUPUI, Anderson again started for Arenas and Jefferson went at the two-guard.
Road Warriors: Arizona has played in six different locales and four separate time zones while logging 10,372 travel miles this season... Further, the team will has been through 11 different airports and on 20 different plane flights.
Michael Wright's Career Double-Doubles (19 in 45 career games)
Arizona's record in these games is 13-6 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 10 12/30/99 Delaware 19 14And Make It A Double: All-American and John Wooden Award candidate Michael Wright has seven double-doubles in the Wildcats' 16 games this season, bringing his career double-double total to 19... The sophomore power forward has 19 double-doubles in just 45 career games... On the season, he is averaging 14.2 ppg and is averaging 8.5 rpg, while shooting 56.6% from the floor... He has started 40 consecutive games for the Cats dating back to last season... 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 rebounding average of 8.8 rpg last season was the best ever for a freshman in the Pac-10 Conference.
Jefferson's Starship: Prior to going down with the foot injury, sophomore forward Richard Jefferson was a regular on the various "Plays of the Week" shows... One of the most athletic players in the country, he has turned in a solid season, while providing more than a fair share of highlight reel dunks and blocks... Prior to being out with 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)... Last week, 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-tothe-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.
The Kids are Alright: The freshman guard tandem of Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas appear to have acclimated themselves quite well to the college game... Big parts of the UA's 14-2 start, they are combining for 24.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 7.6 apg and 3.8 spg... They are No. 1 & 2 in steals and minutes on the team... Gardner leads the team in minutes, averaging 35.7 mpg (he has played all 40 three times this season) and his three-point percentage (.416/37-89) is better than his overall field goal percentage (.375/54-144)... Gardner had a big performance in the win over Stanford, scoring a career-high 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.
Lower Output, Same Results: Arizona has scored less than 70 points in a game six times this season, including four of the past six games... In the past two seasons combined, the Wildcats only had three games with less than 70 points... In the past three seasons, there were eight games of less than 70 points...The Cats are averaging 76.2 ppg this season... At this rate, the 1999-00 Arizona team would be the lowest scoring group since the 1986-87 program, which wound up averaging 75.6 ppg... Conversely, this year's Cats have been playing some pretty stingy defense, allowing only 64.2 ppg... That mark is the best since the 1985-86 club finished the season giving up just 62.3 ppg.
Arizona in 1999-00 Polls/Week-by-WeekGroovin' & Truckin': 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 his most impressive performances of the season... Against California, UA redshirt freshman Luke 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.
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
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 14 ties on the season...
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... 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 88 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 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 has 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: 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... 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.
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 six players from different states.
The Golden Arches: This season's roster has three former McDonald's All-Americans Jason Gardner, Richard Jefferson and 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, and so did Ruben Douglas, who made his decision to do so as well on 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 nine former Arizona players on NBA rosters -- the list has been cut by three in recent days, as A.J. Bramlett, Ben Davis and Khalid Reeves have been released in the past days... 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).
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).Shooting Sets the Tone: Since the 1996-97 season, Arizona is 73-4 in games when it has a better shooting percentage than its opponent... The Wildcats are 13-0 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 82-8 when it scores 80 or more points in a game... Further, since the 1992-93 season, Arizona is 144-15 when it scores 80 or more... The Cats are 7-0 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"... 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); Wed., Feb. 9, 5 p.m./Fri, Feb. 11, 9 p.m. (replay); Wed., Feb. 23, 9 p.m./Fri. Feb. 25, 9 p.m. (replay).
Surfin' With The Cats: Follow Arizona basketball games on the internet at www.arizcats.com... Go to the TotalCast portion of the site to see the live real-time play-by-play updates of each of the Arizona men's basketball games.
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... It all takes place at Bob's on Tanque Verde... The next Lute Olson Show will be Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. and the TV show will be shown Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 10:30 p.m on UPN channel 18 in Tucson.