Game 23: No. 11 Arizona (16-6, 8-2) vs. Washington State (9-11, 2-8)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 10, 2001
Time: 8 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Joe Nehls)
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
Game Data: No. 11 Arizona (16-6, 8-2 Pac-10) plays its final home game in February tonight against Washington State (9-11, 2-8 Pac-10) ... Over the last five home games, the Wildcats have held the opposition to less than 65 points four times ... Since 1995-96, Arizona is 33-9 (.786) in the month of February ... UA hasnt lost to Washington State since 1986, and in those 15 homes games, Arizona has won by an average margin of 15.1 points ... In the second half of Arizonas last two games, the team is shooting 63.8 percent (37-of-58) from the floor and has outscored the opposition, 89-59.
The Rankings: UA fell to No. 11 in the current Associated Press poll and to No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Arizona opened the year as the nations top-ranked team in the media and coaches polls. Incidentally, UA has been ranked in the AP top 25 for 104 consecutive weeks, the longest active streak in the nation. The Cats have been ranked in 231 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 18th season at Arizona and his 28th overall as a head coach with a career record of 627-223 (.738) and 435-131 (.769)... He recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona last year and has the fourth most Pac-10 wins (243) in history, trailing UCLAs John Wooden (304, 1949-75), Oregon States Slats Gill (276, 1929-64) and Washingtons Hec Edmundson (266, 1921-47)... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74) ... During his 18-year tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1997), gone to three Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997), won nine 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... Olson 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 nations best winning percentage over the past 13 years... 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 268-26 (.912) in McKale Center and have won 196 of its last 207 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention, Jay John and undergraduate assistant Josh Pastner. Olson is 34-2 vs. Washington St.
Last Time Out: Arizona scored the last six points of the first half and opened the second with a 10-2 run to take control and build as much as a 24-point second half lead in the Cats 82-62 win Thursday vs. Washington. Michael Wright led all players with 20 points and 11 rebounds to notch his seventh double-double of the season, while Gilbert Arenas scored 12 of his 17 points after the break. UA shot 55 percent from the floor in the second half and collected a season-high 15 steals.
Scouting Washington State: Washington State (9-11, 2-8 Pac-10) enters play tonight on a high note after Thursdays 58-57 win at Arizona State. The victory snapped WSUs 30-game Pac-10 road losing streak. As a team, the Cougars average 67.8 points per game and shoot 42.0 percent from the floor. Individually, Mike Bush leads WSU with an 18.7 ppg average, while J Locklier leads the team in rebounding at a 5.7 rpg clip.
The Series: Tonights game is the 49th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 38-10 series advantage. Arizona has won the last 31 meetings of the series, including an 84-51 decision on Jan. 11 in Spokane, Wash. Arizona is 18-5 in series games played in Tucson, 16-5 in Pullman and 4-0 in neutral-site games.
Last Meeting: Arizona used a 23-4 run over the last 7:44 of the first half to take control and roll to an 84-51 win on Jan. 11. Gilbert Arenas and Jason Gardner combined for 20 points in the run, which broke open what was a tight game. Arenas, who set a school record by going 6-for-6 from three-point range, finished with a game-high 22 points, while Gardner added 16. Combined, the duo made 13-of-20 shots from the floor to lead the Cats to its best field goal percentage of the season (.547).
Doubling Up: Michael Wright continues to be on a tear. The junior forward has collected double-doubles in his last three games and now has seven on the season. Including his 20-point, 11-rebound effort in the win over Washington, Wright has tallied 58 points and 36 rebounds in the three-game span. That amounts to 19.3 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. The double-double spree has raised his season averages to 16.9 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Top 10: With his string of three consecutive double-doubles, Michael Wright now has 32 career-doubles, a figure that leads all active Pac-10 players. The 32 double-doubles also ranks him sixth nationally among active NCAA Division I-A players. The players in front of Wright at the moment include: 1.) Kennedy Okafor (UMBC), 40; 1.) Troy Murphy (Notre Dame), 40; 3.) Kaspars Kambala, (UNLV) 35; 4.) Ricardo Greer, (Pittsburgh) 33; 4.) Jeryl Sasser, (SMU) 33.
Straight shooter: Sophomore Gilbert Arenas keyed another solid Arizona shooting effort in the second half vs. Washington. Arenas went 6-of-6 from the floor in the second half and scored 12 of his 17 points after the break. Arenas efforts helped the Wildcats shoot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half, marking the second straight game in which Arizona shot better than 50 percent from the field after halftime.
Off to a Good Start: The Arizona defense helped the team get off to a good start, as the effort held Washington to just 32.3 (10-of-31) percent shooting in the first half. It led to a 37-26 Arizona halftime advantage. On the year, the Cats are 14-1 when leading at the half.
Defensive Effort: The UA defense also forced Washington into 29 turnovers, including 15 in the first half. The 29 forced turnovers were a UA season high this year. On the flip side, Arizona committed just 13 miscues, the third-lowest effort of the season.
Assists: In conjunction with its 13 turnovers, the Wildcats passed out 20 assists in Thursdays win, marking the fifth time this season that the squad has reached the 20-assist mark. The teams +7 assist:turnover margin vs. Washington was the third-highest margin of the year.
From Downtown: The Wildcats struggled from three-point range in Thursdays win managing to connect on just 1-of-14 three-point attempts for a season-low .071 shooting percentage. If you take away the shots taken from behind the arc, Arizona shot 56.7 percent (34-of-60) from the floor, which would have been a season high.
In Double Figures: Sophomore Gilbert Arenas poured in 17 points on Thursday to notch his 50th career double figure game. On the year, Arenas has 19 double-figure scoring games, including a string of 12 consecutive.
Millennium Man: A simple pair of free throws with 2:47 left in a 20-point win may seem inconsequential, but with those successful charity attempts, Loren Woods scored his 1,000th career point. He is the 29th player to accomplish the feat in a UA uniform.
Stolen Moments: The Wildcats collected a season-high 15 steals on Thursday with Eugene Edgerson leading the way. It was the fifth time this season that Arizona has reached double figures in that category and the squad is 4-1 in those games.
Getting Defensive: Credit center Loren Woods with a stellar defensive effort in the win over Washington. The senior held UW forward Will Perkins to just two points (on 1-of-8 shooting) and six rebounds, while adding three blocks of his own. How good was Woods effort? In the prior UA-UW game, Perkins scored 21 points and added 13 rebounds.
GEEEEEEENE!!: Senior Eugene Edgerson posted one of his best efforts of the year with a 10-point, six-rebound effort vs. Washington. Edgerson hit 4-of-4 shout from the floor and added a career-high four steals.
Unselfish Play: Arizona collected 20 assists on Thursday, two shy of a season high. It was the fifth time this season, and second consecutive, that the Wildcats have tallied at least 20 assists in a game. Sophomore Jason Gardner totaled seven assists in the game (equaling a season-high), which improved the teams record to 22-4 in his career when collecting at least five assists in a game. Gardner leads the team with a 2.09 assist:turnover ratio, a 0.37 improvement over last season.
A Typical Walton Performance: Sophomore Luke Walton put together another typical Waltonesque performance. The purveyor of a fine all-around game collected seven points, five assists (one TO), three rebounds and a steal in 21 minutes. Walton ranks second on the squad with a 1.97 assist:turnover ratio, third in steals and fourth in rebounding.
League Leader: Loren Woods leads all Pac-10 players in blocked shots with a 2.73 bpg average. In league play, that figure jumps to 3.11 swats per game.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of Wildcat success than the 80-point mark. This season, Arizona is 10-0 when scoring 80 points and 6-6 when it does not. Over the last three seasons, UA is 38-3 (.927) when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona has scored at least 80 points in six of its last nine games.
Continuing his Climb: Michael Wright currently stands in 17th place on UA's career scoring list with 1,302 points. Just ahead of Wright in 16th place is Frank Smith (1980-83) with 1,329 points.
Olson Honors: UA head coach Lute Olson will be given the John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching award. The award was adopted by the Wooden Award Committee in 1999, and recognizes the lifetime achievement of coaches who exemplify Coach Woodens high standards of coaching success and personal achievement. Olson will be honored at the 25th annual John R. Wooden Awards program.
Farewell, Bobbi: A special memorial fund has been established in Bobbi Olson's name at the Arizona Cancer Center, where she had undergone treatment since her illness was diagnosed in June 1998. Contributions can be made payable to the Arizona Cancer Center/UAF and mailed to Arizona Cancer Center Development, P.O. Box 245013, Tucson, AZ 85724-5013.
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed five players to National Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period: Wil Bynum (5-10, 170, G, Chicago, Ill./Crane Tech Prep), Channing Frye (6-10, 230, C, Phoenix, Ariz./St. Marys H.S.), Isaiah Fox (6-9, 255, C, Santa Monica, Calif./Crossroads H.S.), Dennis Latimore (6-8, 230, F, Halsted, Kan./Halsted H.S.) and Salim Stoudamire (6-2, 175, G, Lake Oswego, Ore./Lake Oswego H.S.). It was ranked as the ninth-best recruiting class in the nation by Clark Francis Hoop Scoop magazine.
TV/Radio Information: The Lute Olson television show airs every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. on KTTU-TV, channel 18. Additionally, the Lute Olson radio show is broadcast live every Tuesday on Newsradio 790 KNST at 6 p.m. All Arizona basketball games are broadcast live on the Wildcat Radio Network, which consists of 13 affiliates in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. KNST Newsradio 790 in Tucson serves as the flagship, while network participants include: KOY (Phoenix), KTAN (Sierra Vista), KVNA (Flagstaff), KDAP (Douglas), KWRQ (Safford), KZUA (Holbrook/Show Low), KJAA (Globe), KNOT (Prescott), KBLU (Yuma), KINO (Winslow), KRLV (Las Vegas, Nev.) and XENY (Nogales, Sonora). All UA games are live on the internet at broadcast.com.
Up Next: The Wildcats travel to Los Angeles for a pair of games next week. UA meets UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 15, with tip-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST. Arizona takes on USC on Saturday, Feb. 17, at noon MST. Saturdays game will be televised by CBS-TV.