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Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. Michigan State, 11/23/2005
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 23, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 3:  No. 9 Arizona (1-1) vs. No. 12 Michigan State (1-2)


Date:  Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005

Time:  11:30 a.m. HST

Location:  Lahaina Civic Center (2,400), Lahaina, Hawaii

Radio:  Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)



Game Data:  No. 9 Arizona (1-1, 0-0 Pac-10) meets No. 12 Michigan State (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) in the third-place game of the 22nd annual EA Sports Maui Invitational ... It marks the first time in four appearances that Arizona has not appeared in the Maui Invitational (1993, 1997, 2000, 2005) championship game ... Today’s game marks the 1,000th game for Lute Olson as an NCAA Division I head coach.


The Rankings:  Arizona rose to No.9 in the current edition of the Associated Press Top 25 and remains at No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls.  The Cats have opened the season with a national ranking 18 times in the last 19 seasons.  UA has been ranked in 304 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.


Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 742-257 (.743) and 550-165 (.769) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson became the 16th coach in basketball history to tally 1,000 career victories (covering all levels) on Dec. 11, 2004 ... Olson recorded his 700th collegiate victory on Jan. 3, 2004, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (305) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.778/305-87) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLA’s John Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles)  ... During his 23-year tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1997), played in the national championship game (2001), participated in four Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001), won 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 21 consecutive seasons, which is the longest active and second-longest streak in NCAA history (North Carolina, 27) ... He also led Iowa to the 1980 Final Four ... Olson has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times (1986, ?'88, ?'89, ?'93, ?'94, ?'98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ?'81) and directed the UA program to the nation’s best winning percentage over the past 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 18 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 27 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 27 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 322-33 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 250 of its last 267 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.


Last Time Out:  After trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half, Arizona came from behind and took the lead, but couldn’t hold on in a 79-70 loss Tuesday to Connecticut.  The Wildcats used a 16-8 run over the first nine minutes of the second half to take its first lead of the game, but the Huskies answered with a 16-1 run shortly thereafter to take control of the game.  The contest was ultimately won at the line, as Connecticut connected on 30-of-35 charity attempts and outscored UA, 30-12, from the line.  Ivan Radenovic equaled a career high with 20 points and added nine boards, and he was one of four Wildcats in double figures.


The Series:  Today’s game marks the seventh meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 4-2 series advantage.  Arizona has won two of the last three games in the series, which dates back to Jan. 2, 1947, but Michigan State captured the last meeting, 74-60, in East Lansing on Dec. 15, 2001.


Last Meeting:  Michigan State 74, Arizona 60; Dec. 15, 2001:  Once again a poor-shooting first half doomed the Wildcats, as the team fell, 74-60, at Michigan State.  UA shot just 17.9 percent in the first half and trailed by 16 points at the half.  Arizona opened the second half with an 18-7 run that cut the deficit to five points with 11:43 to go, but Adam Ballinger scored five of MSU’s next seven points to give the team a double-digit lead it would not relinquish.  The trio of Jason Gardner, Luke Walton and Rick Anderson  scored 47 of UA’s 60 points.


An Olson Milestone:  Today’s game with Michigan State marks Lute Olson’s 1,000the as an NCAA Division I head coach, making him the 21st coach to reach that milestone.  In 33 seasons, Olson has a career record of a career record of 742-257 (.743).


In November:  Fast starts are the norm for the Cats under Lute Olson.  Over the last 23 years, Arizona is 51-11 (.823) in the month of November.


On the Positive Side of the Ledger:  A win today would give Arizona a 2-1 record after three games, and a loss (obviously) would send the club back to the mainland with a 1-2 record.  Not since the start of the 1989-90 season has Arizona opened the season with a 1-2 record after three games.


Off Target:  Simply making shots has proven to be a chore through two games, as the Wildcats have a cumulative .344 field goal percentage.  Only two Wildcats with as many as 10 field goal attempts have a field goal percentage of 50 percent or better:  Mustafa Shakur (7-of-13/.538) and Kirk Walters (7-of-14/.500), while four other players are shooting less than 37 percent from the floor.


Defense Never Rests:  UA’s offensive struggles have put a bit more pressure on its defense, and for the most part, it has responded positively.  Arizona has limited the opposition to 38.7 percent shooting (41-of-106), while forcing 49 turnovers and collecting 24 steals.  All told, Arizona has a +9 turnover margin through two games.


From the Line:  Historically, Arizona has made a practice of getting to the line more often than the opposition.  Through two games this season, that hasn’t been the case as the opposition has made 37 free throws ?- two more than UA has made.  In yesterday’s loss to Connecticut, the Huskies converted 30-of-35 free throws and held a 30-12 scoring advantage from the line.  Incidentally, the last time an Arizona opponent attempted as many as 35 free throws was Jan. 10, 2002, when Washington State connected on 22-of-35 attempts in a 92-85 UA win.


Topping 20:  A day after receiving 17 stitches due to a cut over his left eyebrow, junior Ivan Radenovic responded with a career-high-equaling 20 points against Connecticut.  The 6-foot-10 forward hit 7-of-13 FG attempts from the floor, including all three three-point attempts.  For good measure, Radenovic grabbed nine boards and passed out two assists in 29 minutes played.


Count on the Them:  Entering the season, it was largely speculated that the quintet of Ivan Radenovic, Hassan Adams, Mustafa Shakur, Chris Rodgers and Kirk Walters would be responsible for much of the offensive productivity.  Through the two games in Maui, that has proven to be the case as the group has tallied 113 of the team’s 131 points.


An All-Around Effort:  In addition to finishing in double figures for the second straight game, Chris Rodgers also added six assists (against no turnovers) and three steals in 27 minutes played.  In two games, the Portland, Ore., native has eight of the team’s 24 steals.


Up Next:  Following today’s game, Arizona returns home to host Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 27.  The game will tip-off at 5 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.

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