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Northern Arizona Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/12/2007
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Game 1:? No. 17 Arizona (0-0) vs. Northern Arizona (1-0)

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Date: ? Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007

Time: ? 7:30 p.m. MST

Location: ? Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.

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

TV: ?FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)

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Game data: ? No. 17 Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) opens the 2007-08 season Tuesday against Northern Arizona (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) ... Tonightˇ?s game is the earliest home season opener in school history, tipping off one day earlier than the 1990-91 opener vs. Austin Peay (122-80) in that seasonˇ?s Preseason N.I.T.

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The Rankings: ? Arizona opens the 2007-08 campaign ranked No. 17 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.? 2007-08 marks the 20th time in the last 21 seasons that the Cats opened the season nationally ranked.

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Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . will begin his 25th season at Arizona and his 35th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 780-280 (.736) and 589-187 (.759) at Arizona upon his return from a leave of absence, which was announced on Nov. 4 ... 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizonaˇ?s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (327) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/327-101) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLAˇ?s John Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles)?... During his 24-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, ˇ®89, ˇ®90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 23 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, ˇ®88, ˇ®89, ˇ®93, ˇ®94, ˇ®98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ˇ®81) and directed the UA program to the nationˇ?s third-best winning percentage over the past 20 years (519-142/.785) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 52 NBA Draft picks, including 31 at Arizona ?C 25 alone since 1990 ... Heˇ?s led UA to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 29 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons...Under Olson, the Cats are 344-40 (.896) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 296 home games ... He is assisted by Kevin Oˇ?Neill, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.

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Last Time out: ? Chase Budinger led all scorers with 22 points and Jerryd Bayless added 20 as Arizona raced to a 96-73 exhibition win over Team Georgia on Nov. 8.? Budinger, who scored 17 of his 22 in the first half, also grabbed nine rebounds in the effort, which helped UA hold a 49-32 rebound advantage.? Arizona shot 51.6 percent (33-of-64) in the contest and forced 21 turnovers.? Eight of the 12 Wildcats to see action in the game logged at least 14 minutes.

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Scouting Northern Arizona: ? The Lumberjacks enter play Tuesday with a spotless 1-0 record after earning a 78-65 win over Adams State College on Sunday.? Four NAU players finished in double figures, led by Josh Wilsonˇ?s 20, as the ˇ®Jacks jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead.? NAU held Adams State to just 36 percent shooting in the first half and outrebounded the Grizzlies 37-31.

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The Series: ? Tonightˇ?s game is the 117th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding an 89-27 series advantage.? Counting this meeting, UA and NAU have met in five of the last six seasons.? Arizona has won 23 straight games in the series and 38 of the last 41, including last seasonˇ?s 101-79 win in Tucson on Nov. 15, 2006.? All-time, Arizona is 59-5 in series games played in Tucson, 29-21 in Flagstaff, and 0-1 in neutral-site games.? See page 100 in the Arizona basketball media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ? Arizona 101, Northern Arizona 79, Nov. 15, 2006:? Chase Budingerˇ?s 32 points led an attack that saw Arizona score 101 points and post a 22-point win.? He connected on 11-of-15 field goals and led a UA attack that shot 58 percent from the floor and topped the 100-point plateau for the first time in 60 games.? The Cats limited NAU to 32.4 percent shooting in the second half in building as much as a 31-point lead.

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Against the Big Sky: ? Arizona carries an all-time record of 98-32 (.754) record against teams that currently reside in the Big Sky Conference.? Aside from NAU, Arizona has not faced Big Sky opposition since 1995.

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A Different Look: ? Prior to the Nov. 4 exhibition game, it was announced that UA head coach Lute Olson would be taking a leave of absence due to a personal matter.? There has been no timetable set for his return.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.

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A Rare Occurrence: ? Tonightˇ?s missed game with Northern Arizona marks the eighth time in 25 seasons that Lute Olson has not been on the sidelines as the Wildcat mentor.? He missed a game on Dec. 12, 1994, vs. LaSalle due to back problems and missed six games during the 2000-01 season surrounding his first wife Bobbiˇ?s battle with cancer.? Arizona has a 4-3 record without Olson on the sideline.

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Another College Try: ? Interim head coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill has 11 seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach, where he compiled a 152-165 (.479) record while at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern.? His last appearance on the collegiate sidelines came March 9, 2000, in a 51-41 loss to Wisconsin at the Big Ten Conference Tournament in Chicago.? Oˇ?Neill spent the last seven seasons in NBA circles.

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For Openers: ? Arizona has a record of 79-21 (.790) in season openers (results are unavailable for four seasons), including a 20-4 (.833) record in the Lute Olson era.? All-time, the Wildcats are 60-12 at home, 10-9 on the road and 9-0 in neutral-site games.

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In November: ? Fast starts have become the? norm for the Cats.? Over the last 24 years, Arizona is 57-15 (.792) in the month of November.? The numbers are even more impressive considering the quality of competition.? Thirty-six percent (26-of-72) of Arizonaˇ?s games in November have come against nationally ranked opponents.? In those contests, Arizona is 18-8 (.692).? UA will play six times during November this season.

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First the Good: ? Arizona had its shooting eye last Thursday against Team Georgia, as the Cats connected on 51.6 percent (33-of-64) of its field goal attempts.? UA got more accurate as the game went on, shooting 48.6 percent (17-of-35) in the first half and 55.2 percent (16-of-29) in the second.? The UA starters collectively hit 54.4 percent (30-of-55) of their field goal attempts.

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Now the bad: ? Fifty-two percent shooting and 96 points against Team Georgia may have looked good in the boxscore, but Arizonaˇ?s 23 turnovers certainly did not.? Itˇ?s hard to say what was worse:? the fact that eight different Wildcats committed at least one miscue or that the starters amassed 15 as a group.? Regardless, it led to 23 points off turnovers by Team Georgia, or nearly 32 percent of its 73 total points.

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In Close: ? Arizona did a nice job of scoring around the basket, as the Wildcats scored 42 points in the paint against Team Georgia.? Twelve of Chase Budingerˇ?s 22 points came in the painted area, and 20 of Arizonaˇ?s 42 total points came off dunks or lay-ups.

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Yin and Yang: The Wildcats did a nice job of getting to the free throw line against Team Georgia, converting 24 personal fouls into 34 charity tosses.? At issue was the 10 misses, a figure slightly higher than a coach would like.? After hitting 7-of-13 (.538) in the opening period, UA bounced back to make 17-of-21 (.810) after the break.? True to form, Arizona did make (24) more FTs than Team Georgia attempted (21).

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A Study In Contrasts: ? En route to a 49-32 rebound advantage last Thursday, Chase Budinger and Jamelle Horne both collected nine rebounds to lead a very balanced rebounding effort.? All told, 10 of the 12 players to see action grabbed at least one rebound in the contest.? Interestingly, the only two not to collect a carom was UAˇ?s tallest player, Alex Jacobson (6-foot-11), and its shortest, Nic Wise (5-foot-10).

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Making the Most of It: ? Freshman forward Jamelle Horne definitely made the most of his first appearance in the starting lineup by totaling 16 points, nine rebounds, a block and a steal vs. Team Georgia.? The 6-foot-6, 204-pound San Diego native hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor in 32 minutes played.

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A Balanced Effort: ? Jawann McClellan put forth a balanced effort vs. Team Georgia.? Not only did the 6-foot-4 senior guard from Houston hit 6-of-10 shots and finish with 15 points, but he also grabbed seven rebounds, passed out four assists and collected a steal.? In the two exhibition games, McClellan connected on 57.1 percent (12-of-21) of his field goal attempts.

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Honorably Mentioned: ? The Associated Press released its preseason top 25 (at left) and the list of preseason All-Americans on Nov. 5.? Wildcat sophomore Chase Budinger was an honorable mention selection after averaging 15.6 points and 5.8 rebounds a year ago.? He is the first UA player to be recognized in the preseason by the Associated Press since Channing Frye in 2004-05.

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Preseason KUDOS: ? Two Arizona players have garnered a few preseason accolades, as Chase Budinger and Jerryd Bayless have found themselves included on a few lists to watch.? Budinger has been tabbed a preseason All-American by both collegeinsider.com and collegehoops.net and heˇ?s also on both the John R. Wooden and Naismith Awards preseason watch list.? Bayless was a second team all-freshman pick by collegehoops.com.

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An Educated Guess: ? According to media members that regularly cover the Pacific-10 Conference, Arizona was picked to finish fourth in this yearˇ?s Pac-10 race.? Arizona received 238 points, trailing UCLA, Washington State and Oregon. The last time UA was predicted to finish this low was in the 2001-02 preseason poll.? On a historical note, the Wildcats have been the preseason favorite 11 times in the last 18 years.? The complete poll is listed at left.

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Springboard to the Next Level: ? With the 2007-08 National Basketball Association regular season underway, no fewer than 10 former Arizona Wildcats are on the opening day NBA rosters.? Only three schools nationally have more alumni in the league (Connecticut, 13; North Carolina, 12; Duke, 12).? Here is the complete list:? Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards; Mike Bibby, Sacramento Kings; Channing Frye, Portland TrailBlazers; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers; Richard Jefferson, New Jersey Nets; Mustafa Shakur, Sacramento Kings; Damon Stoudamire, Memphis Grizzlies; Salim Stoudamire, Atlanta Hawks; Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks; and Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers.? There have been at least 10 former Wildcats in the NBA in six of the last eight seasons and no fewer than eight during that span.

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More on the NBA: ? Bolstered by UAˇ?s 10 alumni in the NBA, the Pac-10 Conference had a total of 45 former players on opening day rosters, a figure that ranks third among conferences nationally.? Here is the breakdown by league:? 1.) Atlantic Coast and Big East, 54; 3.) Pac-10, 45; 4.) Southeastern, 41; 5.) Big 12, 35; and 6.)? Big Ten, 33.

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Up Next: ? Arizona will next be in action on Saturday, Nov. 17, against Virginia.? Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.

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