Feb. 4, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
Date: Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011
Time: 5 p.m. PST
Location: Haas Pavilion (11,877), Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: KWBA/FSAZ (Dave Sitton/Corey Williams)
Game Data: Twenty-first-ranked Arizona (19-4, 8-2 Pac-10) caps the San Francisco Bay Area weekend at California (13-9, 6-4 Pac-10) Saturday at Haas Pavilion ... The Wildcats enter the contest in a relatively unfamiliar position – sole possession of the conference lead – a spot the program hasn’t occupied this late into the season since March 5, 2005, the last time the Cats won the Pac-10 title ... Since the start of the 2001-02 season, Arizona is 11-8 with three sweeps and four splits to its credit ... In five Pac-10 road games this year, Arizona is shooting 47.5 percent from the floor (125-of-263), with five regulars shooting 50 percent or better from the floor individually, and the team averages 72.4 points per game.
The Rankings: Arizona is ranked 21st in this week’s Associated Press poll and 22nd in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll. It marks the first time the Wildcats have been ranked in both national polls simultaneously since Dec. 31, 2007.
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 155-65 (.705) and 35-18 (.660) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater’s all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 2-1 vs. California as a head coach.
Last Time Out: Led by MoMo Jones, Arizona pulled away from Stanford late and moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 standings after a 78-69 win Thursday. Jones scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, including eight in the final five minutes, as UA outscored Stanford 18-9 in the final 3:47. Arizona shot 52.9 percent from the field and placed four players in double figures. UA connected on its last six shots to end the game and hit all eight free throws in the final 1:23.
Scouting California: The Golden Bears enter today’s game with a 13-9 record (6-4 Pac-10) following a 66-62 win Thursday over Arizona State. On the season, Cal averages 70.0 points, shoots 44.9 percent from the floor (519-of-1157), 33.7 percent (110-of-326) from three-point range and 68.8 percent (392-of-570) from the line. Opponents average 68.5 points, are outrebounded by 3.3 boards per game and shoot 42.0 percent from the floor (523-of-1246). Individually, four Cal players average in double-figures, led by Harper Kamp’s 14.3 points per game figure. Mark Sanders-Frison leads California with a 7.9 rebounds per game average.
The Series: Today’s game is the 82nd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 53-28 advantage in the series, which dates back to Feb. 1, 1924. Arizona has won 20 of the last 25 meetings, including the last, a 73-71 decision in Tucson on Jan. 6. All-time, Arizona is 28-9 in series games played in Tucson, 22-18 in Berkeley, Calif., and 3-1 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 43 in the UA media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 73, California 71, Jan. 6, 2011: Derrick Williams scored 19 of his career-high 31 points in the second half and got timely help from his teammates as Arizona erased a nine-point, second-half deficit in this two-point win. Jamelle Horne knocked down two treys midway through the period and Lamont Jones’ bucket with 2:08 to go positioned the Cats to claim victory. Williams added 12 boards for his fourth double-double of the season. UA was able to win despite shooting just 40.4 percent from the field.
Fighting For Balance: Led by Derrick Williams and Lamont Jones, who combined for 36 points, Arizona had four players finish in double figures in Thursday’s win at Stanford. Williams (21), Jones (15), Jesse Perry (12) and Kyle Fogg (11) each finished with 11 or more points. What’s interesting is that it was just the fourth time that Arizona has placed four players in double figures this season, and the first time since Nov. 26. In fact, the first three times Arizona accomplished the feat came in its first five games of the season (Idaho State/Northern Colorado/Santa Clara).
A Collection of Straight Shooters: Arizona shot better than 50 percent from the field Thursday for the 11th time this season – the club is 10-1 in those games – and continues to see its field goal percentage rise. Thursday at Stanford, the Wildcats connected on 27-of-51 attempts (.529) from the floor to boost its overall field goal percentage to .485 (588-of-1212) through 23 games, a figure that leads the Pac-10 Conference. Against the Cardinal, UA starters combined to connect on 57.5 percent (23-of-40) of their shots from the floor.
Closing Strong: With Thursday’s contest knotted at 60 with 4:17 to go in the second half, Arizona responded by outscoring Stanford 18-9 the rest of the way to claim the win. In that span, Arizona made all five field goals and all eight free throws, while Stanford went 2-of-8 from the field. During the run, Lamont Jones tallied eight points, Derrick Williams added six and Solomon Hill tallied four. It was Arizona’s second victory this season when tied at the 5:00 mark of the second half.
Numbers don’t Lie: The second half of Thursday’s win was a telling one, as Arizona shot 52 percent from the field (13-of-25), while limiting Stanford to just 38.2 percent accuracy (13-of-34). Of Arizona’s 13 field goals in the period, eight were dunks or lay-ups and all but one was scored in the lane. In the end, UA outshot Stanford, .529-.413, and upped its record to 13-1 this season when outshooting the opposition.
Anomaly: Arizona was 0-of-5 from three-point range during the second half of Thursday’s win, marking the first time this season that the Wildcats had failed to make at least one three-point field goal in any half. By comparison, UA was 5-of-7 from behind the arc in the opening period.
Every Shot Matters: While Arizona made a handful of plays late to win Thursday’s game, there were two key shots to close the first half that were just as meaningful. The Wildcats got treys from Kyle Fogg (1:02) and Jesse Perry (0:04) to carry a 39-33 lead into the locker room. The buckets enabled Arizona to maintain the lead, something it did for a total of 37:54. This year, UA is 17-0 when leading at the half.
Against the Norm: En route to its 19-4 record, Arizona has proven itself to be a solid rebounding club, as the team ranks second in the Pac-10 with a +5.1 rebound margin. Stanford held the rebound edge in Thursday’s contest, 37-32, marking just the eighth time in 23 games that the Cats had been beaten on the glass, thought the club is 5-3 when that happens.
A Streak of Positivity: As was the case Jan. 29 vs. USC, Arizona passed out 12 assists against 10 turnovers in Thursday’s win for a modest 1.2:1 assist:turnover ratio. Interestingly, it was only the 13th time in 23 games this season that the Wildcats have posted a positive ratio, and the third in conference play. UA has yet to lose a game this season when posting a positive assist:turnover ratio. On the season, Arizona has a 1.1:1 ratio (335:314).
Making the Most of his minutes: In back-to-back games, junior Kyle Fogg has logged a season-high 31 minutes, and the 6-foot-3 guard has made the most of it. Fogg tallied 19 points, six boards, seven assists and two steals in the span, and connected on 8-of-14 (.571) field goal attempts. On the season, Fogg is averaging 7.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and a team-leading 2.8 assists per game.
Developing Nicely: Lamont “MoMo” Jones has proven to be a much more productive player of late, as the 6-foot sophomore is averaging 14.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in his last five outings. MoMo has connected on 23-of-41 field goal attempts (.561) and has finished in double figures in all five tilts, which is the longest consecutive games in double figures scoring streak of his career. He and Derrick Williams are the only Cats to average in double figures in that span.
More of the Same: Bad shooting hand and all, sophomore Derrick Williams notched his third consecutive 20-point game Thursday, as he finished with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. The 6-foot-8 Williams has 11 games with 20 points or more this season, including six in the last eight games, where he is averaging 22.3 points. More broadly, Williams has scored in double figures in 32 consecutive games dating back to last season and 51 times in his 54 game career (17.5 ppg).
Asserting Himself: Forward Jesse Perry continues to prove himself as one of Arizona’s most reliable performers. Thursday at Stanford, the 6-foot-7 junior from St. Louis, Mo., posted 12 points, five boards and a block in a season-high 29 minutes. Along the way, Perry attempted a season-high nine field goals (made five) and improved his season field goal percentage to .472 (50-of-106) to go with per game averages of 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds.
At the Line: As mentioned earlier, Arizona knocked down all eight free throw attempts in the final two minutes of Thursday’s win. Lamont Jones was chief among the group, connecting on 4-of-4 in that time frame and 7-of-7 for the game. The Cats made them count when they need to, as the team was just 11-of-20 (.550) entering the last two minutes from a club that has made 74.0 percent of its attempts on the season (421-of-569). Incidentally, Jones’ seven FTs was a new career high.
Parrom Produces: Kevin Parrom put forth a solid effort Thursday, totaling seven points, a team-high four assists and three offensive rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Though he averages just 18 minutes per game, the 6-foot-6 swingman from the Bronx, N.Y., ranks third on the team with 45 assists. On the season, Parrom averages 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting .505 (52-of-103) from the field.
Collecting Caroms: Solomon Hill grabbed six boards in Thursday’s win, marking the ninth time this season that he’s collected five or more in a single game.
Scoring 80: Arizona scored 82 points Jan. 29 vs. USC, topping the 80-point plateau for the 10th time this year (10-0). Arizona has scored 80 in eight of 13 home games this season. Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 196-19 (.912) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona was 6-0 last season when topping the 80-point plateau.
Early Signees: The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent in the November early signing period. Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., who preps at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both espn.com and rivals.com.
Up Next: Following today’s game, the Wildcats get a bit of a breather, as the club won’t be in action for eight days. UA travels to Tempe, Ariz., on Sunday, Feb. 15, to face Arizona State. FSN will televise the game nationally, beginning at 7 p.m. MST.