Nov. 17, 2012
Date: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012
Time: 7 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,538), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach) [Sirius/XM: 113/199]
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Paul Sunderland/Don MacLean)
GAME DATA: Twelfth-ranked Arizona (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) hosts Long Beach State (1-2, 0-0 Big West) Monday in McKale Center ... In three previous meetings against the 49ers, the Wildcats have averaged 93.3 points and a winning margin of 31.0 points ... Nearly 40 percent of Arizona's rebounds to date have been offensive ... The Wildcats' 77.0 ppg scoring average through two games is seven points better than last season (70.0) ... Each of Sean Miller's Arizona clubs has started at least 2-0 ... Following tonight's tilt, UA gets a nine-day break before its next game on Nov. 28.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked 12th in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls this week. 2012-13 marks the second straight year that the Wildcats opened the year nationally ranked in both major college basketball polls.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his fourth season at the University of Arizona and his ninth overall as a college head coach with a record of 191-82 (.700) and 71-35 (.670) at Arizona ... In his eight-year career, Miller's teams have won 20 games six times and captured five regular-season or postseason tournament titles ... He guided UA to 30 wins and the 2011 Pac-10 regular-season championship in a run that culminated in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight, earning Pac-10 Conference and NABC District 20 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... 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 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 16 trips to the postseason in his 19 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/7 NIT) and has an 9-5 (.643) 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 23 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... Miller has recruited classes ranked in the top-10 nationally in each of the last two seasons ... He is assisted by James Whitford, Emanuel Richardson and Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 0-0 vs. Long Beach State as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona dominated on the glass and the rest fell in place from there in what became a 72-51 win over UTEP on Thursday. UA's four-man inside rotation tallied 30 points and 20 boards as the Wildcats posted a 35-15 rebound advantage. Arizona shot 48.9 percent for the game, including 57.9 percent in the second half, and limited UTEP to just 36.4 percent for the game. It was a balanced UA attack as seven players tallied seven or more points.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers enter tonight's game with a 1-2 record (0-0 Big West) following a 78-63 loss Friday to North Carolina. On the season, LBSU 60.7 points per game, shots 37.4 percent from the floor (64-of-171), 28.6 percent (18-of-63) from three-point range and 61.0 percent (36-of-59) from the line. Opponents average 68.3 points, outrebounded the 49ers by 2.7 per game and shot 39.7 percent from the floor (77-of-194). Individually, two LBSU players average in double figures, led by James Ennis' 16.7 ppg figure. Dan Jennings leads the 49ers with an 8.7 rebounds per game average.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game is the fourth meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 3-0 series advantage. Each of the previous three meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 4, 1987, has been played in Tucson including the last, a 91-57 triumph on Nov. 15, 1995. All-time, Arizona is 3-0 in series games played in Tucson, 0-0 in Long Beach, Calif., and 0-0 in neutral-site games. For more information, please see page 47 of the UA media guide.
THE LAST MEETING: Arizona 91, Long Beach State 57; Nov. 15, 1995: The Wildcats shot 56.7 percent from the field (34-of-60), posted a +8 margin on the glass and forced 18 turnovers in running to a 91-57 win in the first round of the Preseason NIT. Michael Dickerson connected on 9-of-13 shots from the floor to finish with a game-high 19 points and lead four Wildcats in double figures. Ben Davis added 18 points and nine rebounds.
A FEW SERIES ODDS AND ENDS: While UA and LBSU have met just three times in their collective histories, the Wildcats have actually played as many NCAA Tournament games in the city of Long Beach, Calif., (1986/1990) ... Arizona is 25-5 (.833) all-time against Big West schools ... The last time UA faced a Big West foe came on Dec. 8, 2010, in a 73-62 win over Cal State Fullerton.
MILESTONES APPROACHING: Senior forward Solomon Hill enters Monday's game within reach of a few career milestones. The 6-foot-7 native of Los Angeles, Calif., is just 14 points shy of becoming the 47th player in school history with 1,000 career points. Additionally, Hill is just three rebounds shy of 600 for his career. In 106 career appearances, Hill averages 9.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
NOT CLEANING THE GLASS, BUT OWNING IT: Bolstered by four players with five or more rebounds, Arizona outrebounded UTEP, 35-15, on Thursday. UA's +20 rebound margin marked a first for the program since Dec. 17, 2006, when the Wildcats outboarded Houston, 58-26, in an 87-62 win. Furthermore, it was the first time that Arizona had held an opponent to fewer than 20 rebounds since Dec. 5, 2008, when it held Texas A&M to 18. Finally, UTEP's 15 boards established a new McKale Center record for fewest rebounds in a game, topping the previous mark of 19 set three times previously.
IMPROVING: After a respectable 45.0 percent shooting effort in the opener, Arizona raised bar a bit against UTEP, connecting on 48.9 percent (22-of-45) of its attempts from the floor. Included in the effort was 57.9 percent shooting (11-of-19) in the second half where the Cats were 8-of-10 inside the paint. On the year, Arizona is shooting 46.7 percent (49-of-105) from the field.
ON THE MARK: The Wildcats continue to do a nice job of making long-range shots. Against UTEP Thursday, Arizona hit 9-of-18 treys (.500), including a stellar 8-of-13 (.615) effort in the first half. UA is shooting 40 percent as a team (20-fo-50) from three-point range early this season. UA's eight first-half treys against the Miners were the most for the club in an opening half since drilling nine vs. St. John's on Nov. 17, 2011. Six different Wildcats have made multiple treys this season.
DOES IT MATTER?: With all of this talk of field goal percentages, what trends carry the most weight? During the Sean Miller era, Arizona is 51-4 (.927) when the Wildcats post a better field goal percentage than the opposition.
BOARD WORK: Led by freshman Brandon Ashley, who pulled down four, Arizona held a 13-5 advantage on the offensive boards in Thursday's win. In fact, Arizona's 13 offensive rebounds nearly matched the UTEP total for the game (15). On the season, UA boasts a +5.5 rebound margin and a +10.0 ppg margin in second-chance points.
CATALYST: Forward Grant Jerrett got the Cats off on the right foot in Thursday's win, draining a pair of treys in the game's first three minutes to stake Arizona to a lead it would never surrender. The 6-foot-10 freshman from La Verne, Calif., finished with seven points, seven rebounds, an assist, block and steal in 22 minutes of action. After two games, Jerrett is tied for third on the team with a 5.0 rebounds per game average.
STANDING TALL: Freshman Kaleb Tarczewski posted eight points, six rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes vs. UTEP. The 7-footer from Claremont, N.H., hit both FG attempts and made 4-of-5 free throws, while three of his six rebounds were offensive. Tarczewski, who has made 4-of-6 field goal attempts in the first two games, is averaging 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
17 AGAIN: For the second straight game, senior Mark Lyons led the Cats with 17 points. The senior guard knocked down 5-of-9 field goals, including a season best three treys, while also adding two steals. Currently, he leads Arizona in scoring (17.0 ppg), assists (7) and steals (3).
AN ACTIVE GUY: Brandon Ashley continues to be a guy worth watching, as he currently leads the team in rebounding (6.5 rpg), free throws (11) and free throw attempts (16) and blocked shots (3). Against UTEP, the 6-foot-8 freshman forward tallied nine points and five rebounds with four of those caroms coming on the offensive end. Ashley is one of three Wildcats currently averaging in double figures (10.5 ppg).
CONTRIBUTIONS: Angelo Chol put forth a productive 13 minutes in the UTEP win, totaling six points, two offensive rebounds and a steal. The 6-foot-9 sophomore forward hit 3-of-4 shots from the floor and has now made 80 percent of his shots this season. Through two appearances, the San Diego, Calif., product is averaging 4.0 points per game.
AT THE POINT: Jordin Mayes continues to log key minutes in the backup point guard role, as he tallied three assists and a steal against UTEP in 15 minutes of action. The native of Los Angeles, Calif., is averaging 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game to go with a .500 (4-of-8) field goal percentage. He is one of nine Wildcats averaging double-figure minutes per game.
PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS: According to media members who regularly cover the league, Arizona was picked to finish first in this season's Pac-12 Conference race (see poll at left). The Cats received 403 points and 15 first-place votes, topping the rest of the league by one point. UCLA, California and Stanford rounded out the top-four spots in the poll. It's the first time since 2005-06 that Arizona was the preseason favorite and the Wildcats have been the preseason target a league-leading 12 times since the poll debuted in 1989-90.
TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Nine former University of Arizona men's basketball players were on active National Basketball Association rosters, as the league opened the 2012-13 season Oct. 30. According to rosters listed on the NBA official website as of Oct. 30, the list of players includes Jerryd Bayless (Memphis Grizzlies), Chase Budinger (Minnesota Timberwolves), Channing Frye (Phoenix Suns), Jordan Hill (Los Angeles Lakers), Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets), Richard Jefferson (Golden State Warriors), Jason Terry (Boston Celtics), Luke Walton (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves). Arizona ranks ninth nationally in terms of active NBA player production, marking the 13th consecutive season in which at least eight former Wildcats have opened the season on active NBA rosters. In nine of those seasons the number was 10 or more.
IN NOVEMBER: Fast starts have become a regular occurrence for the Wildcats. The program is a cumulative 79-23 (.775) in the month of November over the last 28-plus seasons. Those numbers are even more impressive considering the strength of the opposition, as nearly 30 percent of those foes (29 of 102) were nationally ranked at the time of the game. In those contests, Arizona is 18-11 (.621).
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed two student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Rondae Jefferson (F, 6-7, 215) from Chester, Pa., who preps at Chester H.S.; and Elliott Pitts (G, 6-5, 180) from Dublin, Calif., who preps at De La Salle H.S.; make up a class that is ranked No. 18 nationally by espn.com.
UP NEXT: Arizona will next be in action on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when the Cats host in-state foe Northern Arizona. Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.