Game 15: No. 13 Arizona (12-2, 2-0) at Stanford (6-7, 0-3)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 8, 2005
Time: Noon PST
Location: Maples Pavilion (7,233), Palo Alto, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Game Data: No. 13 Arizona (12-2, 2-0 Pac-10) looks for its first conference road sweep of the season Saturday when it takes on Stanford (6-7, 0-3 Pac-10) ... A win Saturday would give the Wildcats its fifth sweep of the Bay Area in the last six seasons ... Arizona carries a Pac-10-best 126-64 (.663) record in conference road games over the past 21-plus seasons ... In its last five games, Arizona is averaging 90.4 points per game, 13.5 points better than its season scoring average (76.9 ppg).
The Rankings: After three wins last week, Arizona rose at No. 13 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UA has been ranked in 293 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 22nd season at Arizona and his 32nd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 723-251 (.742) and 531-159 (.770) 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 second-most Pac-10 wins (292) in history, trailing UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.777/292-84) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles) ... During his 22-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 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 20 years, 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 17 years (449-111/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 47 NBA Draft picks, including 28 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 17 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 26 overall in his career, making him one of only five head coaches in NCAA history to record 25 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 315-32 (.908) in McKale Center and have won 243 of its last 260 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 30-14 against Stanford.
Last Time Out: With a balanced attack and a well-timed scoring run, Arizona handed California an 87-67 defeat Thursday in Berkeley. Five Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Channing Frye’s game-high 20 points. After Cal scored to take a 42-40 lead with 18:35 to go, UA responded with a 21-6 run over the next 6:02 to take control of the contest. Six different Wildcats scored in the run which led to 60.7 percent shooting in the second half.
Scouting Stanford: The Cardinal enters Saturday’s game with an 6-7 record (0-3 Pac-10) after an 81-69 loss Thursday to Arizona State. Through 12 games, Stanford shoots 43.9 percent from the field (298-of-679), posts a +1.8 rebound margin and is being outscored by 0.5 points per game. Individually, two players average in double figures, led by Dan Grunfeld, who averages 16.7 points per game. Matt Haryasz leads the club by averaging 8.2 rebounds per game.
The Series: Thursday’s game marks the 67th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 42-24 series advantage. The two teams have split the last 10 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1937, but Stanford captured the last two, including an 80-77 decision in Palo Alto on Feb. 7, 2004. All-time, Arizona is 22-7 in series games played in Tucson, 17-15 in Palo Alto, and 3-2 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 104 of the Arizona basketball media guide.
Last Meeting: Stanford 80, Arizona 77, Feb. 7, 2004: Stanford’s Nick Robinson hit a 40-foot shot at the buzzer to snatch victory from Arizona in the 80-77 final. The Wildcats held a four-point lead with one minute to play, but turned it over on its last two possessions to set up Robinson’s heroics. The shot erased one of Arizona’s best halves of the season ?- one in which the team shot 60.7 percent from the floor and used a 21-4 run to come back from a 12-point deficit.
A Win Today: A win Saturday would extend Arizona’s season-long winning streak to 10 games. That would be the Cats’ longest win streak since 2002-03, when the club actually accomplished the feat twice. Interestingly, the only loss in between the two 10-game streaks that season was an 82-77 loss to Stanford on Jan. 30, 2003.
Away from Home: After posting a 4-5 Pac-10 road record last season and failing to register at least one sweep on the road, Thursday’s win was certainly a step in the right direction, especially a week after home teams posted a 7-2 record. However, road teams went 3-1 on Thursday.
Heating Up: The Wildcat offense has increased its productivity in Pac-10 play by averaging 92.0 points in the first two games. Additionally, Arizona is shooting 51.6 percent (65-of-126) from the field in that span, a figure that is 80 points higher than its overall field goal percentage of 43.6 percent. Incidentally, UA is 4-0 this year when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
No. 975: This afternoon’s contest is the 975th game for Lute Olson as a collegiate head coach. In 32 seasons as a college head coach, Olson has a career record of 723-251 (.742).
Balance: Led by Channing Frye’s game-high 20 points, Arizona placed a season-high five players in double figures. Prior to Thursday’s win, Arizona had placed four players in double figures five times and was a spotless 5-0 when accomplishing the feat.
Topping 20: Channing Frye posted his second straight 20-point scoring game this year (16th career) with 20 points Thursday at California. The 6-foot-11 senior from Phoenix, connected on 8-of-12 field goal attempts, including 1-of-1 from three-point range, to finish with 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. His three blocks equaled a season high. Frye is one of five Wildcats to post at least one 20-point game this season and joins Stoudamire (3) and Shakur (2) as the only UA players with multiple 20-point games in 2004-05.
Running It Up: After going through a stretch of the schedule where five of six games were decided by five points or less, each of UA’s last five wins have been by 13 points or more. In its current nine-game winning streak, Arizona has outscored the opposition by an average of 17.4 points per game.
Close Calls: After watching teammate Andre Iguodala notch three triple-doubles last season before jumping to the NBA, Arizona has had near misses in each of its last two games. Sunday vs. Arizona State, Hassan Adams posted totals of eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Thursday at California, Mustafa Shakur finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Since 1987, there have been 19 triple-doubles in the Pac-10 and nine of those have come from Arizona players.
Offensive Efficiency: Salim Stoudamire continues to be very efficient offensively. In his last five games played, the 6-foot-1 senior is averaging 14.4 points per game on an average of just five field goal attempts per game. Stoudamire is taking good shots and making them. In that span, Stoudamire has connected on 76.0 percent (19-of-25) of his attempts, including 78.9 percent (15-of-19) from three-point range. The improved accuracy has raised his season field goal percentage to 52.3 percent (57-of-109), including 56.7 percent (38-of-67) from behind the arc.
Controlling the Glass: Arizona is 10-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition, and four times the squad has posted at least a +10 rebound margin. UA has outrebounded 10 of 14 opponents in 2004-05. Last season, Arizona was 16-4 when outrebounding the opposition.
Stepping Out: After shooting 54.2 percent from the floor last year, Hassan Adams has struggled a bit from the floor this season (.432/67-of-155) as he has spent more time on the perimeter. He didn’t struggle from the floor against Cal, as he hit 6-of-8 shots from the floor, including 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Second Half Club: In two Pac-10 games, Arizona has proven itself to be a second-half ballclub. In the wins over Arizona State and California, the Wildcats combined to shoot 59.6 percent (34-of-57) from the floor and outscore the opposition 100-71 in the second half.
That’s Impressive: Junior Chris Rodgers continues to be very productive no matter if it’s as a starter or reserve. Thursday vs. Cal, the 6-foot-4 guard from Portland, Ore., scored 10 points, passed out five assists and added two boards and a steal. Perhaps most impressively, he did not commit a turnover in 23 minutes, which boosted his season assist:turnover ratio to 3.4:1. Through 14 games, Rodgers has only 10 turnovers in 287 minutes played.
Depth Helps: Lute Olson has definitely used his bench far more often of late. As the depth has rounded into shape and become more productive, the minutes played have been more balanced. Through 14 games, eight Wildcats are averaging at least 13 minutes played and only one player (Mustafa Shakur) is averaging 30 minutes or more per game.
Help Where it’s needed: A quick look at Thursday’s boxscore might lead one to believe that Salim Stoudamire and his six points weren’t much of a factor. That’s not necessarily true. He didn’t force shots or get rattled, taking the one good look he got. Most importantly, he held Cal leading scorer, Richard Midgley, to just two points in the second half (on 1-of-3 shooting) as UA outscored Cal by 16 points after the break.
Answering the Bell: After allowing the Golden Bears to erase a nine-point first half deficit and take its second lead of the game with 18:44 remaining, Arizona responded with a 21-6 run over the next 6:02 to take control of the contest. In the run, UA forced five Cal turnovers and limited the home team to 3-of-8 shooting. By contrast, Arizona hit 8-of-10 field goal attempts in the same span.
Always on the Run: Arizona has made a name for itself with an ability to embark on some large scoring runs. Eight times during the 2004-05 season UA has posted a scoring run of more than 15 points. Here is a look at the list:
21 points ?- 29-8 run over 8:58 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
19 points ?- 27-8 run over 8:10 vs. Wright State, Nov. 18
19 points ?- 22-3 run over 8:49 vs. Richmond, Dec. 30
18 points ?- 20-2 run over 8:11 vs. San Diego, Nov. 16
17 points ?- 25-8 run over 10:15 vs. Eastern Washington, Dec. 28
16 points ?- 18-2 run over 5:00 vs. Wyoming, Nov. 30
16 points ?- 23-7 run over 5:59 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
16 points ?- 21-5 run over 5:12 vs. Arizona State, Jan. 2
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 130-16 (.890) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 6-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Fendi Onobun (F, 6-7, 215) from Houston, Texas, Alief Taylor High School; J.P. Prince (G, 6-6, 183) from Memphis, Tenn., White Station High School; and Marcus Williams (F, 6-6, 190) from Seattle, Wash., Roosevelt High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: Following today’s game, Arizona returns home to host USC on Thursday, Jan. 13. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on FSN Arizona. It begins a stretch where the Wildcats will play six of eight games in McKale Center.