Game 5: No. 18 Arizona (3-1) vs. No. 1 Wake Forest (4-0)
Date: Friday, Nov. 26 2004
Time: 7 p.m. EST
Location: Madison Square Garden (19,763), New York, N.Y.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Bruce Johnson/Ryan Hansen)
TV: ESPN (Dave O’Brien/Len Elmore)
Game Data: No. 18 Arizona (3-1, 0-0 Pac-10) completes this 4,300-mile road trip in New York City with an appearance in the 2004 Preseason N.I.T. championship game Friday vs. No. 1 Wake Forest (4-0, 0-0 ACC) ... This is Arizona’s fifth game in Madison Square Garden since November 2001 ... All-time, UA is 15-1 (.938) in Preseason N.I.T. competition.
The Rankings: Arizona slipped to No. 18 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. UA has been ranked in 287 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 714-250 (.741) and 522-158 (.768) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... 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 (290) in history, trailing UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.775/290-84) 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 309-32 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 237 of its last 254 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 0-1 against Wake Forest.
Last Time Out: Mustafa Shakur’s free throw with 3:13 remaining in overtime broke a 57-57 tie that gave Arizona the lead for good in a 61-60 win over Michigan on Wednesday. Jawann McClellan scored seven of his 11 points in the second half that enabled Arizona to come from behind for the win. Led by Channing Frye’s game-high 13 rebounds, UA outrebounded Michigan, 54-41, which helped offset the Cats’ 31.4 percent field goal shooting.
Scouting Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons enter Friday’s championship game with the nation’s No. 1 ranking and a 4-0 record after Wednesday’s 79-67 win over Providence. WFU shoots .510 (123-of-241) from the floor, outrebounds the opposition by a +6.8 margin per game and forces an average of 22 turnovers per game en route to a +18.5 scoring margin. Four Wake players average in double figures, led by Chris Paul’s 16.8 ppg clip. The Demon Deacons are a very balanced rebounding club as four players average better than five rebounds per game.
The Series: Friday’s game marks the first meeting of the two schools. All-time, Arizona is 14-11 (.560) against teams that currently make up the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Wildcats lost its last meeting with an ACC school, 78-60, at Virginia on Nov. 21. The last win against the ACC came on Nov. 8, 2001, in a 71-67 win over Maryland in Madison Square Garden in the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic.
In November: Fast starts certainly are the norm for the Wildcats under Lute Olson. Over the past 21 years, Arizona is 49-9 (.845) in the month of November.
Against Ranked Teams: When facing the nation’s top-ranked team, Arizona has had a good bit of success, posting a 4-2 (.667) record in those contests. The last time Arizona played the No. 1-ranked team in the nation came on April 2, 2001, an 82-72 loss to Duke in the 2001 national championship game. All-time, Arizona is 110-130 (.458) against ranked opponents, including a 95-61 (.609) mark under Lute Olson.
Preseason N.I.T. History: Celebrating its 20th year as the nation’s premier early-season college basketball tournament, the Preseason N.I.T. and the University have mutually prospered under its spotlight. As mentioned earlier, the Wildcats have now participated in the event five times (1986, 1990, 1995, 1999) and won the tournament three times (1990, 1995, 1999). All-time, Arizona has a 15-1 record in Preseason N.I.T. play, including a 7-0 mark at Madison Square Garden. Currently, Arizona is tied with Kansas for the most Preseason N.I.T. championships won with three. Here is a look at UA’s game-by-game tournament results:
Nov. 21, 1986 at UNLV L 87-92 Las Vegas, Nev.
Nov. 14, 1990 Austin Peay W 122-80 Tucson
Nov. 16, 1990 East Tennessee State W 88-79 Tucson
Nov. 21, 1990 vs. Notre Dame W 91-61 New York, N.Y.
Nov. 23, 1990 vs. Arkansas W 89-77 New York, N.Y.
Nov. 15, 1995 Long Beach State W 91-57 Tucson
Nov. 17, 1995 at Arkansas W 83-73 Fayetteville, Ark.
Nov. 22, 1995 vs. Michigan W 86-79 New York, N.Y.
Nov. 24, 1995 vs. Georgetown W 91-81 New York, N.Y.
Nov. 16, 1999 Kansas State W 88-69 Tucson
Nov. 19, 1999 New Mexico State W 84-60 Tucson
Nov. 24, 1999 vs. Notre Dame W 76-60 New York, N.Y.
Nov. 26, 1999 vs. Kentucky W 63-51 New York, N.Y.
Nov. 16, 2004 vs. San Diego W 80-69 Tucson
Nov. 18, 2004 vs. Wright State W 83-67 Tucson
Nov. 24, 2004 vs. Michigan W (ot) 61-60 New York, N.Y.
At MSG: Since making its first appearance at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden in December of 1947, Arizona has compiled an 11-4 (.733) mark all-time at “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” including a 10-0 record under Lute Olson. Incidentally, seven of those wins have come in Preseason N.I.T. action.
Lute At The Garden: Lute Olson’s success at MSG is not limited to his time in Tucson. Since making its first appearance in the facility while at Long Beach State in a 60-46 win over Long Island on Dec. 15, 1973, Olson is a spotless 11-0 on 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets. Here’s a look (* indicates Preseason N.I.T. game):
Dec. 15, 1973 Long Beach State 60, Long Island 46
Nov. 21, 1990* Arizona 91, Notre Dame 61
Nov. 23, 1990* Arizona 89, Arkansas 77
Nov. 22, 1995* Arizona 86, Michigan 79
Nov. 24, 1995* Arizona 91, Georgetown 81
Nov. 24, 1999* Arizona 76, Notre Dame 60
Nov. 26, 1999* Arizona 63, Kentucky 51
Nov. 8, 2001 Arizona 71, Maryland 67
Nov. 9, 2001 Arizona 75, Florida 71
Dec. 9, 2003 Arizona 91, Texas 83
Nov. 24, 2004* Arizona 61, Michigan 60 (OT)
In the 60s: After leading the nation in scoring in each of the last two seasons, Arizona has struggled offensively through four games this season with an average of 71.0 points per game. UA has been limited to 121 points in the last two games. The last time Arizona scored fewer than the 121 points tallied in the previous two games came Jan. 2-3, 1987, when the Cats won, 54-48, at Oregon State, and lost, 55-54 at Oregon.
On the Glass: Led by Channing Frye and Ivan Radenovic, who each posted 10 or more rebounds, the Wildcats grabbed a season-high 54 rebounds and a +13 rebound advantage over Michigan. In a game where the two teams combined to shoot 34.4 percent, possessions are at a premium and Radenovic (7) and Frye (6) led the UA rebounding effort that saw Arizona collect 11 more offensive rebounds in the contest. In addition to Radenovic and Frye, both Mustafa Shakur and Chris Rodgers equaled season or career highs vs. the Wolverines. Incidentally, Arizona is 3-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition.
Good Enough: The Wildcats limited Michigan to just 37.7 percent shooting (23-of-61) on Wednesday, a UA opponent low in 2004-04. Included in the effort was Michigan’s 37.9 percent shooting in the second half, which marked the first time this season that a UA opponent had failed to shoot 50 percent or better from the field in the second half.
Moving Up: With seven points vs. Michigan on Wednesday, Channing Frye moved into 20th place on the Arizona career scoring list with 1,248 career points. The 6-foot-11 center from Phoenix also seeds just seven rebounds to move into 10th place on the school’s career rebounds list. He trails Tom Lee, who grabbed 737 rebounds from 1969-71. In 100 career games, Frye is averaging 12.5 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Off the Bench: Due to a bad ankle, Salim Stoudamire was not in the UA starting lineup against Michigan. Prior to Wednesday, the 6-foot-1 guard from Portland, Ore., had made 59 consecutive starts dating back to the 2002-03 season. The last time Stoudamire came off the bench was Dec. 15, 2002, in a 73-70 win over Texas.
Leading the Way: In his 34-game career, Arizona is 18-3 when Mustafa Shakur passes out five or more assists in a game. So it would only figure that it’s a good thing that the 6-foot-3 point guard is averaging 6.3 assists per game on the young season. In addition to his ability to distribute the ball, Shakur is averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 44.7 percent from the field.
Cool Under Pressure: Freshman guard Jawann McClellan certainly didn’t look rattled in his first career appearance at Madison Square Garden, as he knocked down 3-of-4 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws en route to 11 points, his first collegiate double-figure scoring effort. He also added four boards and a blocked shot. The 6-foot-4 Houston product was especially good in the later stages of the game, as he scored seven of those 11 points after halftime.
A Lineup Change: Due to those scheduling conflicts that sometimes arise in November, “Voice of the Wildcats” Brian Jeffries will not call the action for tonight’s championship game, as he will be back in Tucson to broadcast the football team’s game with in-state rival Arizona State, which kicks-off at 1 p.m. MST. Filling in for Jeffries will be Rutgers play-by-play man Bruce Johnson.
Experimentation: Counting exhibitions, Arizona has played five games this season using the international three-point line and connected on 39.0 percent (30-of-77) of its attempts. By comparison, UA had connected on 37.9 percent (3693-of-9746) of its shots from behind the arc entering this year since the advent of the rule in 1986-87.
Tops in the Pac-10: In the annual poll of media members who regularly cover the Pac-10 Conference, Arizona was selected as the team to beat for the league title. The Cats received 19 of a possible 26 first-place votes and 253 points overall. Washington (237), Stanford (194) and Oregon (167) rounded out the top four places. It is the 10th time since 1989-90 that UA has been the predicted winner in the preseason poll.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 126-16 (.887) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats have topped the 80-point plateau in both wins this season.
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: Arizona returns home to host Wyoming in McKale Center on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST and will be televised by FSN Arizona.