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Texas A&M Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/30/2007
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Game 7:? Arizona (4-2) vs. No. 9 Texas A&M (7-0)

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Date: ? Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007

Time: ? 4 p.m. MST

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

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

TV: FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)

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Game data: ? Arizona (4-2, 0-0 Pac-10) hosts No. 9 Texas A&M (7-0, 0-0 Big 12) in an intersectional match-up Sunday in McKale Center ... This game is part of the inaugural Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, which is slated for the next four seasons ... The game will be televised nationally on FSN and is available in High Definition. In Tucson, it can be found in HD on Comcast (channel 226), Cox (721), DirecTV (649) and DISH (365).

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The Rankings: ? Arizona remains unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls for the second consecutive week.

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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: ? Hot shooting and solid defense helped Arizona score 53 first-half points, hold a 23-point halftime lead and cruise to a 91-65 victory Wednesday over Cal State Fullerton.? UA shot 67 percent from the floor and held CSUF to just a 36.4 percent clip in the first period.? Twelve players saw action and contributed to an effort that saw the Cats outshoot, outrebound and outdefend the visiting Titans.? Jerryd Bayless led all scorers with 21 points, while Chase Budinger and Jamelle Horne chipped in with 17 and 12 points, respectively.

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Scouting Texas A&M: ? The Aggies enter play Sunday with a 7-0 record after a 76-63 win over Alabama on Wednesday.? Through seven games, Texas A&M averages 75.6 points per game, shoots 49.5 percent (187-of-378), and outrebound the opposition by 12.4 rebounds per game.? Opponents shoot just 37.3 percent from the floor and are outscored by an average of 16.9 points per game.? Individually, two Aggies average in double figures, led by Josh Carter, who averages 13.0 points? per game.? DeAndre Jordan leads A&M with a 7.6 rebounds per game average.? This is Texas A&Mˇ?s first true road game of the season.

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The Series: ? This afternoonˇ?s contest marks the sixth meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 5-0 series advantage.? Interestingly, three of the five games in the series, which dates back to Dec. 16, 1949, have been played at neutral sites.? All-time, Arizona is 2-0 in series games played in Tucson, 0-0 in College Station, Texas, and 3-0 in neutral-site games.? Please see page 101 in UA media guide for more series information.

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The Last Meeting: ? Arizona 88, Texas A&M 44, Dec. 28, 1995: ? Michael Dickerson? scored 26 points and Joe McLean added 20 as Arizona placed four players in double figures in the opening round game of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.? UA outrebounded A&M 49-26, held the Aggies to 32.6 percent shooting and forced 30 turnovers.? The Cats outscored Texas A&M 50-21 in the second half.? Current UA assistant coach Miles Simon tallied 10 points, three rebounds and five assists in the contest.

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Against the Big 12: ? Arizona carries an all-time record of 62-66 (.484) record against teams that currently reside in the Big 12 Conference.? Games with Big 12 foes seem to be a regular occurrence of late, as the Cats played at No. 4 Kansas last Sunday.? Prior to that game, the last time UA faced a Big 12 opponent was March 24, 2005, in a 79-78 win over Oklahoma State in the NCAA Chicago Regional semifinal.

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A Different Look on the Sidelines: ? 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 to the sidelines even though he attended practice on Nov. 26.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.? Oˇ?Neill has 11 seasons of experience as an NCAA Division I head coach, where he compiled a 152-165 (.479) record while at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern. Oˇ?Neill spent the last seven seasons in NBA circles.? During Olsonˇ?s leave of absence all games will be credited to Oˇ?Neillˇ?s coaching record.

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The Ratings Are Up: ? According to Nielsen Media Research, television ratings for Arizona menˇ?s basketball games on FSN Arizona this season are up 38% over the figure through the same number of telecasts on the network last season. FSN Arizona has televised five games so far and they are averaging a 0.9 rating (thatˇ?s good for cable) in the Phoenix market. The Tucson market is not an overnight metered market, so figures are unavailable. The Nov. 21 Adams State game was the highest rated game of the year to date, receiving a 1.1 rating.

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Points Aplenty: ? Led by three underclassmen who combined for 50 points, Arizona posted a season-high 91 points in Wednesdayˇ?s win over Cal State Fullerton.? It marked the first time in 24 games ˇ? since a 96-87 win at Washington on Jan. 4, 2007 ˇ? that Arizona has scored at least 90 points.? Furthermore, UAˇ?s 26-point margin of victory was its biggest of the season and the largest since an 84-54 win over that same Washington team on Feb. 3, 2007, covering 15 games.

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Dialed In: ? The Cats have definitely found its collective shooting touch of late, as the team has connected on 56.0 percent (116-of-207) of its field goal attempts over the last four games.? The effort has extended beyond the arc, as the team is shooting 40.8 percent (29-of-71) from long range in that same span.? In those three games, UA starters have combined to shoot 53.1 percent (68-of-128) from the field.

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Helpers: ? Assists are up as well in the aforementioned four games, as Arizona is averaging 19.8 assists per game.? Arizona has collected 20 or more assists three times in the last four games and has assists on nearly 70 percent of its FGs in that span.

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Rebounding Edge: ? Highlighted by Wednesdayˇ?s effort that saw Arizona post a 42-31 rebound advantage, the Wildcats have outrebounded each of its last three opponents all by an average of +10.0 per game.? Wednesdayˇ?s +11 margin vs. Cal State Fullerton was UAˇ?s best of the season.? This recent surge will be put to the test on Sunday as Texas A&M outrebounds its opponents by a 12.4 margin per game.

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Quick Trends: ? If one is looking for a quick handle on Wildcat success, look no further than the halftime score.? Arizona is 4-0 when leading at the half.? Through six games UA is outscoring opponents by an average of 7.2 points per game in the opening half.? Additionally, Arizona is 3-0 when shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 3-0 when outshooting the opposition.

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Rotating In: ? Interim head coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill used his fourth different starting lineup on Wednesday when he inserted senior Bret Brielmaier into the quintet.? Brielmaier, a 6-foot-7 forward from Mankato, Minn., responded with eight points (4-of-5 FG), six rebounds and two blocked shots in 21 minutes.? It was the third career start for Brielmaier, who is just the second walk-on in the last 25 seasons to start a game for the Wildcats, joining John Ash (1996-2001), who started a game back on Jan. 15, 2000.

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All for One and One For All: ? It certainly was a balanced effort for the Wildcats in Wednesdayˇ?s win as a season-high 12 players saw action in the contest.? Of those dozen players, 11 managed to grab at least one rebound or score one point.? Five of the 12 managed to grab at least five rebounds.

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Clamping Down: ? The Wildcats defense put forth one of its best efforts of the season in limiting Cal State Fullerton to just 65 points, a figure 20.7 points per game less than its season average entering the game.? UA held the Titans to just 33.8 percent shooting (24-of-71), including 31.6 percent (12-of-38) in the second half.? Arizona also blocked a season-high nine shots an equaled a season high with seven steals.? It marked the second time this season that Arizona has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting from the field.

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Jamelle Jumps In: ? Freshman forward Jamelle Horne continues to prove his worth on the court after notching his second double-figure scoring effort of the season against Cal State Fullerton.? The 6-foot-6, 204-pound San Diego, Calif., native hit 5-of-7 shots from the field en route to 12 points.? He added a season-high seven rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot.? On the year, Horne is averaging 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 15-of-24 (.625) from the floor.

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Versatility on Display: ? Aside from his? per game averages of 11.2 points and 4.3 rebounds and a .692 (27-of-39) field goal percentage, one statistic that has shown marked improvement in sophomore Jordan Hillˇ?s repertoire is his passing skills.? This season, the 6-foot-10 center from Atlanta, Ga., has five assists in his first six games (138 minutes played), including a career-best three on Wednesday.? That might not seem like much, but Hill tallied just three assists in 29 games (409 minutes) last year.

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Bouncing Back: ? After making just 12 of his first 29 field goal attempts, including 5-of-14 in his college debut, freshman Jerryd Bayless has done well get his field goal percentage back up to 50 percent (33-of-66).? In the last four games, the 6-foot-3 guard from Phoenix, Ariz., is shooting 56.8 percent (21-of-37) from the floor and averaging 18.5 points per game.? On the year, Bayless leads Arizona with averages of 18.8 points and 4.7 assists per game.

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Gotta Get Better: ? One category that needs improvement is turnovers.? Through six games, Arizona is averaging 15 turnovers per game, which is the same figure as the opposition.? Only three times in the previous 14 seasons had UA turned it over more than the opponents.

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Scoring 80: ? Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 165-19 (.897) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.? Arizona is 3-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.

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Early Signees: ? The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.? Brandon Jennings (G, 6-0, 170) from Lakewood, Calif., Oak Hill Academy; Brendon Lavender (G, 6-4, 180) from Mesa, Ariz., Mountain View High School;? Emmanuel Negedu (F, 6-7, 230) from Bloomington, Ind., Brewster Academy; Jeff Withey (C, 6-11, 240) from San Diego, Calif., Horizon High School, will join the squad next fall.? According to rivals.com, this class was ranked as the seventh-best nationally.

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Up Next: ? After playing six games in the last 15 days, the Cats get a bit of a break with a six-day hiatus before its next contest.? Arizona travels to Chicago on Dec. 8 to take on Illinois.? Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. CST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.

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