Game 25: No. 19
Date: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007
Time: 8:30 p.m. MST
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
Game Data: No. 19 Arizona (17-7, 8-5 Pac-10) opens the final homestand of the season Thursday against No. 22 USC (18-7, 8-4 Pac-10) in McKale Center ... It should be an interesting match-up featuring the Pac-10’s third-best shot-blocking team (USC) against a club (Arizona) that has 48 field goals in the paint over its last three games played ... In 14 home games to date, Arizona is averaging 83.7 points per game, a figure that is 11.8 points per game higher than the opposition ... Arizona is 11-1 at home this season when posting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent.
The Rankings: After a sweep of two road games last week, Arizona jumped to No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and to No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The Wildcats have been ranked in each AP poll to date this season.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 778-276 (.738) and 586-184 (.761) 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (324) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.766/324-99) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLA’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, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 22 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, ?'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 second-best winning percentage over the past 19 years (499-131/.792) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 28 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 28 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 344-38 (.901) in
Last Time Out: In a second half full of runs by both teams, Arizona made the necessary plays late to pull out a 77-74 win Saturday over Oregon in Eugene. Ivan Radenovic’s field goal with six seconds to go put the Cats up by one and Chase Budinger added two free throws four seconds later to clinch it. UA trailed by as many as nine in the second half, the last time coming at the 8:25 mark, but outscored Oregon 22-10 the rest of the way. Budinger finished with game-high totals of 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Scouting USC: The Trojans (18-7, 8-4 Pac-10) saw a three-game win streak end last Wednesday in a 70-65 loss at UCLA. As a team, USC averages 70.8 points per game, shoots 48.4 percent (634-of-1,310) from the field and posts a +0.6 per game rebound margin. Defensively, the Trojans allow 61.7 points per game and a .369 field goal percentage. Four USC players average in double figures, led by Nick Young’s 17.1 points per game figure. Taj Gibson leads the club with an 8.5 rebounds per game mark.
The Series: Tonight’s game is the 89th meeting of the two schools with
Last Meeting: USC 80,
Leading the Way: Marcus Williams led
Road Sweeps: As mentioned above, last week’s effort was
Toughness of Schedule:
Playing From Behind:
Finally, A Close Call that Ended Well: Ivan Radenovic’s field goal with six seconds remaining gave
Strong to the Finish: One of the keys in
Gathering Momentum: The Wildcats seem to have righted the ship over the last week. After surviving a stretch that saw the Cats drop six of eight contests, the team has rebounded to win its last three games. The wins improved the club’s record to 17-7 overall and 8-5 in Pac-10 play. In those three wins,
True to Form: The Wildcats limited
Commonality: Balanced is a common theme for the Wildcats. In racing to an 81.1 points per game scoring average,
Something Special: Freshman Chase Budinger reached the 30-point plateau for the second time this season in the win at
Follow his Lead: Senior Ivan Radenovic bounced back from a lackluster first half (4 pts./4 reb.) at
Transparent: Led by Chase Budinger’s 10 boards, the Wildcats had four players tally seven or more rebounds en route to a 45-33 positive margin over the Ducks last Saturday. That continued a string that has seen
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 161-19 (.894) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Always On the Run: Early this season,
25-0 run over 7:45 vs.
34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern
31-9 run over 7:54 vs.
28-9 run over 11:22 vs. Samford, Nov. 22 (SU went 3-of-16 with four turnovers during run)
20-2 run over 5:59 vs.
21-4 run over 8:08 vs.
25-8 run over 9:01 vs.
24-8 run over 9:17 at
18-3 run over 4:15 at
23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)
15-0 run over 2:28 at
22-10 run over 8:25 at
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed five student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Jerryd Bayless (G, 6-3, 193) from Phoenix, Ariz., St. Mary’s High School; Jamelle Horne (F, 6-7, 205) from San Diego, Calif., San Diego High School; Alex Jacobson (C, 7-1, 223) from Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei High School; Zane Johnson (F, 6-6, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird High School; and Laval Lucas-Perry (G, 6-1, 191) from Grand Blanc, Mich., Powers Catholic High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: Following tonight’s game, UA hosts No. 5 UCLA on Saturday, Feb. 17. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. MST and can be seen on CBS-TV.