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Cal Release-2/12/2008
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/12/2008
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Game 24:? ? Arizona (15-8, 5-5) vs. California (14-8, 5-6)

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Date: ? Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008

Time: ? 6:30 p.m. MST

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

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

TV: ? FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)

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Game Data: ? Arizona (15-8, 5-5 Pac-10) hosts California (14-8, 5-6 Pac-10) Thursday in a key Pac-10 game at McKale Center, but one could say that about every game in the ˇ?Conference of Championsˇ± this season ... Two of the leagueˇ?s top three scorers will be featured tonight as Ryan Anderson (21.9 ppg) and Jerryd Bayless (20.0 ppg) lead their respective clubs.

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The Rankings: ? Arizona is unranked in both polls for the fifth consecutive week.? For the season, the Wildcats have been ranked in either or both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coachesˇ? Top 25 polls in eight of 15 polling periods this season.

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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: ? Jerryd Bayless scored 39 of Arizonaˇ?s 54 points, but the visiting Sun Devils had just enough offensive balance to overcome that in a 59-54 win Sunday.? Behind Baylessˇ? 26 first-half points UA jumped out to an early 22-6 lead, but was outscored, 53-32, over the last 31:46.? The Cats shot 37 percent from the field for the game, including just 30 percent (6-of-20) in the second half.? In addition to UAˇ?s poor shooting, ASU outrebounded UA, 28-21, and no Wildcat other than Bayless managed more than one field goal in the contest.

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Scouting California: ? The Golden Bears enter play Thursday with a 14-8 record (5-6 Pac-10) following last Saturdayˇ?s 92-70 loss to Oregon.? Through 22 games, Cal averages 78.5 points per game, shoots 47.9 percent (610-of-1,273), and posts a +3.2 rebound margin per game.? Opponents shoot 43.4 percent from the floor and are outscored by an average of 5.6 points per game.? Individually, four Golden Bears average in double figures, led by Ryan Anderson, who averages 21.9 points? per game.? DeVon Hardin leads Cal with a 7.7 rebounds per game average.

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The Series: ? Tonightˇ?s game marks the 76th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 50-25 series advantage. Arizona has won 17 of the last 19 meetings, including the last, a 79-75 win in Berkeley on Jan. 19.? All-time, Arizona is 25-8 in series games played in Tucson, 22-16 in Berkeley, Calif., and 3-1 in neutral site games. See page 99 of the UA media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ??Arizona 79, California 75, Jan. 19, 2008: ? Arizona managed to maintain it composure and capitalized on opportunities late in the contest to pick up a much-needed victory.? Trailing by six points with 6:21 remaining, Arizona went on a 21-11 run to close the game, forcing five California turnovers and connecting on 13-of-15 free throws of its own during the run.? For the game, Arizona held an 18-4 advantage in points off turnovers.? Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger each scored more than 20 points and Nic Wise scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half.

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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.? It was announced on Dec. 7 that Olson would not return this season.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.? Oˇ?Neill, who was tabbed as Olsonˇ?s successor on Dec. 18, 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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Quite an Effort: ? In his only game last week, Jerryd Bayless scored a career-high 39 points, grabbed two rebounds and passed out three assists in a 59-54 loss Sunday.? The freshman from Phoenix, Ariz., hit 12-of-18 shots from the floor, including 6-of-10 from three-point range, and 9-of-9 from the free throw line to go with a steal in 40 minutes.? It was the eighth-highest, single-game point total in Arizona history and equaled the second-highest output by a freshman in Pac-10 history.? Additionally, Baylessˇ? 39 points equaled the most points by a freshman in a conference game.? On the year, he averages 20.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

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A Good Example: ? Jerryd Bayless notched a career-high 39 points in Sundayˇ?s loss, which was the most points scored by a Pac-10 player this season.? It is the most points scored by a Wildcat since Damon Stoudamire tallied 40 points at Washington State on March 2, 1995.? Additionally, it was two points shy of the UA single game scoring mark in McKale Center.? For a look at Baylessˇ? effort in Pac-10 annals, please see the list below.? Itˇ?s worth noting that three Wildcat freshmen are entrenched in the conferenceˇ?s top-six slots.

PAC-10 FRESHMEN SINGLE-GAME SCORING (1972-73 to Present)

1.???? 41???? Don MacLean, UCLA vs. North Texas, Dec. 30, 1988

2.???? 39???? Jerryd Bayless, Arizona vs. Arizona State, Feb. 10, 2008

??????? 39???? Cliff Robinson, USC vs. California, Feb. 2, 1978

4.???? 38???? Bob Elliott, Arizona vs. Arizona State, Feb. 2, 1974

??????? 38???? Coniel Norman, Arizona vs. Brigham Young, Feb. 24, 1973

??????? 38???? Tajuan Porter, Oregon vs. Portland State, Nov. 12, 2006

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File Under Statistical Rarity: ? Jerryd Bayless connected on 12-of-18 (.667) field goals in Sundayˇ?s loss and the rest of the team combined to make just 3-of-23 (.134) shots.? No Wildcat other than Bayless made more than one field goal in Sundayˇ?s contest as UA finished the game shooting 36.6 percent (15-of-41).? Arizonaˇ?s other four starters (Budinger, Hill, McClellan, Dillon) shot a combined 3-of-22 (.136) from the field.? As a result UA tallied a season-low 15 field goals against the Sun Devils.

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Herculean: ? When is the last time an Arizona player was single-handedly responsible for better than 70 percent (39 of 54/72.2%) of the teamˇ?s offensive output, as Jerryd Bayless was Sunday? A quick look through the UA record book was inconclusive, though Baylessˇ? performance easily tops the seven single-game scoring marks now atop him in the UA record book. Of those seven, only one ?C Damon Stoudamireˇ?s 45 points on Jan. 14, 1995, in an 89-83 win at Stanford (50.6 percent) ?C tops 50 percent of the Wildcatsˇ? total. Even UAˇ?s oldest scoring mark of substance ?C Harold Tovreaˇ?s 35 points on Feb. 28, 1924 vs. New Mexico Tech ?C only accounted for 45.5 percent (35 of 77) of UAˇ?s offense that day.

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Off Target: ? Field goal percentage figures prominently in UA outcomes, as the club shoots a cumulative 51.8 percent (399-of-770) in its 15 wins and 43.5 percent (185-of-425) in the eight losses.? In Arizonaˇ?s last two losses, the team has shot a combined 42.9 percent (39-of-91) from the field.? This season, Arizona is 10-0 when it shoots 50 percent or better from the field and 11-0 when shooting better than the opposition.

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Beaten on the Boards : ? Arizona was outrebounded by Arizona State, 28-21, in Sundayˇ?s loss to fall to 8-6 this season when losing the rebounding battle.? When the Cats manage to win the rebound battle the club is 7-2.? Overall, Arizona posts a +0.3 rebound margin through 23 games, but that figure falls to -3.9 in conference play.? To date, Arizona has been outrebounded in seven of 10 conference games.

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Markedly Efficient: ? Daniel Dillon passed out four assists against only one turnover in 38 minutes on Sunday.? The effort boosted his assist:turnover ratio to 2.42 on the season.? Through 20 appearances, the 6-foot-3 senior guard from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, is averaging one turnover for every 27.2 minutes played.? Additionally, his 38 minutes played against Arizona State was more minutes than he had logged in his previous five appearances (36 total minutes).? Dillon averages 16.3 minutes per contest this season.

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A Top-10 Guy: ? With a blocked shot in a brief appearance Sunday against Arizona State, senior Kirk Walters moved into a tie for 10th?place on Arizonaˇ?s career blocked shot list.? The 6-foot-11 center from Grand Rapids, Mich., now has 80 blocked shots in his career and it tied with Joe Turner (1984-88) and Brian Williams (1989-91).? In 93 career appearances, Walters is averaging 0.86 blocks per game.

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Worth Noting: ? Arizonaˇ?s 54 points Sunday was the teamˇ?s lowest offensive output at home in more than 20 years.? The last time Arizona scored fewer than 54 points in McKale Center came on Dec. 29, 1986, in a 53-40 win over Texas Tech in the title game of the Valley Bank Fiesta Bowl Classic.? Thatˇ?s a span of 327 home games between 50-point efforts.

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Failing to Take Advantage: ? After jumping out to a quick 22-6 lead less than eight minutes into the game against ASU, it marked the first time this season that Arizona had lost a game at home in which it held a lead at the 10-minute mark of the first half (5-1).? Furthermore, the Cats led at the half (32-31), but lost for just the second time in 13 games this season when it held a lead at the break.? Entering the game, UA was 8-0 at home this year when leading at halftime.

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Hole in the Middle: ? Early foul trouble put Jordan Hill on the bench for much of the first half Sunday and the Sun Devils certainly jumped at the chance by amassing a 30-6 points-in-the-paint advantage.? All of that heightened the need to keep the 6-foot-10 sophomore forward on the court.? This season, Arizona is 9-1 in games where Hill plays 30 or more minutes and just 6-7 when he plays fewer than 30 minutes.? On the season, Hill averages 12.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, while shooting better than 60 percent (117-of-193/.606) from the field.

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Scoring 80: ? Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 168-19 (.898) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.? Arizona is 6-0 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: ? UAˇ?s three-game homestand concludes with a Saturday afternoon game against seventh-ranked Stanford.? Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MST and will be televised by ABC-TV.

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