Nov. 24, 2010
Date: Friday, Nov. 26, 2010
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Orleans Arena (7,500), Las Vegas, Nev.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Eric Thomae/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: KWBA (Dave Sitton/Corey Williams)
Game Data: Arizona (4-0, 0-0 Pac-10) heads to Las Vegas, Nev, for the final rounds of the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational, beginning Friday against Santa Clara (4-1, 0-0 WCC) at the Orleans Arena ... UA is 4-0 to start a season for the first time since 2002-03 ... The Cats are averaging 86.0 points per game and have scored at least 80 points in three of four games to date, while opponents are averaging just 53.5 points per game ... Ten Wildcats are averaging more than 12 minutes per game ... Sophomore Derrick Williams has scored in double figures in 13 consecutive games dating back to last season ... Over the last 27 seasons, Arizona has a record of 71-20 (.780) record in the month of November.
The Rankings: Arizona remains unranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. The Cats started the season unranked for just the fourth time in the last 24 seasons.
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 140-62 (.693) and 20-15 (.571) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 41, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 0-0 vs. Santa Clara as a head coach.
Last Time Out: Arizona shook off a sluggish start and dominated play in the second half to pull away Tuesday, 78-45, over Bethune-Cookman in the second round of the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational. UA shot 58 percent from the field, committed just three turnovers, limited B-CU to just 31 percent shooting and outscored the visiting Wildcats, 48-22, in the period. Kyle Fogg, who also finished with five assists in the game, scored 10 of his 12 points after the break. Derrick Williams led all scorers with 19 points, while Jamelle Horne added 13 points and five boards.
Scouting Santa Clara: The Broncos enter tonight's game with a 4-1 record (0-0 WCC) following Tuesday's 87-84 win over Northern Colorado. On the season, SCU averages 76.6 points, shoots 46.9 percent from the floor (123-of-262), 38.8 percent (38-of-98) from three-point range and 69.7 percent (99-of-142) from the line. Opponents average 74.6 points, are outrebounded by 1.8 boards per game and shoot 48.7 percent from the floor (128-of-263). Individually, three Bronco players average in double-figures, led by Kevin Foster's 18.8 ppg average. Marc Trasolini leads Santa Clara with a 7.0 rebounds per game average.
The Series: This is the 10th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 5-4 advantage. Arizona won the last meeting, 69-66, on Nov. 25, 2008, in Athens, Ga., as part of the Dick's Sporting Goods Preseason NIT consolation bracket. All-time, Arizona is 2-1 in series games played in Tucson, 0-0 in Santa Clara, Calif., and 3-3 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 45 in the UA media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 69, Santa Clara 66, Nov. 25, 2008: Arizona jumped out to a 12-point lead, eventually fell behind by as many as eight, then rallied in the final four minutes for a three-point win. Jordan Hill's dunk with 2:09 to go capped a 20-point night individually and gave UA the lead for good. The Wildcats shot .652 (30-of-46) from the field and limited the Broncos to one point in the final four minutes. Current Cats Jamelle Horne, Kyle Fogg and Brendon Lavender saw action in that game.
Against the West Coast Conference: All-time, Arizona is 28-14 (.667) against schools that currently reside in the West Coast Conference. The last time the Wildcats faced a WCC club was Dec. 14, 2008, in a 69-64 UA win over Gonzaga in Phoenix, Ariz. For a conference breakdown, see page 47 in the UA media guide.
In-Season Tournaments: Arizona continues its first-ever appearance in the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational. Generally speaking, in-season tournaments have been good to Arizona, as the club is 126-60 (.677) all-time in such events. That number rises dramatically over the most recent 26 seasons, as the Wildcats are 97-20 (.829) in regular season showcases like this.
On Target: Arizona managed to post a .510 field goal percentage (26-of-51) Tuesday on the strength of a solid shooting second half against Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats connected on 57.7 percent (15-of-26) of its attempts in the second half to boost the overall field goal percentage above 50 percent for the third time in four starts this season. Overall, Arizona is shooting 52.6 percent (113-of-215) as a team, a figure that ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference.
Spreading It Around: En route to its 52.6 field goal percentage through four games, Arizona has done a nice job of balancing its buckets around the court. Of its 113 made field goals, 47 (42 percent) of those have been either dunks or lay-ups, 32 (28 percent) have been treys, and 34 (30 percent) have been of a midrange variety. For those interested parties, Derrick Williams leads Arizona with 19 dunks or lay-ups, while Brendon Lavender leads the team with nine treys. It's sort of all or nothing with those Cats, as 19 of Williams' 26 makes have been in close, while 9 of 11 of Lavender's made baskets have come from behind the arc.
A Long Time Coming: As mentioned on page one, Arizona is off to its best start since 2002-03 with a 4-0 record. Perhaps more impressively, the Wildcats have won by at least 20 points, and the club's 32.5 scoring margin to date leads all Pac-10 teams. The last time Arizona won four consecutive games by 20 or more points came during the period of Jan. 22-Feb. 2, 1992, a span covering 20 seasons and 609 games.
Board Work: Arizona's focus on the glass has paid big dividends so far, as the Cats are ourebounding opponents by a +16.5 margin, tops among Pac-10 teams. Impressively, nearly one-third of all of UA's rebounds (50) have come on the offensive glass. Through four games, Arizona opponents are averaging just 24.0 rebounds per game. Six Wildcats are averaging 4.0 rebounds or better this season.
Making an Adjustment: While Arizona's 78 points Tuesday were a season low, the Cats still managed to win by 33 because it limited Bethune-Cookman to just 22 points in the second half, the second-lowest point total for any half this season.
Feeling a Chill: Arizona's opponents have managed a cumulative .341 field goal percentage (72-of-211) though four games this year. In fact, no opponent has broken the 40-percent barrier against the Cats in 2010-11. The last time Arizona held four consecutive opponents to less than 40 percent shooting came in the opening games of the 1999-2000 season, when that squad actually held its first six opponents to less than 40-percent shooting. For comparison's sake, that edition of the Cats limited those six opponents to a cumulative .376 field goal percentage (142-of-378).
Record-Setting Effort: Arizona's defense helped equal or establish two McKale Center records on Tuesday. Bethune-Cookman's 13 total field goals equaled the facility record for fewest field goals, originally set by Northern Arizona on Dec. 6, 1989. BC-U's 38 total attempts established a new McKale Center mark (non-UA) for fewest field goal attempts, breaking the previous mark of 41 set by Washington State on Jan. 14, 1984.
Toeing the Line: With a late push Tuesday, Arizona was able to outscore Bethune-Cookman from the free throw line, 19-18. In four games, Arizona has outscored each opponent from the stripe by an average margin of 7.5 points per game. All told, Arizona has scored more points from the free throw line (86) than the opposition has attempted (85). Additionally, Arizona's .775 (86-of-111) free throw percentage is tops in the Pac-10 Conference.
Honor Among Thieves: Eight Wildcats collected steals in Tuesday's win as Arizona amassed a season-high 10 steals. Nine of the 15 Cats on the roster have collected at least one steal so far. Kyle Fogg leads the team with nine, while Solomon Hill ranks second with six.
Point the Way: Speaking of Kyle Fogg, the 6-foot-3 junior from Brea, Calif., may not regularly play the point, but he's certainly looked the part through four games. Fogg, who has 18 assists in his last three games, leads the team with 22 assists against only six turnovers this season (3.7:1 ratio). On the season, Fogg is averaging 5.5 assists per game, or one helper every four minutes of action. Entering the season, Fogg averaged 1.9 assists per game.
Working Hard in Short Bursts: Sophomore center Kyryl Natyazhko continues to display improved productivity as witnessed by his six-rebound effort in just 13 minutes Tuesday. He also managed a field goal and an assist in the appearance. The 6-foot-11, 264-pound native of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, is averaging 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 71.4 percent from the field (10-of-14), all in just 14.0 minutes per game.
Back At It: Senior forward Jamelle Horne posted his best performance of the season Tuesday, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds, a block and a steal. The 6-foot-7, 224-pound San Diego, Calif., product connected on 5-of-7 field goals, including two treys, in posting his second double-figure scoring game of the season (25th career). On the season, Horne averages 8.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, while shooting 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field.
Playing Within Himself: Through his first four collegiate appearances, freshman Jordin Mayes doesn't seem to play outside of his comfort zone. The 6-foot-2 guard from Los Angeles, Calif., hit 4-of-5 FGs Tuesday en route to eight points, an assist and steal in 18 minutes of action. Mayes averages 7.0 points per game and is shooting 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the field, including .455 (5-of-11) from three-point range.
He's Got a Presence: Junior College transfer Jesse Perry has used his energy and effort to quickly become one of Arizona's most active rebounders. Tuesday vs. Bethune-Cookman, the 6-foot-7 forward grabbed six rebounds and added his first collegiate blocked shot. The St. Louis, Mo., native has five or more rebounds in three of four games played this season.
Finding a Spot: Sophomore swingman Kevin Parrom collected six points, three rebounds, an assist and steal Tuesday against Bethune-Cookman in 19 minutes. The 6-foot-6 native of the Bronx, N.Y., is averaging 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounds, while playing a myriad of positions. He is one of four Wildcats to make 10 or more free throws through four games and has connected at a .833 clip.
Majority Rules: Arizona improved its record to 3-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor and is 10-0 in the Sean Miller era when topping the 50-percent plateau.
Catch it on your computer: All games of the finals of the 10th annual iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational, scheduled for Nov. 26-27 at the Orleans Arena, will be available to fans around the country. iBN Sports, the title sponsor for the Las Vegas Invitational, will be broadcasting six of the eight games of the tournament live at http://www.ibnsports.com/lvi.aspx. iBN Sports will also be airing a delayed broadcast of the Kansas-Ohio University game, which is being played on Friday, Nov. 26. The only game iBN Sports will not broadcast on its network will be Kansas-Arizona, which will be televised nationally on ESPN2. iBN Sports, an online sports television network, has entered into college sports through a new multi-year agreement with IMG College, a division of IMG Worldwide, to be the title sponsor of both the Las Vegas Invitational and Las Vegas Classic college basketball tournaments in November and December, respectively.
Up Next: The iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational concludes tomorrow, as Arizona faces sixth-ranked Kansas. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.